The summer months are one of the busiest times for travel. In fact, a study by Orbitz ranked weeks in June and August in the top five busiest travel weeks of the year. With the kiddos out of school and beautiful weather abound, many parents take Fridays off to extend weekends into fun, summer vacations. So, whether you’re planning a local "staycation" or planning an elaborate trip to a far off destination, we’ve researched Five Travel Tips for Summer Vacations! Because everyone wants to make sure their vacations are, well, vacations. There should be no room for stress, anxiety or pouty kids. Ok, maybe we aren’t able to control the pouty levels on the kids, but we can plan activities to reduce the likelihood of major meltdowns. Read on to find out how…
1. Plan, Plan, Plan… then Let It Go!
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The best airline prices, hotels, and reservations require ample amounts of planning time. And, a recent cheapair.com travel report said the best time to buy tickets is 54 day or about 2 months in advance. Planning ahead gives you time to research your destination and decide which major sightseeing tours or landmarks or events you’ll want to attend. It means you can get the most of your time on your vacation. Once the planning is done though, just sit back and enjoy. Everything’s already planned, so what’s left to stress about? Just know things will not go exactly as planned. And, that’s okay — once you’re on vacation, relax and go with the flow.
2. Pack Lightly
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I admit, I know from experience, packing too much can definitely negatively impact a vacation. When I went on a post-graduation tour of Europe, I packed too much. And, ended up lugging my huge suitcase up seven flights of narrow staircases in Italy. Looking all too much like the naive American tourist that I was. The worst part was that I didn’t even end up using half the stuff I brought. Our advice? Pack lightly. Honestly, just pack the essentials. You’re saved back muscles will thank you for it.
3. Navigate Currency
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Before departing on your summer vacation, make sure you have your currency situation sorted. If you’re flying internationally or planning a multi-country trip, it’s often easier and cheaper to get currency exchanges done at your local bank. Make sure to plan ahead though, as some exchanges require 7-10 days notice to get the foreign currency. And, for domestic travel, I always like to have some cash on hand and set aside a credit card specifically for travel expenses on vacation. That way you can easily see how much was spent on each day of vacation. It’s always a good idea to have a small amount of money on hand too, in case of emergencies.
4. Immerse Yourself in The Culture
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Whether you’re traveling to a foreign country where the culture may be vastly different than what you’re used to, or just camping at the nearest campsite. Make sure to befriend the locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. By being willing to try new foods, experiences and ways of life, you’ll expand your entire horizons. Your eyes will be opened. You’ll appreciate your own life experiences and those of others in a truly unique way. So, think you don’t like calamari? Or, think you won’t like sleeping in a tent outdoors? You’ll never know unless you try. Immerse yourself!
5. Enjoy and Be Happy
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Our last travel tip is a bit unconventional. But, I think it’s the best advice I’ve ever received regarding travel — just enjoy the vacation and be happy. We know that happiness is a choice. In fact, the Huffington Post published an article connecting the act of choosing happiness to scientific evidence of actually feeling happier. So, choosing to enjoy your time on vacation, and allowing yourself to relax, could be the best travel advice we can give you. Simply, be happy! If you have any additional advice you'd like to share, post it in the comment section below!