Whether you are traveling to the South of France, are off to Disneyland to visit Mickey and the Magic Kingdom, or spending two-weeks in Newport Beach or The Hamptons, plan ahead, get organized and have a summer vacation that is stress-free. We’ve put together the “hot list” of the items you need to think about or the things you will need for a family vacation at the beach, a vacation abroad, camping trips, staycations and of course, road trip tips to help make it easy for you. We also included an easy summer camp checklist.
Start Planning! Your destination will guide you in the needs and requirements of your trip. Transportation and hotel reservations should be at the top of your list. Organize passports, visas and notarized birth certificates, if traveling out of the country. Research the area you will visit to decide what interests you and your family to plan for your trip, make checklists of the items you will need to get done, create lists for everyone in the family and leave the things you don’t need at home.
Book Your Travel. If you are traveling by air, book airline reservations 21-days in advance for the best rates. Reserve hotel rooms or resorts once you confirm your transportation plans. If you are a frequent-flyer and using reward points, check air and hotel black-out dates and availability first. Remember that transferring points to an airline or hotel partners can sometimes take 7-10 days. Start a travel file folder to keep important documents organized and in one place.
Schedule Events. Make reservations or buy advance tickets for Points of Interest or special attractions. Search POI’s or attractions on line, as discounts are often available and/or apply with advance purchases. Check with the Concierge at your hotel for the must-see’s of the area, best restaurants and special attractions. They will also make any arrangements for you, email confirmations and have an itinerary ready for you upon arrival to the hotel that’s ready to enjoy.
Get Packing! Make a list of what you will need for your trip. Of course, the clothes that you pack and your travel essentials will vary from a beach vacation to a cruise ship or vacation in Tuscany. Plan your clothing around your activities and the climate. Items that mix and match will reduce the amount of clothing you take. Coordinate outfits with shoes and accessories for the whole family as you are making decisions or packing to be sure you have everything you want or need.
Easy How To Pack Travel Tips:
Fold tee-shirts with a flip-it folder and stack them in your suitcase in rows or the corners.
Rolling clothes helps to keep them wrinkle-free.
Travel accessory organizers, jewelry organizers and travel space bags save space and keep any suitcase organized.
A tie caddy is a must for savvy business travel guys.
Use Luggage Tags to avoid lost luggage!
Ticket holders or Passport holders help to keep you organized and in reach.
Pack This! Pad helps you to remember all the things you need to travel.
What To Pack Travel Tips:
Packing the Essentials. Pack one bag, carry-on or backpack that is small, easy to carry and can be used during day trips. Medications, jewelry and valuables, cameras, and your cell phone charger where it is easily accessible or in your carry on, in case of unexpected events. Make a checklist for all your ‘equipment’, such as cameras, cell phones, iPods and most importantly chargers. Remember that most hotels have amenities that include hair dryers, so save the space in your suitcase. Include an adaptor kit if traveling abroad, as hotels do not always offer these. Decorative zip storage bags are a perfect solution for packing liquids. Include a travel size emergency kit.
Prepare Your Home. If you are traveling for an extended amount of time, ask friends and neighbors that you know well to keep an eye on things. Prepare a Travel Emergency List and save it on your computer that can be updated from trip to trip and includes your itinerary, cell phone numbers, hotel contact numbers and emergency contact numbers at home. Email or deliver copies to those who will need the information. Set timers for lights inside and outside your home. Arrange for newspapers and mail to be collected daily or put on hold. Newspapers and mail are the first signs to flag and empty home to unwanted visitors. If you will have a house sitter at your home, leave a copy of your Travel Emergency List and plan a walk-through with your sitter prior to your trip. This will give you the opportunity to show him or her how to set the alarm, feed the dogs or exactly which plants need to be watered. Arrange for your gardener or neighbor to mow the lawn and water the outdoor plants or garden.
Prep the Pets. Arrange for pet sitting or boarding in advance. If you have never boarded before, call your vet for recommendations and the boarder you chose. They typically require forms to be sent ahead that confirm shots are up to date. Add your vet telephone number to your emergency list and include a Pet Emergency Clinic. They take care of sick or hurt pets when Vet offices are closed. If medications are involved, prepare a 7-day or more pill minder for the house sitter, boarder or Vet’s office.
Review your Final Travel Tips To Remember:
Arrange for airport transportation to and from the airport for departure and arrival in advance. (Shuttle, friend or car service).
Have prescription medications refilled for the length of your trip.
Reduce the items in your wallet to only what you need to take with you.
Get cash or traveler’s checks.
Call your credit card companies if you are traveling abroad to let them know you will be out of the country. This will avoid suspicion of credit card theft and declined charges.
Pay bills that are due while you are gone before you leave.
Set your auto-reply message on your email and update your voice mail at work that you will be traveling.
If you are taking a child’s friend, are divorced or a single parent, take a notarized authorization letter from the other parent that gives you permission to have emergency treatment administered.
Empty the refrigerator of perishable items, take out the trash, water the plants, check for open windows, adjust thermostats and organize your home so that you can enjoy when you return.
Check your travel file folder for airline tickets, passports, hotel confirmations and all items you may need. Pack this in your travel bag or backpack.
Pack a travel size emergency kit.
Charge your cell phone every night while traveling.
Remember if you forget anything, there are stores in most places to purchase what you need.
Have fun, enjoy and have a great vacation!