For those who are going to travel internationally or nationally, who have never been out of the country, or out of their state, learning a few tips – safety, what to bring etc… – is essential in the planning of your trip. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, it is always nice to keep a list of tips to use every time you go away.
Planning Your Trip
Where do yo want to go? Why do you want to go there? Most of us plan a trip as a vacation from our busy lives as well as to learn about another place. Figuring out where and why you would like to go somewhere is key. Do you want to ski? Do you want to sun on the beach? Do you want to go with a tour or go on your own? Family, a couple or just you? Do you want to go where everyone goes or to the more rural and cultural areas? Theme park or Boardwalk? All these questions are food for thought.
Here are some helpful websites:
Benefits Of Taking a Vacation
Trips and vacations can be expensive, but there are also ways to make your trip cheaper. Do you want meals included? Are you planning on buying gifts to bring back? How many activities do you want to do when you are there? Will you have to take other transportation once you are at your destination? Will you be staying at more than one motel or hotel? If you are just going to a beach for week or to a ski lodge for the week, that is obviously easier, however, if you are going to the beach for half your trip, hiking int he mountains for the other half, you will have to make plans for all those changes before you get there.
Here are just a few websites that offer packages or airfare and/or hotel deals:
airfare and hotel cheaply
Amount of Time, Time of Year and How Much Time
If you work full time, like most of us, you most likely have a certain amount of vacation days you can use a year. Many people use the holidays to go away, since sometimes you don’t miss as much work if your office is closed on those holidays. It can also be fun to be somewhere special on a holiday, like Christmas or Easter for instance. Others prefer to go on “off seasons” when there are less travelers, no holidays and prices may be less expensive.
Here are few ideas on what time of year to go on a trip:
What Time of Year is Best to Go
Vacation Spots Depending on Time of Year
What You Need to Bring
-You need to bring identification with you. Your suitcases should all have tags with your name and address or phone number.
-You should have a license on you, and a passport if you are traveling abroad.
-You should bring any health cards (if you are RH negative, are a diabetic etc…)
-Only bring one credit card if need be. If you lose your wallet or bag, you don’t want to lose all your cards.
-Bring Traveler’s Cheque’s or cash. There are still places that don’t accept credit cards, but cash is always accepted.
-An emergency contact. Keep that on your person at all times, especially abroad.
Bring the bare minimum. Less to carry. Also bring stuff you can lose, leave or throw away.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, brush (or comb), deodorant and shampoo. Just the basics. These are also items you can buy mostly anywhere in less you are going somewhere remote like a jungle.
If you are going away for seven days or fourteen days or even three days, you don’t necessarily need an outfit a day. Bring one pair of jeans that you can wear a couple times with different shirts. Bring one sweater or sweatshirt. Bring one fancy outfit for that special night out. Bring one skirt that you can also wear more than once with other shirts. Bring one pair of sneakers and one pair of shoes you can wear out to dinner. Obviously, this all depends on where you are going. For beach weather, throw in a pair of flip flops, and for colder weather, throw in a pair of boots. You will be doing so many different things that wearing the same shoes or hat or shirt on different days will go unnoticed – if you are so worried about appearances.
You will need a bag or a purse or something to carry your belongings in while out and about each day.
-Fanny packs are great because you can wear them like a belt, keep the pouch around your belly where it is easy access, and it is not heavy.
-Backpacks work great because you can carry more stuff, however, in some places, theft of travelers is high, and in a crowded subway system or city street, a backpack, being on your back, can easily be pick-pocketed without your knowing. Backpacks are better for hiking trips or trips in less crowded, rural areas.
-Purse. Some women have to carry a purse. Fine. Take a purse. Take only ONE purse . Make sure this purse has a long strap that you can strap diagonally across your body for safety. Do not take your most expensive bag. Take one you don’t mind getting dirty.
–Suitcases should be easy. Get one with wheels if you need to roll it or pull it. Duffel bags are great if you need to take a lot of clothes you can roll up (more room for stuff) and stuff.
–A camera – video and/or film (digital). If you want to capture memories, bring one. If you do not care about quality, definitely go for the disposable. If you take your own cameras, make sure you name is on them.
For more information on what to bring, what you can take on the plane and any other packing, safety questions:
Ski Trip Items (you can also rent equipment)
Airline, Train and Bus Guidelines
Obviously you need to figure out how you are getting to your destination, or what other transportation you will be taking once you are there. If you are driving your own car, or even a rental car, obviously you know the rules, but there are also guidelines for cars as well.
Here is some information on transportation (Europe and US):
Travel should be fun and a great learning experience whether it is your first time or your hundredth time. The list is long, but it is not difficult, Unfortunately, because of the events that occurred here in the US on September 11th, we do have to bring more information with us, know what we can and can not carry on public and private transportation and have to be aware of rules and regulations. But those are small prices to pay for exploring a place we have never been or returning to one we just love.