Images of crowded airports, lost luggage, and fussy children might give you the jitters, but traveling can also be a wonderful opportunity to see family or spend intimate moments with your beloved in an interesting new place.
Follow these tips from Geek Alabama to keep your vacation stress-free.
Have a Plan
Planning trips in advance will allow you to be excited about your trip, boosting your mood by giving you something to look forward to. There are many websites and apps that can help you research places to go, and travel costs, accommodations, and activities. If you’re looking to do some sightseeing or check out museums, make sure to look for operating hours and closing times.
If you’re taking a flight, make sure you book at least 2 weeks prior for domestic, and 2-3 months before or even earlier for international. The same goes for your hotel accommodations. Thrifty Traveler mentions booking flights for departure on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays will be cheaper. Remember that the further in advance you book, the better your cost savings. Better yet, work with a travel agent to optimize affordable rates at your favorite destinations.
If you’re going on a road trip, there are a lot of apps that can help with planning your trip. There are apps for gauging traffic, listing places to stop over, and giving you information where you can spend the night if you need to. Don’t forget to pack a spare charger for your phone, and remember to prepare your vehicle for a long drive.
If you’re going on a cruise, plan your trip early. The most popular cruises tend to get packed about a year before the trip. When selecting the cruise, make sure that you understand what is included in the package you’re getting. Some things that you might expect to be included, like WiFi, spa services, specialty dining, and shore excursions will cost extra.
Once you’re decided on your trip, create a budget to estimate how much things will cost and stick to it as much as possible.
Secure Your Home
Of course, part of planning a trip includes leaving your house alone for a couple of days or weeks, depending on your vacation time. Don’t neglect to secure your home before you leave so your vacation is not ruined by worrying about a break-in. This includes alerting your neighbors, checking to see if all windows and doors are locked, putting lights on timers, stopping your mail and paper, and even asking someone to check on your home periodically.
Also keep other forms of security in mind during your trip. Many travelers fall victim to theft; Offero suggests making a plan for keeping valuables safe and don’t carry a lot of cash, especially if you travel abroad. If you’re heading to a place like Cancun, Monte Cristi or Rio, you might even want to set up an account with a low-cost but trustworthy money transfer service in case you hit a snag. Some services are more affordable than others, so do a little digging to find the one that’s best for you. Some also make it more convenient to use; for example, recipients in Mexico may be able to get their funds from more than 40,000 cash pickup locations.
Whether you are traveling with the whole family, visiting in-laws, or taking a quiet getaway with your partner, remember that planning ahead, budgeting, and making decisions early will lead to a stress-free vacation.
Blogger Nathan Young of Geek Alabama is a road, weather, and news junkie geek/nerd who loves animals, food and cartoons. Reach out to find out more! [email protected]
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