Organized Travel

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    With summer just a few months away, now is the perfect time to start planning your vacation. Here are some simple tips to help your planning go as smoothly as possible.

    Location, location, location! Begin by choosing your travel destination. Next, do some preliminary research to determine how much time you need for your vacation. The most common mistake people make is not allotting enough time. For example, if you are planning on heading to Disney World, a few days won’t suffice. You will need to make sure you have one full day for each theme park you plan on visiting. Also, make sure to account for the time it takes to travel to your destination. If you are spending one full day on travel alone, it is likely you will be too tired or short on time to do much else. Allow for a post-travel day so you don’t have to go back to work or school immediately upon returning.

    Book early. By booking your travel plans early, you will be able to get the best deal possible. Take advantage of flight, hotel and car rental packages. I often use Orbitz or Expedia. Always make sure to get vacation insurance. The only thing predictable about life is that it is unpredictable. If you have to cancel your plans, you will get your money back with the exception of booking fees.
    ***Before booking, make sure you have made boarding/care arrangements for any family pets.

    Make an itinerary. Research your travel destination thoroughly. Make a plan for each day. Otherwise, you will waste precious vacation time figuring out what to do. Make sure to designate down time for rest. Being on the go non-stop is not realistic, and it will be hard to enjoy your vacation to the fullest if you are tired.

    Meal plan. Another thing you will want to include in your itinerary is a list of restaurants, especially if you have a family member with food allergies. Write down the phone numbers of these restaurants so you can call ahead and speak with staff about special dietary arrangements. Plan to pack some snack items in your suitcase to cut down on the amount you spend eating out. Granola bars and cereal are excellent examples. Both hold up well during travel. Check to see if there are some grocery delivery services in the area you are travelling to. That way, you can pre-order groceries to be delivered right to your room. Some resorts offer meal plans. Make sure to research whether these will be cost effective for your particular situation. On a recent trip, my husband and I opted not to get the meal plan as it would cost us more than paying for each meal individually.

    Do some pre-pack planning. Start scoping out the drugstores for travel sized toiletries. I purchase travel sized toiletries all year round so I have them on hand for when I travel. For those toiletries you can’t find in travel sizes, transfer them to small bottles and/or containers. Whenever possible, find products that do double duty (shampoo that also doubles as body wash, makeup creme sticks that can be used for blush and lipstick). Check with your hotel to see what kind of toiletries they provide. Some high end hotels, especially those with an in-house spa, offer salon grade products. If they do, make sure to snag more to bring home with you! About two weeks before leaving for vacation, start pre-packing. If you find you don’t have enough room in your bags for all your items, pare down. Repeat until you have enough room. If there is a laundry room at your hotel, pack fewer clothes. Consider packing fewer toiletries if you will have access to a drugstore.

    Wishing you a snmooth travel experience! Until next time, Happy Homemaking!

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