Traveling can be rewarding, educational, and full of excitement. It can also be incredibly stressful. From packing to saving money, from scheduling accommodations to finding transportation, there is so much to consider before you hit the road or hop in the airplane. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the preparations, but with the right checklist, your trip will be easy-peasy. Here are a few travel mistakes to avoid for your next vacation or work trip that will keep stress to a minimum.
Money is one of the reasons many people don’t get to travel as much as they’d like. Flights can cost a ridiculous amount of money, hotels can be pricey, and the wear and tear on your car might be a huge turn off when it comes to that road trip you’ve always wanted to take. Fortunately, there are some cheats for finding great prices in your budget. Shop months ahead of time for plane tickets, setting alerts using the Hopper app or Google Flights that will let you know when cheap flights become available. Take advantage of rental car deals, especially economy ones that will save you on gas. And, always save money ahead of time so you aren’t caught without it in an emergency. You CAN afford one of those beautiful Calgary homes for sale and take a trip to Italy in the same year if you budget and use the right tools to find a great price.
Avoid roaming fees.
Another way to save money is to make sure your phone plan covers you for where you’re traveling. If you’re going abroad, you may not be covered for that area. In this case, you can either throw your phone on airplane mode and rely on hotel WiFi, or you can splurge for an international package that will cover you during your stay. If you’re planning on using your GPS to get around, Google Maps will allow you to download an area ahead of time on WiFi so you can access it without using any data. Unfortunately, this will not update you with real-time traffic, but it’s a great way to have a back up map in case you get lost on your adventures.
Call your credit card companies.
Make sure your credit and debit cards know that you will be traveling. They need to put an alert on your account so they know that it’s you using your card and not a fraudster who stole it and hit the road. Even if you’re only traveling a few hundred miles away, your bank or credit card company may flag it as unusual and leave you without access to your funds unless you call to reactivate your card.
It may seem tempting to bring a few fancy dresses or suits for a night out, but realistically, you’ll probably end up in your hotel room eating take out a few nights of your trip because you’ll be so exhausted from the day’s adventures. You may love having options of what to wear each day based on your mood, but you’ll likely be so caught up in the moment that it won’t even matter. What WILL matter is how sore you are from lugging that heavy carry-on around the airport or the $30 you could have saved on a checked back and spent on souvenirs. A few comfortable outfits and a pair or two of walking shoes should be enough for a short trip, and for a longer trip, a checked bag can be split between two people for extra savings.