Travel planning is an integral part of the travel process, and it covers a variety of areas. It is no long just a matter of making sure you have your ticket and your hotel. Oh no. There are at least 100 travel planning tips you can implement to make sure that your trip is planned with minimal stress.
I’ve asked several of my blogger boos to weigh in on their favorite travel tips that give them peace, and it is my hope that this mega post filled with travel planning tips will help you on your next vacation.
Traveling Planning Tips
1.Merry from Merry About Town says: My favourite way to learn about a new place I’m visiting is with a walking food tour. You get a bit of history, see a bit of the city and they feed you!
2.Merry has another tip for you: Do a bit of recon work on restaurants before you leave. You might not use it but nothing is worse than being on vacation with a hangry family and have no idea where to eat.
4.Clarissa Laskey from Passports and Parenting sets up a dedicated travel fund for her husband and their kids. That way you can budget and pay for travel without feeling like it’s unaffordable.
5.Virginia Duan is a Mandarin Mama who knows a thing or two about kids. Her tip? “Make sure your kids understand how to navigate a city. Since my kids are born and bred in the sprawl of an American suburb, they are not used to the density of people, the pace of the movement, and the rules of city life.”
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7. Traveling planning tips aren’t just for humans. Make sure you get your pet baby checked out at your veterinarian and given the green light for your trip.
8. If you will be traveling internationally with a pet, make sure you contact the embassy of the country you are visiting to make sure you are meeting all of the requirements for entry. Find more helpful traveling with your pet tips here.
9. Whatsapp is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your family and friends while you are traveling. It’s free and you can talk, text, video chat, and send pics with ease. It’s available for iPhone and Android users.
10. If you plan on flying one way into a country, make sure that is allowed. Many countries require proof of a return ticket upon arrival.
11. Remember, foreign coins cannot be exchanged for your currency when you return home. Please use up all coins or change them to paper money before you leave.
12. The first floor in many parts of the world is the equivalent of the American 2nd floor. Many countries refer to what Americans call the first floor as the ground floor. Make sense?
13. If you’re taking a cruise and you have to fly to your departure port, please do NOT schedule your flight to arrive on the day your cruise sails. You must factor in delays (weather, maintenance, etc.) that could hinder you getting to your port on time. Fly in the day before and get a hotel room, which will ease your stress.
14. When traveling to another country, you will need an adapter for your electronics.
15. Make sure to find out where your embassy is in the country you’re visiting. You never know what may happen and the embassy can help you in case of emergency.
How To Have The Best Solo Travel Experience
I travel solo often and have been for years. You must be a bit more diligent when you are traveling by yourself because you may stand out. Of course, you shouldn’t be scared to venture on a trip by yourself, but you do need to be cautious. Find out more of my expert travel solo tips here
Solo Travel Experience Tips
16. You must have travel insurance, this is something that should be non-negotiable. Travel life insurance is crucial, and not something any traveler should travel without.
Travel insurance isn’t expensive and it’s a necessary tool to purchase before you take your trip. What would happen if you were seriously injured or hurt and had to go to the hospital? Isn’t it better to know you have an insurance plan that can support you in case of emergency?
Tomiko from Passports and Grub has several solo travel tips for you.
Flying With a Toddler
25 .Mary Ware When flying with a toddler, give yourself breathing room. One morning and one afternoon activity or spot a day is more than enough, and be flexible.
Sleep and naps may not happen despite best efforts, and sometimes a trip to a nearby park or some down time in the hotel can work wonders in helping everyone feel refreshed!
26. Kia Chambers recommends: If you are flying with a toddler, always have something for them to do especially if you’re going to be in the car for a while. Kids of all ages appreciate a kids friendly playlist or fun games like road trip bingo.
28. Kendra Loven Darr Use Google maps to navigate public transportation (I do this all the time in NYC).
29. Lisa DiDomenico Cameron Packing tip for traveling with kids: Pack clothes by outfit and put them in storage bags. This method saves room in the suitcase and really helps shave off some valuable time on our mornings. Lisa says, “We know exactly what the kids will wear each day, so we can head in a timely manner. Grab the bag and get them dressed or kids can easily do it themselves. I also bring a box of storage bags when traveling for wet items, snacks, toys, sitting on etc.”
30. Have you tried taking a carry on only and not pack a checked bag? Why not give it a try?
31. Packing bubble wrap will help you for those items you didn’t think you would buy, but are fragile and you need to protect them. It is not readily available in all countries and it’s good to keep some in your bag.
32. What do you do with plastic bags from all of your purchases? Save them until you are ready to leave, as you will more than likely need them to pack a few things.
33. Pack an outfit in your carry-on bag if you are checking a bag. In case your bag gets lost, you will have an outfit to wear in your destination (make sure to add undies).
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35. Your car and house keys (or any keys for that matter) should not be in your checked bag. Ever.
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38. If you have to sit on your suitcase to close it, you have too many clothes. If your bag is too full, it is easier for it to be destroyed by the baggage handlers (did you know I am a baggage handler for a major airline?).
39. To minimize what you pack, stay in the same color family. You can mix and match clothes easier and it makes it doing laundry while traveling a breeze.
40. Your medication does not belong in your checked bags. Why? What happens if your checked bag doesn’t make it to your final destination? Your medicine should always be in your carry on bags.
41 .Kuleen Lashley from Midlife Mess says:Never buy black luggage.
This is excellent advice, as black bags are the most common and the hardest to distinguish from other black bags. Do yourself a favor and buy another color, or make sure to add something to your bag to distinguish it from the other black bags.
42. Checking a bag? Take a picture of it and if it gets lost, you can know exactly what your suitcase looks like (you won’t believe how many people forget the details about their suitcase).
43. When checking your bag, make sure you bag tag has the correct destination.
International Travel With Kids
44. Get paper maps of the cities you will be visiting and let your kids navigate. This can help them to feel like they are in charge.
45. When flying with young children, pack suckers to give them during take off to help ease the pressure in their ears.
46. Darcy from Darcy and Brian is the queen of games! She advises to keep kids occupied during long trips, pack brand new activity books and small toys and bring them out as needed. They will be excited and distracted.
Darcy travel with her kids and has essential info on how games can be used on trips. Read about how she does it here.
48. Traveling internationally with kids can be also easier if you can pack some toys that don’t make noise. Also, make sure your kids have headphones. Get some kids friendly headphones here.
49. Tiffany from This Bliss Life has a great tip for international travel with kids. She advises to Invest in a packable booster seat (like mifold) when traveling with toddlers. Practice the installation so you can be a pro at it before going on your trip.
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This is an extremely practical tip because many countries around the world do not have booster seats, and this is something you can use on all types of public transportation while traveling. Keep your child safe while traveling and get yours here.
51. Becca Robins from Love Our Crazy Life knows that when planning a family vacation, it’s important to find one thing that will interest each person to experience. Maybe that is specific rides at a theme park, or specific attractions in a city, but having at least one activity focused on each person’s interest will help make sure everyone has a great time.
52. When flying international with kids, make sure to have all necessary documentation needed to enter another country. Many countries require more than a valid passport.
Layover travel tips
55. If you have a long layover and don’t want to stay in the airport, book yourself a guided tour. Many tour companies will come and pick you up from the airport, give you a wonderful tour and then bring you back to the airport. These are a few things I do when I have a long layover.
56. If possible, use a lounge, book a room at a hotel or use Minute Suites. Being able to relax between flights is always a welcomed treat. You can access many lounges with Priority Pass, your American Express Platinum card or your qualifying credit card.
Travel safety tips
57. Do not walk around with your passport. Take a copy of your passport and leave your passport in your hotel/apartment rental.
58. There is nothing wrong with a fancy purse, but walking around a foreign city dripping in the latest name brand may send off the wrong message. As a solo traveler, you never want to make yourself an obvious target. By announcing to locals you have money (which carrying a designer bag can say) isn’t the smart move.
59. Do not walk around with your laptop in your hand. Many people do this while traveling, and it’s not smart. There is no need to advertise your devices, especially if you are in a 3rd world country.
60. Do NOT fall asleep with your phone/device in your hand. You can zip it up in your jacket or put it in your pocket.
61. Do not put your bag in the chair across from you at a restaurant. Keep it looped through your arm, or or right next to you. Do not make it easy for someone to grab it and run.
62. When you get up to go to the bathroom, make sure your phone is with you. Do not leave it on your seat.
63. Keep your purse under the seat in front of you and make sure it’s zipped up.
64. Do not store your electronics in the seat pocket in front of you. I can’t tell you how many cell phones and tables get left in those pockets.
65. No one but you needs to see all of the cash you have in your wallet. Do not show your money when you are about to purchase something. Take out your money discretely so as not to bring unwanted attention to yourself.
66. If you are traveling and a group of kids come up and all start talking to you at the same time, just be cautious. They may be trying to pick your pockets.
67. Learn a few of the laws of the country you will be visiting. Unless you have diplomatic immunity, you are subject to the rules of the country you are visiting.
68. Bandaids aren’t always readily available in other countries. Pack a few with you, just in case.
69. If you love to drink, that’s totally your business. However, please make sure to be smart about it. Don’t leave your glass/bottle anywhere unattended and do not get so drunk you don’t know what’s going on around you.
70. Do NOT take public transportation if you are drunk and do not walk home. Get a taxi or a shared ride service.
71. When traveling, keep a a large bill in your shoe of local currency. If something happens, you will have extra money.
Healthy Travel Tips
72. If you have a tendency to get ill while traveling and like to eat fruit, think about only eating fruit with a thick skin. Bananas and oranges are less likely to be contaminated with unclean water than apples and grapes.
73. If you’re going to a country where it’s not safe for you to drink the water, don’t get your drink with ice.
74. Do you have dietary restrictions? Please let your airline know at least 24 hours in advance.
75. Drinking water while traveling is crucial for your body. Make sure you are staying hydrated
76. A pharmacy in a foreign country can be one of your best resources. You can get prescription strength meds for a fraction of the cost.
Airplane Travel Tips
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78. Traveling with someone? Bring a deck of cards and play cards like you did when you were a kid.
79. If traveling on a long flight, bring a change of clothes if you want to get more comfortable. This is one that allows you to be comfy in your seat.
80. When you exit the bathroom on a plane, please close the bathroom door. People are sitting near that door and they do not need to be privy to what you have just done.
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82. There is no need to shout while you are on a plane. You can speak at a normal level and you will be heard by the person sitting next to you.
83. Tap lightly on the screen in front of you, there is probably someone sitting there. Use your knuckle (lightly please) to touch the screen.
84. Keep your temper in check and be respectful to the flight attendants. They have the power to kick you off of the plane.
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86. Before you recline your seat, please give the person behind you a heads up. Reclining your seat is a personal choice, but do you think it’s rude?
87. If at all possible, do not pull on the seat in front of you when you are getting up. That completely disturbs the person sitting in that seat.
88. Check under your seat to make sure your life vest is there. There are some people who take them as a novelty item when they get off of the plane.
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Tips for staying clean while traveling
90. Airplanes are rarely cleaned thoroughly so it’s necessary to wipe down your seat and tray table with disinfectant wipes.
91. I travel with Nice Seats and have been for years. They are the coolest way to protect yourself from nasty plane seat germs. If you use code TRAVELGURU, you will get 25% off! Find your preferred style today!
92. Airplane blankets are rarely washed so make sure to bring your own.
93. Please don’t walk barefoot on a plane. Plane floors are almost never cleaned, so keep your shoes on or be sure to wear socks.
Here are a few miscellaneous travel tips for you:
94. Most rental cars outside of The USA are manual (stick shift). Make sure to specify you would like an automatic if a stick shift doesn’t work for you.
95. In many countries, it is normal for animals to be in the kitchen in restaurants. It is their custom, do not be alarmed.
Many grocery stores outside of The USA will not bag your groceries for you.
96. Getting a pedicure/your nails done can be extremely expensive in some countries, so it’s best to get that done before you leave on vacation.
97. Want to travel but short on cash? Try renting a room in someone’s home. I have done that several times and every experience has been wonderful. Airbnb is usually my go-to. Use this code and get a discount on your first stay.
98. Soda refills is typically a North American thing. Keep that in mind when you order sodas while traveling.
99. Do you watch DVD’s? If you buy them while traveling in another country, make sure the DVD is compatible with your DVD player. All DVD’s have a numbered region, and The United States is region 1.
100. Check the weather before you travel, even if your destination is known for a particular type of weather. You need to be prepared in case you need to pack clothes you didn’t expect to need to wear.
And one extra tip!
101. Before you check out of your hotel room, pull back the sheets and look under the beds to make sure nothing has been left behind.
WHEW! What did you think of the 100 travel planning tips? I hope you found value in what was shared, and please come and be social with me! I’d love a like on my Facebook Fan Page, a follow on Instagram, and of course, you can join my mailing list and get info that I don’t share on social media. My exclusive 10 day Johannesburg, South Africa trip is going to be offered to my mailing list first, and once the 10 spots are gone, that’s it!
Where are your go-to travel planning tips?