Travel Tips
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10 Tips for Your Best Vacation Ever

You’ve planned. You’ve dreamed. And now it’s getting close. Your next vacation. Eeeek! But how do you make this trip memorable? And with as little stress as possible? Well, read on for my top 10 tips to make this trip your best vacation ever.

1. Customize Your Luggage

Picture this: you have a black suitcase and you’re getting off a flight with 180 new friends, most of which also have black suitcases. So maybe your new friends have been flying all day, they’re groggy and just want to get home. How easy would it be for them to grab your black suitcase instead of theirs? I’ve seen it over and over again, where people grab the wrong suitcase off the baggage carousel. And lost luggage does not make for your best vacation ever.

Most of the time the person realizes it and puts the wrong suitcase back on the carousel. But I have seen where one traveler approached another who had mistakenly taken his luggage and had to point it out. Good thing that guy was observant, or his luggage would have been gone!

These days fun luggage is a way to express your personality. So get something fun and unique! If you already have pretty generic luggage and don’t want to buy new, tie a colorful ribbon on the handle. Luggage tags can sometimes fall off, but a unique ribbon that’s tied on tight can last for years! You’ll always be able to spot yours on the carousel, and it’s less likely that another traveler will mistake it for theirs.

2. Don’t over pack

We’ve all been there, right? At the end of your trip, as you’re packing to go home, you realize you packed twice as much as you actually needed. So skip the hassle! Figure out your plans and pack just what you need. And just be flexible at your destination when things change.

Think about it this way: you’ll spend less time on your trip packing to come back home if you don’t take as much in the first place. So you’ll get to enjoy more of your vacation instead of keeping track of extra stuff. If you’re concerned about a variety of activities and weather, pack layers! If you’ve got a longer trip, don’t hesitate to plan to wash a few things. Hotels have that service for a reason!

Friends, I’ll just say it: shoes. Let’s address this one! They take up way too much room in your bag. Find a comfy shoe that works for a variety of activities, and a cute pair for everything else. I know this one is hard, but shoes take up a bunch of space so really consider what you’re taking.

3. Check the weather before you go

Ok I’ve totally done this more than once and it really drags down a vacation! I was heading to a destination that I thought for sure would be warm. I’d seen pics before and made assumptions. BUT they had an unseasonably cool weather pattern and I seriously packed the wrong gear.

Fortunately, I packed a few layers and was able to make it work. I could have gone shopping and bought a few items to get me through, but I was too busy exploring and taking in the sights!

So don’t forget to check the weather and pack accordingly to make this trip your best vacation ever.

4. Don’t pass a good deal on accommodations

Whether you’re eyeing an awesome AirB&B or an amazing hotel with a killer view, if you see a good price, snag it! It’s easy to get sucked into research paralysis where you just want to keep looking to find some thing better. And what happens? The deal is gone.

It’s happened to me twice, just this year. Lesson: don’t hesitate – just book it!

best vacation ever path in Spain
Photo credit: Unsplash

5. Make it your best vacation ever: head off the beaten path

Exploring somewhere new is truly one of the most special things about traveling. But please, don’t just do the expected touristy stuff. Make this your best vacation ever by heading off the beaten path and finding your own adventure. Ask locals and be specific in how you ask. If you’re getting info from the front desk of a hotel, they’re probably going to recommend things the tourists often want to see and do. So try asking a local what they do for fun. Try out the Uber driver, waitress or any other local you come in contact with.

6. Don’t forget to let your credit card company know you’re traveling

Banks and credit card companies have different rules built into their cards for fraud prevention. So check with your card company and see what you need to do to be sure your card isn’t restricted at your destination. You should be able to call them or submit a form online to request access. Don’t forget any layover cities, too!

7. Say no to the extra rental car insurance (probably)

If you have full coverage insurance on your vehicle that you drive back home, your policy likely includes rental cars, especially if you’re within the U.S. Save some money on vacation! Make sure to contact your insurance company before your trip so you know the details. And if you decline the insurance, the rental car company may ask to see a copy of your insurance for their vehicle.

8. Don’t forget to enjoy the moment

This is your best vacation ever, so you’ll want a picture or two (or more). Take a photo so you can look back and remember the moment, but don’t spend so much time doing it you’ve lost the experience. Once while hiking my husband and I witnessed other hikers that made it to the top of the lookout, spent way too much time taking the perfect Instagram photo and headed back down the path. Now maybe that’s what they were there to do, but not us! We took a photo for memories, then enjoyed the view at the top for as long as our hearts were content.

9. Compromise on activities

You’ve worked hard to get to your destination. Whether you’ve scrimped and saved to get to go or you’ve been waiting a long time, make sure you enjoy it!  Research, planning and communicating in advance will help each person understand the desires of the rest of the group. So it will be easier to either compromise on an activity, or split ways for a part of the trip. That way each person or group fully enjoys the trip.

So whether you’re on a girls’ trip, a vacation with your spouse or an extended family trip, compromises will need to happen. Or, at the very least, each party should be willing to go separate ways if there’s not a group consensus.

10. Eat well, exercise and drink plenty of water

Being away from your home and routine can be challenging. Flying is especially dehydrating. Bring a reusable water bottle on your trip so you can always keep hydrated. Try new foods and plan new exercise activities at your destination to stay on track. Keep active and work out, even though you’re on vacation. Your body will feel better for keeping with it.

Above all, relax and go with the flow on your vacation! Try your absolute best to stay calm and not get stressed out. After all, you are going on your best vacation ever! So where will it be, friend? Comment below! 🙂

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20 Responses

  1. Love it! I definitely have forgotten to check the weather before and ended up in the Seattle heat with sweaters and leggings!

    1. Ugh, isn’t that the worst? But seriously I ALWAYS check it from now on…I’m sure you do to! Thanks for stopping by today.

  2. Loved these tips! Just last year I forgot to check the weather in Sri Lanka before booking my flight… and it turned out they were just facing the worse monsoon in 20 years or so! I had to redirect my flight to India.

    1. Oh man! So glad you’re safe, and that the weather there was great! 😉

  3. Hey Nikki!
    I just found your blog through the 10K challenge, and I’m so glad I did! I’m loving your content, and have subscribed to your emails! I love to travel, but I’ll admit, I’m horrible at saving for trips! I look forward to fixing that, and hope reading your posts will help! 🙂

    1. Thanks Keith for your compliments! Being an expert saver is how I can afford to travel so much. Hope the tips and tricks will help you, too! Thanks for stopping by the blog today. 🙂

  4. Great tips! I’m the worst at paying attention to the weather and that’s resulted in some less-than-ideal outfits (like jeans in the middle of a heatwave). I need to be better about that!

    1. Thank Meg! I agree – packing the wrong stuff is the worst! It really makes a trip better when you’ve got all the right gear.

  5. Great tips and love your writing style! I don’t know why I never considered a reusable bottle as in some locations there are places to fill up

    1. Thanks Ruth! It saves so much money carrying a reusable bottle. Better for the environment, too. 🙂

  6. Excellent tips! Checking the weather and drinking water are especially valuable!

    1. Oh Carlyn it’s so hard! Just lay everything out that want to take, then remove items from you pile that might be duplicates. Ask yourself if you’d miss it if you didn’t have it on your trip, or if you could use something else that you’re taking in it’s place. Good luck!

  7. All great tips! I need to invest in some new luggage, as mine is boring brown and years old. ☺️

    1. Thanks Laura! I love that our luggage is unique, we can always spot quickly it when we check bags. Have fun shopping! 🙂

  8. I love these tips! Such amazing information to consider before taking a vacation! Thanks for sharing!

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