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As summer approaches, many thoughts come to mind, including warm weather in several locations, time off for children from school demands, flip-flops, swimming pools, cookouts and of course, that much needed vacation you’ve been waiting for.
But exactly when is the best time to travel? And when taking a vacation how do you pack appropriately to make the most of your getaway, whether it’s a tour around Europe or a relaxing week at the beach?
While many people think that the best time to travel is during the summer, that isn’t always the correct answer, because in warm destinations it is high season, and prices for air fare and hotel bookings are spiked.
According to the book, “Shoulder Season: Your Perfect Vacation,” experts recommend going on vacation during the ‘Shoulder Season,’ which is “the time between the high-season and the off-season when lodging and travel expenses are moderate and the weather is manageable.”
In addition to the shoulder season, there are several other factors to consider when determining what time of year to travel, with two of the major variables including squeezing a vacation around your work schedule and if children are involved, then their school schedule. And even if your only option is to travel during the summer, there are still ways to get around the drawbacks that could make your vacation less than you anticipated.
The book, written by financial journalist and editor, Amy Fontinelle, recommends three main pieces of advice while planning your vacation:
So, once you have decided on where to go and what you are going to do, the next thing you need to do is pack the things that you think will be the most needed for your destination.
Many people just throw everything they want into their suitcase thinking they will be able to make use of it or wear it at some point in the trip. But with the TSA cracking down on products that can pass security, and airlines limiting the number of carry-on bags and adding fees for bags that weigh over a certain limit, it’s become increasingly important to pack smart.
Rick Steves, author of “Packing Light and Traveling Smart” gives out easy and useful tips that can make your vacation much more enjoyable. Steves recommends to limit yourself to only one carry-on bag that weighs less than twenty pounds. While that must seem impossible, keep in mind that you will be lugging or carrying this luggage around a lot, both while traveling to and from your destination.
“When you carry your own luggage, it’s less likely to get lost, broken, or stolen (some airline employees have stolen items from checked luggage). Quick, last-minute changes in flight plans become simpler. A small bag sits on your lap or under your seat on the bus, taxi, and airplane. You don’t have to worry about it, and, when you arrive, you can hit the ground running.”
Plus, with carrying your own bag, you are bound to avoid the airline fees of checking your bag. Also, leave the liquids and gels at home. Instead, opt for travel size liquids that are more compact and won’t be thrown away when passing through security.
Always leave room in your bag when leaving for your destination. You never know what you are going to find or pick up as a souvenir. Considering most of what you pack will be clothing, consider packing less items and wearing them more than once, whether you pick an article of clothing for a night out on the town or for hiking in the woods.
In order to receive more advice on traveling smart, check out the above books or check out the book, “5 Hidden Fees to Watch for on Vacation.” Lastly check out, www.JetSetter.com, which is an excellent site that is continually featuring packaged deals and discounts for every type of vacation you could imagine.
With these few tips, you are well on your way to an enjoyable vacation. Happy travels!