Tips and Tricks for the Best Vacation Planning
It’s true, summer really is around the corner and there’s plenty of spring left to explore. Travel planning can take time, so start imagining what your next vacation will look like. However, given rising gas prices, costly summer camps and an air-conditioner straining heat wave or two, planning a vacation requires more than spinning a globe, it requires savings and budgeting among other steps. Here are some tips about exactly how to plot a holiday that’s worth its wait in relaxation and fun.
We all value vacations differently. Some of us base travel on our budget, skipping a getaway if the money isn’t in the coffers, while others place vacations in the priceless category, a holiday we schedule even if we take out a loan to do so. However you plan to pay for your vacation, it pays to meet with a financial adviser to learn how best to strategize your holiday.
Speaking of Credit
Regardless of how we finance our holidays we all use credit cards on the road. Just like home credit cards vary greatly when we use them internationally. Take a close look at your credit card details before you travel because an excellent domestic credit card may not have the best features for use outside the U.S. There are several features to consider including international charge fees, air and/or travel rewards, rental insurance and even security. Always remember to alert your credit company that you will be traveling, anywhere! Banks are on heightened alert to look for fraud and out of town charges get flagged fast, an alert that may well place a hold on your card use.
Where to Go
Where you like to travel for your holiday is a key component your personality. We make decisions about trying somewhere new versus the trusted and true. Given so many questions that come early in vacation planning they can often feel so overwhelming we just want to stay home. Answer the big questions first: How long? Drive vs. fly? One trip versus a set of three-day weekends? Travel with others or solo? Establish the components of your vacation and you have the foundation to begin your plan.
How to Go
Of course many of your vacation decisions depend on the other big variable – your budget, but people don’t always consider vacation to be one of their annual budget considerations. However how well you budget can transform a few days off into a bucket list experience. Stats suggest it also really does pay to watch travel search sites on a weekly basis to see whether you can pick up less expensive tickets. Remember to consider the flight-vacation ratio, specifically that a pricier airline ticket may be balanced out by a lower cost of living where you are going.
Where to Stay
There have never been more lodging options than today but the diversity can also be overwhelming and time consuming. Like all elements of travel – determine what kind of accommodation best suits you and your guests. Do you prefer to stay with a trusted brand name hotel or are you willing to take your chances for a lower rate in the online share community? Does your family excel in an all-inclusive environment with a set budget or prefer a la carte diversity from breakfast to dinner. More than any other element in travel, it’s best to consider the most sensitive member of your party when you book lodging. That way everyone will be happy with the choice.
Get App Happy
There’s no reason to stare into your mobile device during a perfect plate of pasta in Rome or poolside in the Bahamas, but travel and apps were made for each other. From maps and guidebook insights to travel alerts like late trains or traffic congestion apps provide a big advantage when out of town. They also can burn a lot of battery so invest in a portable charging adapter before hitting the road.
What to Do
We’ve all seen the sandwich boards offering the best rates for a day’s adventure, whether you’re heading out for some deep sea fishing or taking a tour of the rainforest. Whatever you and your family or friends like to do it often pays to reserve ahead of time. Most cities also offer discount cards that provide significant savings for those planning to attend more than a couple of attractions. As these cluster cards become more popular new types of vendors are joining such as bike rentals and restaurants in addition to familiar experiences like sightseeing and museums.
Check those passport expiration dates right now to make sure they are at least six months out from your last day of traveling, make sure your immunizations or necessary vaccines are planned early and consider travel insurance as accidents happen out there. There are also plenty of boxes to check when traveling domestically, such as driver licenses, bill payments and even pet boarding. The sooner you take care of these obligations the sooner you can concentrate on what really matters, relaxation and new experiences. And remember, let your credit card company know you’re on the road.