Going on a vacation is one of the best feelings in the world. Not only do you get to take time off from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, but you get to see a new place, try some new food and have some unforgettable experiences.
But before you actually arrive at your destination, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got everything prepared and ready. Below are some necessary tips for next big vacation.
Buying the Tickets
Many people offer various pieces of advice on when the best time to buy a ticket is. According to the flight reservation website Skyscanner, the best time to buy a ticket is at 5 AM on a Tuesday.
Tuesdays are already lowest air traffic days of the week and it makes it even better that it’s the best time to buy the ticket.
If you’re going to be flying domestic, you should typically purchase your tickets about 2-4 weeks in advance. If you’re going somewhere international and trying to get off the grid, the best time to buy your tickets is about 5-6 months in advance. Planning a half year out may not always be possible, but it’s best to get those international tickets sooner rather than later.
If you are someone who likes to browse flights for awhile before making a purchase, be sure to browse in incognito mode. Incognito mode doesn’t save your browsing history or cookies, so every time you look at the flight website it’s like you’re looking at it for the first time.
Many websites will track your progress and will notice that you keep looking at that flight from New York City to Paris. If you keep returning, you’ll notice the prices will begin to climb and climb.
On Google Chrome, you can access incognito mode by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N.
A decade ago, a checked bag was usually included in the price of your ticket. Now, many airlines are offering economy options for your international flight. If you are bringing a bag, double check and make sure your ticket includes the price of a bag or you have selected the right option. Purchasing space for you bag, either after buying the ticket or at the airport, is going to be more expensive than buying it in the moment.
The Red Tape
If you’re going international, you’re going to want to double check if you need a visa or not. Airlines will let you purchase tickets without having purchased a tourist visa and you may not notice your mistake until you’re at the airport. Look at your destination and see if one is required.
In addition, many countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months past your arrival date. So if you are landing in Paris on March 1st, your passport will need to be valid until at least September 1st of that same year.
Booking a Place
When you’re looking for accommodation, you’ll want to follow the same trick you used above: putting your browser in incognito mode. If you’re regularly visiting a site looking for the best deal, the prices will start to gradually increase when they see you’re a repeat visitor.
Your airline may or flight website may offer special deals if you book your flight and hotel together. These deals can usually save you some cash, so make sure and check out the locations to see if they’re in an ideal part of town.
There are tons of “small tips”, but here are the absolute essentials.
Put a travel warning on all your cards, even if you’re going domestic.
Do some research on the money situation: is it mainly cash or are cards accepted?
What is your phone plan if you’re going international? Are you going through your local carrier or purchasing a SIM card when you arrive?
Buy a GOOD adapter and one that has a USB plug. You don’t want to mess around when it comes to your electronics.
Download some offline maps with your phone’s map application. You don’t need data to use the GPS feature on your phone.
Learn some of the local language and customs. You’d be surprised, but even your elementary bumbling French will be welcomed by the locals.