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I fell in love with the universe a very long time ago. I made a promise to myself to see as much of the world as I could. So far, I have been to almost every continent on this planet. I will share how I plan my vacations and everything I do before the big day.
Money speaks, and vacations cost money. I start by deciding how much I can realistically spend on my vacation. From that, I decided where to travel comfortably and still have a great time. Factors I put into consideration include:
Transportation. I look at the price of flight tickets to and from my terminus and the money needed to maneuver around my destination. A great life hack I realized through my vacation is that having my automobile with me saves me a ton of money for rental car companies grossly overcharge. I ship my car with an affordable trusted company so I can have my car waiting for me when I arrive.
Accommodation. How much am I willing to spend on a room? I look for Airbnb, hotels, and motels, depending on the price. I like to ship my RV, use it for touring, and camp in it. That way, I hit two birds with one stone.
Food. I am a foodie. I love tasting new cuisines and learning recipes I later share with friends and family.
Entertainment and Activities. I start by looking for popular attraction sites- how much they charge tourists to get in, what I can afford to do for fun—the clothes I need, and whether I already have them or will need to buy more. I look at all the angles and make an itinerary list based on my likes and budget needs.
Setting a budget helps me plan financially for my vacation and allows me to enjoy my trip without worrying about overspending. By planning and budgeting, I can focus on making memories and enjoying my time away.
2. Getting All Documentation in Order
America is a free country, but moving from one place to another needs identity verification. That way, you won’t have trouble going back home. Be it a weekend getaway or a longer international trip; I always get my documentation in order before hitting the road. Here’s how I do it:
2.1 For International Travel
Safeguard Your Documents: I make two copies of all my travel documents, including my passport, visa, and other important papers, in case of emergency. I keep one copy with someone I trust at home and carry the other separately from my original documents. To prevent theft, I avoid carrying my passport in my back pocket and keep it separate from my money.
Passport: I apply for a new passport several months before my trip. If I already have one, I check to ensure it is valid for at least six months after my return home and has two or more blank pages, depending on my destination. For people with kids, note that children’s passports are valid for only five years and must be renewed early.
Visas: I check with the embassy of the countries I will visit to see if I need a visa before traveling.
Medications: I research the regulations and documentation requirements for any prescription or over-the-counter medications I must bring, as some may be illegal in other countries.
Consent for Travel with Minors: If I am traveling with a minor, I check with the embassy of my foreign destination to see if I need any custody documents or notarized written consent from the parents.
International Driving Permit: I obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before traveling to any country that does not recognize a U.S. driver’s license. I also make sure to research any supplemental auto insurance I may need. Since I prefer to ship my car to cut costs, this step is vital for me. The shipping company I use helps me out with all other vehicle documentation.
2.2 For Interstate Travel
I make sure to have an acceptable ID, such as a valid passport or a state-issued enhanced driver’s license, to fly within the U.S. If you are in the army, carry your U.S. military ID. No one is allowed to fly without verified documentation.
2.3 Other Documents
I always print out my flight tickets and keep receipts for booked accommodations and activities. It helps me keep track of my itinerary and expenses while on the road.
Getting my documentation in order before traveling gives me peace of mind and ensures I am prepared for any situation.
3. Plan For Absence
I take care of a few things at home whenever I plan a trip. I notify my family, friends, and neighbors I will be gone for a while so they don’t worry about my well-being if I am unavailable. I give them my location, itinerary, and return dates so that if anything goes wrong, they can easily track me.
I also arrange for a trusted friend or neighbor to check on my home regularly. I have plants that need watering. If you have a pet, ensure you also care for their needs; you can leave them a trusted family or friend or check them in at a hotel. If you have kids, find a sitter or leave them with a trusted guardian.
Always take care of your home before you leave. Normally, I double-check that all windows and doors are locked and set my security alarm. I also unplug all appliances and electronics to save on energy costs and refresh the batteries on my smoke detector.
If employed, take a leave off work: If I am away for an extended period, I take a leave of absence. This notification ensures that my colleagues know I won’t be available and can make other arrangements if necessary.
By taking care of these things before I go, I can relax and enjoy my trip, knowing that everything is taken care of back home. Returning to a clean, secure home after a fun and adventurous trip is always nice.
Planning for a vacation can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. To have a stress-free and enjoyable trip, consider the three listed essential things you must do before you go. By following these steps, you can ensure that your vacation is a success and that you have peace of mind while away. Go ahead and start planning your dream trip today!