Savvy Travel & Family Time

How to Prepare for Your Next Vacation

Going on a trip to an exotic country is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, no matter how old you are. You may find that you are going on more trips now that you have the free time, but that won’t make them any less of a treat. However, with traveling comes a lot of stress if you don’t prepare yourself properly before you go away. It can mean your vacation becomes something you wish would end soon, rather than being a trip you want to stay on forever. Luckily, there are some simple tips you can follow which will prepare you for your next trip, and will hopefully make it stand out from the rest.

Don’t rush into booking flights

There is every temptation when booking flights to go for the first flight prices you see, as you would like to save money by getting to them early. Not only this, but it can be a weight off your shoulders to book far in advance, so you can go about looking for the best hotels for your chosen dates. However, if you are looking to save money so that you can spend it when you are over there, view flight specials to get the best deal possible. There is a sweet spot with long haul and short haul flights which means it is cheaper on average to book about two months before you jet off. It means you shouldn’t leave it too late to grab the last-minute deals because it might mean you end up paying more by waiting it out. If you are worried about missing the best deals, you can now set up a flight price alert on most booking sites, which will directly inform you via email of when price drops and price rises occur. You should also remember to book straight from the airline, or you will incur booking fees from partner sites.

Book your hotel early

Once you have your flights booked, it’s time to go about looking for a hotel that has everything you need in it to make your trip comfortable. If you are traveling to some parts of Europe, there are some locations which are much cheaper than others but still provide the best luxury quality you may be looking for. In any case, hotel deals are often much easier to come by than flight deals. Sometimes, you can pay the full amount upfront to ensure the cost is out of the way, and this will be cheaper than reserving and paying when you get there. If luxury is what you are after, you may be able to book with a travel agent to ensure they can help you find exactly what want. This means that your flights, accommodation, and transfers will usually be booked in one go, which will be a weight off your shoulders. With deals such as this, you will often have the option to upgrade to all-inclusive.

Prep for a long flight

If you have a long flight to get to your holiday destination then make sure you’re prepared for it because you don’t want to get an hour into an 8 hour flight and already have bored kids or disgruntled adults. Plan ahead by looking for games kids can play on the flights, look for comfortable clothes for them and yourself like a travel hoodie and look for anything that you know will keep your kids quiet!

Organize transfers or a rental car

Transfers may already be included in your holiday package if you have decided to go with a travel agent, but if you have booked the entire holiday yourself, you will still need to book these. Having transfers booked will make it much easier for you to transport your belongings from A to B, which will put less strain on your body if you have heavy bags. If you want more freedom on your trip to explore the area, then you can consider renting a car. As long as you have a valid license and are a careful driver, this could be your ticket to having a great trip.

Have a backup plan

On vacations, things never go as smoothly as people might hope. There may be nasty medical emergencies you need to deal with or painful sunburn from sitting out in the sun for too long. Issues like these can prohibit you from doing everything you want to while you are there. This is why it’s a good idea to have a backup plan, and it means having a loose idea of what else you can do to make the most out of your trip despite the circumstances, but also that you have some spare room in your budget to accommodate for hiccups.

Research where you are going

Before you step aboard the plane, you need to know what exactly to pack for where you are going. You won’t be able to do this if you haven’t researched your location to know what climate and culture it has in store for you. Make sure you are getting this information from a good source. If it is a ski trip, then you should be packing snow boots and thermals, but if you are going somewhere hot, sunscreen and lose clothing will be the best thing you can take with you. Research like this will also give you an indication of what kinds of activities you can do there, so you can make a small plan of action for when you land.

You should also research some activities that you could do there too. For example, if you’re going on a beach holiday, you might want to do some water sports. If you’re going on a city break, you might want to go on a walking tour. You can always see what free tour Stockholm has to offer if you’re going to Sweden. Who doesn’t love anything that’s free? Plus, tours are a great way to make sure you see all of the sights. There could be certain landmarks or sights you want to see. You could even get tickets online before you go and they could be discounted.

Learn some of the language

If you are going somewhere that speaks a different language, then you must visit bearing in mind that you can’t speak English to everybody who is there. Though you won’t need to learn the whole language, knowing a few words will be helpful when you go out for food or walk around the local area. For example, if you are planning a trip to Europe, most countries will know a small bit of English, but if you go to France, this might not be the case for the whole country. Learning some common French verbs before your visit will help you immeasurably, as it won’t only be polite, but it will help you navigate the area.

Leave some room to relax

You may have planned a lot of what you are hoping to do when you land, but what is most important about vacations is relaxing. If you have a packed schedule full of sightseeing and tours, you will find less time to relax. Though it’s good to take in your location and learn about where you are, make sure you spend some quality time relaxing with the ones you are with.


  • Lauryn R

    These are great tips, thank you so much for sharing! It definitely helps a lot to have a plan and be organized when taking a vacation.

  • Brittany

    Thanks for the above tips. Being a single mom I have to plan ahead as much as possible. I appreciate the helpful pointers

  • Sarah L

    I love the process of learning about where I will be traveling. I like to get books from the library as well as searching on the internet.

  • Jerry Marquardt

    The photos are so exclusive. I appreciate the tips and pointers on making a vacation right.

  • Shirley Symon

    When travelling during the shoulder season make sure to pack both cold weather and hot weather because temps can fluctuate ALOT.

  • Denise Low

    Thank you for the great tips. We make sure that we take a vacation once a year. Our kids are grown so me can plan on staying longer if we want too.

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