As a young traveler, you are on your way to a journey of your own choosing. Should you hop across the pond and visit Paris for a culinary experience? Maybe enjoy the sights and sounds of places in your home country? Whatever trip you choose, planning will get you further.
Whether you’re looking to stay safe in the car or are scoping out cheap flights, Cool Wind Media shares some tips on preparing yourself for the road less traveled.
Airlines Are Cheapest on Tuesday
FareCompare explains that airlines typically release sale fares on Tuesday. And as soon as one airline publishes their latest prices, the others are almost always going to follow suit. Book your airfare on Tuesday afternoon between four and seven weeks before you plan to travel and you can save a few dollars. However, if you’ve got an open mind, you can check their last-minute flight availability and snag a seat for a steal.
Don’t Leave Home in a Vehicle That Can’t Roam
If you’re sticking close to home and want to drive yourself to your destination, make sure your car is up for the challenge by being aware of its pros and cons. For instance, your car may have excellent gas mileage, but it could have a hatchback design instead of a separate trunk. Get to know your car before planning for the long journey. Also, be sure your vehicle is ready for the trip by checking such things as air pressure in the tires and all your fluids are topped off. It doesn’t hurt to get an oil change before you leave. No one wants a break-down spoiling what should be a carefree time.
Next, double-check your car insurance to see what’s covered. You may want to get a comprehensive policy because you’ll be covered if your car is stolen or damaged due to weather or vandalism.
Confirm Reservations With a Person
Hotels are pretty good about confirming reservations via email, but things can go wrong. USA Today suggests calling to confirm before arrival and making note of whom you speak with. Bookings can get lost, and hotels often overbook thinking they will have last-minute cancellations. Calling ahead is a must if you’ll arrive later than the usual check-in time.
Acquire Coupons Ahead of Your Trip
Rest areas often have a seemingly unlimited supply of coupons stored neatly along the walls. But these are usually of little value and may be very restricted. Look for discount vouchers online a few weeks ahead of your trip. You will get an idea of the price you should pay for food and attractions but can also determine the best deals on things to do, which makes planning a budget vacation that much easier.
Safety is key to having a great trip, so plan ahead for potential emergencies. If you’re road-tripping, carry an emergency car kit filled with items like a flashlight, jumper cables, reflective triangles, seatbelt cutters, and ponchos. If you’re traveling internationally, have a plan to keep your passport and money safe. Make copies of your passport (leave one copy at home with a friend), have an extra stash of cash, and alert your credit card company that you’re traveling. You also need a plan in case friends or family need to send cash. For example, if you lose your wallet while exploring Rio, you can safely receive a wire transfer through a site like Remitly. Funds can be sent within minutes, and fees can be as low as $5.99 per transaction.
Don’t let a lack of preparation stop you in your tracks. Little steps, such as knowing what your car can (and can’t) handle and calling ahead before you arrive at your hotel, can make the bumps along the way feel like smooth pavement. There are lots of things to learn and plenty of places to explore as you begin adventuring on your own, so pack a bag and start making memories.