Strategic Tips to Travel like a Pro
Whether you consider yourself a new or seasoned traveler some pre-planning will be necessary. Follow the list of my strategic tips to “Travel Like a Pro” to be sure that you have a stress free good time. There are a few things that you will need to think about & complete and then ahhhh relax, you’ll be on your way.
Travel Like a Pro When You Plan Ahead of Time
1. To Travel Like a Pro means planning ahead of time will give you the opportunity for a better deal.
Decide what your yearly vacation budget is going to be. A good way to decide a safe spending budget is by looking at your annual income. I recommend your vacation budget be between 5%-10% of your annual income.
2. When you have decided on what your annual budget is going to be, the next step to Travel Like a Pro is to divide it up into three separate categories:
Cost of transportation
Activities and other spending
3. Steps to Travel Like a Pro if you’re going to use an airline:
Pre-print your tickets before you arrive at the airport. Some airlines do charge extra if they do it for you at the check-in counter. Plus you may be able to save time by checking into a kiosk instead of waiting in a long line.
24 hours ahead, check into your flight and pick your seat if you haven’t already. Just because you have a ticket for the flight doesn’t automatically mean that you have a seat! No, I’m not bitter, haha
Read FAA guidelines for security protocols. What needs to go in that quart size bag? Gels, liquids, aerosols, 3.4oz or smaller
Each airline has its own baggage requirements for when it comes to size, what they allow to be carried on and what is free or will have a surcharge. Check with your airline they may offer a discount if you opt to pay for bags ahead of time.
*Travel Like a Pro TIP: Some hotels will offer a free shuttle but not all of them. It’s best to have your transportation between the airport & hotel pre-arranged. This way you get the flat rate, it tends to be less expensive when compared to a taxi
4. It seems as if more and more people are choosing to drive instead of using an airline. If you are going to be driving to your destination or taking a road trip, when Traveling Like a Pro you’re getting the most out of your vacation budget and realizing that there are so many cool places to see and things to do that are within a reasonable driving distance:
a)Do a maintenance pre-trip on your vehicle
Check fluid level: oil, anti-freeze, transmission, windshield washer
Check tire pressure (pressure is listed in owner manual), have spare tire ready to go and be sure you have your jack.
Do a check on wiper blades, replace if needed and be sure to have any lights and turn signals working
*Travel Like a Pro TIP: Best time to buy gas would be in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler. Since gas is denser in cooler temperatures
5. How to choose your accommodations. To Travel Like a Pro read up on some reviews pick a few places in the vicinity of where you want to stay… Now we compare them to each other:
- a) The place with the best location might be a little more expensive but you may save in the long run if they provide free shuttles or have a short walk to places you want to go
b) Compare the amenities, does it provide free wi-fi? If you have a car will you have to pay for parking?
c) What environment are you looking for? Is your vacation an adult-romantic type? Are you looking for a place to stay with your family?? Then maybe you’ll want amenities like a pool, free activities, maybe a free breakfast.
*Travel Like a Pro TIP: By checking reviews you can see what type of traveler is staying at each hotel.
6. When planning out any activities, if you want to Travel Like a Pro, I find it best to do research ahead of time in case there is something that you really want to do but it’s not available every day. This way you won’t miss out on it.
a) When picking a tour you want to note what the physical requirements are and length of the tour as well. Small children may get cranky if they don’t get their nap or don’t do well with a ton of walking.
b) I find that everyone has a good time if you do the research, narrow the activities down then involve everyone by picking their top 3. As long as you include 1 from their top 3 they feel as if they’re doing something they want. Now everyone is happy.
c) Include some down time on vacation. Maybe every other day has an open day where you can have a choice to do nothing but relax or if you come across a unique activity you want to add, now you can.
*Travel Like a Pro TIP: Not all tour groups are equal. Some will be geared toward different age groups.
7. Use a packing list. To Travel Like a Pro try to pack as light as possible. It’s very liberating when you only have 1 bag and almost heaven when you don’t have to check any. Saves money plus bags make it more difficult getting around.
a) When packing toiletries not all hotels provide the same products. Some provide everything for you, even a hair straightener or shower cap, some don’t. If there is a website available you may be able to find out what you will need to bring with you. If not then you can call them directly
b) When packing clothes it’s best to pick 1 color scheme so that everything will match up. Therefore, less to pack or carry. For instance, pick a basic color like brown or black. If you pick black, then you’ll pack 1 black pant, 1 black short. Pack a high heel and a low heel that matches black. They could be worn every day with different shirts and it will look like a completely different outfit. This is the best way to save on space in your bag.
c) Packing your small personal bag or carry on. What should be in your small personal bag or carry on bag?
>If you’re flying you want a change of clothes that you want to use when you arrive or later that day.
>Any paperwork that you might need: ID, passport, visa, tickets, travel documents
>Any essentials that you might need to be at your fingertips quickly. PEN!
> Snack, phone charger, headphones, medications
8. Important things to prepare to Travel Like a Pro before you leave for vacation
a) Save yourself a headache by calling your credit card company/bank to let them know where and when you’ll be going on vacation and plan on using your credit card. If they see any unusual activity next thing you know they’ll deny your purchases.
b) Prep your house, keep it looking like someone is home. Use a light on a timer. Adjust the thermostat. Have a friend pick up your mail, take down any door hang tags. Depending on how long you’re gone, you may have to make arrangements for lawn care or house plants.
c) Do not announce on social media that you’re going on vacation. This will invite someone to possibly break into your residence while you’re gone. Wait to make any posts of how much you’re having a great time. Wait until you get home.
d) Give travel info to a friend or family member in case they need to make contact with you
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If you found this article helpful or if you’d like to share any of your own travel like a pro tips please leave a reply below
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2 thoughts on “Strategic Tips to Travel like a Pro”
I love your point to check your flight and make sure everything is ready to go at least 24 hours in advance. My spouse and I are planning on going on a long trip this year so that we can spend time together. We want to rent a vacation home so that we can stay comfortably for those few weeks.
With the current situation, the travel guidelines seem to change daily. Good luck to you and your spouse. I really agree, if you are able to go somewhere, for now renting a single home through Vrbo would be the best choice.