When planning a trip, especially with a group, travelers often run into stress-inducing scenarios like forever searching for flights, not being able to find a decent place to stay, budgeting – the list goes on. You lose precious time researching the area only to discuss it with your group and have someone disagree with the final plan.
If this scenario rings a bell, it’s time to end the shenanigans and plan efficiently! Without further ado, we present the best tips for a stress-free trip.
1: Start Preparing Early
If you want to retain your focus, stress, and sanity, don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. There’s always something you’ll have to buy or borrow, and if you do last-minute packing, you’ll complicate everything.
First and foremost – documents! If you’re traveling abroad, prepare your passport (and visa, if necessary). You can accelerate the process by taking passport and visa photos online if you haven’t finalized everything.
After you sort out the documents, it’s time to plan the rest – including travel insurance.
2: Get Travel Insurance
If you want a worry-free trip, you must find reliable travel insurance. Some countries make travel insurance mandatory, but others leave it optional.
The best advice is to get insurance because anything can happen, and simply being in a different country is risky enough not to take insurance. Also, if you go on multiple trips throughout the year, you should take annual insurance to save on costs.
The market has many expert insurance providers, but we still advise reading more reviews and sticking to familiar names.
3: Make Early Flight Reservations
If you plan to travel abroad, you should know that flight companies air their schedule a year earlier so people can make their reservations in advance. The closer you get to your date, the pricier the tickets will be.
Many travelers claim that the optimal time to book a flight is four to six months before the trip. However, when it comes to booking earlier than this, it might be risky.
Flights may be canceled, especially during uncertain situations, as with COVID-19. Ideally, you should book five months before the trip.
As for booking a place to stay, you can wait a bit later. That doesn’t mean you should do it two weeks before the trip – you can book a decent hotel a month before departure for a fair price.
4: Look for Refundable Rooms
If you book your flight 6 months earlier, anything can happen in those six months, even having to reschedule. Therefore, always look for places where the booking has refundable cancellation options.
Every hotel has a specific cancellation policy. In most cases, the hotel retains half of the deposited sum for canceling ten days before the date and the entire sum for rescheduling 3-0 days before the date of arrival.
Therefore, before booking, make sure to read the cancellation policy. Unlike hotels, people renting apartments or studio rooms on Booking or Airbnb are more tolerant of customers who cancel a few days before or on arrival.
Of course, some retain the deposited sum, but others include the cancel-for-free option. Research the apartment offers and find the most suitable one.
5: Stay Away From Unrealistically Cheap Prices
This applies to cheap means of transportation and apartments, hotels, hostels, motels, or campgrounds. When you look for rooms to rest, you’ll run into many ridiculously cheap room ads selling you a fairytale.
But please mind that the price you pay is what you get – low cost leads to subpar service. If you pay for a super cheap room, you may get an uncomfortable bed, dirty sheets, broken appliances, etc. Therefore, this is an inefficient way to save money.
The same goes for flights. If you come across an unusually low price, you should anticipate last-minute flight cancellations or rescheduling the flights.
Even if you call to ask for a refund, you might end up waiting forever to get a response. Therefore, stay away from such “bargains.”
6: Travel Light
If you don’t want to pay extra costs at the airport, you must follow the rules and pack the light. Some people find it difficult to travel light and still pack enough clothes, while others make it an effortless ordeal.
The catch is in the organization. All you have to do is create a plan of what to wear.
So, pick your favorite outfits, and think of where you’ll wear them – at a fancy restaurant, a museum, or the beach. It wouldn’t hurt to take a photo of each, which will help you dress faster at the resort.
However, remember to keep it minimal and bring nothing more than the outfits you picked out.
7: Bring an Extra Credit or Debit Card With You
If you travel to a different country, make sure that you bring at least two credit or debit cards with you. Carrying just cash is always risky, especially when traveling to an area known for its high crime rate.
For that reason, make no mistake and take at least two cash options and conceal them in different places. You can put the cash in a bag you’ll carry with you and the card in the suitcase for extra safety.
Besides, often, you cannot bring too much cash with you, and some restaurants have limited or restricted banking methods. Your card might get rejected. In that vein, carrying extra credit, debit, or even travel cards like Diners is always a good idea.
To wrap up this article, we’ll come back to the most crucial points. Remember – you shouldn’t save money on cheap accommodation or flights because you may get poor quality service that may result in you leaving earlier than intended.
You can, however, be more frugal regarding where and what you eat and the places you visit. And don’t forget to pack light and make early preparations!
Reread the tips above and follow them – you’ll enjoy every second of your trip!