Below are some additional tips and tricks that will help ensure that your vacation runs smoothly. The key is planning.
1. Be prepared for differences in temperature and weather of all types.
Lately different parts of the country have experienced unusual weather pattern. It is always a good idea to take an extra jacket and a set of clothes that are warmer than you think you’ll need. If you are traveling to a location that gets lost of snow, be prepared with a warm winter coat, hats, gloves, scarves, warm socks, and boots. You might not think to bring sunscreen in northern climates during the winter months, but you can get nasty sunburns from the reflection of the sun on the snow (this happened to my Dad and brother while ice fishing). In any case, do a little research on the weather at your final destination, and be prepared for extremes.
2. Research methods of transportation at your destination before you leave.
If you are traveling to a large city such as Washington, D.C., Chicago, or New York, you are probably not going to want to drive once you get there. Be sure to find lodging with great access to the subway (or L in Chicago) or at least taxi service. Again, researching pricing for passes and cab fare can help you budget better.
If you are planning to fly to most other areas of the country, you will probably want to arrange for a rental car ahead of time. For those traveling to other destinations via car, you are all set! However, if you are driving to D.C., Chicago, or New York, you might want to inquire about parking at your hotel.
3. Take care of all issues at home before you leave.
This is a biggie, especially if you plan on being gone for an extended period of time. A little preparation at home can help you have a worry free vacation. In addition to making arrangements for kids (if you aren’t taking them with you), pets, and your mail/newspaper, there are other things to consider. For instance, ensuring that your bills caught up will help you avoid late fees, disconnected service, and general hassle. In addition, having a trusted neighbor check on your house isn’t a bad idea. There are many other ways in which you can make a vacation easy on the home front, but that if for another article.
4. Don’t stand out as a tourist.
This particular piece of advice is more important for those traveling internationally and to large metropolitan areas, but it is useful no matter where you final destination takes you. Don’t walk around in large groups, if you can help it, and don’t display your camera when not in use. Simply try to be as discreet as humanly possible. You might still be recognizable as a tourist, but it won’t be so painfully obvious. Trying to blend in will make it less likely that you’ll be a target of crime, not matter where you are.
If you take heed of a few of the tips presented in both articles, you’ll surely have a more pleasant vacation.