Travel Tips and Tricks

travel tips

We are now in one of the shortest, yet darkest months (nearing the end of it thankfully).  February, for some strange reason, seems to be hard on a lot of people. Maybe it’s the lack of vitamin D (very little sunshine during this month)? Or the colder temperatures?  Regardless of what the reasons, many people tend to travel or think about travel at this time.  With the most recent hiccup of events the past couple of years, many of you may be reluctant or nervous about travelling again.  If that is you, here are some travel tips and tricks which may ease some stress and boost of your confidence that you will consider booking that next adventure.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page…anonymous

My family and I love to travel.  As you may have seen from previous blog posts, we have travelled to warm destinations and across seas.  Regardless of the destination, the to and from aspects are generally the same. 

We have developed quite a few tips over the years to help ease any travel anxiety, smooth the transition between leaving home and entering the airport as well as organizational tricks during your vacation to keep everything on hand.

Travel Tips and Tricks:

  • Collectively decide on the vacation type – What are you looking for in a vacation? Warm and Sunny? Adventure? Skiing? Learning about culture? Adult only? Family?
  • Once you know of the type of vacation, set a budget. In my experience, allow for some overages – some room in your spending. Our first Ireland vacation I did not budget correctly and overspent by approximately 40%.
  • Start having fun researching or find an excellent travel agent to help you.
  • Photocopy passports to carry the copies with you on excursions etc. If you ever lost your bag/purse or carryon, you’d have a backup copy for proof of identity.
  • Once you have picked your adventure/vacation, write down your travel info – (plane numbers, confirmations, etc) – all on a cue card to keep on hand for the airport. Makes it easier to have that instead of a pile of papers falling everywhere. I also have a file folder with each category labelled – Flights, Accomodation, Rental Car Info, Confirmation numbers of tourist day trips prebooked – handy in my carry-on for the vacation.
travel items

All-Inclusive Resort Tips:

  • Pick your preferred location
  • Find out the country’s entry requirements – some countries have you fill out the entrance declaration forms prior to arriving (all online).
  • Note down a few resorts
  • Read for reviews and/or ask family and friends for advice if they have been there.
  • Watch YouTube videos on the resorts as well. This gives you an insight on how it looks vs on what someone wrote.  
  • We generally follow the 4 star or above rule, but pick quality as per your budget
  • Compare costs on various websites (or have a travel agent assist with this). My go-to websites are (Air Transat) or (Costco).  
  • Purchase travel insurance if you do not have any

Adventure Trip Tips:

  • Pick your preferred location
  • Research areas and/or tourist locations you wish to visit
  • Find out the countries entry requirements
  • Search out hotels, airBnBs, camping locations, bed and breakfast options
  • When reading on hotels etc, look to see if there is a breakfast options – usually these packages are quite reasonable. Or better yet, stay at a bed and breakfast which includes your first meal of the day
  • Research travel options: bus, train, rental car etc.  Incorporate these costs into your budget
  • Set a meal budget
  • Set a ‘fun’ budget – siteseeing, museum costs etc
  • Find out from your local bank which is the best bank to use (if overseas) in the event of an emergency? For example, in Ireland – our’s is Barclays’
  • Purchase travel insurance if you do not have any

Creating A Budget:

The list below are items to consider while creating your budget. A good rule of thumb is to add 10% onto your budget for incidentals.

  • Flight or travel cost
  • Resort/accomodation
  • Transportation while at location – bus, taxi, uber, to and from resort/airport, rental car, ferries, gas, and/or tolls
  • Meals
  • General day to day spending – coffees, gifts
  • Sight-seeing
  • Airport parking
  • Exchange rate (changing your money into ‘their’ currency – it does cost to do this
  • Travel insurance if you need to purchase any
  • Clothing or travel necessities (coat, luggage, shoes/boots, swimsuits, suntan lotion etc)
Print Travel Budget Checklist Here

Extra’s To Consider:

  • Who will watch your home while you are away?
  • Do you have a pet? Will your pet need a kennel? Or a friend/loved one watching your furbaby?
  • Snow removal necessary?
  • Watering of lawn and/or gardens or house plants?
  • Print out and have on hand (in your home) itinerary, travel information, and emergency contact list for whoever will be checking in on your house in case of an emergency.

Regardless of going on a hot – southern vacation or an adventure over-seas vacation, a good first aid kit is a must to bring.  You never know what you may encounter, need, or develop over your vacation and depending on the country you are visiting, you may feel more comfortable using first aid items right from home.

First Aid Kit List:

  • Bandaids
  • Cut/scrape wash
  • Polysporn
  • Anti-itch lotion
  • Anithistamine
  • Tylenol
  • Gravol
  • Activated charcol
  • Digestive Aid
  • Mints
  • Cough Drops
  • Vitamins (or medications if required)

I usually put everything in a large ziplock bag instead of a hard plastic container.  It is much easier to pack.  

Print First Aid List Here

General Packing List:

  • All travel documents – airline info, resort/hotel/accommodation info, confirmation numbers, passports as well as photocopies of passports, change of currency for destination, credit cards, driver’s license, itinerary.
  • iPad and airpods (or earphones) for travel entertainment viewing. Not all planes have a screen/tv to watch movies. 
  • Change of clothes in carry-on
  • Book or other reading material
  • Mints or gum for plane
  • Clothing:  mix and match clothes creating less items to bring and more outfits for daily wear.  Hat, coat, extra shoes if necessary.  A couple layering options for cooler days and/or the to and from travel.  Items for hot/warm weather like bathing suit, shorts, t-shirts. Socks and under garments.
  • Toiletries: contacts/glasses, makeup, shaving kit, lotions, toothbrush/toothpaste, brush, razor
  • Charging cables – phone, iPad, smartwatch
  • Destination items – towels if beach destination, ski equipment if skiing, backpack and hiking shoes if backpack adventure
  • Maps if necessary

Print General Packing List Here

As you can see… lists are a trip-saving technique.  

First and foremost.  Enjoy the process.  Spend quality time planning with your spouse, family, friend(s) or loved ones. Or, if you are travelling alone, share with your friends your planning thoughts.  The planning aspect can be such an enjoyable time.  The excitement leading up to your vacation, learning about the area – what to see and do, and the countdown to take-off.  

The entire process from start to completion is and can be memorable.  If you follow these steps and incorporate the tips suggested, your experience can be enjoyable and not stressful.  You will be relaxed right from the beginning and come back even more calm then you did leaving.  

Do you have any travel tips or tricks I missed?  If so, click below and share. I’d love to know and learn what you do for your vacation memory makers.  

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