Preparation Tips for a More Enjoyable Vacation

We all have different ideas of a “perfect vacation.” Some like to relax at the beach, others like something a little more adventurous. But whatever your definition of a perfect vacation, it probably doesn’t involve extra stress, right? If you’re aiming for a stress-free getaway, a little preparation can help minimize potential financial worries and security concerns, so you can enjoy every second of your well-deserved vacation.preparation-tips-for-a-more-enjoyable-vacation

For starters, a major part of your vacation planning should be creating a budget. You should try to anticipate what your expenses will be while you’re away, such as the costs of transportation, lodging and food. Once you have a good idea how much the basics of your trip will cost, be sure to factor in expenses like souvenirs, entertainment, and other little splurges. By having money already set aside and budgeted for your trip, you can minimize the chance of going “spend crazy” and racking up unforeseen credit card expenses. After all, it’s not fun coming home to sky-high credit card bills.

After you’ve got your budget in order, be sure to alert your bank of your vacation plans, including your travel dates and destination. Doing so will let them know that they can expect purchases outside of your normal routine and area, helping to reduce the chance of them putting a fraud alert on your credit or debit card and freezing access to your funds.

What’s more, let your bank know if you plan to make any large or major purchases during your vacation. Many financial institutions have a daily spending limit on their accounts, so it’s a good idea to confirm any limit you may have, and request it be raised if necessary. A quick phone call to the bank is well worth it if it can save you the embarrassment of being declined at the sales register.

Once your finances are in order, it’s a good idea to be proactive about your security as well. Before you head off on your vacation, considering suspending delivery of your mail and newspaper, especially if you’ll be away for more than a few days. If you don’t, your mail and newspapers will start to pile up, which could put you at risk. Think about all of the bills and credit card offers you receive on a daily basis. You definitely don’t want the sensitive information in those mailings to fall into the wrong hands. And think about all the people who pass by your house on a daily basis. Do you really want your pile of newspapers and bulging mailbox to advertise that you’re not home? An empty house can be pretty inviting to a burglar.

Along those same lines, while it may be tempting to share your vacation escapades on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, think twice about doing it. Those beach photos and updates from the airport give crooks a clue that you’re away from home. It’s a much safer idea to save your photos and stories and share them online when you return.

With a little planning, you’ll be ready to have fun and leave the financial stress and security concerns behind, so you can enjoy your perfect vacation.

Some Tips For Easing The Pain Of Vacation Planning

Going on vacation can be like a love-hate relationship – you love getting away, but you hate planning for it.AdobeStock_71167350

To make your getaway as fun and stress-free as possible, you should prepare ahead of time. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain, but isn’t it better than forgetting to pack your passport or accidentally leaving behind your credit cards?

What helps make planning easier is creating a checklist of what you need to pack, things you have to do before leaving, etc. Lucky for you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Here are several suggestions to get you pointed in the right direction:

  • Wherever you’re going, take along snacks! This is especially important if you have kids who are constantly asking, “When are we going to eat?”
  • Notify your credit card company before you go on vacation so they can put a travel alert on your card.
  • If you discover once you’re at the hotel that you forgot a toiletry such as a toothbrush or comb, stop by the front desk and ask if they have complimentary ones available (most usually do).
  • Save space when packing by sticking socks and underwear inside of shoes.
  • Roll up clothes before placing them in a suitcase. Zip all zippers and button all buttons. And avoid taking clothes that require ironing. Who has time for that when you’re on vacation?!
  • Pass on packing new shoes or clothing. Guaranteed the shoes will be uncomfortable since they won’t be broken in, and you’ll worry about spilling something on your new shirt and skirt.
  • Don’t pack things that your hotel will provide, such as soap, shampoo, hair dryer, etc.
  • Leave behind jewelry that’s expensive and could attract the attention of crooks. Only take those pieces that you really plan to wear.
  • Take a reusable water bottle. It will save you money on buying expensive bottles of water and will also help save the planet a bit, too.
  • Carry your wallet in your front pocket. And if you carry a purse, hold it toward the front so you can keep a hand on it instead of leaving it dangle by your side.
  • Wherever you park your car – whether it’s at an airport parking lot or with you during your entire vacation – make sure it’s locked and don’t leave any valuables inside. Speaking of parking at an airport, take a photo of where your car is parked with your cell phone, making sure that an identifying symbol of the parking area (usually a conspicuously placed number or letter or a combination thereof) is clearly visible so it’s easier to find when you return from vacation.
  • Remember to tip the hotel housekeeping staff. A good rule of thumb is $2 per day, and maybe a little more if you have more than two people in a room. Hotels usually provide envelopes to leave the tips, but if they don’t, write a note saying the money is for the housekeeping person.
  • Use a travel kit for toiletries. Because of its compact size, it will force you to keep things to a minimum. And pack a travel-size first aid kit that includes pain relief medicine, bandages, allergy medicine, anti-itch cream, and anti-diarrhea medicine.
  • Bypass packing the electric toothbrush and razor in favor of manual models.
  • Pack chronologically, placing the items to be worn first on top. This will prevent you from turning a suitcase inside out looking for a particular piece of clothing.
  • Your carry-on luggage should hold your jewelry, travel documents, medication, keys, and other valuables. And if there’s room, throw in a change of underwear and clothes just in case your checked-in baggage gets lost or misplaced.
  • If traveling by air, check in advance the rules and regulations of the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Go to a courtesy, you will be leaving and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Come back soon! for travel tips.

And here’s one more friendly reminder – don’t forget your passport and credit cards!