The time that we spend travelling is almost exceeded by the time that we spend planning the trip. There are quite a few aspects of planning and preparing for the actual holiday to keep in mind. Here are three travel tips to keep in mind when planning your next holiday.
1. Check your Travel Days
When organising your travel, your dates can play a huge part in what your trip will cost. There are a couple of different things to keep in mind regarding dates.
Everywhere has public holidays, and they all land at various times of the year. Things like labour day might occur in May in one country but October in another. Researching when these dates fall in the country you are visiting can help to avoid resulting problems.
I ran into this problem when I was travelling from Venice to Nice. The day that I flew into Nice was Labour day. As a result, the public bus from the airport to the city was not running. I needed to catch a taxi, so instead of costing €4 for the bus it cost me €40 for the taxi.
Just like public holidays, school holidays can land at differing times around the world. I separate the two because school holidays will have a greater impact than public holidays. School holidays often last for one to two weeks and will see a much higher level of travel by locals. Often this can result in high prices for accommodation and much lower availability at times.
There are many different events that might be held throughout the year in different cities. The impact that these events have on other people travelling in the area can vary. But it is definitely worth knowing before booking if you could be impacted throughout your trip.
I ran into a problem with this when I first travelled to Melbourne, Australia. The week that I booked my flights for was the F1 Grand Prix. It meant that I got a relatively cheap flight home. But more than paid extra for the Thursday and Friday night due to such high demand for accommodation.
2. Packing Smart
When it comes to packing for a trip there are two aspects that I focus on. The first is making a list, and the second is to remember the difficult to replace items. These two packing travel tips are definitely ones that I used every single trip I take now.
Making a List
A list can be a great way to remember everything that you need. As you can spend a couple of days or weeks thinking through what you will take based on what you regularly use. When you start writing your list it is better to include too many things, than not enough. Because once you start packing there will likely be things that you decide are not essential.
The list for my first overseas trip filled two sides of an A4 page. In this case, I was being a little bit excessive and had listed right down to very minute detail. Of course, you don’t need to go to this extent, but having a list is a very handy way to help not forget anything.
Important Things To Remember
I would hope that if you create a list there is nothing that you are going to forget to take. However, there are a lot of things if you forget don’t matter so much. Things like clothes and toiletries are somewhat easy to replace most places around the world.
What you don’t want to forget though are the things that either difficult to expensive to replace. Those things like chargers for cameras or laptops, batteries, and any specific personal devices. Although many of these things may be easy to replace, some are not. There is also the consideration that it could just be wasting money to go and buy another charger or something. Especially if it is only for a matter of a week or two.
3. Smart Bookings
One critical aspect of booking any trip is getting everything to come together nicely. For a longer trip, it might be nice to book bits and pieces as you see something that seems interesting. The reality is that piecemeal booking, has to get cohesive at some point in time. With my experience being that cohesive booking from the outset is much easier and less stressful.
The prices for hotels and flights can at times be quite volatile. Increasing and dropping depending on demand, availability and time of the week. What you research today may just not be available at the same price tomorrow.
Hotels And Flights Together
The first couple of overseas trips that I took, I approached in a particular way. I started by booking the flights to create a framework and then progressively work through the hotels. However, I quickly found this to be a very poor approach to the bookings.
All too often I would find the timing of my flights and such did not align very well with the cost of hotels. I would have fixed dates based on the flights and suddenly found the hotels were much more expensive. If I had done some research, I could have booked the flights and the hotels together. Leaving me the option to adjust the dates slightly to get the best combination of prices on both sides.
Test Your Bookings
When booking travel there is often a feeling of how much you are comfortable paying for a destination. So when it comes to a much different price to what you are expecting it can be good to test other options.
I discovered this when I was booking travel to New Zealand recently. The booking was going to see me flying home on the 1st of November. As part of the trip I would have booked a campervan for the whole two weeks, returning it on the 1st of November. I did a little test at returning it on the 31st of October and the price dropped in half. It turns out that if your booking goes into a peak period by one day, they charge the higher rate for the entire booking.
Your Travel Tips
I would love to hear some of your top travel tips. What are the things that you must remember or think that others often forget when travelling? Leave a comment below and I will include your travel tips in some future posts.
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