It’s the middle of summer, and you’re ready to pack your bags for a trip. You’ve finally saved up enough money, bought all the necessary documents, and are now looking at flights. But wait. Have you ever wondered what is most important when it comes to traveling? Plan now for successful travel.
Here are some tips on making your next trip enjoyable- no matter where you go. Road trips require a little less work, but you still need to plan.
Get Proper Documentation
Proper documentation is critical when traveling. Make sure you have your passport and visa with you at all times. Also, be sure to have copies of these documents in a safe place if you lose them or they are stolen.
The following are some of the essential documents you will need:
- Passport and visa
- Car insurance
- Household and personal property insurance
- Medical or travel health insurance cards
Copies of credit/debit cards, bank account information. If you only carry the actual card with you when away from home, take a picture of it on your smartphone to have an additional backup option if the card is lost or stolen. You can permanently save this file to Google Drive or Dropbox for easy access via any device. Some travelers even take photos of their passport pages, too. When you plan for successful travel, you can travel worry free.
It’s essential that you also make copies at home before leaving if something happens while traveling. These are essential items that should be left inside your luggage at the hotel when you’re away from your room. In addition to these documents, consider printing out a list of phone numbers for family and friends just in case something happens while traveling that leaves you unable to access your cell phone or other devices.
The amount of documentation needed will depend on where you are going. Make sure you have all necessary travel paperwork before leaving home. I always confirm that I have everything in tow before I pull out of my driveway.
Buy a Small Suitcase/Backpack
You can get a small suitcase, women’s bags, or a backpack to make your travels easier. I would recommend a small bag because it will be easier to move around, but a backpack is a way to go if you’re backpacking.
When buying a suitcase, consider the following:
- Wheeled suitcases are easier to move around, but they can be bulky
- A soft-sided suitcase will take up less space and is more durable than a hard shell
- If you’re going to check your bag, make sure it’s sturdy and lockable
When buying a backpack, consider the following:
- Make sure the backpack has a waist strap or hip belt to help distribute the weight evenly
- Get one with lots of compartments and pockets so you can organize your belongings
- Look for a rain cover in case of bad weather
- Choose a backpack that is big enough for your trip
Buy the best luggage you can afford. If you are traveling via airplane, check with your airline about size requirements.
You may need to pay an extra fee if it’s larger than they allow, and some airlines do not accept checked baggage. I tend to fly Delta or Southwest and checked baggage is not an issue.
Packing light saves you both time and money. You don’t have to wait for your luggage, nor do you need to pay extra baggage fees on the airplane. This is one thing that I do fairly well with. It helps when we plan for successful travel and lighten our luggage.
Ensure you pack the following things:
- A change of clothes
- Bug spray
You can also buy many items when you reach your destination, such as sunscreen and insect repellent. This will help to keep your luggage light.
Take an extra bank card and credit with you
Carrying an extra bank card and credit card is always a good idea, just if something happens to your original cards. Ensure you have the contact information for your banks in case of an emergency, and also be sure to notify your credit card company before you leave so they don’t think your card has been stolen.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use a Map
If you are traveling somewhere new, don’t be afraid to pull out the old paper maps.
While technology is great for many things, it doesn’t always work in places where cellular service isn’t available, or there’s no internet access.
So before you go on your trip, make sure that Google Maps has an offline mode so you can still get around if wi-fi and data aren’t accessible. This will also prevent draining your phone battery, which could come at just the wrong time. I have found myself in many places where cell service is non-existent and paper maps have saved me every single time.
Use No-Fee Bank Cards
A no-fee bank card refers to a checking or debit card that doesn’t charge for point-of-sale transactions. Using this card has the following benefits:
You won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees, which can add up quickly when you’re traveling. You can easily withdraw cash from ATMs without having to pay a surcharge. This is especially helpful if you don’t want to carry around a lot of money. Plan ahead for successful travel and you won’t have to worry about your money.
Your bank may offer other benefits like travel insurance or rental car collision coverage that could come in handy while you’re on your trip. Do some research and find a no-fee bank card that works best for you before your next trip.
Visit the Local Tourism Office
Visiting the local tourism office is a great way to learn about visiting the area. They can give you maps, brochures, and information on local attractions. This is also an excellent place to find out about festivals or events that may be happening while you are there. The folks that work in these offices are the key to extra fun on your visit.
Learn the Local Language
If you can learn some of the local languages, it will make your trip much more enjoyable. You will be able to communicate with the locals and get around easier. Many online resources are available to help you learn a new language before your trip.
Consider Your Clothing
When packing for your trip, consider what type of climate you will be encountering.
Then, make sure to pack clothes that will suit the weather conditions and any activities you have planned.
When planning your trip, keep in mind the amount of time you have and how much money you want to spend. Make sure not to over-schedule yourself or go overboard on spending. Being prepared will ensure that your next travel experience is successful and enjoyable.
Travel by Yourself at Least Once
Traveling by yourself is a great way to get to know a new place and its culture. It can be scary at first, but it’s also an enriching experience. You’ll learn more about yourself and the world around you, and you’ll make some fantastic memories along the way. When you make the time to plan for successful travel, your solo adventure will rock.
Traveling is a great way to explore the world and learn about new cultures. However, it can also be expensive. You can make your next trip more interesting and affordable by doing your homework ahead of time.