Ok, it’s all finally coming together. The time off from work has been booked, you have the tickets in your hand, the dates are set, the tours are booked, the hotels/accommodations are booked, you have enough cash banked and on-hand for the trip, you packed everything and anything you could think of that would be vitally important on this trip, and on top of that, you finally get to meet Billy Boyd…, or whatever the reason may be for your adventure.
Many people invest a lot of time and energy into their dream holiday, or even just a quick weekend in Vegas. And we've all heard the stories from others on what to see and what to do when we get to our destination; going to New York: Empire State Building; Vegas: Pick a casino and have fun; London, England: Buckingham Palace and get out to Stonehenge somehow; Cairo, Egypt: Sphinx and pyramids; most of it is pretty common knowledge on that front not to mention all the places you want to do on your trip besides the obvious. However, no matter how well we lay the foundation, something is bound to crack. Sometimes we are able to recoup before anything disastrous happens (nothing like a 3 hour detour to pick up the kid you forgot at the gas station); other times, it costs us something more precious than the time and energy of planning the vacation itself: being able to sit back and relax and enjoy the trip with no regrets,… that and MONEY!
So what are some of the ways that you can avoid having to pay extra money and enjoy your vacation? Here is a quick list we came up with so that you can have smooth sailing ahead.
10 Trying to cram EVERYTHING into ONE trip.
9 Not arriving at the airport early enough.
Ok. Back in the days of yore, yes you could pretty much wait until LITERALLY the last minute, and then go through to your flight, flight leaves on time, everyone is happy; yay. However, that being said, if you are one of those “last minute” people and you think you are so important that the plane will just magically wait for you, even up to an hour so that you can arrive in your own time…, I want to take the time to welcome you from out under the rock that you have been living under and to a land we like to call “Reality” and you are not any form of God that we know of, cause we aint' waitin’. And even if you are a Rock God, dude, you have your own plane; USE IT.
8 Losing your cool with Airport Security and Personnel.
Please remember when you are leaving for a trip that is three days and you are coming back on the fourth day, that you are not MOVING, and thus you do not need to pack over 12 pairs of shoes. Not only that, but think about it for one second. You pack 12 suitcases for a three day trip, and you have told yourself you will only buy maybe one or two little things. Really? Saying something like that is like sending a fashion college student to a TJ Maxx and telling them they can’t spend any money, and that’s the day that they find the Christian Dior shoes that were $450.00, on final clearance for $70.00, and it’s their size. Whether you like it or not…, they are leaving with those shoes.
6 Not doing your homework!
You are going to Paris! Huzzah and congrats! Now:
-When are you going (time of year: fall, summer, etc)?
-Where are you staying?
-How close are you to the places you want to see?
-Based on where you are, should you travel by foot, taxi, train, metro, all the above, none of the above?
-Where is the closest market to where you are? And if you can’t cook where you are staying, do you know where the cheapest restaurants to eat are near your hotel?
5 Using a credit card to withdraw cash.
So you went on a bit of a shopping spree and spent a bit more than you had planned for…, just like almost everyone else on the planet who goes on holiday. However, when you got to hail a cab, you have no money to pay the cab driver with, and he doesn't accept credit. Or, you get hit BY the cab and now you need to stay in the hospital for longer than you had planned on staying as now you are in a hospital. And you have no cash. Now what?
4 Inviting the WRONG person to come with you on the trip.
Some people care to fly solo on trips as that way they can dictate what they want to do, when they want to do it, where they want to do it and then actually do it. However, it can be kinda crappy when you want someone you trust to take a picture for you who isn’t gonna jack your phone (or be that person to say, “Excuse me…, can you take this picture of us?” and spend the next 10 minutes getting the perfect shot).
3 Cancelling the Credit Card that is tied to your reservations.
2 Incorrectly spelling the name of who you are booking the ticket for.
1 Assuming your passport is valid UNTIL it expires.
EPIC FAIL does not even begin to describe how horrible this assumption is. Never, ever believe that your passport is valid until it expires especially if you are travelling internationally. And especially if your passport is going to expire within a day of you coming back from your trip. What if there are unforeseen circumstances where you CAN’T get back in time? It’s not worth the risk. That and there are countries that won’t even let you IN the country if your passport is near the expiration. So it’s not worth going through the line at check-in, the line at security, the line for the gate, the line to get on the plane, the line to get off the plane, and the line through customs only to be told no dice and be sent on the next flight back to your country of origin. Good rule of thumb is no less than six months, BUT you should always check with your Passport Registry office and just ask. It can take you an hour to get an answer on the phone but it’s not worth the risk of being sent back home and not even making it on the plane because somebody didn't do their homework. And it wasn't Airport Security or anyone else in the airport. Just an FYI.
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