Whether you are chillin in your backyard with friends, by the pool, at your favorite outdoor spot or out the country with family there are always some great summer tips you should know before and during your vacation or "relaxation" time. These tips are just a few things that I have learned over the years since traveling with my parents since I was little, to now planning my own trips with friends. You may or may not have already heard some of these, but nothing wrong with a refresher just in case it's been a while, or you forget something!
"If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes, or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody." -Anthony Bourdain
Always plan ahead!! You don't want to get out the country and end up spending even more money on excursions because you didn't catch the deals at the time you booked your resort stay or cruise. A lot of those places just want to make money. Talk to someone who's been before and ask what agency or business they used to book their fun adventures so you don't 'get got'!
Even if you are traveling in the U.S. plan whether you are driving, or flying. Find out how much an Uber or Lyft will cost from the airport. Or book a rental car. In Colorado, everything was so spread out, we spent a ton of money on Ubers & Lyfts and could have saved money by rental an SUV because there was so many of us. Also try to say in a central area.
bring an extra pair of sandals & sneakers! You never know if you're having too much fun and one of those straps break. You'll end up purchasing a $30 pair of flip flops at the gift shop that is same as a pair of Walmart sandals! And you may decide to try something different that will require a lot of walking or rocks.
Pack a hat, shades, scarf, sweater, umbrella and sunscreen! These are essential. I have been places where the weather just changed and I was glad to have a jacket or lighter shirt when it was warm.
Stay safe! Unless you know someone or have a guide, try to avoid straying too far from your resort. Getting to know the local area can be fun, but depending on where you are, can also be dangerous. Ask the concierge or your travel agent what areas to avoid and stay safe!
Bring snacks and water! You can pack these things in your check in bag and if you decide to hike, or something random, you may not be able to access any food or water, so having a backpack filled with that and your other essentials will come in handy!
Accommodate. Check to see if you will need an outlet converter to charge your devices. A lot of places have made accommodations with the modernity of phones and laptops, but you could be staying somewhere a little older.
Bring CASH! Some places do not take card, or will only take a certain type of card. You can exchange your money at your bank ahead of time which is the best option. You want to make sure the exchange rate is correct and up to date, and you won't have any fees. You can also purchase a pre-paid money exchange card that is safer to use internationally. I find that VISA or MC is most common. Call your bank when you travel. It can be annoying, but if something happens and you do lose your card, it may be accounted for.
Research the customs of the city or country you are going to. When I went to Saudi Arabia, we had to be covered up from neck down. So make sure to purchase the right clothes for the customs and weather. (I made sure to stay cool under the Abaya because it's a hot desert out there!)
Toiletries. They are so easy to forget! I find it easier to have a designated travel bag that I keep certain things in and don't touch until I go on vacation. Things like bobby pins, safety pins, q-tips, floss, travel size toothpaste and tooth brush, hair products, eye drops, etc. I only refill these things when I come back and store it under my sink. Or you can keep a list in your phone in your notes that way you can check off every time you go on a trip.
Pack an extra pair of undies and a shirt in your carry on bag if flying. I have been lucky enough (thank GOD!!) that the airline has not lost my bag, but I know people who have and it sucks. But you can at least get through one night or day with a toothbrush and clean underwear until you get to the store!
Misc. - Use a hidden wallet under your clothes. -Bring refillable water bottles. some countries toilet differently. -Bring wipes & hand sanitizer. -Check the weather ahead of time. -Check for flight changes. -Pay attention to signs and restricted areas. You don't want to end up like the girl from Canada that was detained because she crossed the US border snapping a pic.
(something flat, small and can fit under your shirt or belt area is good)
Remember: You are visiting someone else's home. Don't expect things to be the same here. Even in other cities in the U.S. there are some differences. Don't be disrespectful, mind the rules and customs, and learn something new! There are so many different opportunities and cultures all around and traveling is the best opportunity to learn and grow.