Of the four seasons, summer is the one that conjures up images of beach trips, barbecues, sunshine and vacations. Fear not, though, for as July winds down, there’s plenty of summer left. So if you still haven’t taken – or even planned – a vacation, you’ve got time. With that in mind, here are some travel tips ranging from “don’t forgets” before hitting the road to saving a few bucks by booking your trip through travel sites.
Protect Your Home
The last thing you want to do when you’re going away for a handful of days is worry about your home’s safety. There are a few precautions you can take to avoid the appearance of an empty house.
- Contact your local post office to put a hold on mail delivery
- Set a few lights on timers so the house isn’t dark at night
- Leave a car in the driveway to give the appearance that someone is home
- Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on things
Make Arrangements for Fido
Before booking your hotel room, don’t forget about accommodations for the family pet. Do your homework ahead of time to ensure a comfortable stay for your cat or dog at a kennel run by responsible animal lovers. A good place to start is consulting your pet’s veterinarian. Or, ask friends or coworkers where they board their pets while travelling. Make an appointment with the kennel to meet the owners and see exactly where your pet will be staying. Ask the owners for a list of references. Talking to a few satisfied (and hopefully repeat) customers should assure you about making the right choice.
Getting There from Here
Booking a vacation has never been easier thanks to travel sites. You can bundle your entire trip into one package (airfare, lodging, and car rental) or any combination of the three. Sites such as Airbnb.com, Kayak.com, Hotwire.com, and Travelocity.com are just some of the travel sites available to plan a fantastic getaway whether it’s domestic or overseas. Booking through these sites is typically cheaper than using the websites of hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies. The money you save by using travel sites allows you to see more places while you’re away or plan a longer trip than you thought was affordable.
Now that you’ve successfully scheduled your travel and lodging, it’s time to figure out what to see and where to go when you arrive. Tripadvisor.com is a fantastic website to implement. Not only can you book your travel like with the other sites, you can also read reviews from people who have stayed at those hotels and visited the tourist attractions you’re contemplating seeing. Word of mouth is often the best source of where to go and what to do.
Focus on the Fun
Time to review your travel To Do list. Mail put on hold. Check. Fido’s kennel reservation booked. Check. Flight, rental car, and hotel booked. Check. Vacation itinerary compiled. Check. Last item on the list is Have Fun. One more step to take though. The one thing that could potentially ruin your vacation is losing your wallet. Imagine being thousands of miles from home and you discover that your cash, credit card, and ATM card are gone? A nightmare scenario for sure. One way to guard against that is to use a money belt or neck wallet. Whether secured to your belt or hidden under your shirt, either of those devices makes it almost fool-proof to lose your valuables. An additional safety measure to consider is booking a hotel that has a safe in every room. You can securely lock away most of your valuables while you only bring what you need for expenditures each day.
With that in mind, now comes the entire point of a vacation. Enjoy and have fun. You’ve earned it.