Travelling to new or familiar destinations, you always seem to come home with a new energy, inspiration and a renewed sense of self.
When you travel you are constantly adapting to your surroundings and you have to try new things that you usually wouldn’t try. You realize how flexible and spontaneous you can be when you’re out of your regular routine and your comfort zone. I think travel makes you more open with others and more importantly, with yourself.
But before heading out on your vacation, you want to be sure you can travel with peace of mind. I don’t want to worry about anything other than having a good time when I’m traveling.
Here are some important things to remember for travel with peace of mind. How do you prepare for a trip so that you have peace of mind?
Research your destination
Do your research before booking your trip. Use sites like Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Booking.com to get real reviews of hotels and restaurants. You want to ensure you’ve done the grunt work and research before leaving home so that hopefully there are no surprises. The last thing anyone wants is for something to go terribly wrong, to end up in a horrible place or hotel.
Have your documents up to date and accessible
Make sure your passport will be valid for six months after your trip. If you’re leaving the country with your children but without your spouse, make sure to have a letter of consent with you. Also make sure to leave a copy of travel documents and itinerary with a family member; scan copies and email them to yourself as well.
Make sure you’re covered
We always book travel insurance ahead of time, at least for medical and emergency. You don’t want to think that something could happen or a family member could become ill while on vacation but you need to be covered just in case. Even if it’s a simple visit to the emergency for a child’s ear infection, not having travel insurance could cost you thousands of dollars. Trip cancellation coverage is also something to consider.
Buy a cell phone data plan
Look into purchasing a data/roaming and long distance plan with your cell phone provider before traveling. I have heard stories of people coming back from vacation to a cell phone bill costing thousands of dollars. Do your research before leaving on your trip. Does the hotel offer free WiFi in your room? How much data will you need? It might be worth purchasing long distance and texts in your travel package too, rather than calling from the hotel.
Read the fine print
When booking your travel or activities at your destination, always check the fine print. If the vacation package looks too good to be true, it very well may be! Make sure to research the area you’re planning to travel – a 5-star might actually be a 2-star to your standards! Also, if you’re going to participate in any adventure or extreme sports such as scuba diving or zip-lining, check that the operators and instructors have legitimate qualifications and a good safety record first.
Are you driving?
Driving abroad? Make sure to familiarize yourself with the driving laws of the country you plan to visit. Will you need documentation? You may need International Driving Permit, Will you need additional insurance? Do your research because every country may have different rules and regulations.
Bring your MasterCard
MasterCard is accepted in 210+ countries and territories, which is more than any other card. I’d much rather carry a credit card that is secure and safe rather than carrying large bills. Here are some more tips for money and travel.
Use the hotel safe for valuables such as you passport and ID cards, don’t carry them all with you. In case you lose your wallet or in the event someone pick pockets you (it can happen!), at least you’ll have your valuables back at the hotel. Keep the phone number of the credit card company (both local and international phone numbers) with you so that in case your credit card is stolen, you can call right away to freeze the account.
Carry small bills with you – rely on your credit card for larger purchases knowing that it is secure and safe. Remember to call the credit card company before traveling so they don’t freeze your account when making purchases.
Having a MasterCard in your wallet is your best bet when traveling abroad or staying close to home. Your card is your travel partner because it’s convenient and gives you peace of mind whether you’re visiting a remote island or enjoying a staycation.
How do you travel with peace of mind?
Disclosure: I’m working with MasterCard to talk about traveling with peace of mind.