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Your Guide to Planning a Vacation

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 18 Jun 2015

Why plan for a vacation? After all, vacations are all about relaxing, being spontaneous and not sticking to schedules. While you should do just that when you’re on holiday, planning your vacation well before setting out has several rewards. Make your vacation totally hassle free and save money on travel and stay by reading this guide on planning your next vacation. Starting from choosing a vacation spot, planning your accommodation to downloading the right travel apps on your Smartphone, everything needs to be planned in advance. Read on to know more.

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Choosing an Ideal Location

Ideally, the planning should start by deciding on the destination. Where to visit is a big question. The answer depends on a number of factors, such as,

  • Your budget: You need to have a fair idea about the maximum limit. Once you know your limit, it would be easier for you to plan accordingly.
  •  Number of people travelling: Are you travelling alone or with a group? If you are travelling with a group, how many people are there in the group? It is important to have a rough idea about the number of travelers.
  •  Who you are traveling with:  Is it a honeymoon, family getaway, business trip or outing with friends. Your choice of location depends on who you are travelling with.
  •  What are the common interests: If you are travelling alone, you can prioritize your interests.  However, if you are travelling with a group, you should choose a place that has something to offer to everyone.
  • The purpose of your travel: Do you want to relax, go on an adventure or discover something new? It is important to know the purpose of your travel, so that you can choose a destination accordingly.

Contacting a Trusted Travel Agent

Most people skip this essential step to save money. They prefer researching about their travelling options and itinerary on their own. However, choosing a tour package from a reliable agent could be more beneficial.  Here are some reasons why you should contact a travel agent.

  • Most travel agents are experienced and certified. They have prior knowledge of how to conduct a tour. They can help you plan a tour in a more organized way.
  • A good idea is to personally visit the travel agent and discuss your ideas and expectations. Also, listen to his suggestions discuss everything candidly.
  • Be sure to ask the right questions. If you do not ask, your doubts may not be cleared.

International Visa & Passport

Your visa is the endorsement or stamp placed by foreign country officials on your passport that allow you to visit foreign lands. A visa can only be obtained from a local embassy of the country you are visiting. While this may seem as easy, there are several do’s and don’ts that you must be aware of.

  • Make sure your passport has enough blank pages as the embassy may use up a couple.
  • Make sure the expiry date on the passport is after, at least, 6 months.
  • While filling your visa application form, avoid errors. Remember that careless errors on your part may lead to cancelation.
  • Carry enough photographs and have ample photo copies of all documents and identifications.

How to Get a Cheap Flight

Irrespective of where you are going, you are likely to get many flight options to choose from. Leading airlines operate flights in almost all busy routes. The pricing varies depending on timing, and other factors. Here is what you need to do to find cheap air tickets.

  • It is always a good idea to book your flight tickets early. This not only helps you land a cheap deal, but also allows you to choose a flight in your preferred time.
  • Visit various travel websites and compare prices before booking one.
  • You can follow your favorite travel websites on social media. In this way, you can keep yourself updated about offers, discounts, travel alerts and tips offered by that website.

Planning Your Accommodation

Whether it is cheap air tickets or a budget hotel, you need to get them booked in advance, for getting the best price and additional offers. Booking a budget hotel that offers clean and comfortable accommodation would be a good idea, if you do not plan to stay at the hotel most of the time. Always choose a hotel close to the places you want to visit. Also, make sure that it is located in a prime location, so that you can get transport options easily. This helps you save your time and money on travelling. Read reviews, compare all the nearby hotels by visiting their websites, and look for discounts and special offers. Personally call them and don’t hesitate to negotiate while settling for the price.

Get Travel insurance

You should get a comprehensive travel insurance policy from an acclaimed insurance company to get cover against any risk of accidents and mishaps. For instance, you can consider getting a Royal Sundaram Travel Insurance policy to protect you and your family against any risk of injury and illness during the vacation. If you are travelling abroad, consider getting a policy that provides cover for medical expenses abroad. Some policies may also cover other risks, such as, theft, natural disasters and other unfortunate events.

How to Carry Money while Travelling

Avoid carrying excess cash. Instead, you can carry your debit card and credit card. A couple of decades back, traveller’s checks became popular. Even today, many prefer to carry these to take care of essential expenses. Whether its dollars, cents, euro, pound or pesos; collect currency bills after finding out the maximum amount you are allowed to carry. You need to pay for other things, such as, for your hotel, travel insurance, air tickets, food, intra-city travelling and miscellaneous expenditures. Estimate the total cost and arrange for the necessary amount. You can get the best rates for currency exchange on your credit cards through interbank exchange rates. Also, you should carry certain amount of liquid money while travelling. Some restaurants and shopping malls may not accept credit cards.

Packing Checklist

To avoid a situation where you realize you have forgotten to pack an essential commodity, here is checklist of essential items.

  • Clothing: You may want to travel light, but do pack an extra pair of all essentials. From undergarments to boots, you must ensure that you have packed all essentials.
  • Books: If you enjoy reading while travelling, then pack your favorite novels beforehand.
  • Electronics: Get together all important electronic gadgets, such as, your iPod, Smartphone, laptop, tablet, camera and speakers. Do not forget to pack extra batteries and chargers for all electronic items.
  • Documents: For international travels, pack photocopies of all original documents, such as, visa, driver’s license, and other identity cards.

Travel Applications for Your Smartphone

The right applications on your Smartphone can actually help you keep in touch with your friends and guide you during sticky situations. Here are some apps that you should install before setting out.

  • Google Translate: As the name suggests, this app can translate up to 58 local languages conveniently.
  • Google Maps: This is the top mobile mapping service that can help you navigate through any street and location.
  • Foodspotting: Foodies need to have this application, as it can help them locate nearby restaurants and popular cuisines.
  • Skyscanner: You can conveniently look for flight timings and ticket prices with this application.
  • Google Now: This application is capable of performing a number of functions and can respond to your instructions verbally.

Staying Safe in a Foreign Land

Stay vigilant and do not let your guard down any time, when you are in a foreign land. Keep emergency numbers of local authorities and friends on speed dial, so that you can communicate quickly during an emergency. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts.

  • Do not share your address with everyone.
  • Always have someone’s assistance and avoid walking alone at night.
  • Do not go about exploring dark and non-tourist areas.
  • Keep your money in different locations and not together.
  • Keep your bags locked when you are travelling. Also make sure that you avoid wearing expensive clothing and jewelry.
  • Keep in touch with your friends and family.

By keeping the above things in mind you are sure to have a prosperous and fun filled, happy journey with minimal discomfort and inconvenience. Whether you are on a business, leisure or adventure holiday, feel free to leave comments and share your travel story and experience.

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