This blog post was updated on October 10, 2018.
You’ve booked it – the vacation of your dreams. Whether it’s over to Spain for a week exploring Barcelona or Africa for a safari, or even just a quick plane ride away, you’re ready to have that perfect vacation.
But even after you’ve secured cheap flights, there are a lot of things at play which will either enhance or spoil your time out of the office.
If traveling internationally, make sure your passport doesn’t expire in the next six months. Countries like Greece are notorious for denying entry to foreigners if their passport expires within six months from the date of entry. Do yourself a favor and renew your passport before you take the trip.
While you could get lucky, it isn’t worth sacrificing an entire vacation by not renewing your passport.
Be aware of visas needed to enter a country. Not all countries will just stamp your passport to enter. Some countries require formal invitations before they will grant a visa, and some require you to mail or drop your passport at an embassy for them to drop in the visa. Allow ample time for visas.
Don’t plan your entire trip from a guide book. Guide books are great – they provide valuable tips and recommendations that can certainly help shape your adventure. But, they aren’t the end all, be all. Ask locals for places to visit, too. It helps get you away from all of the tourist attractions and into the heart of a new place.
Don’t cram too much in to one day. Or one week. Running yourself ragged with a tight schedule of museums, churches, parks and the like can suck the enjoyment out of a place. Give yourself time to enjoy that cup of coffee at a café, or the view from the beach.
Visit your doctor before you leave. More so for international travel, it is important to pay a visit to your doctor before you leave the country. Your doc can advise you on what vaccinations, if any, are needed, and make sure you have ample time to get the doses recommended. He or she can also give you a general prescription for illness once you are on the road. Your health is always the most imporant thing, so be sure to check out all of the resources for protecting your health before you hit the road.
“Fun at the Airport,” Flickr photo credit: lunchtimemama