Some travelers take great joy in planning a trip. They’re the ones that like to get all the details just right even if the trip isn’t tightly scheduled, they like to know their options at all times.
Other travelers find all the details to be too overwhelming – sometimes to the point that they will simply buy their tickets and leave the rest of the trip to chance.
Who has a better vacation? Who knows? Even when things go wonky, your enjoyment largely depends on your attitude, but for those who would rather see the dentist for a root canal surgery than plan a trip, here are some tips to take the stress out of trip planning.
Sure, you’ll need a shorter head start for a quicker getaway, but giving yourself enough time for any trip means that you’ll be able to:
On that last note, many experts recommend visiting a doctor for proper medical advice. Simply taking the word of friends who traveled there before isn’t enough. Check the CDC Traveler’s Health site and get the information you need about where you’re going.
If you regularly take any medications, or have a physical or medical condition, you’ll need to address those concerns ahead of time.
See our 6-Step Checklist for Traveling with Medications for more information.
Even expert frequent travelers fail to do this and it puts them at significant risk if something should go wrong. Many travelers think, “Hey, it won’t happen to me.” and they’re right … until it does.
If you cannot speak for yourself – especially if you have a medical condition – or you don’t know the local language that well, you need to have something on your body at all times that can help emergency medical teams know how to treat you. Making their job easier will improve your odds of survival.
See 4 Tips to create a simple, effective travel medical portfolio and don’t forget to include the information for each of your kids if they’re coming along.
In addition, it’s important for travelers to recognize that some places in the world don’t have a big full-service pharmacy on every corner. So, having the basics you might need packed in your travel medical kit can make a big difference. If you’re traveling with kids, having their
See What’s in your Travel Medical Kit for the bare minimum travelers should carry in their travel medical kits.
It’s been estimated that nearly 20% of all travelers get sick each year and over 5% need emergency medical care while traveling abroad. Those numbers aren’t high, but if it happens to you those numbers won’t matter. Knowing how to find qualified medical help on the road is important no matter where you’re traveling. If you’re traveling with kids, it can be even more critical.
If you’re traveling to one spot and not roaming all around the globe, do a little research ahead of time to find out if your health coverage will work where you’re traveling. Then, find out the location of the closest emergency room and store that to take with you. If you’re hitting a lot of different destinations, you may have to do some of the research as you go.
Of course, there are a couple of highly recommended ways to be better prepared for medical emergencies when you’re traveling, and those are:
For more details, see our article on Finding Medical Care on the Road and in a Hurry.
Learning to pack like a travel pro is critical to having the items you need without a lot of extra weight in your luggage. While the primary goal of travel packing is simple, it’s more difficult to do when we’re forced to choose between having our favorite things and going without them.
The key to being a safe and ready traveler is self-sufficiency and learning to pack like a pro means:
Overpacking can cost you quite a bit of money. You already know that the airlines charge for each piece of checked luggage (unless your rewards card gets you out of that situation) but many airlines are now starting to charge for carry-on luggage. Luggage that is considered ‘overweight’, and each airline’s limit varies, means more money out of your wallet. Packing a bag that’s too heavy for you to handle on your own also puts you in a bind if you arrive at a destination where there are no porters.
See our 7 Tips to Lighten your Load on your Next Trip for the packing tips gathered from experts.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.