Having been in the vacation planning industry for over 40 years I have gathered through experience and while assisting my clients, many hints that will help to prepare you for your travel adventure, protect you from unforeseen situations and bring great pleasure to your travel experience.
The Do List:
Take Airborne before boarding a plane – with the severe cancellation penalties in effect these days people are traveling even if they are sick. Protect yourself.
If you plan to wear sandals on the airplane, tuck a pair of socks in your carry-on bag to put on your feet before walking through security where many have traveled before you.
Carry copies of your passport and credit cards with you, separate from your wallet. Leave copies at home as well.
Carry an extra passport photo with you in case your passport is stolen or lost. It will speed up the process of obtaining a new passport.
Be able to provide a list of your medications (separate from the bottles) with dosage and frequency information and carry it with you at all times.
Always take hand sanitizer with you and use it – train stations, museums, airport, shops, restrooms have been used by many prior to your arrival.
Take along an “emergency kit” containing bandages, ointment, aspirin, sewing kit, safety pins and pocket tissues.
Place the name, phone number and relationship of someone who may be contacted in an emergency in your wallet.
Leave the name and phone number of places you will be staying at home with friends or family.
Leave the name of your veterinarian at home with the pet sitter.
Use ATM’s and credit cards when possible while traveling, but always place some cash in your wallet for emergency purposes.
Stop newspapers and mail delivery when gone for a period of time.
Pack all your medications in your carry-on bag.
Select a carry-on bag that has wheels especially when traveling overseas; it will save your back in airports and train stations.
Check to see if your medical insurance will cover you when traveling internationally, most do not so you will want to purchase travel insurance.
Call your Credit Card Company and ATM bank to alert them as to your travel dates and destinations.
While staying in an inexpensive hotel may sound like a great value, remember to calculate the cost of taxis or public transportation and the time taken away from your vacation if the hotel is located on the outskirts of town.
Keep your luggage count to one bag per person (one week or three weeks). Shoes are the most cumbersome and weigh the most. You will never see these people again, so keep it simple and light. Layer your clothes as the temperature changes.
Use a money belt. Men place wallets in your front pockets, ladies use a purse that crosses over your chest.
If you are using a car rental in a foreign county, be certain to check to see if an International Driver’s License is required. There are also age restrictions, for the young and mature driver.
Open yourself to chatting with and meeting new people as you travel, it is one of the best parts of the entire experience.
The Don’t List:
Don’t purchase expensive luggage, it all gets beat up. You will have less guilt when you throw away inexpensive luggage. Besides, expensive luggage often lures thieves.
Wearing flashy and expensive jewelry and clothes is not wise; costume jewelry is fine for travel.
Don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your hotel room, use the safe when possible.
Don’t allow price to be the ONLY factor when planning your vacation. Everyone has a budget, be certain you are getting the best value for your money.
Don’t send money to a foreign bank account to pay for your hotel and/or resort. We were advised by someone who did so, only to find the phone disconnected when the traveler tried to reach the resort. Someone had a good vacation on her money.
Don’t place valuables in your checked baggage.
When using a car rental, but certain to cover suitcases with a local newspaper so they are not visible to a passerby.
Don’t let someone distract you in a train station so that you cannot see your luggage, they often work as a team and someone else snatches your bag.
When shopping on line for travel be aware some of the companies may not be financially secure, don’t think “they sound good”. Check to see if they are members of the USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association). Remember anyone above 13 years old can create a fancy website.
Don’t be afraid to look like a tourist, they know you are. Just be “street smart” in a crowd.
Don’t leave home without travel insurance in case an emergency should call you home or force you to cancel at the last moment.
Don’t arrive late to the airport as you never know in today’s environment how long it may take you that day to get through security check, particularly during holiday periods.
Don’t assume everything you planned will go perfectly on your trip, life happens! Embrace the challenge, then sit back to watch the panic of others, it is great entertainment.
I sincerely hope you found these items helpful to you. Finding just one item you have never thought of before may enhance your travel experience. Remember as travel professionals we are ready to assist our clients with recommendations and successful travel planning. We are generally price competitive in today’s marketplace and we bring much more to your vacation. Our team has collectively over 150 years of experience, we know how to arrange your vacation and make it a wonderful memory that lasts.
Laura’s Travel Service, Inc. has relationships with reputable travel companies; we pull together all the pieces of a complicated itinerary and share the joy of planning vacations with our clients. Check out our website www.laurastravel.com or call us at 909 793-7551 or 800-350-7551 to chat with one of our knowledgeable and friendly travel counselors.