For an event that should be fun, relaxing and free of stress, often times, all of the planning and logistics ends up turning a dream vacation into one big headache. Follow the travel tips in this article to reduce the stress involved in vacationing so that you can return from your next trip, relaxed and rejuvenated.
Dress in layers and you are sure to be ready for any weather. Weather can be unpredictable, especially if you are visiting an unfamiliar place. By having several layers of clothing, you can add or remove pieces depending on the temperature. This is especially useful for all day adventures which start in the cool morning but warm up later in the day.
When traveling to less-developed areas of the world, remember to bring spare batteries for all of your electronics. Not all areas will have accessible electric outlets to charge your items, nor will every country sell even common AA or AAA batteries. It is better to come prepared than to not be able to use your camera.
When planning a major trip, you should always purchase travel insurance. This protects you against loss on big ticket items like international flights, as well as helping you recover the costs of lost baggage or other emergency expenses. Travel insurance covers you if you have to cancel your trip or if your trip has to be ended early.
When booking a hotel stay, be sure to ask when the hotel was last built or renovated. A low-cost motel that's brand new might be a better option than an older building attached to a good name. Stay away from lower-end and mid-range hotels that haven't been renovated in more than five or six years.
When traveling with more than one child, consider pre-packing each child's clothing into a large freezer bag. These bags can be labeled with each day, so the kids can easily find the clothing they're going to wear. This prevents them from needing to unpack the whole suitcase each morning, and also reduces the chance of items being forgotten at home.
No matter what your intentions are, you should always join the airlines frequent travel club. Even if you never fly again, you may receive a perk just for joining. On the other hand, you may fly with them a few times and you will receive benefits every time that you do.
Some hotels have video games in them for you to use. If you're traveling with kids, ask the front desk to disconnect these. Most of the time as soon as they're turned on they'll bill you for playing them. So if you take a shower you may not notice your kids have been playing them until you get your bill at checkout.
Register your trip with the US State Department. Doing so will give them a way to contact you or your family in the event of an emergency. The State Department provides this service free of charge to American citizens who are traveling to foreign soil, so it doesn't make sense not to take advantage of it.
If you're traveling with kids, buy each child their own disposable camera. Tell them to take pictures of anything they find interesting. If they fill it up before the trip is over, you can get them another one fairly cheap. Then they'll have something to remember all the things they liked - you'd be surprised how different the pictures your kid takes are from yours.
When traveling with a bag that has to be checked, snap a digital photo of it. If it gets lost, the picture will help you describe the item to the airline. It is also important to take a clear shot of the baggage tag that the airline puts on your luggage. This gives you the routing information for the airline and will help them locate your bag quicker if it is misplaced.
As you make your travel arrangements, consider using the bidding features that are available on several websites to secure your hotel accommodations. You can bid on hotel rooms at drastically reduced prices, but you don't know which hotel you are staying at until they charge your credit card. You can often get at least 50 percent off the regular rate of the room using this method.
Sign up for the e-newsletters of all the major airlines. You will be the first to hear about discounts, special deals and last-minute offers through these e-newsletters. The savings you get from these newsletters make the extra email worth it.
If you are traveling with dogs, make sure to brush your pet before getting into the car. This will help to minimize the amount of hair that you have to deal with. Also, try to plan ahead by figuring out a few places to stop for potty breaks. Your dog will need to stretch and relieve himself every couple of hours.
If you are traveling overseas, find out whether the country you are in, offers a menu of the day. This option introduces you to inexpensive food, that is native to the area that you are visiting. Most menus have several courses that even include a glass or a bottle of wine. You can save a tremendous amount of money, eating out this way.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to reduce the stress of planning your vacation and simplifying the logistics. Make use of any or all of these tips when planning your next vacation. Instead of being stressed out, you will have the time and energy to truly enjoy your vacation.