One of the most rewarding parts of the summer season for many of us is the chance to take it slower and enjoy more down time. Fitting in a summer vacation is a big bonus.
For your vacation you might be taking a day trip to the beach, a family road trip, or an exciting getaway to a far-away land. Use these tips to ward off stress this travel season.
- Book early. Nothing is more disappointing than getting your hopes up for an amazing vacation, but finding there are no adequate rooms, flights, or spots on a tour for the place you hoped to go. Booking early saves you money, and usually, time, because you won’t have to search around for vacancies on your specific dates.
- Consider a travel consultant, booking agent, or all-inclusive resort. Planning for travel by a group, or to a new location, or even simply to save trouble and unexpected costs, is made much easier when you let others take that guesswork out for you. If you love travel planning, more power to you, but for many it can add extra stresses to plan every meal, spend money at every turn, and figure out the best places to explore.
- If you’re driving, take the car in before you leave. Enough said? You’ll wish you had the belts checked if one snaps on the road, and you’ll be happy you had a tune-up and your filters changed to help your car run smoother and use less gas.
- Get an early start. Wherever you’re going, if you’re travelling on a typical schedule (weekend getaway, flying out in the morning, etc.) chances are other people are too. Heading out early reduces the chances of getting stuck in traffic or running through an airport trying to make your flight. Add an extra half hour to your first estimate.
- Make a few copies of your itinerary and contact information. If your neighbor is checking on your house or bringing in your mail, they will want to know where you are to alert you on the off chance of any problems. Making sure a close family member or friend has your information helps too—should there be any emergency news from home, you can rest assured you won’t return in the dark to a stressful situation without any warning. Be prepared by copying down all this information in advance.
- Know what’s happening in your destination. You’ll be happy you kept an eye on the news coming out of wherever you’re heading, when you learn you can avoid some major setbacks like a local flood, a collapsed bridge, or any other potential vacation-killer. It’s also a great idea to see what good stuff is happening, too. Maybe someone famous will be in town and you’re a big fan. Prior knowledge will help you make the most of your trip and not feel like you missed out.
- Bring sunscreen! Getting sunburned is not peaceful at all. When you’re packing the sunscreen, also pull together (or buy) a little first aid kit, to be on the safe side. While you’re at it, how about a few emergency snacks should you run into trouble?
Travel safe and enjoy!