It’s gotten to be more expensive and stressful to travel now than ever before, thanks to traffic, airport security measures, terrorist threats on planes, lost luggage – the list just goes on and on. It makes “staycations” (taking a vacation by staying at home) sound pretty darn appealing.
But, sometimes an opportunity comes along that we can’t resist – like a Caribbean cruise at 75 percent off. Or, winning a Hawaiian vacation. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Not us! Follow our four tips before you leave for your next trip, and you’ll be less likely to encounter problems while on it.
1. Abide by the rules
Not even celebrities can pack their jumbo La Mer face cream in their carry-on bag. Abide by the TSA rules, and you won’t have a meltdown when they toss your expensive skin care products in the trash. Likewise, weigh your check-in luggage the night before, so there are no surprises when you get to the airport. You may be charged for two bags instead of one if you go over the weight limit of the airline.
2. Purchase travel insurance
If you’re taking a cruise, flying a great distance, staying in a hotel, renting a car or buying non-refundable plane tickets, travel insurance is a must. Most travel insurance companies will provide you with medical and injury coverage on your trip, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more, all for less than $100 per person. It’s a small investment worth the peace of mind for a relaxing trip.
3. Make copies
Before your trip, make copies of confirmation numbers, credit card numbers, medical ID numbers, emergency numbers, and more. They can be a huge lifesaver when you are traveling and the hotel has no record of your reservation; your wallet – with all your credit cards and ID – gets stolen; you suffer a sprain while on a tour excursion; etc. By keeping copies of these important documents in a safe place, you’ll be prepared for unforeseen hiccups during your trip.
4. Do your research
Don’t you hate being caught off guard by numerous fees, surcharges, and mandatory gratuities? You can eliminate these nasty surprises by doing one small thing – read the fine print. Hotels, car rental companies, and especially cruise ships all disclose these things, but you have to do your research and ask questions ahead of time. Or, you may be in for a rude awakening when signing that credit card slip.