Do you know what the best feeling on vacation is? When you sit down on the flight as the doors close, and you breathe a sigh of relief that you made the flight, and now all the hard work of planning your vacation is about to pay off. Indeed, planning a vacation can actually be quite stressful. There is a lot that goes into planning the perfect vacation. You need to research, schedule, and book so many different things. Being prepared is the best way to begin your stress-free vacation, so that is why we put these few tips together to help you jet off in relaxation.
Organize Your Itinerary
Keeping yourself organized is the first step to planning a seamless vacation. There will be many confirmation emails and dates/times you need to keep track of throughout the planning process. Between the flights, hotels, car rentals, tours, dinner reservations, and more, it is very easy to get your dates mixed up or lose the confirmation email. How you organize this information is completely up to you and what will actually work for you. It is different for everyone. I like to add all the reservation times to my Google calendar, then take screenshots of the confirmation emails and create a separate album on my phone for them.
Don’t Overpay for Airport Parking
Airport parking is one of those expenses many travelers forget about when planning their vacation. And airport parking can turn out to be a hefty expense, especially if you are traveling for over a week. If you are looking to save money on travel, then this is one of the best ways to do it. Consider booking with an alternative off-site parking facility. These private providers usually offer free airport shuttle transfers, baggage assistance, and 24-hour security. Official airport parking garages charge extremely high rates compared to the off-site parking options. At many airports across the US, you can usually find an off-site parking lot for less than half of the cost for the official airport parking option. For example, if you are looking to get the most economical parking San Diego Airport offers, then avoid the official parking garages. San Diego Airport parking will cost you $32 per day for terminal parking, while WallyPark is located just a few minutes down the road, and it’s only $15 per day for their covered parking garage. Another bonus is that you can reserve online, so you know you have a parking spot at the airport before you even leave your house. Comparison sites, like ParkFellows, allows you to compare the available options, view the rates, read reviews, and see pictures of the parking facilities.
Get Lounge Access
Most airports have business lounges set up with comfy chairs, food, drinks, and free wifi. Some lounges require an expensive membership or platinum-level access of some kind, but many lounges offer cheap day-passes, and some are even free! You just have to know the right airport and lounge to visit. The LoungeBuddy app is perfect for this. You simply enter your information, and it will let you know the available options for you. You don’t have to sit in a crowded waiting area anymore! Lounge Access makes you feel like a VIP without paying a fortune. It is a great way to begin your stress-free vacation.
Know Your Rights
If you have traveled enough, then at some point, you have experienced the pain of having a flight delayed or canceled or denied boarding because of overbooking. Many people think there is nothing they can do about this and accept the consequences. However, the US and EU laws stipulate that compensation is available in many of these cases. Most people do not realize this, so fewer than 1% of people who are entitled to compensation actually receive it. If this happens to you, use the AirHelp app to apply for compensation. Enter your flight information, details about the case, and AirHelp will submit your claim. If it’s successful, they receive 25% of the amount, and you get the remainder. It doesn’t fix your canceled flight, but it sure does soften the blow.
Know the Baggage Limits
Baggage fees are a surprising hidden expense if you do not check in advance. Every airline has different baggage limits, and this is how they make their extra money. The rules are confusing and unclear, which means you end up paying more at the airport. Don’t assume that every airline will use 50lb (23 kg) as their maximum weight for checked baggage. Some airlines use 40lb (18 kg), and if you are not aware of their weight limit, then you will have to pay an overweight. Also, check the dimensions for carry-on baggage and be sure your bag meets these measurements. It is very annoying and time-consuming to repack your luggage at the airport in order to meet the guidelines. The best way to save money and avoid stress is by packing light. Read our tips for packing light to help you with your next vacation.