Going somewhere new, especially for the first time, is hard if you aren’t prepared. This is why it’s helpful to make some pre-travel arrangements and start planning ahead of time. Here are some useful tips to ensure a successful vacation:
Travelling to new places is fun and relaxing, but it can also be stressful. It involves a lot of planning, and forgetting to plan might turn a great vacation into a nightmare. Going somewhere new, especially for the first time, is hard if you aren’t prepared. This is why it’s helpful to make some pre-travel arrangements and start planning ahead of time. Here are some useful tips to ensure a successful vacation:
Make a Packing List
Your pre-travel checklist should include researching your destination, organizing your home, making all travel and lodging reservations, and making a packing list. Each type of vacation and destination will require a slightly different packing list, but it’s helpful to make one ahead of time. This ensures you’re not scrambling for things the night before you leave, having to run to the store for items you can’t find, or that you didn’t forget something important. Some things that are commonly left behind include:
- Headphones: For podcasts, music, or for some peace and quiet on your travels.
- Chargers: Phone chargers, computer chargers, and camera chargers are a commonly forgotten item for travellers. Don’t forget a universal adapter and surge protector if you’re travelling internationally so you can plug in and protect your devices from power surges.
- Medication: Easy to leave behind, but hard to replace once you’ve left, so make sure you keep your medication in a place where you’ll remember it.
- Swimsuit: Many gift shops and airports sell swimsuits because they are often forgotten.
- Sunglasses: Though you’ll probably easily find a replacement pair, it might be smart to add them to your packing list so you remember them.
Create Your Itinerary
Creating an itinerary ensures you get to visit each location you’re excited about, and that you have a plan for your lodging, travel, and meals as well. You can work to fit in some great destinations in France that are off the beaten path. Not only will this help with your planning, but it also tends to save some money. Creating an itinerary will allow you to make plans for some meals at home, which is a big money saver. Making reservations ensures you get cheaper rates for lodging, flights, and entertainment as well. Plus, travel can be hectic, so having a plan keeps things a little more stress-free. Before you leave, do your research and work with your travel companions to make the perfect itinerary to ensure everyone has the vacation they want to have.
Free Up Your Memory
When you’re travelling, you’ll naturally want to take a ton of photos to document your adventure. However, it’s not uncommon to be in the middle of your vacation when you get a notification that you are out of memory on your phone or camera. This will force you to delete other photos to free up space, or to miss valuable photo opportunities while you’re on vacation. One great pre-travel tip is to transfer (and even print) all of your photos onto your computer before you leave. Nothing is worse than standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and having to delete photos before you can take a photo of it.
Get Obligations Squared Away
Leaving for a vacation can leave a lot of things in the air, which may cause stress while you’re supposed to be relaxing and having fun. In order to avoid this, another pre-travel tip is to get all of your obligations squared away before you leave. For example:
- Clean the house: You’ll be amazed just how good it feels to leave a clean house and come back to a clean house.
- Pay the bills: The last thing you want to worry about while on vacation is unpaid bills, so pay them early so you can instead focus on enjoying your trip.
- Get work in order: Get work done, set an auto-response for your email alerting people that you’ll be out for a few days, and let your boss know you don’t want to be disturbed!
- Make house sitting arrangements: Whether you have someone watching your home, your pets, your kids, and other obligations, get those arrangements made ahead of time.
- Get your chores done: Mow the lawn, go to the bank, run your errands, and make sure you won’t have to worry about these things when you get home.
Search for Deals
Before you reach your destination, research any deals that will save you money on your travels. For example, travelling to Paris will probably mean you want to see the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, and Versailles, among others. An all-in-one pass can help save you money if you want to see those attractions anyway. The same may be true for deals on rental cars, flights, hotels, and restaurants. If you take some time before your vacation to search for these deals, you may be able to save a good amount of money instead of making day-of purchases once you’ve arrived.
It’s amazing just how much easier things are on your vacation if you take the time to plan ahead of time. Many people pack the night before, go in without an itinerary, delete photos as they go, leave their house a mess, or pay extra for booking things as they happen. However, making some pre-travel plans makes a world of difference in a stress-free and successful vacation.
Guest Post by Dan Matthews