1. Have all your documents ready: Even in this world of all this wonderful technology and even being able to have your boarding pass scanned on your smart phone its still best to have hard copies of all your confirmations on hand. Worst case scenario if anything was to happen to your phone you would still have all your confirmation numbers handy. Also great just in case a reservation gets "lost".
2. Make a list and check it twice: Ever have the feeling like your forgetting something? Last thing you want is to have that happen MILES away from home. Make a packing list and double check it before leaving the house. It is also great to wake up early enough so you can have more than enough time to confirm you have everything you need without needing to rush.
*Bonus tip* Leave your keys on top on anything you need to grab right before leaving.
3.Be Safe : It is important to have an emergency contact know where you are staying and for how long. No one wants to think of the what ifs, however SOMEONE you trust should know where you are and how to reach you in case of an emergency. If you are traveling internationally it is also a good idea to leave a photo copy of your passport with them as well.
4. Contact your Bank and Cell Phone Provider: True story- I've come back from a vacation to a $350 cell phone bill because I did not know what the international charges were. Its important to find out where you can and cannot use your cell phone and how much it will cost if you do. Banks can also put a block on your credit/debit cards if you are using your card somewhere that is not where you live especially if it is overseas.
5. Set a Budget: This one might be one of the most important and I have yet another travel horror story to go along with it.
For my 21st Birthday I went to Vegas with an Ex, unfortunately for us it was winter here in NYC and there was a huge snow storm and all flights were grounded. I called the airline right away and could not get a flight out for another two days! We had run out of the money and had no way of affording the bomb ass suite we stayed in for another 2 nights. needless to say I had to make some phone calls back home to have some money wired to afford to stay in the hotel until we could get a flight back. It was scary and luckily I had my dad to call to help me out in a pinch but since that day I MAKE sure that I have extra funds just in case anything happens.
My best advice is to figure out how much things will cost, set aside that amount plus a bit more. Estimating pricing for food, lodging and all the little extras make a big impact. Are you renting a car or taking Uber? How much is the average lunch? a little bit of research goes a long way in making sure you have the funds to do all that you want plus a little extra in case things go wrong.
A little bit of planning can make the difference between a good vacation and a great one! Now go on and create amazing carefree memories for years to come.
Electa is a self proclaimed foodie. She is a wife, a domestic goddess, and aspiring chef in training, and a Writer/Blogger from Brooklyn with serious Wanderlust. follow her on twitter@emazing17