Bon Voyage – Organized Travel Planning

Well, summer is finally here, and for many people, that means vacation time! Whether you plan to drive, fly, or travel by other means (a cruise, perhaps?), planning ahead will help your travel experience go off without a hitch.

I not only love to travel, I love to plan to travel. I can spend hours researching locales and lodging choices, preparing itineraries, packing, etc. Therefore, it seems only fitting to share some of my well-honed travel planning tips so that you can benefit from my travel planning addiction, and enjoy an organized travel experience. The 11 tips that follow may be common sense, but are not always commonly applied.

Create a Personalized Packing List – Create a packing list on your computer so that you can revise it constantly as you travel and realize what you forgot and would have liked with you, and what you could have left behind. My packing list is organized into the following major categories: Essentials, For Business, For the Beach, For Overseas Travel, For Active Vacations. It is then further broken down into subcategories that are specific enough to easily grab and check off each item without too much forethought (and certainly without that nagging feeling of forgetting something). My list has been customized over years of traveling. Make your list work for you and your family by personalizing it to match your needs.

Freshen Up Your Suitcases – Air out your bags before you pack. There is nothing worse than putting clean clothes in a stale smelling bag. (Hint: A scented dryer sheet or lavender sachet can work wonders.)

Check Luggage Guidelines – Go online and check your airline’s luggage guidelines to ensure that your carry on will fit, and that you will not be charged extra if you exceed the weight restriction.

Pre-Pack and Weigh – Print out your packing list in advance, and start laying out items so that you can get a visual snapshot of what you are bringing. It is wise to pre-pack in advance, especially with today’s strict airline luggage guidelines. I even recommend putting the items in the suitcase and weighing it. Better to know if you will make the cut at home when you can still remove things than to suffer an unexpected luggage fee at the airport.

Pack Extra Storage Bags – Pack a few storage bags for small items, like shoes, etc. Make sure that one is waterproof in case you need to pack wet bathing suits on the trip back home.

Get Your Gadgets in Order – Empty memory cards, and charge your phone and camera before you leave home. Consolidate power cords, chargers and extra batteries in your carry-on.

Refill Prescriptions – Refill prescription medications in advance, and pack in your carry-on in their original packaging in order to pass muster with the TSA. This also provides you with an easy way to remember the exact specifications in the rare event that the medication gets destroyed (melts in the sun, gets wet, etc.) or you are delayed longer than expected, and need to arrange a refill while still away from home.

Copy Important Documents – Carry duplicates of your passport and visa (if traveling outside of the country), travel itinerary, and any other vital documents that you need for safe travel, and keep them in a different location than the originals while traveling. Consider also emailing electronic copies to yourself or storing at a secure online site.

Give Your Wallet a Diet – Pare down the contents of your wallet to only what you need during travel. Only bring essential documents, such as driver’s license, medical insurance card (check to see if you have coverage if going outside of the country), passport, and credit cards.

Alert Credit Card Companies – Contact your bank and credit cards companies before you depart and inform them that you will be traveling, so that they will not be alarmed by out-of-town charges and put a security hold on your account.

Inventory the Contents of Your Suitcase – Take photos of your clothes, shoes, and jewelry, which will serve as documentation if your luggage gets lost or stolen. Download the shots onto your home computer or upload them to an online site just in case. It may seem like overkill (don’t all insurance and risk management measures seem so unless you need them?), but it will save you a lot of stress and money if your luggage gets lost or stolen, as well as peace of mind while traveling.
Now, you are prepared to travel. You can relax knowing that the essentials are in order. Enjoy, explore, and make great summer vacation memories. Bon voyage!

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Travel Checklist for Overseas Travel Plans

For many traveling is a hobby; for some, it is a passion! Well, if you are a travel bug, you know what to do and how to prepare for a local travel plan. But, things are not the same when it comes to planning a trip abroad, to a new destination.

So, let us proceed to take a look at a basic travel checklist you need to follow to avoid any kind of inconvenience or unpleasant experiences. Focus on:

• Getting ready all of the travel documents needed for a safe and comfortable travel, such as passport, visas or any other proof you will be required to produce in the country you are planning to visit.

• Try to start planning early and have enough time for ticket bookings; travel agencies come in handy in this job.

• Collect information about the currency used in that country so that you can be prepared to spend easily while shopping or sightseeing.

• In case you are not aware of the language spoken there, you can take the help of travel guides or local travel agencies.

• Calculate your expenditures in advance and take enough money with you. In this, you need to include travel insurance, food and accommodation, any kind of emergency, and so on.

• Avoid the common mistake that most tourists commit- never dress up like a typical foreigner or a newly landed tourist- this can create problems for you. For example, you may be cheated or even looted if you pose yourself as an affluent visitor.

• Note down essential contact numbers to get the help in case of an emergency like cash or credit cards stolen or lost.

• Try to get prior information about the local laws of the place to avoid facing any kind of legal action at any time during your trip.

Apart from these guidelines, certain fundamental tips are given by experts to make your trip not only comfortable but also a memorable and joyous one. They are:

i. Make your baggage light and convenient to carry

ii. In case you are traveling with a kid or an elderly person, then don’t forget to carry their specific items- you never know when and where you might need them!

iii. Put an identification tag on your entire luggage to retrieve them in case of theft or misplacement.

The essence of a pleasant overseas travel plan lies in early planning and diligent preparation.

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Travel Planning – 5 Steps to Success

When you are embarking on a travel, the planning is the most important thing you need to do. You have to make sure everything is in order. Even the best things-the best vacation destination, the best hotel, etc.-can be of no avail if you have planned incorrectly.

Here is a travel planning guide you can use. It tells you of a systematic approach to plan your travel, which ensures you have a great time.

Research for the Destination

Where will you be going? This is the first thing you need to decide. The destination should be something that everyone in your party wishes to visit. That makes the vacation more enjoyable. It is great if there’s someone in the party who has visited the destination before, but if not, you need to get as much information as possible. Every popular vacation destination has a tourist website of its own, which is mostly run by the government of the place. Take some time out to research for your options through this website. Get somewhat acquainted with what kind of place it is-conservative or liberal as regards tourists, what kind of food you will get there, the climate, the appropriate dress to wear, the language to speak, etc.

What to Visit

Most people think about the hotel first and then what they would want to visit. This is the wrong way to go about it. First, you must draw up a list of the attractions the place has and then decide which of these you want to visit. Then you must chart out your route, or you could even call it your itinerary. This helps make more focused plans.

The Accommodation

Once you have the places you want to visit listed, you must look for accommodation in the nearby areas. This reduces the hassle and the cost of inner-city traveling. For accommodation, the Internet is your best guide. Every hotel worth its name has a website and you can book from there. Don’t underestimate the power of travel directories either. They will give you good comparative rates of different local hotels from which you can choose the one you like best. You can also read reviews here.

The Travel

You need to make your travel arrangements. Choose the mode you will need to, or like to, take-flight, rail, road, ship, whichever. Then see what dates are available. Getting tickets could be a problem if the place is very popular and it’s the peak season. That’s the reason why you should book travel and accommodation simultaneously, after finding out what options you have with both of them. Also, there are various websites that can give you great packages for travel and accommodation together, with goodies such as sightseeing trips thrown in.

Other Necessaries

Inner city travel is an important thing to book beforehand, or you should at least know what options you have. If the party is big, it makes sense to hire a private vehicle. Otherwise, you must find out about how you can use the local public transport. Also, find out about what sightseeing trips, cruises, adventure packages, etc. the place has. Book anything you want to check out, especially if it is very popular. Try to do your travel planning beforehand which ensures a relaxing time during the entire trip.

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