By Terri Lively
The snow is just beginning to melt and already I am looking forward to my summer vacation. But vacations are a lot more fun if you make sure to research all the best travel and leisure spots and all the best all inclusive vacations. And above all else, make sure that you don’t make the following summer travel mistakes this year.
Mistake #1: Letting a cheap vacation leave you feeling cheap. Just because you are getting a bargain doesn’t mean you need to give up service or comforts. If a travel and leisure deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. But if you do your due diligence and discover a reasonable bargain, make sure that you look up what other travellers had to say about their experience. Some great sites include minitime.com, online-travel-sites-review.toptenreviews.com and of course tripadvisor.com.
Mistake #2: Overpacking. The whole point of vacation is to get away from it all – not to bring it all with you. Packing light is an important part of making a summer vacation successful. Bring things that are versatile. Also, stick to one color palette, like black and white or navy and brown. You will be able to pack fewer accessories and will have a better chance of using things more than once. If you are flying, be sure to pack your bathing suits in your carry-on luggage. This gives you the best chance to make the most of your first day at the resort if you arrive early and your room isn’t quite ready yet.
Mistake #3: Depending on the electronics to entertain the children. Mobile devices, movie players and smartphones are fantastic ways to occupy your children in cars, planes, or long customs lines. But what do you do if you are stuck on the tarmac well below the 10,000 foot elevation? Or if you run out of a charge when the charger is packed in the trunk, or when you can’t plug it in? It’s a good idea to make a stash of activities that can entertain and distract your children in the down time of vacation that require no batteries. Coloring books, word searches, Sudoku, new books, small Lego projects, are all things that you can stash in a backpack or bag that can get your through layovers, mechanical checks, customs lines and more.
Mistake #4: Not leaving room in the bags for the souvenirs. If you pack your bags completely full when you leave the house, how are you going to get all your treasures back home after the trip? Pack an empty carry on or duffel bag to hold all the extras you acquire along the way.
Mistake #5: Not checking what the latest and greatest travel advisories and requirements are with the TSA. Depending on where you are traveling and what airline you are on, you may need to check your travel advisories in the area. In addition, there could be a new standard for what’s acceptable in carry on luggage for the flight. Check all the latest and greatest information about travel here at www.tsa.gov and click on the Traveler Information. I especially like their “When I fly Can I bring my” search tool in the upper right corner.
Mistake #6: Not taking advantage of the tax code.
Obviously a vacation is supposed to be a vacation from work, but if you can pick a location where you can meet a client, attend a conference, participate in a vendor event, or any other business-related activity you can write off some of your expenses on your taxes next year. Consider ways that you can work in a little business with your pleasure and see how it benefits you come the next April 15th. Be sure to check with your tax advisor for eligible expenses.
Don’t have a business that you can write off expenses for? You can change that. Consider a business in travel and you will.
After you already found the best travel and leisure spot with the best all-inclusive package, you don’t want to ruin your vacation by making any of these foolish mistakes. Take the time to make sure that you made all the proper preparations and you will be in great shape for your big summer vacation this year.