It’s time to pull out the calendar and start planning your 2018 getaways. Here are the top ten travel hacks to keep you and your family, safe, comfortable and ready for a grand vacation. Or should we say vacations! With these tips, you will take off several times throughout the year.
1. Beware of Credit Card Fraud
It happens all year, although the holidays can be more tempting to those looking for credit card numbers to steal. Protect your cards year-round by contacting your bank before you leave home. Take only credit cards you will use on the trip. Secure credit cards and valuables in your hotel safe.
2. 1-800 numbers and international travel.
We are very accustomed to using 1-800 numbers in our day-to-day lives in the U.S.A. When traveling, especially internationally, they may not work, or you may have difficulty making the call. Plan to contact businesses with a 1-800 number before you leave. Create a list to call your bank, utility companies, or medical facilities and avoid expensive emergency calls from an international destination.
3. Research your destination
It’s all about planning fun and relaxing activities before you leave home. There are two items we do not think of as essential research before leaving home.
– Any recent medical requirements which may need to be scheduled. Plan far in advance to make sure you can schedule appointments during the time of your vacation. Most of us think about the fun side of vacations and not about possible emergencies. We’re getting away from all of that. It is a good idea to identify medical facilities near your vacation area for those just in case situations. Most likely you’ll go home without needing this information, but if there is an emergency, knowing the location of local medical facilities cuts down on emergency response time and stress too.
– If there is anyone in your travel group with dietary needs, there are fantastic apps to help you locate restaurants in the area. Check out: Open Table a great app to not only check out restaurants in the area, but you can make your reservation from the app. The app Tasteful helps you find restaurants and review their menu, searching for healthy choices and diet preferences.
4. Keep kids happy
Books, games, toys, and activities at the hotel are all great ways to keep the younger members of the family occupied and happy on vacation. Plan to bring along books related to the destination with topics covering history, people, culture, and food. It is a great way to learn about the cities you visit and keep everyone engaged and having fun.
5. Cheap Air
Finding great resources which are also budget-friendly will make vacations much more affordable and fun. Cheapair.com has a list of deals to keep you away from the budget-busting fares that can keep you from your getaway. Put their website on speed-click for updates.
6. Multigenerational travel
On vacation, everyone wants to have a little fun and relaxation. Take into consideration everyone’s needs and expectations. Choose a destination which offers something for everyone. From small children to the elderly. Contact the attractions you are interested in visiting letting them know you are coming with a multigenerational group and ask for their assistance in planning an outing fun for everyone.
7. Pack based on age & activity preferences
While this seems like a natural answer, packing based on age and activities can be overwhelming and requires planning. Consider all the activities you will be involved in during your trip. Do you need boat shoes instead of sneakers? Don’t forget your hat for the sun, but also include a lightweight scarf to protect your neck especially older travelers and babies. Are you going swimming? Purchase a pair of pool shoes to stay safe around wet areas. Walking on cobblestone streets; bring sneakers to help steady your steps.
8. Prepare your home to be away.
Don’t leave home without…preparing your home to be away. Ensure all windows and doors are securely locked. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on activity around your house. Discontinue mail and deliveries while away. Check with your local post office to set up a temporary hold on mail delivery. If you are traveling during the winter, ensure your home is cold-weather ready. Coming home to results of frozen pipes is never a pleasant way to say, “welcome home!”
9. Take care of pet needs
Ensure pets will have a safe, secure and comfortable environment for the duration of your stay. Determine what is best for your pet. There are several options, everything from pet-sitters to kennels to a close friend or family member who will come by your home to check on your pets. Depending on your situation you may need to combine efforts to make sure your pet is taken care of for the duration of your time away.
10. Kid travel
One of the best ways to ensure vacations are filled with fun and learning is to select books and movies about the destination to explore before leaving home. Books, films and online information help get children excited and helps them learn various aspects of the city. Make vacations educational, fun and engaging way.