So I have been blessed with great opportunities to travel in the last six years and I am planning my next trip right now! I don’t think it matters where you intend to go, there are a few tips that you should consider when planning a trip to ensure you are not only prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly, but that you also have a great time…
Do your research
Currently I am trying to plan a vacation. I don’t even know where we want to go exactly; we are stuck between wanting a relaxing beach vacation and wanting a crazy backpacking trip; the best part is that I am able to plan for a beach trip, plan for a backpacking trip, and to plan for both in the same trip. I look up other experiences people have had in the areas I want to go. For example, I am looking at Vietnam so I wanted to make sure I have the proper travel requirements; to go to Vietnam you need a passport and a pre-approved travel visa before you can enter the country. In addition, by doing the work ahead of time you can save time and issues in the long run. This includes figuring out what places to avoid and the best ones to go to, cab companies to trust (and which ones not to), best places to stay, eat, day trips, you name it. In addition I look at how to get to and from the airport as well as what is the best way to get around the area, i.e. walking, biking, cab, public transportation, etc.
Track Flight Prices
I am currently tracking 10 different flights, via Google Flights, to various destinations from Vietnam or New Zealand to Belize or Amsterdam and various dates (I only know we want to go in January). So I began tracking them last month. Plus it notifies you of changes and provides charts to show the high/lows, by dates and airline. So you can choose when it’s the best to buy your tickets based on where and when you want to go and what your budget is for flights.
Make a List of Vacation Priorities
I often look at other blogs to find itineraries and decide what I want from each to piece together for my trip wants (historical sites), needs (nice hotels), and desires (amazing places to eat local dishes). I also am a lover of travel books, so I will usually go to the local bookstore and pick up a travel guide. This may seem weird since we have the wonderful internet, but it can be great to add extra activities on the fly while in country and do not have your handy laptop or an internet access available. Then I will list the things I want to see and do, where I want to stay and how much I can expect to pay for it all.
If you know you are going to be going to a tropical location ensure you pack not only summer clothing, but sun screen and bug spray. Belize for example is on the list of Zika infected countries so I would bring a bug spray with deet (per the CDC’s recommendation). I would also pack a raincoat as the rainforest adventures that await you will also leave you soaking! Hiking shoes, sandals, bathing suits, containers with your stuff in 4 oz or less (unless you intend on checking your bag), tennis shoes, shorts, dresses (if thats your thing like it is mine), sun glasses, tank tops. I think you get the point here, be smart, pack for the expected weather and also pack for the unexpected weather. When in doubt, pack it; pack more than you need rather than falling short in the least opportune time.
Have a GREAT Time
All that’s left after you do all the planning, booking and packing is (cough don’t miss your flight cough) to sit back, relax and enjoy your trip.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I would love to hear from you and read your comments below! Where are you headed on your next vacation? What would you add to this list if anything?