Traveling the world is an adventure and when done right it can be magical, the memories you can make, and the experiences you take part in, all the while immersing yourself in different cultures. If you have had the opportunity to see the world then you will know first-hand what I am talking about, and that no amount of words could describe the feelings you discover.
We see movies and videos of people, families, or even extreme adventure enthusiasts and how effortlessly it all seems to go during their journeys around the globe, but is it all just for the show, are ‘behind the scenes’ moments the actual clips we should be taking note of? I think yes, because as much as someone can plan a well-organized trip something always tends to ‘throw a spanner in the works’.
Planning may not be as easy (or as tricky) as some may like to think, but I do believe that you should give it a good effort and have backup plans in place in the event that Mother Nature wants to see how you fare during pressure situations. I have yet to have a conversation with someone who hasn’t gone through their fair share of drama on a trip, sure we laugh about it months and even years later, but at the time not so much.
Creating a notebook with plans or itineraries is always a quick way to check that you are on track or if you have left anything out. You could have a physical copy that you scan as you edit and upload it to your cloud account, this way you have both sides of the fence covered. Either a lost or stolen phone can’t set you back, or an accident where your travel book ends up floating down the river while waving goodbye.
Call ahead to places to check prices and availabilities before committing to anything, check travel restrictions or necessary documentation, and let’s be clear that these actions usually require a few months’ notices as opposed to ‘next week’ delivery schedules.
There are a few basics you can begin with to set you off in the right direction and as you go through and tick off the boxes you can tweak, add events, or packing essentials as you see fit. You will have a better understanding of what is suited to your family dynamics and that will accommodate your travels.
- Decide how long the extent of the trip is going to be, calculating from when you leave your home to the day you arrive back on familiar territory. If at all possible try to narrow down the dates you are considering going as this will help navigate prices.
- This is ultimately the next most important factor, and it will determine the destination too. Knowing how much you are willing to comfortably spend without needing to remortgage the house to go on vacation will set boundaries and establish the number of activities you can consider.
A great article on this can be browsed through here https://www.doughroller.net/smart-spending/budgeting-family-travel/ and it includes handy tips and tricks as well as a compact planner to help get you started and motivated.
- A passport is a no-brainer but checking whether the country you are traveling to requires a permit or visa from the country you are flying out of. Different countries require various paperwork, these could take weeks or months to apply for and obtain so be sure to check them out first and get to filling them out.
- Next is the all-important question, which airline. Are you traveling to a destination that only specific airlines operate, or are you opting for the cheapest flights to weigh in on the final vacation stay? Do your research and homework, cheap deals seem too good to be true for a reason, don’t get caught out by the fine print.
- If you are not fussy and are planning to stay local to the area in air BNB’s or lodges then too much planning may not be needed (unless you are traveling during the peak holiday season then it is highly advisable to pre-book), otherwise, call ahead to all the hotels in the areas you are visiting and book a room/s.
- The last item is essential if you don’t have the luxury or want of using and waiting for public transport wherever you are going, even more so in the States where the journey from one coordinate to the next could be hours. Check out car rentals and take into account the amount of driving you will be doing, you want something affordable but also comfortable.
What to look for in a car rental service.
Most people opt for the price, choosing the running costs overlooks without realizing that comfort is key too, especially when those long stretches of desert sand roads seem to go on forever with no sign of life in sight.
A trusted, reliable, and reputable car rental service will offer you what they believe to be the best fit for your vacation criteria. Having a quick phone call or sit down with them if possible will help you work out the most budget-friendly option, and if they can offer you a good deal that both parties agree on then all the better.
You want to feel comfortable talking with them, confident that they understand your needs whilst traveling in USA, and be aware of the weather conditions in the various places. There is no point hiring an off-road, roofless Jeep for those scorcher sunny stretches along the beachfront when the next state may be blowing a blizzard. All factors need to be taken into account.
Be sure to take a look at the company website and the customer comments or reviews page, it is a quick indicator of the type of service you are likely to receive and will validate their customer care policy. People will always take an opportunity to have a moan if they are not happy about something, that being said, a great experience is always good to share so you have the best of both worlds essentially when going through the comments.
Benefits of a rental vehicle.
If this picture doesn’t say it all then I don’t know what will, but for me having the luxury of doing nothing all day or going full-steam ahead is a choice I want to have for myself. Using a rental car has many advantages (see some of them in this link) but being in control of your trip is the main objective.
No relying on transport to show up on time or worrying about if the whole family will fit into 1 taxi or needing to call for two. You don’t need to stress about having the right change or currency needed to pay the fare, this way you simply jump into the car and head off on a memory-making adventure.
Using a rented car allows you to drive a vehicle you wouldn’t otherwise daily, life is too short to not drive that luxury vehicle at least once in your life, am I right?