It’s not like we take vacation every day and we all want it to be perfect. Sure, there’s a lot of potential for having a good time when you’re taking a trip, but it’s not as if it’s guaranteed. A little bit of planning can help you to really create a memorable journey. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few proven tips that’ll push things in the right direction.
Plan Two Months Ahead
There’s much to love about taking a last-minute trip, but it’s not recommended for those destinations that you’ve been dreaming of visiting for years. You’d likely still have a great time if you went on a last-minute trip to New York, but don’t you think that you’d end up missing out on something? Planning stage can be a fun thing, and it helps you to identify and narrow down the things that you really want to do when you arrive. It means you’ll be able to hit the ground running when you arrive, which might save you a lot of time and money. By all means, continue to take those last-minute trips, but as I said, for the “bucket list destinations”, do your homework well in advance.
Consider Departure and Arrival Times
When we’re booking our trip, we tend to think of the transit period as just something that takes us to the destination. But in reality, the travel options end up having a great impact on our travels. Think of it this way: if you have to leave home at 4 am in the morning, it’s unlikely that you’re going to arrive at the destination fresh and ready to go. The same will apply if you arrive early in the morning with the overnight flight. So, when you’re booking your flights, consider the travel times, especially if you’re only going away for a few days and won’t have time to rest and recuperate.
Smooth Flights vs Cheap flights
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re booking your flight: look at the smoothness of the journey instead of searching for the cheapest option. You might like the idea of saving some pennies on the cost of travelling, but you’ll only end up paying for it in other ways if the journey involves two layovers. There will be times when there’s no other option than to take a long, complicated flight, but they’re generally reserved for the epic, remote destinations. If you want to arrive with energy to explore, just pay that little bit more for that smooth journey.
Transport from the Airport
If your final destination is far away from the airport, it’s best to explore your options in advance to find a comfortable journey. This is unlikely to be the cheapest, but it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Sure, the budget friendly option will be a public bus, but do you really want to take this option and drag your luggage after you’ve been on a long flight? Probably not. Before you travel, look to see if there are any private shuttles. They are usually cheaper than a taxi because you can share them with other people. Allthoug if you are taking a road trip, car rentals are usually the best option.
Staying in a cheap hotel on the edge of town sounds like an attractive budget-friendly option. Sure, you’ll save money on the cost of the accommodation, but, since you’re so far away from the center, you’ll only end up spending time and money on getting to and from town. So, unless the city has good and cheap public transport options (like New York), look at staying central. Even in “expensive” cities there are affordable hotels and hostels.
What to Pack
A little bit of research can greatly improve your comfort levels when you’re away. Take your luggage, for example. It’s impossible to really enjoy a destination if you’re too hot, too cold 0r too wet! Before you begin packing, take a glance at what weather you should expect while there, and then dig a little deeper. It might say that it’s going to be rainy, but does that mean rainy and humid, or rainy and chilly? You’d need a different set of clothes depending on which one it was. And remember that, even hot destinations can become chilly when the sun goes down!
Also, don’t forget comfortable shoes. There’s nothing worse than taking your shoes off at the end of the first day of exploring, and seeing that your feet are all cut up. So not only should you invest in good shoes, but you should break them in before you travel. You’ll be thankful for it!
One of the most important things for me when I travel are my sunglasses. Make sure you always have a comfortable pair of classic style glasses with you. They won’t just allow you to see all the delights of the destination, but they’ll also give your style a boost for that perfect instagram photo.
Learn a few words in Local Language
No-one expects you to become fluent in the local language of your destination, but it is recommended that you learn a few key phrases. This won’t only help you to communicate with the locals, but it’s also respectful. You’ll also feel more confident when you land, since you’ll know that you’re not completely clueless in the language. I use this trick a lot and it always works. By the way, do you dare compete with me in how many languages you can say “hello”? 😉
You’re going to find a lot of cool things on your own, but it’s always worthwhile to have a list of recommendations in your back pocket. Recommendations can come from all sources. I usually read blogs, because they are more genuine and offer persona experience. You can always check the Lonely Planet route and use their guidance, or you could ask friends and family who have been to the destination.
There are a lot of tips and tricks to prepare you for the journey of your life, but these are some of the most important ones. Let me know how you plan your vacation? Do you do it by yourself, or let the agency do it for you?