5 tips for vacation prep

backpackers in train station

As an experienced traveller during my college years, I have occasionally experienced vacation preparation speed bumps throughout my many travels. These many thought hiccups have caused me to forget the most essential everyday items that don’t first come to mind when preparing for your vacation.

After graduating, preparing for vacation became similar to preparing for the “real world” of adulthood. I began to learn from my mistakes as I travelled, and decided to go the extra mile in helping vacation preppers experience a stress-free vacation with five tips to remember when preparing for your vacation:

1. Be flexible with your time

Allow yourself to plan for setbacks or timing hiccups such as flight delays or road traffic. An adaptable plan allows for a stress-free vacation and opens opportunity for endless new adventures as they arise.

Bonus tip for vacation flying? Find the business travellers in the security lines and position yourself behind them! People who travel for business go through airport security on a routine basis. They’re quick and to the point with what needs done in an airport security line, which will help you get away from standing stationary for longer time than necessary!

2. Remember to Pack the Everyday Essentials

Many people forget some important items they wish they brought along with them. Forgetting to pack certain things results in an extra pit stop along the way to purchase what you left behind. Remembering to pack these small things will save you stress, time, and money during your trip:

An extra battery or charger

Every photography enthusiast will always agree with the proverb that “Pictures are worth a thousand words”. Truth be told, photographs will always capture memories of events with friends and family, such as vacations. A dead camera, however, leaves one stranded and vulnerable to missing key moments.

A water bottle

Travelling can leave people to forget about hydrating, especially in warmer, humid destinations during the summer. Dehydration is a major concern that many families overlook.

A jacket

Nights can still be cold regardless of how tropical your destination is. Packing only thin layered clothes like tank tops and shorts will not always keep you warm during the nocturnal weather!

Socks and Underwear

Your tropical family vacation surely shouldn’t be inspired by Gilligan’s Island or Survivor. Remember to pack more than just the pair of underwear and socks that you’re wearing during your travels.

Extra copies of identification documents

Carrying your passport with you to every nook and cranny destination such as a local restaurant or bar is complete silliness. Pickpocketing thieves will also see your passport as a Eureka! discovery. Having an extra copy will be more beneficial to have for tourist events that require an identification check.

3. Avoid purchasing flights from airline websites

One of the most expensive purchases of travelling is your flight. Airline websites will fluctuate their prices based on the search traffic of the flight. If price watching becomes too common, you may see a heavy increase in the price of your flight. Many travel agents or expert vacation planners will recommend flying into an airport nearby your destination and finding a public transportation service such as a bus, train, or Uber to your hotel or AirBnB.

Resources such as Skyscanner, Hitlist, or Google Flights provide deals that are incomparably reasonable for a traveller’s wanderlust and budget.

Skyscanner is a great travel resource that searches for the best flight and hotel deals worldwide for you. They search almost every airline known, rather than just those “big name” companies everyone flies. Personally, I have found flights for what would have cost the whole paycheck to end up paying less than $100 round trip.

Hitlist is another great alternative that offers the same features but with a way to explore your options with an open mindset. They categorize their travel destinations for you in themes such as “Weekend Getaways”, “James Bond Film Locations”, or even “Spicy Food Spots”.

Google Flights offers one of the best travel search engines on the internet. Their service allows you to enter the departure airport you are flying from and compare your travel options from all over the world with a map-view to find your ideal destination for your budget.

4. Take the free walking tours

Fancy commercial tourist guides are not always giving the best or “need to know” information on those double decker buses. If given the opportunity to take a free walking tour by a local tour guide, do not hesitate! Tours like this allow travellers to avalanche their guide with questions that bus guides may not have time to answer or know the answer.

While bus tours allow you to cover more distance and see more attractions, walking tours allow you to be a closer distance from the sightseeing and see more of the attraction. Walking tours allow a more immersive perspective and make the memories much more meaningful.

Some walking tours encourage a city attraction card that allows you to go inside the museums and other historic landmarks.

5. Expand your food palate

Avoid eating those local chain restaurants you can always visit at home. Vacationing means getting away from home, which includes your eating habits!

If you are travelling out of the country, dive your taste buds into something new, such as a part of that country’s national cuisine. Not many places in the United States offer foreign dishes such as authentic Irish stew in Ireland, or fasolada in Greece!

Eating at the expensive restaurants for lunch saves money, as many places up their prices for the same food portions during dinner hours. That being said, avoid eating at the touristy locations. You can get the same, local meal a few blocks away for much cheaper!

These five tips have carried me a long way over the course of thousands of miles and months worth of vacationing. I hope that they help you or your group with an enjoyable, and adventurous vacation that saves time, money, and stress during your travels!
For more of Cedric’s work visit his website www.cedricmiller.com

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