Vacation season is upon us. Millions of people will take off for some much needed time for fun, rest & relaxation. Give yourself a head start by checking out these travel, packing & security tips:
Whether you are a last minute packer or a meticulous planner, these steps will help you along the way. I can almost bet you the last minute packer will forget something and the meticulous planner will pack enough for two. Either way, it creates a headache for the traveler. Taking a few simple steps can alleviate those situations.
* Make a list. This list should be a day-by-day list of activities to help guide you through wardrobe selection.
* Lay all outfits out together prior to packing.
* Use cardboard dividers to hold your clothing in place while traveling.
* Place all liquids, gels & creams in a zip locked bag to protect from leakage.
* Place all shoes in a bag to protect clothes from odor.
* If traveling with others, divide clothes between bags in case a piece of luggage is lost.
* Don't forget to pack a first aid kit.
* Pack medicines & vitamins.
* Take extra batteries for the camera.
* Pack an iPad or Kindle instead of bulky books & magazines.
* If you are going to a beach destination, pack a carry-on beach bag with a towel, swim suit, flip flops, hat & sun screen so you can enjoy the beach right away. Remember the liquid must be in a baggie and can be no more than 3 oz.
We don't like to imagine the worse case scenario, however, sometimes they occur. The smart traveler will be prepared for any situation. Here are a few things you can do to prepare:
* Scan passports & passport photos.
* Scan credit cards (both sides).
* Scan paper tickets.
Once scanned, send the files to an online email account where they can be accessed in the case any of these items are stolen or lost. Having a copy will make life more simple to obtain a new passport, to call the credit card company to cancel the cards and to help make your flight.
If you are flying to your vacation destination, keep these simple rules in mind and your access through the airport will be much smoother:
Prior to leaving the house:
* Weigh your luggage to ensure it does not exceed the airline weight limit for luggage (typically 50lbs.).
* Check to see if it is more cost effective to ship your luggage than to check it at the ticket counter. Remember you will be charged $25 for the first bag and typically $35 for the second bag. If the bag is overweight, there can be an upcharge of $25!
* Use your frequent flyer number to receive a discount on baggage fees.
* Check flight status before you leave to be sure your flight is on time.
At the Airport:
Clutter is your enemy! Going through the security line can be a chore. Follow these steps for an easy transition:
* Wear slip on shoes
* Laptops must come out of their case.
* Belts & heavy jewelry set off the alarm.
* Jackets and sweaters must be removed.
* Be prepared with drivers license or passport and boarding pass in hand.
For some tips to help you save money on airfare, cruises & resorts, check this out:
* Buy early or buy late. If you know the dates you want to travel, wait until you are 90 days out and start looking. Many times you can get deeply discounted rates if you wait until the last minute!
* Be flexible. Be willing to move your dates up or back by a few days for better rates.
* SHOP! Check out these websites for comparable rates: TripAdvisor, Cheaptickets, or try a discount airline such as Allegiant, Spirit, Jet Blue, Southwest or Virgin.
* Use your frequent flyer miles to get a portion or all of your flight cost covered.
* Check out one way flights vs. round trip. Many times one-way each way is cheaper than round trip.
* For discounted cruises go to www.vacationstogo.com, www.cruisedeals.com or www.applevacations.com
* For discounted resorts go to www.resortquest.com. Resort Quest offers condominiums at great rates, typically on the beach and they come with a kitchen!
For more travel tips go to www.IndependentTraveler.com