Travel planning can be overwhelming at times, especially if you’re about to fly overseas with your family. Lucky for you, you’re not the first person facing the seemingly impossible task of getting all the details right in advance. Here’s a solid compilation of stress-free travel preparation tips that work for almost all destinations with the exception of Antarctica.
Choose the destination
If you’re travelling with kids, you need to find a destination that fits your interest and travel budget. In addition, if your vacation time is limited, you should skip on destinations that take a long time to reach. Thirdly, you need to decide what kind of experience you want. Is it supposed to be a relaxation or adventure? Beaches or hiking, staying in a resort or taking a road trip, etc.
Learning how to book cheap flights lets you reduce one of the biggest travel expenses, which is especially important if you’re planning to travel overseas as a family. If it’s your one and only vacation this year, you may want to stretch out a bit for a premium service and book a direct flight. In other cases, start with Skyscanner, a website that compares millions of flights from all registered airlines, allowing you to find the most affordable flights in your time span.
For many parents, traveling with kids is not about finding the cheapest accommodations, but getting the best value for the money. If your vacation is to last longer than a simple weekend getaway, you may consider getting an apartment, as they offer a few mom-friendly benefits like full kitchen access, separate bedrooms, and laundry. Whether you’re using Booking or AirBnB, the features you should pay attention to are book-now-pay-later, free cancelation, and 24/7 customer service.
Plan things to see and do
While just showing up and making decisions on the spot sounds more interesting, if you’re bringing the whole family over, some initial planning is always a better idea. Popular attractions and tours usually book out well in advance, so there is a small chance you’ll be able to get in the day you show up. Instead, google for travel blogs and tourism board websites for your chosen location and join travel groups on Facebooks where you can ask for tips and updates.
Find about getting around
Another important consideration is finding transportation options for your destination. If you book a rental car in advance, you’ll get a better deal than if you showed up at the counter. Use an aggregator site like RentalCars.com to search through various car brands and get a list of service providers with the best prices for your location. While pre-purchased bus passes sound great in big cities, you should also learn how to choose a motorbike for rent, especially if your destination is less urbanized or you want more flexibility and freedom in where you go.
Locate places to eat and drink
For some people, food and drink are the favorite part of their travels. For a family, though, it’s important that you find family-friendly places to eat, not only for the sake of convenience but also the budget. You can use the same technique you used for points of interest – browse through internet resources to spot interesting coffee shops, restaurants, street food outlets, food trucks, supermarkets, and picnic spots.
Get your documents ready
Make sure every family member has a passport with an expiration date at least 6 months past the departure. Companies are known to misplace your booking reservation, or there might be a communication gap between the price you paid and the service provided, so you should make copies of flight tickets, itineraries, hotel reservations, tour bookings, etc. Although almost all of these are now available as e-tickets with QR codes, when your battery runs dry, the paper is all you got.
Money related tips
It seems the more money you have on you, the more you’re going to spend on your travel. So you need a way to access your money conveniently as an alternative of stuffing your pockets with cash. The best strategy is to use a combination of debit cards, credit cards, travel cards, and cash. Debit cards with MasterCard or Visa logo are accepted almost everywhere, and when you pay, you’re not extending your credit limit.
Preparing for a vacation in advance not only makes things much easier once the big wheels touch down the hot tarmac of your destination airport, but also makes it easier to pack smart. If you know what to expect and what is provided in advance, for once you might achieve the proverbial ‘travel light’ goal.