Travelling and writing have always gone well together. There is nothing better to awaken your creativity than to shake up your routine and get out on the road (Kerouac had the right idea!). Of course, not every holiday needs to be written about, and sometimes simply living in the moment is the best way to honour the time spent.
So whether you are taking a journal and camera to capture the highlights of your summer vacation or looking forward to letting go of plans and responsibilities, there are a few travel tips that are guaranteed to make every adventure run a little bit more smoothly.
1) Plan Ahead
If you haven’t booked your vacation yet, now is the time to start signing up for fare alerts. Many online vacation booking websites will offer exclusive deals for those who sign up for their newsletters, and signing up for the mailing means you don’t have to be constantly checking the site to see if the price of your dream vacation has decreased. It may seem like your inbox is getting spammed, but you’ll be thankful when you book a great holiday at a fraction of the cost of booking at full price. You can always unsubscribe after!
2) Be Flexible
Aside from getting the heads up on great deals, using vacation discount websites means accessing the details on a wide variety of destinations in one spot. And if you don’t have your heart set on a specific resort or can move your travel dates around, you are more likely to wind up getting a great travel package for your budget.
3) Get Your Paperwork
Are you thinking of travelling out of the country? Go check your passport. Now. Seriously, we’ll wait. There is nothing worse than finding out the day before your vacation that you misremembered the expiry date or – even worse – you can’t find the passport at all. Before booking your trip, be sure you actually have the documents needed in order to get there!
4) Don’t Spend All Your Money on Food
Food can be the ultimate money pit while away from home. Three daily meals (plus tips and taxes) combined with snacks, drinks and impulse purchases add up, especially if you have children travelling with you. Increasing your initial booking budget to include an all-inclusive option or a hotel room with in-suite kitchenette will end up saving you money and stress in the long run.
5) Pack from Head to Toe
You will forget something. Accepting this now will only help to alleviate any disappointment felt when you arrive at your destination missing a toothbrush, phone charger, etc. Luckily, there are ways to minimise the damage and make sure that the truly important items make it in your suitcase. Beginning with the things your head will need on vacation (hat, sunscreen, hair brush, shampoo, etc) and moving all the way down to your toes (sandals, moisturiser, bug spray) will help you build a complete list without getting distracted by packing one particular outfit or for one specific activity.
6) Insurance, Insurance, Insurance
It’s not just your passport you need when heading out of the country, it’s travel insurance too. Luckily, travel insurance can be purchased fairly easily: from a bank, insurance broker, even through some retail stores! If you do not have travel insurance covered through your regular plan, this is a fairly inexpensive but possibly finance-saving purchase.
7) Know the Rules
Rules for travel can vary country to country, and even airline to airline. Be sure to check how many bags (and the weight of each) you are allowed before heading to the airport in order to avoid delays or fees at the gate. Similarly, if you are travelling to an unfamiliar country, do a little research on their customs to make sure you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of acceptable etiquette. Many national tourism websites have useful information for first-time visitors.
8) Stay Hydrated
Even if you are travelling to a moderate or chilly climate, staying hydrated is an important part of getting the most out of your vacation. Constant activity can be mean there are fewer opportunities for grabbing a quick glass of water, but it’s important to find the time to replenish your body. The last thing you want is to end up with a headache or heatstroke brought on by a lack of hydration, so be sure to have a water bottle in your bag at all times – just in case.
9) Protect Your Head
In 2016, everyone is aware of the dangers of prolonged sun exposure. Including sunscreen on this list would be obvious, so we are taking our UV protection to that next level. If you have ever had a sunburn down the part of your hair or on the tips of your ears, then you know the importance of wearing a hat as much as possible while outside. And for those times you can’t wear a cap? Be sure to remember to apply your sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, including the top of your head.
10) Keep Exchange Rates in Mind
A great deal is only a great deal so long as it doesn’t multiply in cost by the time you convert the price into your currency. And it’s not just the booking part that can be tricky – once you have actually arrived you need to be especially careful about your credit card spending, as those exchange rates can really add up. Before choosing a destination, think about what it is really going to cost before deciding whether it’s within your budget.
10) Bonus Tip: Have Fun!
You will notice that these tips are all about how to properly prepare for your vacation, rather than rules for how to best enjoy it. Everyone’s dream vacation is a little different, whether you want to relax on a beach or tour a bustling city. But there is no traveller who wants to forget a passport or get a bad sunburn. If you takes these tips into consideration while planning your trip, enjoying it when the holidays arrive will be a breeze!
About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.