Monday, March 12, 2012

10 Must Know Travel Tips

I love to cruise (15 times and booked next year) and I love to travel to all-inclusive resorts.
Here is a picture of the bulletin board in my home office. 

 (I will say it for you..... that mustache on my husband is horrible:)

I hope these tips help you with your next vacation. 

1. Make An Decision To Relax.
When you leave for the airport......make a a decision to relax. This may sound crazy but most people take 1/2 of their vacation to relax.  Think about planned well, your kids will be fine,your stuff is insured and everything will be there when you get back:)

 Take a deep breath, this is the week you have been waiting for.

2. Go With The Flow
 A change of scenery is what vacations are all about.....have a flexible schedule.  An opportunity may come along that is better then what you had planned. Be open to changes.

3. Pack As Light As Possible
I would take about 1/2 of what you think you need. Lighter luggage is so much easier to manage. If you wear the same outfit twice you will be fine:)

4. Take Only The Necessary Credit Cards
Unless you will be doing a home improvement project on your vacation you will not need your Lowe's credit card in the Caribbean or Mexico:)
We take two credit cards on vacation. We leave one in the safe in our room or cabin and take one with us on outings. Copy your two credit cards front and back and keep that in a safe place. ( I also make a copy of our id and keep that with it). If you lose your wallet  or it is stolen it will not ruin your vacation. One phone call to your credit card company to cancel and you are back on vacation. It would be horrible to have all your cards lost that you should have left home.

Note-you should call your credit card company and let them know you will be out of the country and maybe using your card.

5.If You Are Taking A Cruise- Leave One Day Early
We love to go a day early and stay in a hotel near the cruise port. This really helps with tip number one, relax. We can sleep in, get to the ship early and be out by the pool before most people get to the airport. Pack a pair of shorts or a swimsuit and cover up in your carry on, it maybe a while before your luggage arrives in your cabin.

6. Proper Documents
You cannot travel without the proper documents.  The minute you book your vacation check your documents to be sure of the expiration date. Wondering  how I know this? I carry a Canadian passport, last September we had a vacation booked to Mexico. I never checked my passport until about 8 days before we left. So after, 3 tanks of gas,  $250.00 and 2 trips to Canada and I got my passport the day before we left.-Not a relaxing way to start a vacation!

 Check with your travel agent or tour/cruise company to make sure you have proper documentation.

7. Purchase A Cruise Or Travel Guide
This will really help you prepare and have a great vacation. The Internet has a lot of information but having a guide with you on your vacation will come in handy.  This gives you information about beaches, buses and activities.

8. If You Are New To Travel-Use A Travel Agent
The commission for most packages and cruises are built into the price. You may pay a small agent fee but it will be well worth the money.  The Internet is a great resource but will not replace an experience travel agent.

9.All Inclusive Or Cruise-what's a vacationer to do?
An all-inclusive or resort vacation is much more relaxing than taking a cruise. The cruise has activities planned from morning until night,(besides eating) if you try to do everything you can stay very. very busy. A resort (all-inclusive) has activities but has a way slower pace.  (I will post about the cost and differences between them at another time)

10. Airport Off-Site Parking.
Check with the Internet and the local airport. On-site parking is very expensive. Off-site parking can save you a lot of money.  We also sometimes book a hotel that includes the parking. So do the math, if it is $10.00 a day to park for 7 days, and you can go the night before and stay at a hotel for $70.00 or $90.00 a night and it includes the parking.  We are about 3 hours from Detroit, this work great, we do a Park & Stay at a hotel by the airport for about what 7 days of parking cost. Plus the hotel transfers you back and forth the the airport and sometimes includes breakfast:)

Have a great vacation!

Added my tips to Many Little Blessing site, for  TOP TEN TUESDAY:)


  1. Great tips!! You forgot one though?!? Babysitter for two babies.... how does that work :)Also are you telling me there won't be a Kohls on vacation and I should leave my credit card at home :(

  2. Wonderful travel tips! We don't travel nearly enough, but have started doing it more often now that our kids are getting older. We notoriously over pack, so I'm definitely feeling that one!

  3. Thanks Angie, We never really started to travel until our girl got older...I like to travel really cheap so I may have to ad a list of how to get started and do it as cheap as possible.

    I like to keep our week vacation (air travel and all) around 1200- 1500 per trips...


    PS I love to sew but planning my trips is fun too!

  4. Great tips, thanks! We just got back from our second cruise and I will second the PACK LIGHT! advice. :) We definitely packed WAY MORE than we needed, and then we ended carting a lot of it through airports because if we'd wanted to check the baggage, we would have had to pay for it. I'd also say, YES, leave for a cruise a day early. On our first cruise, we didn't do this... our flight got delayed and we got to the cruise terminal JUST barely on time. Second trip we stayed in a hotel the night before so that we knew we'd catch the boat without so much stress. :)

  5. You are right with tip number 10. Airport off-site parking is definitely ideal, particularly if you don’t want to spend much on you travels. It’s great that you’ve found a hotel that takes care of parking, airport transfer services, and breakfast in its package. For me, though, I always prefer on-site parking because I feel it is more convenient, especially if I’m in a hurry to catch a flight.


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