By Vincent Stokes

Planning a trip can be stressful. You look forward to the trip but likely do not look forward to the planning. Luckily, there are a number of ways to prepare for your next trip. Here are a few things that are often overlooked that you can do in advance to reduce headaches and stress later on.

Make Sure Your Electronic Devices are Updated with Content

You’ll want to be sure you have enough entertainment to fill the tedious hours of lines and travel. You can either download content directly to your device or upload it to your cloud storage. Store ebooks, movies, music, and even television episodes, so you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied. You may even want to subscribe to services like Netflix or Hulu, so you can have access to new content on the go.

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Additionally, you can ease your travels with a few essential apps. Downloading apps for finding hotels, car rentals, ride sharing, and restaurants can benefit you at home, as well as abroad. Waze, Rome2Rio, and Packpoint are just a few of the most useful apps recommended for travelers. Additionally, the Yelp app, Google Maps, and Tinder can help you get around, meet people, and find the hottest attractions in any area.

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Get Insured

The next time you’re looking at car insurance quotes, see if those same companies offer travel insurance. Often times they do and at a minimal cost compared to what you’re spending for airfare, hotel accommodations, and other vacation expenses. Most people don’t consider travel insurance and never realize how much it might have helped. It doesn’t just cover lost luggage and missed connecting flights, though those are two benefits travel insurance policies do typically offer.

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Additionally, you may be able to get reimbursed for trip cancellations. Suppose there’s a family emergency or your destination is under the threat of a hurricane? Insurance covering your trip cancellation will ensure you don’t lose all of the money you saved for your trip. Additionally, a comprehensive policy covers medical costs, should a health emergency or injury occur, and evacuation costs, in the event that a hurricane or flooding does happen.

 

Make Sure You’re Well-Stocked for Road Trips

Aside from the things you’ll need to pack for your destination, you’ll also want to ensure the car is stocked for the drive. This means getting it inspected, replacing tires (if needed), checking fluid levels, belts, and hoses. Once that’s done, it’s time to think about the needs of your passengers. If you’re traveling with children, don’t forget to bring an abundant supply of activities to keep them entertained. Games, movies, snacks, and bottled water are essential for any successful road trip.

You should also pack a separate snack bag, filled with healthy snacks and water. Also, update your first aid kit. If you don’t have one, consider making one of your own with supplies you can easily buy at any pharmacy. In addition to bandages, ibuprofen, antiseptics, and other items for treating injuries, you should also include blankets, at least one flashlight, and a well-stocked tool kit.

 

Notify Your Banks and Credit Card Issuers of Your Trip

If you want to avoid frustrating and embarrassing situations while on your trip, make sure your financial institutions know you’ll be traveling. If you don’t, they may flag unusual purchases as suspicious behavior and block further transactions. This is a security procedure meant to protect you, but it can also be aggravating, when you don’t tell your card issuers to expect unusual transactions.

These are just a few suggestions to help make your trip go more smoothly. As always, plan ahead and schedule your trip to expect delays, frequent stops, and travel changes. No trip goes exactly as planned, but mistakes and delays can be minimized with a little foresight. Considering alternatives can lead to a much more relaxing vacation.

 

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Vincent Stokes

Author: Vincent Stokes is an outdoor enthusiast and an experienced world traveler. He also writes writes for the National Parks and works to promote pride in homegrown travel destinations. You can also connect with Vincent on G+ or twitter (@TravelingGlobal).

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