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For many people, their annual vacation is the highlight of the entire year. All the planning, saving and anticipation lead up to a memorable week or two that is both exciting and revitalizing. With so much at stake regarding time and money invested, it would be tragic to have your trip spoiled by something that you could prevent with a little foresight. Before you plan and execute your next vacation, consider a few travel mistakes you would do best to avoid.
There is more to a good travel experience than merely purchasing an airplane ticket and going somewhere exotic. Proper and up-to-date documentation is crucial, especially if you are leaving the country. Plan well in advance of your trip to secure your passport and any visas that you may need at your target destination. Make copies of every travel document.
Don't wait until the last minute to buy airline tickets or your lodging. Nothing can ruin a great vacation faster than realizing you waited too long to get transportation or your destination doesn't have an open hotel room for fifty miles in any direction. Planning gives you time to seek the best deals.
Once you think you've worked out the necessary budget and money issues for your trip, go back and take another look at things. It's almost a foregone conclusion of traveling that you will encounter costs and charges that completely slipped your mind in the planning stages. Build a financial cushion into your vacation budget.
You should alert your credit card company as to the dates of your travels and the various places you will visit. If your credit card company sees charges coming in for you far away from home, they might wrongly assume your credit card has been stolen and freeze your account, leaving you stranded for cash until you can straighten out the confusion.
Don't overpack for your journey. It's important to take the right combinations of clothing and personal essentials, but you should stay away from trying to pack enough of everything to cover any possible circumstance that may arise. You should be pleasantly surprised at just how much mileage you can get out of a minimal number of outfits if you plan correctly.
Of course, you're planning for the best possible vacation experience from the outset, but problems can (and often do) arise. Travel insurance, while it may seem like a frivolous expense, will prove well worth the relatively low cost of unforeseen circumstances force you to cancel your trip. Needing travel insurance just once will make you appreciate its value every time you travel.
It's always wise to leave the good stuff at home. Flashy jewelry, expensive camera equipment, and pricey clothing can distract you from the joy of your vacation if you have to be extra vigilant about guarding it or if you are the unfortunate victim of a crime.
Keep in mind that your goal is to enjoy your trip. Don't overbook every day with as many sites and experiences as you can pack into twenty-four hours. Only plan to do what you can reasonably expect to accomplish each day. Allow some open time to take in unexpected opportunities. If your destination is so great that you feel you've missed out on some things, you can always plan to return sometime in the future.