It does not matter if you are a first-time traveler or if you take excursions every few months, planning a trip is hard work. You must make the proper preparations so that you have little to no headaches that can ruin your much-needed break. Before you board that plane or gas up the car, make sure you follow these eight tips in preparation.
1. Over Packing Luggage
Some people naturally want to bring everything, and the kitchen sink, along with them when they travel. However, if you are flying, then you are limited in what you can take. Even if you are driving, the cargo area in your vehicle is restricted. A good option is to pack light and use a laundromat near your hotel. Sure, it might take a couple of hours away from your relaxation, but it may save you a ton of room and money. For a week’s stay, try to bring along three to four outfits and then wash and reuse.
2. Not Considering Cell Phone Coverage
Unless you are going to a remote spot in the USA, you probably will have good coverage. However, you need to make sure your company has service in the area your traveling too. Even if you cannot connect with your phone, can you use it for WIFI? Also, if you are traveling internationally, it may be necessary to buy a pre-paid phone during your stay. Some cell phone companies, offer data and calls in more than 200 countries, which is why you need to check with your carrier before you go.
3. Forgetting to Tell Your Credit Card Company You’re Traveling
Security on your debit and credit cards is higher than it has ever been. If you are traveling out of the state or out of the country, make sure you alert the bank to let them know your travel plans. They will notate the account so that charges can be pushed through.
The fraud and security center at the bank automatically flags accounts that use cards in an area not frequently used. Most financial institutions just ask that you use the card as a debit card at least once, where you use your pin, to verify that it’s you using the card. International travel is a bit more concerning so make sure to check their policies.
4. Forgoing Travel Insurance
If you are like most people, you want to plan this trip and save as much money as possible. While travel insurance seems like an unnecessary expense, when you plan far into the future, you have no clue what will happen. Should you or a loved one become sick or if there is a death in the family, you will not want to take off on vacation. Insurance can be quite affordable and cover you in the event something comes up that changes your plans.
5. Trying to Cram Too Much Into Your Trip
Are you one of those people that carries around an itinerary when you travel? Some people like to plan every minute of their vacation while others tend to be a bit more free-spirited. Make sure you budget plenty of time for rest. Also, consider hiring a tour guide to take in the most that you can without overly cramming. After all, you don’t want to make your schedule so full and stressful that you cannot enjoy yourself.
6. Traveling During the Wrong Season
You can often get great travel rates when you go in the off-season. However, you need to know what the weather will be like. For instance, Florida has a lot of hurricanes in August and September of the year. While you may get a good deal, there is a chance your vacation could be interrupted by Mother Nature.
7. Not Using a Hotel Safe
If you think those little cards that you scan to get into a room will keep you safe, guess again. Use the room safe for all your valuables. Many times, hotel clerks give out the same room twice, or someone uses a key, and it magically works. Don’t leave things to time and chance, lock up your stuff.
8. Not Keeping Track of Reservations
Finally, one of the most significant problems when traveling is not keeping track of all your reservations. Make a folder and print out the confirmations so that you are always protected.