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How to Prepare for the Best Vacation Ever

Updated on December 6, 2014

Although it's possible to just do that, a study shown by Friedrich Schiller University Jena that those who travel have better life skills. Dr Julia Zimmermann who carried our the research said that people who are able to fit into different cultures are better at handling new situations and challenges.

6 Ways to Travel Tight (yet still have fun!)

1) Plan Ahead (like duh!)

A spontaneous trip sounds great in theory, but unless you have a back account like Bill Gates, a little pre-planning is required. Sign up to discount sites like Groupon, which regularly features holiday packages at lower prices. The only catch is that you don't know which destination will be an offer, so you can't be fussy about were you want to go. Also, join the mailing lists of sites like Expedia, so you'll be notified once the flight tickets go on sale.

2) Money

Want to take cold heard cash with you? Shop around, as rates change from day to day, and from provider to provider. Watch out for 0% commission adverts, these can often be misleading and should not be taken at face value.

3) Eating Out

Eat away from all those tourist destinations. It might be lovely to enjoy a bowl of spaghetti overlooking the Colosseum, but that view will cost you. Heading a few streets back can halve the price of a meal. Also skip the hotel breakfast if it's not included in your room rate. Go have breakfast on the streets. You'll get great food for 1/3 of the price of the hotel breakfast.

4) Sightseeing

Pick your moment. Take advantage of free days or nights at various European Museums. For instance, you can visit the Sistine Chapel and Vatican for free on the last Sunday of every month. If you're planning on doing a tour, book it locally. You will get a better price & will be better positioned to compare other offerings.

5) Accommodations

Couchsurfing.org is a great way to find a place to stay on vacation, but also try the lesser-known bewelcome.org for options. BeWelcome sticks to he original goal: To let you shre a place to sleep, meet other travelers and help them on their way. Another option would be to do a little work for a roof over your head. Some hostels will let you stay for free if you offer to do a little housekeeping, so you may start practicing your mopping now.

6) Travel Apps

Use a Navfree app to find your way around, while you're overseas. It turns your smartphone into an offline GPS. Use the Trail Wallet app to set a daily budget and track all your expenses while travelling. You can also avoid getting ripped off on tips by visiting tramex.com for its tipping tips.


A meal overlooking the Colosseum

Before Leaving on That Jet Plane

What's The Local Story?

Do a quick read-up online via news portal on the status of the country you're visiting. Back in July 2014, many holiday-goers had to cancel their trips to Thailand due to the political unrest that took place. Be sure to call the airline you've purchased your flight ticket with, to enquire if you're eligible for a refund should this happen to you.

Fit As A Fiddle

Find out about the health requirements necessary for travelers to your holiday destination. Some countries need a World Health Organization-approved certificate that shows you've been appropriately vaccinated. Check with the Ministry of Health about these guidelines, or if there are any disease outbreaks in the country you're visiting.

Is Your Passport Valid?

This is based on my own experience of excitedly turning up at the airport to go to Cambodia, only to find out my passport was 2 weeks of being 6 months valid. Do a triple check on the validity of your passport because it needs to be valid for a minimum of 6 months.

Know Your Visa

Drop an email or call the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of your travel destination, to find about the visa requirements. Sometimes countries pass regulations in a blink of an eye as well, so keep yourself up to date by visiting the Ministry of Foreign affairs site to know about these last minute changes,

Emergency Contact Card

Because it's always good to be prepared for unforeseeable situations, carry a card with the name, phone number and address of your emergency contact inside your passport or handbag.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I haven't had a vacation for four years. Thanks for the suggestions....now all I need is some money. :)