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Your Guide to Smooth, Exciting Travels (with Minimal Fuss)

Staff Post

Posted on September 18 2017

It’s time to get your summer adventures started on the right foot. These 9 no-fail organisation tips for travelling will get you on the road with everything you need to make amazing memories!

1. Get ideas for fun destinations, then narrow down your ideal location.

Sometimes summer travels can become a little routine. Want to break out of your comfort zone? Ask yourself some questions to help you expand your horizons. What is the goal for your summer travels? Budget-friendly fun? A family road-trip? Or a cross-culture experience with your BFFs? Get focused on what your goal is and narrow down the possibilities with that in mind. If you need to keep a tight reign on your spending while you travel, be sure to do ample homework before you do anything else. Spend time researching free events, activities, and amenities available in the places you’re considering for summer travels. If you have more cash available to splurge on your trip, you can incorporate some shopping and entertainment into the itinerary, looking for places that offer unique ambiance or experiences. In any case, get yourself organised to ensure your days are well spent and you get the most for your money.

2. Make a budget so your homecoming isn’t full of headaches.

There’s nothing worse than finishing up a fantastic vacation…and getting a massive bill as a welcome home gift. Line up those budget ideas to save money for the trip, get the money ready, and leave the plastic home. Taking a credit card along for a legitimate emergency isn’t a bad idea – just make sure you have a clear understanding of what does and does not constitute an emergency. If you do plan to take a credit card, consider going pre-paid. If the worst should happen and you lose your purse while you’re abroad, the potential losses are greatly reduced.

3. Get the right equipment and required documents.

Do you need your passport? Be sure to jump online and check the processing time for passport applications. It can end up being a few weeks, so give yourself ample time before you plan to leave. Sometimes you can pay a fee to have your passport expedited, but there’s still no guarantee on how quickly it will get to you. Besides, if you’re looking for ways to save money, then you may want to skip this part by preparing way ahead of time. Are you flying with a lap infant? Make sure you check with your airline to see what documentation is required for boarding. Sometimes you only need a picture on your phone of the necessary documents, instead of a hard copy. But you don’t want to be caught without it, or the fines could be heavy!

Also, look into the transportation logistics of having an infant with you – it’s totally doable, but think about things like car-seats if you’re renting a car, or taking a taxi (call ahead to let them know – it can be provided, but often for a fee). You want to make sure your little one has the right safety equipment available for getting around.

4. Make sure you have adequate accommodations!

Hostel, or 5-star hotel? Bungalow, or Bed and Breakfast? The options are endless! Again, it really depends on the goal for your trip. It’s often possible through travel websites to set up filters for places to stay based on the amenities you want in the proximity you need. Bringing a baby along? Check in advance if the places on your list include cribs or if you will pay extra for them. Many places offer them for free upon request, but just let them know when you make the reservation. That way, if you end up arriving really late for one reason or another, you can just crash and don’t have to wait around to have the baby’s bed brought up to your room.

Decide on how adventurous you are. Going with a well-recognised franchise could certainly be the safest bet… but it’s not always the best option available. Be open-minded, and look at places that advertise a unique theme, or places that work in conjunction with locals to provide memorable experiences. You may just stumble on a treasure that you love so much it becomes a new tradition.

5. Have your itinerary set – but be flexible.

Having a long list of organisation tips isn’t enough. For the smoothest travels possible,  be really specific about where you plan to be and when. That being said, plan for a margin of unknowns. There may be something really special you discover on your adventure that is worth taking the time to explore. Keep a journal or a mum planner with you or snap a picture with your phone to document places or activities you think are worth investigation. If your schedule doesn’t allow for doing so right then in the moment, you will have a note of how to find it again when the opportunity for exploring presents itself.

6. Know what the currency is going to do for you when you get there.

Even if you are going somewhere that uses the currency that you are accustomed to using, it may surprise you when you arrive at your destination if your currency doesn’t get you as much there as it does at home. The economy can make it tricky if you are travelling on a budget. Food can be more expensive, or some things may include an unexpected fee (i.e., a service charge when guests use the facilities). It’s unfortunate to be caught off-guard and underfunded for necessities!

Also, Preparing yourself with an understanding of the exchange rate is important if you will be using foreign currency. Don’t let yourself get short-changed, either by accident or intentionally. If you’re really intentional about your money, look for places to travel that currently offer the best rate for exchange. Talk about really stretching your cash!

7. Be a considerate tourist.

Especially if you are visiting somewhere significantly different culturally, be sure to do some homework. Is it considerate to tip servers, or not? Did you pack any t-shirts with words or graphics that might offend the locals? If there is potential for a language-barrier, what words or phrases might be helpful for smoothing over faux-pas?

8. Know your options for transportation, and plan ahead.

Obviously, fights or road-trips require you to give transportation a lot of thought. But what about once you have arrived at your destination? Include this aspect as early as when you were just starting to plan for your trip and checking for organisation tips.  Be aware of how much distance you will be travelling as you go from landmarks to restaurants, to events, etc. If your itinerary includes a show or some other time-sensitive activity, GPS and reliable maps are a must to make sure you have adequate time to get from one place to another on schedule.

9. Be prepared to capture the memories and make them shareable!

You’re going to want to relive your moments and memories for years to come and share the details with the ones you love. Have a plan for how you want to store those mementos, pictures, and videos so they can be put on display or perused in the future. A wonderful way to preserve pictures is to make a slideshow that can be put on a flash drive or DVD. You can add music and graphics to make your memories come alive for the friends and family with whom you are sharing!

Thanks for reading!