Tips For Planning The Best Summer Vacation Ever in 2017
Posted on 24 May 2017
It’s summer time!
School is so close to being done for the year, and we’re spending most of our time dreaming of alarm-clock-free mornings, beach days, and summer travel, near and far. It’s also the season of summer vacations and I thought I’d share my best vacation planning tips for staying organized, finding flight deals, packing and staying healthy on the road so that maybe you could add some flavor to your summer with travel.
1. Start Planning Now!
Whatever you decide, here’s first key advice: Plan ahead! You are much more likely to find your preferred travel dates and accommodation (saving time!) and the best deals (saving money!). Travel is on the rise and I’ve personally found that waiting to book until the last minute only results in higher pricing especially when it comes to flights and hotels during peak seasons like summer.
2. Find The Best Flights
Your best bet is to reserve your seat about six weeks before your trip, since prices are generally the lowest around this time, and waiting much longer may result in paying a much higher price for your ticket.
WARNING: When you search for flights online, that data gets saved in the depths of the internet, and online booking sites will often quote you the same, or higher, fares every time you visit. So, be sure to clear your browser’s cookies each time you search. That way, it’ll be like you’re searching those sites for the first time, every time. Or you can use an incognito window so your flight prices don’t ‘mysteriously’ rise every time you search the same route.
3. Make A List
About a week or so before each trip, you should make a mental list of items that you don’t want to forget — which you WILL forget if don’t write them down. I’ve learned that when I think of something, I need to write it down.
4. Learn Common Phrases of the Local Language
A simple “Please,” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry” in the local language goes a long way. While you don’t need to be fluent or have perfect pronunciation, learning a few key phrases in your destination’s language makes a great impression and could also make your travels much smoother.
5. Make Photocopies of Important Documents
Let’s rewind. Before you even head out on your trip, you should make multiple copies of your passport: Copy the page that has your photo and full name on it, and keep these copies in separate places—at the bottom of your bag in different pieces of luggage, or even with different people who may be traveling with you. Leave one copy of your passport at home, with coworkers if on a work trip, and to take extra precautions, leave one with an emergency contact.
6. Stay Healthy And Hydrated
You should pack everyone’s usual daily vitamins and some healthy snacks for each journey. Also make sure you’re stay hydrated in summer heat. During the times plain old water gets tiresome (when you need so much of it while hiking or on a beach). Staying hydrated — especially on long-haul flights — makes it easier to get over jet lag too.
Sleep is critical to overall happiness and for keeping our immune systems in check during travel but can be difficult in hotel rooms. I always pack an eye mask to block out unexpected light (great also for adjusting to jet lag) and ear plugs just in case.
Carry hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes to quickly wipe down airplane arm rests and things you might touch for long periods of time. Getting sick on vacation can ruin it. I also pack pain reliever and fever reducer that is age appropriate for all of us, just in case.
7. Save Your Room Number & Hotel Address in Your Phone
8. Protect your Passport Holder
When most people think of passport safety, they think of safeguarding it from theft. Weather, however, is another consideration: Humidity can harm the pages, so try to keep it as cool as possible, and to prevent water damage, travel with a waterproof cover. If water damage does occur outside of the U.S., head to the nearest embassy or consulate for a replacement passport—one or two drops of water on a page is fine, but water damage to the book’s cover or the personal information page, including passports with more severe water damage, will have to be replaced.
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