Helpful Tips for Traveling Abroad
The opportunity to travel to your favorite destination is always a treat. You get a nice break from reality, leaving behind work, home responsibilities and - if you're strong-willed-social media. The key to making a vacation relaxing and stress-free is completing a "pre-trip" planning list, and creating a plan for when you arrive at your destination. If you're getting ready for a future trip or want to go on a spontaneous adventure, here are six important tips to remember.
- Use a travel agent or a family member to help with booking flights and reservations. A travel agent has expertise and experience, and they can help you book a trip quickly. If you're not sure where you want to go, they can provide recommendations based on the activities you're interested in. If you'd rather do it yourself, have a knowledgeable family member provide assistance if you're not comfortable booking a trip with a computer. It could make the process go a lot smoother! If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair, indicate it while booking your flight so you will get the proper assistance before boarding. Lastly, while you're booking your hotel, always ask if there is an AARP member discount available.
- Consider taking a cruise. With cruises, all of the attractions come to you, and you'll get the most bang for your buck. You also have the opportunity to see more than one place because cruise ships usually stop at 3 or 4 different locations. If you or a loved one has limited mobility or dietary restrictions, most all ships can provide accommodations. In the end, it's less stressful and you won't have to plan each day yourself.
- Pack the necessities. This is easier said than done, but pack light and only bring items that are essential to your trip. It will make your luggage lighter and help you stay organized. If you are flying and have medication, always pack it in your carry-on bag. Keep valuable jewelry to a minimum so it doesn't get lost or stolen. If you're worried about your wedding ring, go to a department store and buy an imitation ring for $20, and keep yours safe at home.
- Organize and refill any prescriptions you will need on your trip. If you are on medication, make sure to bring enough for your entire trip. Get all of your prescriptions in order, and ask your doctor about the best storage methods and pack extra medication as needed.
- Don't post your absence on social media. Never post that you will be leaving for a vacation on any social media platform! This information can get into the wrong hands, such as burglars, and your home could be put at risk. The only people that need to know you're away are your family and close friends. If you're going to be gone for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to ask a neighbor or family member to periodically check in on your home to grab your mail and turn lights on. Always wait to post your pictures - it will be worth it!
- Have fun and don't push yourself! Traveling is a lot of fun, but it's easy to push yourself too far. Listen to your body when it's telling you that you need a break and relax. You will enjoy the trip much more if you are well-rested as you take everything in and see all the sights! Remember, it's not going anywhere - and it's not worth risking your health over.
Lastly, if you plan on communicating with family members during your trip, talk with your cellphone provider about the international plans they have available. Have a safe and memorable experience this summer!