Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making Your Well Organized and Efficient Travel Plans

If you were going to use one word to describe your last vacation, what would it be? Fun? Memorable? Stressful? Chaotic? Chances are, that word probably isn’t “well-organized” or “efficient”. Traveling, whether with family or friends or even for business, is not usually known for being organized, efficient or even calm. But with a few of these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you may find yourself approaching your next vacation with a Zen-like focus that will make your whole trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

1. Begin thinking about visas, passports and other documentation as soon as you decide to take a trip. If your passport has expired, it could take months to get a new one, and visas can take a while too. You may need special immunizations to travel to certain countries, and your medical insurance may need to be updated as well. Consider purchasing travel insurance, and arrange for vacation days or time off from work. All of these preliminary steps can be completed before you even begin to search for tickets and hotels.

2. Setting a budget may be the single most important step to having a well-organized trip. Having a sense of what you can afford to spend on the trip is crucial in determining where you want to go and what you want to do. You need to set a budget before you start booking tickets and hotels, and will help keep you in line and prevent that sticker-shock experience when you return to your credit card bills. Decide on your priorities—do you want to stay in a budget hotel and splurge on a shopping spree? Do you want to drive to your destination but indulge in a spa treatment complete with a good loose diamonds facial scrub?

3. Unless you are traveling solo, there is no reason you have to do all the planning. Enlist your spouse, travel buddy, or kids to help research, plan, organize and pack, each according to his or her talents and age level, of course. Help kids write out a packing list and then have them pack on their own, ask teenagers to research shopping, entertainment and dining options online, and split other responsibilities with your spouse or travel buddy.

3. Create a detailed itinerary that includes all the important details about where you’ll be staying and eating, as well as confirmation numbers, reservation phone numbers, and directions. Include a map of each location along with your planned route for the day. Use one folder to store all travel-related documents like tickets and printed confirmation emails. Consider downloading some useful travel apps to your smartphone, like Tripit, an app that will streamline all your reservation and flight information in one convenient location.

4. For efficient travel, packing smart is key. Avoid baggage charges by packing light and fitting everything into a carry-on suitcase. Limit yourself to just a few tops and pants or skirts, with a few accessories that will help dress up a simple outfit for a night out. Packing experts advise travelers to pick one color scheme that will allow them to mix and match different clothing items to create maximum wardrobe efficiency. Leave valuable items like designer purses or diamond engagement rings at home to avoid paying extra fees for hotel safes.

Guest post by Houston online jewelry store - www.whiteflash.com.

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