5 Best Tips to Successfully Prepare for Your Next Trip

Preparing for your next getaway can be exciting — and a bit overwhelming. But with the right amount of attention to detail, you can plan your trip from start to finish with ease. From choosing your destination and making transportation arrangements to booking your accommodations and deciding what activities you want to do, there are steps you can take to ensure you take care of everything you need to before your next vacation. Take a look at our five best tips to successfully prepare for your next trip.

1. Choose Your Destination & Make Transportation Arrangements

The first thing you’ll need to do is to choose your destination. Will you be traveling abroad? Or will you stay in the states? Once you decide on where to go, you need to plan how you’ll get there and how you’ll get around. Will you need to fly to your next destination, will you take a bus, will you ride the train, or can you drive and turn it into a road trip? Whatever you decide, you’ll need to make arrangements ahead of time. Depending on your destination, you’ll likely have a few options so research the best way to get there and get around.

2. Plan Your Accommodations

Part of planning a trip means thinking about where to stay, and that choice is usually influenced by three main factors: the actual space, the neighborhood, and the price. Do you have relatives that live in the area? If so, you might consider staying with them. If not, you’ll probably want to get a hotel or check out some of the Airbnb’s in the area. Book your accommodations well in advance to avoid any issues come the day of the trip. You don’t want to get all the way there just to be told there’s no room for you. When searching for a place to stay, compare prices before booking. Browse the top comparison sites, such as:

  • Expedia (owns Orbitz and Travelocity)
  • Booking.com
  • Hotels.com
  • TripAdvisor
  • Kayak

Once you find a deal you like, book it as soon as possible. Don’t wait till the last minute or you might end up right back at square one.

3. Decide What Activities You Want to Do

This is probably the most fun part of planning your trip — deciding what you’ll see and do when you get to your destination. Are you going to Hawaii to surf? Italy to eat? China to climb the Great Wall? The activities available will depend on where you’re traveling. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you make reservations ahead of time because the popular ones often fill up pretty quickly.

4. Pack Your Bags

After you’ve decided where to go and how to get there, it’s time to start packing your bags. Before you pack anything, make a list so you remember some of the easy-to-forget basics:

  • Device charger (including your digital camera!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • An umbrella
  • Laundry bag
  • First aid kit
  • Outlet adapter (if traveling internationally)
  • Snacks
  • Insect repellent

You might also need styling tools, makeup, vitamins, feminine hygiene products, pain relievers, and medications. Make a list of all of the important things you want to bring on your next trip and bring another list (a copy) for when you’re returning home so you don’t leave anything behind.

5. Plan for the Unexpected

Before a big trip you’ll need to consider several types of insurance—including health, auto, travel and life—depending on your transportation and destination. Getting life insurance can help you prepare for your next trip by helping you plan for the unexpected—meaning if anything should happen to you on your trip, your family will be well protected financially. You can either get term life or permanent life insurance (also called whole life insurance). Term life insurance is better if you want coverage for a specific amount of time at a low price, while permanent life insurance is supposed to last a lifetime. USAA offers members life insurance to ensure they’re protected, even while on a vacation. Look into your coverage options and determine what’s right for you.

Making Your Travel Arrangements

Planning your next trip is fun, but it can also be a little bit exhausting, especially if not done properly. That’s why it’s important to create a packing list, make transportation arrangements, consider insurance options, and decide what activities you want to do. Doing these things can ensure a smoother, more pleasant experience while you’re on vacation.



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