It’s fun to get out and see and do new things; however, planning a trip can be sheer drudgery. These tips can help lower the stress involved with planning your next trip.
Before travelling, make sure you check the projected weather for your destination. You don’t want to be stuck with nothing but winter clothes during a heat wave or only shorts and tank-tops during a blizzard. Purchasing new clothing while on vacation may not only be expensive, but you might not have room in your luggage to take everything home with you!
Be aware of scams that attempt to prey on unwary travelers. In many poorer areas of the world, it is safest to assume that anyone begging for money or trying to stop you for just about any reason could be a pickpocket. Don’t ever show or hand over your wallet to anyone, even if they claim to be police officers.
Shop around for the best deal. Often, a shift in a day or two from your departure or return can amount to a significant savings of several hundred dollars in your transportation cost. Many websites can check this automatically for you. As a general rule, if you can avoid travelling on Fridays or Sundays, you will save a pile of money.
If you are staying in a country with a high crime rate, treat even your hotel room as suspect. Place a piece of furniture in front of the door to prevent midnight break-ins. Also check that that windows lock securely. You never know which hotel owners might get a kickback from local crime gangs.
If you’re going to be traveling soon, don’t go through a travel agent. You’ll find your trip costing twice as much. Rather, shop around online through different bargain dealers like expedia.com or travelocity.com. This will help you save some money that can be better spent when you arrive at your destination, perhaps on souvenirs, or for that nice guy online that gave you this tip.
The advice “don’t drink the water” if you travel to a foreign country is, unfortunately, accurate. However, you can also have intestinal upsets any time you drink water from a place other than where you live, even in the U.S. That’s because the bacterial flora that live in your gut (intestinal tract) are very sensitive to the composition of your own water, in your own area. It takes them a while to get used to water from elsewhere, and in the meantime, they want to push that unfamiliar water right through. So until you get used to the local water, wherever you are, sip slowly or stick with bottled H20.
Having a good set of maps or road atlas can save one from a possible disaster if they get lost or electronic map devices such as GPS or smart phones run out of battery. Many things can cause electronics to malfunction and stop working. Having backup option can save one’s trip.
If you’re going on a cruise, you should arrive a day in advance. This will stop those close calls of getting stuck in traffic or having your flight delayed and causing you to miss your trip. The stress of almost missing the ship is not how you want to start your trip.
Weighing your checked bags before you arrive at the airport can save you money and frustration. Many airlines charge an extra $50 or more for checked bags weighing over 50lbs. This can result in spending more money, or having to leave items behind. Put your luggage on a scale at home before you head to the airport to save yourself a headache!
Give a copy of your trip itinerary to a friend or family member. In case of an accident or another situation, this can help your friends and family track down your whereabouts. Make sure you also keep in contact with this individual as you transition from one leg of your trip to the next.
National Parks are usually open all year, but it is best to check with the park you are wanting to visit to confirm that it will be open when you are planning on going. During the summer and winter the parks are generally more popular. If you want to avoid crowds, go in spring or fall.
When traveling abroad, always make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate location from your original. Should you lose your original passport, having a copy can make getting a duplicate easier and faster. Your embassy will also likely ask for some basic information that the duplicate will contain.
The logistics involved in planning and executing a vacation can make you question why you wanted to take the vacation in the first place; but once you are there and experiencing the fun of your vacation getaway, you will be glad that you read and implemented these tips for putting together a great vacation.