The summer is always a popular time to travel, but it’s even more popular in 2021. Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated, more and more people are looking for ways to get back to normal and have fun. One way to do that is to plan a vacation!
Whether you’re traveling this year while COVID-19 is winding down or you’re traveling during another busy season, there are things you can do to make your trip better. You have probably heard of doing things like packing less and bringing an extra pair of underwear, but you may not have heard of these off-the-wall tips!
Know What’s Legal—And What’s Not
No one wants to spend time in jail on vacation. It can be especially scary if you’re traveling in a foreign country. That’s why it’s a good idea to research local laws where you’re traveling before you leave.
For example, if you're traveling around the 4th of July, you may want to set off some fireworks. Some states allow them, some don't, and some like Wisconsin require a permit. It might also be the case that some kinds of fireworks are legal, and some are not.
There are other kinds of laws to look out for when you're traveling in other countries. For example, the United Arab Emirates has strict laws around posting photos of other people online, while you could find yourself in hot water for posing with a Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. Look ahead to keep yourself out of trouble.
Bring Important Medical Information
Older adults and those with health conditions are aware that you should bring medical information with you when you’re traveling, but everyone should, regardless of your medical situation. If something were to happen while you’re away from home, it could literally save your life.
Make sure you carry a list of medications you take and doctors that should be called if something goes wrong. It’s also a good idea to bring a list of things you’re allergic to, as well as your insurance policy, so you end up in the right hospital.
In the age of COVID-19, it’s also a good idea to bring proof that you have been vaccinated. Although vaccine passports are controversial, they are likely to be required to enter some countries and attend activities. Even if you aren’t asked to show proof, it’s better to have it and not need it than to find yourself stranded in an airport or a bus station.
Be More Flexible
When getting ready to go on vacation, most people take a week off and plan their vacation then. For those who work in offices with strict vacation policies, this may be the only option, but if you have more flexibility, you should be open to different dates for your vacation.
When you’re flexible, you can save a lot of money on airfare. You can save quite a bit on the cost of a hotel too. For example, flying or checking into a hotel on a Saturday can be very expensive. If you’re willing to fly and check in on a Monday instead, you could save money.
You might be able to save by booking a less popular flight, or by booking at the very beginning or end of the peak season. Not to mention, you’ll deal with less people when you’re on vacation, which can be worth its weight in gold.
There’s usually a reason why most people go wherever they are going. Whether it’s going to a theme park or touring ruins, there’s nothing wrong with planning things to do. Just try and avoid planning too much stuff to do.
It’s normal to want to try and make the most of your time wherever you’re going, which means wanting to see and do everything. Not only is that impossible, you’ll end up stressed, tired, and out of money long before your trip is even over.
Instead, plan less to do while you’re away from home. Keep the morning or the evening open, or set aside the entire day to go exploring. You’re more likely to return home feeling rested, and you’re also likely to discover something that you never would have known existed if you planned all of your activities based on an internet search.
Don’t Book Online
There’s no denying that popular booking sites are convenient. You can search for a multitude of hotels, flights, and rental cars. You can even combine them with what appears to be a discount. Although you can book at the click of a button without actually having to talk to anyone, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by doing things this way.
Instead, use the internet to research things you need to book and then call them directly. You can get more answers about a flight and you can ask the manager for more discounts when booking a hotel.
They may also have insider information, not only about what you’re booking, but they may also be able to tell you fun things that are going on locally when you’re booking.
Trust Your Travel Instincts
Many people aren’t very good about trusting their instincts in day-to-day life, but even those who are cued into how they feel tend to throw those feelings out the window when traveling. That’s a bad idea.
Worried that a particular flight is going to end up overbooked before you buy your ticket? Have a bad feeling when you show up to your hotel, even though the pictures looked great online? Listen to your gut and modify your trip accordingly. It’s better to be safe—and more comfortable—than sorry.
Pick Up a Travel Hobby
Traveling inevitably comes with a lot of downtime. Do yourself a favor and take up a travel hobby to pass the time!
A few ideas include:
- Writing or journaling
- Walking or jogging
- Wine and beer tasting
- Bird watching
A lot goes into a great trip. Follow these tips and you’ll leave nothing to chance during peak travel season!