Some people are naturals when it comes to travel. They know what websites are best for comparing destinations, excursions and prices. They track the days until the trip departure date, making payments and scheduling reservations right on time. And somehow – they remember everything they need for the trip!
Let me tell you – I’m not that traveler. I make lists. And then I make new lists when those lists are done. I put sticky notes everywhere. Yet, somehow, even with all those reminders, I tend to miss reservation deadlines or forget important things at home. I’m here to tell you – there is a happy medium. Check out the tips below to be sure you are ready for your next trip!
Compare everything! You can find some great comparisons sites for travel topics. Whether you are looking to compare destinations, resorts, excursions or cruise lines – you may find what you need at TripAdvisor. They have hundreds of thousands reviews from travelers like you. If you are looking for flight or hotel prices, you’ll probably want to try either Kayak or Expedia. And of course, once you’ve found where you want to travel – compare travel insurance at InsureMyTrip. You’ll want to protect that travel investment with the best travel insurance plans available.
Check out travel planning tools for your smartphone. These could be your best friend – I promise. Whether you are keeping all your travel plans and reservations noted in an app like TripIt or you need help packing for the weather with PackPoint, you can find an app to meet your needs. You can search online for the right one for you, ask your expert traveler friends or just search the app store. Another great tool – the Notes app that comes standard on your phone. Make a list, keep it in your pocket and check it whenever you need!
Back up your photos and empty your memory cards. Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination and realizing that your iCloud or memory card in your digital camera are full! No pictures for you! You can’t travel without documenting with photos. So before you leave – remember to back up your photos to your laptop and empty your memory card. This will keep you from feeling frustrated or spending extra money in a foreign place for another memory card or internet café.
Take inventory of your chargers for your phone, computer and camera. Okay, so maybe there is something worse than a full memory card – no charger! If you are bringing technology, remember those chargers. If you are traveling internationally, do a little research on what type of plug the country has. Some will use a 110V like the United States, but others won’t. Don’t be stuck with your cord, but no way to plug it in! You can find plug converters at your local technology store or online.
Be sure to have the proper underwater equipment. If you are planning on using your smartphone for your camera throughout the trip, be sure to include the tools you need to keep your technology dry. This could be important if you are going to a tropical destination with hopes to snorkel or white water rafting. It could also be important if you’re traveling to a place during their rainy season! Think out of the box when it comes to tools to keep your tech dry.
Call your credit card companies to tell them your destinations. Odds are you are probably going to use your credit card while you’re traveling. You should call your credit card company prior to leaving (we recommend at least a week before) in order to keep your card from being frozen. If the company believes you are a victim of identity theft, they will freeze your account. In some cases it may take hours to get access to your card again. Bypass that stress and tell them before you leave! Give them all the places you’ll be traveling so if they see charges in two different countries on the same day they won’t be concerned.