5 Things You Should Do Before Every Vacation

by Joanna E
5 Things You Should Do Before Every Vacation
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I just came back from a trip to Greece booked from a glitch fare and had the best time ever. Some of my vacations have been spontaneous like my birthday trip to Barbados, but I try my best to organize each vacation to avoid any kind of confusion. If you’re not sure of what things to do before vacation, read more.

Set a Budget

After budgeting your general expenses (rent/mortgage, utility bills, credit cards etc), set aside the amount of money you’d like to bring for your trip. Bring enough money for food, transportation, shopping and whatever else you may need to enjoy your stay. You can have cash on hand and bring a credit or debit card just in case; it’s never a bad idea to bring more than what you have since unexpected fees pop up all the time.

Notify Your Bank or Credit Card Company

Part of vacationing is spending money. Making multiple transactions based on the location and/or price may cause your account to be flagged. You should call the bank ahead of time to avoid these transactions from being declined.

Bring Identification

Bring your state ID, Green card, passport card or driver’s license if you’re traveling domestically and a passport book if you’re traveling internationally. It’s pretty much a one-off situation, but it is possible to get arrested for not having identification; you can keep your passport in a hotel safe and walk with your regular ID when you get there.

Have a Place to Stay

Services like Hotel Tonight exist, but it’s always best to know where you’re staying before going on vacation. While in Athens my cousin and I stayed at the Athens Atrium Hotel about a 10-minute drive from the city center. When picking lodging areas, see what amenities are offered for bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, hostels or hotels to make sure it fits your budget and lifestyle. You should also research the neighborhood to make sure it’s safe.

 Athens Atrium hotel

Arrange for Transportation

No matter what, you should always make sure to know how you’re getting around. We used a round trip cab service for airport transfers and got around the city via Uber. If you’re visiting friends or family, communicate times for transportation pickups or drop-offs so you’re in and out without any issues.

Plan Activities

What’s the sense of going on vacation when you’re sitting around doing nothing? Check to see what activities are offered via the city’s tourism board or sites like Trip Advisor or Viator. For both sites, you are able to view previous traveler’s reviews. One thing I love about both services is they give sample itineraries no matter the length of stay. Trip Advisor also gives options for free and paid “things to do”, hotel and restaurant suggestions.

5 Things You Should Do Before Every Vacation

What are some other things to do before vacation?

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Kemkem September 19, 2016 - 8:56 AM

I love glitch fares! 🙂 . How cool you got one for Greece. The hubby and l want to go back, having been but separately. All good points you have, especially notifying the bank. It sucks to get cut off when you are away from home.

Latoya September 19, 2016 - 8:53 PM

Great advice! I’d just make sure that I left no hints of traveling out of town on my FB timeline too!

Anitra | The Mom on the Move September 19, 2016 - 9:41 PM

Yes! This list is exactly how I go through preparing for our family trips. We just returned from St. Louis for our #familyfuntime and had a ball because we took all these steps before we got there.

Tamika September 19, 2016 - 11:01 PM

A great list! I always forget to notify by bank,smh. Not thia year though!

Nikka Shae September 20, 2016 - 1:05 AM

Great advice and I’m so jealous you went to Greece. Santorini is on my bucket list.

Keisha September 20, 2016 - 6:39 AM

I will never skip number 2 and 5 again. Chase had me nearly SOL in Colombia by declining all of my charges. It resulted in an expensive call to them to get the block lifted. Ugh, now you can notify them online. My first solo trip, I planned nothing. I thought I’d be content just chilling. Boy was I wrong. From then on, I had an itinerary for every locale, even if I ended up skipping stuff it was planned.

Donna Shana September 20, 2016 - 12:35 PM

Yep! I agree. I love to get our excursions set up, my ID was a challenge, had to get everything switched to my married name, full price for my passport! But all worth it.

Tiffany H September 20, 2016 - 6:25 PM

I have yet to actually book a glitch fare! One of these days, I hope to do so! I have heard of hotel tonight and I would like to think of myself as adventurous, but I at least have to book my lodging ahead of time. I sometimes forget to notify my bank when traveling internationally, so glad nothing has happened. Best part of trips are planning excursions or things to do.

Ramona September 20, 2016 - 8:57 PM

A glitch fare. That’s awesome! I’d love to go to Greece! Your tips are spot-on. Great post.

Tia September 20, 2016 - 9:47 PM

Thanks for the tips! Lately, I haven’t had to call my credit card company. As long as I use the same card to book my flight and/or hotel, Amex will already know that I am traveling. At first, it was creepy, but now I love that they put my charges together and know when I’ll be gone.

Mimi Green September 21, 2016 - 2:55 AM

This reminds me, I need to call the bank and let them know I’m traveling this week. I’ve planned some activities for us to do and I’m looking forward to the travel.

Joanna E September 24, 2016 - 6:50 PM

Awesome! Enjoy your trip.

ty September 21, 2016 - 3:04 AM

Great tips. In will be planning a girls trip soon, so these tips are right on time.

Elle Cole September 21, 2016 - 6:24 AM

Great advice. Banks like Bank of America are very quick to put a hold on your credit card if you don’t notify them first.

Joanna E September 24, 2016 - 6:50 PM

HSBC is the chief of putting your account on lock

T. Espinoza October 28, 2016 - 8:42 AM

OMG! Yes to tip #2! I recently went to Atlanta aan the bank suspended my husbands card because the charges were out of state. Great tips!


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