Getting ready for a trip might sound easier said than done. Some people plan for their trips at least one-to-two days before they take off. If you ever prepare for your trip at the last minute, I can ensure you that a disaster is waiting to happen. You’ll probably end up getting stressed out, because you’ll worry that you might miss your flight or not accomplish anything on your trip. You might also not pack enough clothes or certain items (i.e. a phone charger). Preparing for a trip can be difficult for most people. They feel like that there’s so much to do in so little time. Don’t feel like you have little time to do so much just to prepare for a trip. Instead, use these 5 tips the next time you’re preparing for a trip.
Tip 1. Book all Reservations In Advance:
When you start to plan for your trip, you should start off on the right foot by booking all of your reservations first. That’s right, you want to have your flight, hotel, and car rental booked first before you actually start planning for what you’re going to be doing and bring on your trip. Actually, if you booked for a trip two months early the prices for airfare, hotel, and car rental can cost less than twenty days before you travel. It’s actually best to book your reservations at least two-to-three months before you travel. In fact, when I first came to EWA back in July, one of our travel counselors, Laura, was booking group travel arrangements four-to-five months in advance. Seriously! Planning for a trip takes a lot of time and it’s a long process. As soon as your reservations are confirmed, save any receipts (i.e. air ticket) on your computer and print out at least two copies. Printing two or more copies of your airline ticket receipts and e-tickets can help avoid you from losing or misplacing your ticket before you travel. Take care of business and get your reservations out of the way as early as possible.
Tip 2. Create Your Own Itinerary:
After booking your reservations, make the time to create your own itinerary for your trip. What I mean by creating your own itinerary is simply planning out what you or the people you’re traveling with are going to be doing on the trip. This can be visiting a museum, going to a cafe to eat lunch, taking a tour of a historical place, the time and place you need to be for your business meeting, what you’re going to be working on in a small African village, etc. By planning out what you want to do on your tip, can also help you book tickets/reservations ahead of time if you wanted to either see a play or visit a museum. You always should plan ahead of time on what you want to accomplish when you travel.
Tip 3. Pack A Week Early:
This is a big problem that people have and that is packing all of their clothes as well as their important items at the last minute. When you rush and pack 24 hours before your flight takes off, you are most likely going to forget something very important such as an iPhone charger or your passport. My advice is that you should start packing a week before you take off for your trip. Make a list on what you need to bring along with you and check it off when you’re packing. Also, make sure you pack clean clothes so that means doing your laundry a week before you travel. Now most people have the fear and anxiety of packing the wrong clothes or whether they should pack light or heavy. If you have that fear and anxiety then I suggest you download the PackPoint app on your smartphone. This app is free to download on either the Google Play Store or the App Store, and it can tell you what you need to pack based on how long your trip is, what the weather conditions are going to be when you travel, if you’re traveling for business or leisure, what you should take if you plan on traveling internationally, and what type of clothing you should pack based on the activities you plan on doing for your trip. Check out the YouTube video below to see how the PackPoint app works.
Tip 4. Get to the Airport Early:
When I was a senior in high school, one of my teachers had this motto when you showed up to his class, “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is unacceptable.” So once you got everything all ready to go, it’s time for you to start planning on when you need to arrive at the airport. To make sure that you don’t miss your flight, you should arrive at the airport three-to-four hours early. I know that may sound really early but you need to consider the time it will take you to check in, get past security, and find the gate that you’re going to board the plane. There are always long lines at the check-in and security stations. So it would probably take you at least an hour and half to get everything situated especially if you are in a group of people traveling together. Take your time getting everything organized and don’t rush through everything when you’re at the airport like the McCallister family did in the first two Home Alone movies.
Tip 5. Make Yourself Productive At The Gate:
When you find your gate, you should plan on what you are going to be doing for the next couple of hours especially if your flight gets delayed. Airports are like malls, aren’t they? You can certainly find places at the airport to eat and shop. But even after you shop and grab a bite to eat, you are going to have to be at the gate and wait until they allow customers to board the plane. To avoid the long and boring wait plan on doing these two things. First, you can take either your smartphone, laptop, or tablet out to watch YouTube videos, Netflix, or Hulu. Watching movies, videos, and shows can certainly help kill the time while you wait. You should also bring your phone, laptop, and tablet chargers with you and if you can try find an outlet at the gate. That way you won’t have to worry about the battery life running out while you’re flying. It’s also one of the reasons why you should arrive at the airport early, especially if you plan on using your computer or mobile devices at the airport. Second, you can also do some of your assignments/projects that have to be done for your job. This will help keep you productive as well as kill some time while you wait at the gate. Not to mention this can also help you stay on top of your work.
These are really good ways for you to get ahead of the ball game when you prepare for your trip. Try to avoid planning for your trip at the last minute and use these tips as guide to help you accomplish the things you want to do when you travel. Let me know how these tips work out for you.
Director, Social Media Marketing, EWA Travel