A vacation is not much of a vacation until you get out the door and arrive at your destination. The packing and the travel can be quite difficult and cause the need for a vacation for you and your family. These tips were written to help you through the stressful stages of vacation planning.
If you’re traveling with kids, it’s tempting to let them all tune out with their own mp3 players, but consider bringing along some books on CD. Having something literate and interesting for the whole family to listen to is not only entertaining and interesting, but provides a common experience that each family member can take forward with them into life (“Hey, remember when I was ten, and we listened to Black Beauty on the way to Maine?”). It’s the stuff of which fond memories are made.
For a stress-free vacation, start preparing yourself one week before leaving. Make sure your friends and family know where you are going, and have someone drive by your house to make sure everything is fine. Install an alarm if necessary. Find someone to take care of your pets and plants.
If you plan to travel for more than a weekend, inform your bosses two weeks prior to leaving so that they can find someone to cover your responsibilities before hand. This way, you are not relying on someone who merely says they will cover for you and you have respectfully informed them the reasons of your absence.
If you’re going on a long road trip with kids, try swapping seats with them every once in a while. This makes them feel good since they’re sitting in the seat only mommy or daddy normally sit in. It will also keep them busy for a while, since they’ll get to see things they normally wouldn’t see.
When going on a road trip, always bring a camera with you. You never know when you may come across something that you’ll want to take a picture of to remember. It doesn’t have to be something expensive and fancy, any basic camera will do. You definitely won’t regret capturing your memories on film.
Bring a gift for the flight attendants to gain special treatment. Flight attendants are generally treated very poorly, and if you bring them a treat, like a store-bought pie or something similar, they will recognize your generosity and treat you accordingly. Remember to thank them for doing their jobs. They are working for your safety, not as your maid.
Many coffee drinkers have noticed that making coffee with tap water from the hotel produces a less-than-delicious brew. Rather than using tap water, melt some ice from the ice machines. The machines use only filtered water, which makes it far more ideal for brewing coffee and which won’t turn your stomach.
When traveling to a foreign country, try to learn at least a few words of the language. Knowing how to say simple phrases like “how are you”, “may I have the check”, or “where is the bathroom” can help tremendously as you navigate throughout your destination. It also helps the locals to see that you are making an effort, which may make them friendlier toward you.
Make the traveling process a little easier by ensuring that you always reserve your seat when you book your flight. If you aren’t allowed to, keep going back to the airline or booking engine until you can. You may not like your choices but still select a seat and keep going back to see if you can change it. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to get an exit-row seat if you check-in early at the airport, because they are not available online. Following these steps will help you get the seat that you desire for your flight.
Don’t stop researching prices after you have booked your flight, rental car and hotel room. You may find that the prices have dropped even further. Be sure to thoroughly read the cancellation policy on your reservations. If you can, cancel your current reservations and book at the better rates.
You can usually use the internet to find flight schedules. A lot of websites will allow you to specify schedules and search by travel time. Some sites do exclude some of the low fare airline searches. Although you may find the information online, sometimes it can be hard to decipher with layovers and such.
A general mistake that many travelers make on vacation is doing too much. Vacations are about relaxing and getting away from the rush of the everyday world. Planning events that encompass most hours of the day will leave you feeling rushed, stressed and tired while on your trip. Stop and relax for a couple of hours everyday to decompress.
If you’re visiting a museum or other tourist attraction, make sure to ask about any special discount rates for which you might be eligible. Many attractions have discounts for seniors, children, and students. Getting a discount rate will help you save money and travel on a budget while still enjoying the local sites.
When travelling, one important concern is keeping valuables and personal information safe. Before you depart, scan copies of your passport and other IDs and save them digitally somewhere, such as an email account. That way if any important documents disappear, you can access copies in emergency situations. To protect valuables, such as, money or credit cards, split them up between bags or people in the party. That way, if one bag gets stolen, not every valuable disappears with it.
Give your travel information (including where you are going and the name and number of the hotel where you will be staying) to multiple friends and relatives. This way, if something were to happen when you are away, it will be easy for your loved ones to get a hold of you.
Hopefully you have found these tips to be both helpful and stress relieving. If you take them and apply them to the planning of your vacation, you are going to be able to get to your destination with far less stress than you would if you did not have the valuable information that you learned here.