Travel Planning Tips
Research and Planning
- Do very thorough research on your destination by reading reviews on multiple travel websites, travel blogs, forums, etc. Talk extensively to friends and family who have visited your destination previously. This advance research will help you make detailed plans, choose suitable accommodations, avoid tourist traps, and avoid any major surprises.
- Be flexible and open-minded with your destination choice. Considering alternative destinations nearby your original choice can unlock great experiences and significant cost savings. Don’t lock yourself into only one destination or set of dates before exploring all options.
- Sign up for price tracking services that will monitor airfare rates and send you email alerts when prices drop to your target level. This saves enormous time compared to manually checking prices every single day across multiple sites. Adjust your target price threshold periodically if needed.
- Pack as lightly as possible by bringing only essential clothing and gear for your trip. Limit yourself to 1-2 versatile pairs of shoes that work for multiple situations to save space. Shoes often take up the most room in bags, so minimize them.
- Pack a raincoat with a soft fleece or wool lining that can provide warmth in cool weather or serve as an impromptu robe in hotels. A lined raincoat is a versatile layer for uncertain weather and keeps you prepared.
- Bring healthy snacks like fresh fruit, trail mix, jerky, or protein bars to avoid expensive airport food prices. Offering snacks can also be an icebreaker to start conversations with seatmates on long flights.
Health and Safety Tips
- Photocopy important documents like passports, visas, ID cards, etc. and leave one set securely at home. This provides backup copies if originals are damaged, lost, or stolen during your trip.
- Email your full detailed travel itinerary to family/friends before leaving so they know your expected schedule and lodging details. Regularly confirm you are safe so they don’t worry.
- Only drink bottled water when traveling in developing countries to prevent illness. Tap water abroad often carries dangerous bacteria that can cause severe dysentery and ruin your trip.
Packing and Luggage Tips
- Wear slip-on sandals, loafers, or sneakers when flying to simplify passing through airport security screening. Comfort is also key for long flights.
- Thoroughly review your insurance coverage for rental cars to avoid overpaying for duplicate coverage you may already have. Decline unnecessary extras pushed by agents.
- Place ID info inside your checked bags in case the external luggage tags are damaged or lost in transit. This aids identification and return if separated.
- Weigh your packed bags to ensure they conform to airline weight limits and avoid hefty overage fees at check-in. Redistribute items or remove heavy items if needed.
- Book early morning flights whenever possible to minimize the chance of cascading delays throughout the day. Delays on initial flights cause compounding effects on every subsequent flight.
- Sign up for airline email newsletters to get notifications about discount fares and flash sales exclusively for subscribers. Save money while adding some helpful emails.
- On long international flights, adjust your sleep schedule in the days beforehand to match the time zone of your destination. This eases the jet lag adjustment.
- Reserve seats on planes as soon as possible, even if there is an extra fee. You avoid getting stuck with middle seats in the very back row. Emergency exit rows also provide more leg room.
Lodging and Accommodations Tips
- When booking accommodation such as Mega Style Apartments, specifically ask the staff if any renovations or construction is planned during your stay. Ongoing construction can seriously mar the experience through noise and dirt.
- For enhanced safety, request guest rooms located on one of the higher floors of the hotel/resort. Rooms on ground floors tend to be easier for unauthorized entry.
- Upon check-in, double check that the alarm clock provided in your hotel room functions properly and is set to the correct time. Disruptive false alarms can ruin your stay.
- Consider utilising short-term rental sites like Mega Style Apartments, Airbnb or VRBO for more space and amenities compared to traditional hotels, often at lower nightly prices. Read reviews carefully.
Road Trip Tips
- Rotate drivers every few hours and take frequent breaks to stretch legs and avoid drowsy driving on long road trips. Drive timed segments and switch off.
- Create playlists of favorite music in advance to provide entertainment during long stretches of open road with sparse radio reception. Downloaded playlists keep you entertained.
- Bring a box of disposable wipes and hand sanitizer on road trips to quickly clean up messes, spills, and sticky fingers. Kids tend to make constant small messes in the car.
- Pack a few small toys like magnetic letters, coloring books, or card games to keep kids happily occupied during extended driving periods. Bored kids in cars inevitably lead to problems.
- Toss a handful of clothespins and zip ties into your suitcase – they can provide quick fixes and improvise solutions in unexpected ways. Clothespins have versatile uses for temporary repairs.
- Get up and walk the aisles every hour or so on long flights to promote healthy blood circulation in your legs and prevent dangerous blood clots associated with sitting immobile for too long.
- Clearly label charging cables and cords with their corresponding device or item names using tape or tags. This avoids confusion when packing up and disconnecting numerous electronics and gadgets.