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We don’t get to take vacations every day. Many folks get one or two per year, at best. So, we want our vacations to go smoothly. A poorly-planned trip can be a headache and make for a very stressful and expensive vacation. Here are some tips to help you plan and get the most out of your summer vacation this year.
1. Plan Travel Ahead Of Time
It’s always best to plan travel ahead of time. Not many people can pull off total last minute travel, going from a thought while sitting at the dinner table to boarding a cruis ship inside of a week. Most of us need to plan travel ahead of time. Book in advance, making sure you do your research to find the best prices on flights and rental cars and such, keeping in mind busy seasons and holidays.
2. Make Back-up Plans.
It’s not a bad idea to have a back-up plan in case of unforeseen events. For instance, even if you leave early and allow time for a traffic jam, circumstances could come together in such a way that you have to spend the night somewhere before reaching your destination. Before leaving, scope out hotels that are along your route, and bring their information with you.
3. Plan for Meals.
It can cost valuable time if you have to hunt down a restaurant for every meal on travel day. Like the hotels, look ahead to find out where restaurants are located en route. Plan your travel time so that restaurant stops will hit close to meal times. It’s always advisable to bring your own snacks and drinks. This ensures family members have what they like and it cuts down on expense, because buying snacks on the road is pricey. It’s also a a good idea to bring a few non-perishables, such as tuna packets. This gives you an option if you can’t stop for a meal or can’t find something open.
4. Pack Light, but be Prepared.
It can be a little tricky to be prepared while packing light. The key is knowing what to be prepared for. You can’t be prepared for absolutely everything (or else you’ll end up taking the entire contents of your home along with you!); but you can prepare for the basic things. Prepare for various weather events by packing outfits that can be layered (you can add or remove layers according to the weather). This saves space by not packing different outfits for each possible weather scenario, but it still keeps you covered. Pack items that can be worn together or seperately, as well as things that can be worn more than once if they haven;t gotten soiled.
5. Make Lists and Itineraries
Isn’t it the worst feeling to get somewhere only to realize you haave forgotten important things like sunscreen, contact lens solution and medications? Not having things you need can be stressful. And buying them on the road can prove to be challenging and expensive. Be sure to make packing lists in advance to help you ensure you have everything you need. Writing out an itinerary is also a good idea. Sightseeing on the fly may sound good buy you can easte a lot of time trying to determine what’s where and what you want to see and do. make an itinerary ahead of time, detailing the area you will be in on each day, times you need to be places, and things you want to get done.
6. Be Flexibile.
It may seem contradictory, but part of good planning is being flexible. If you expect every detail of your plan to play out exactly as it is on paper, you’re likely to end up frustrated. Some things are just not in your control. For instance, heavy traffic, flight delays, and weather can all affect your travel time. So it’s a good idea to allow some extra time for these unpredictable things, and to have a back-up plan (more on that below). Flexibility also allows for sight-seeing and other diversions. Unplanned stops can make for great memories and experiences. Be flexible with kids about certain things when traveling, such as how much screentime they have and what time they need to go to bed.
7. Think Safety.
Be sure to have your mail or newspapers temporarily held if you’re going to be away for any long period of time. If you have a person you can trust, it’s always a good idea to have them stop by every day or so to check the house, turn on a different light, etc. Share as few details of your trip on social media as possible, particularly if your profiles are accessible by anyone. A stranger can easily see your house will be empty and try to access your home. Keep only what you absolutely need in your wallet or purse. Leave credit cards or store cards you won’t be using locked away at home.