No one plans for a vacation to go wrong. But they happen. And often times, there are the root of a small problem that turns into a mighty big problem and just spirals out of control. Well have no fear, travel buddies. We’re here to help. Here are a few not-so-obvious travel tips you’ll want to remember in efforts to have the most perfect vacation EVER.
If traveling abroad, scan your passport and email it to your smartphone or take a picture of it.
Unless you’re heading to Puerto Rico or the USVI, you’ll need a passport. And while the first rule of thumb is to keep up with your passport, you just don’t want to be unprepared. Before you head out, make a copy of your passport (maybe 2). You can either print out the paper or save a picture of it on your smart phone, but its great backup should something happen to your must-have to get home. It’s also a great way to provide identification for things like excursions, hotel check-ins, restaurants, etc., so you don’t have to carry the real thing around with you.
If you’re not traveling out of the country, you can still do this with your driver’s license or ID card.
Call your credit card company BEFORE you leave.
This is one the most common things people forget to do. You’re all excited to jet away to paradise and forget to make this call, you go to swipe your card to buy the most kick-butt souvenir and it’s denied. Not only is this embarrassing, but it’s a hassle. And if you’re like us, it might ensue a level of panic around the fact that your card isn’t working in a foreign country.
Simply call your credit card company or bank a few days before you depart and let them know the dates you’ll be out of the country so they don’t freeze your account because of suspicious activity (AKA trying to use your card in a foreign country).
Always have an extra change of clothes in your carry-on.
Not an “OMG, my vacation’s ruined” tip, but this is a solid idea - for a few reasons. 1) What if (god forbid) something happens to your luggage? It gets delayed and has to get delivered to you, or worse, gets lost. Trying to enjoy your vacation in the same set of clothes just doesn’t sound like fun. 2) You’re headed to the beach! Depending on when you arrive, check-in may not be until a few hours after you arrive, which is okay and happens quite often. But if you’ve got a bathing suit and some sandals in your bag, you don’t have to wait for check-in to officially begin your vacation. Suit up and head out to that big beautiful beach, beach-goer! Throw something small and light into your carry-on and you’ll be set no matter the circumstances.
Extra tip (because we like you): when you’re packing, rolling up vs. folding your clothes can save you SO much space. It’ll give you room for that extra pair of shoes you just HAVE to have.
Bring your own beach towels (if you have the space).
We don’t make this suggestion because you’ll need your own beach towel. Nearly every resort will offer you a surplus of beach towels. But if you’ve got the room in your luggage, throw an extra one of your own in there, preferably bright-colored. Why, you ask? It’s a great way to spot your beach spot from a far distance. When everyone is using the same color towel, it may be hard to find your spot as you’re walking up from an afternoon dip in the ocean. It’ll help you remember where your stuff is AND provide a great way to see it from a far distance should you want to keep an eye on your area while splashing in the waves.
Vacations are meant to be pain-free and relaxing, so making sure you're prepared should definitely be a priority. Oh, and don't forget to make sure you've got the latest and greatest in essential beach travel gadgets. We're curious as to what things you swear by. Tell us your favorite travel tips in the comments below!
Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).