Posted on: March 01, 2014
Posted by: Paula Stenzel, Manager Customer Experience and Social Media, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
Spring Break, the time when many decide to travel! Whether you are the college or university student travelling to the “Spring Break Meccas” for parties, or the family who take advantage of some school break time with the family, Spring Break presents a time when travelling is at its peak!
Spring Break can also be a difficult time to travel, where do you go, where can you find better deals, busy airports, cruises, etc. It can be a stressful trip to plan and an even more to execute if not done well. How can you make Spring Break vacations as problem free as possible? We have scoured the net, spoken to our “seasoned” travellers and compiled what we think are the best tips to help! These tips will help all travels from the “first time without the family students” to the entire extended family vacation!
1. Research your destination choices! – Make sure your choice of destination is appropriate for your vacation! For instance, if you are travelling with your family, young children and older family members a destination known as a “Mecca” for the College-aged students Spring Break parties would not be for you! Match your destination choices with your group/families interests. Ensure you are fully aware of any security concerns, passport laws and immunizations needed to travel to your destination. Some of these can require a lengthy preparation time at home, don’t be disappointed and not be able to travel to the vacation of your dreams due to insufficient time to obtain the proper documents or immunizations.
2. Planning! – While there are times when you can get great deals by being a last minute shopper for vacations, Spring Break isn’t one of them! As Spring Break is one of the busiest times of the year for travelling you want to start thinking of your vacation during this time at the least 4 – 6 weeks in advance to get the best deals and best selection of vacation spots. Sign up for airline specials and hotel newsletters to keep informed of the “deals”.
3. Check out what others are saying! –Search other traveller reviews to educate yourself on the experiences of others. Then call the hotel or visit their properties’ websites to book directly for Best Rate Guarantee! Some online specials seem like the best choice; however hidden fees or strict cancellation and change fees may apply. Most hotels and resorts always have the best deals, advanced purchase discounts and best policies available when you book directly with them.
4. Don’t forget Travel Insurance! – Whether you purchase travel insurance through your insurance company, travel agent or credit card be sure to purchase it! While it may be an added expense up front, it can save you thousands of dollars if you should experience a heath emergency while travelling, especially if you are in a foreign country.
5. Get your ducks in a row! – Many people travel without thinking about the items we take for granted every day. Before you travel be sure to call your bank and advise them you will be travelling, especially if abroad. This will ensure that you don’t experience declined transactions while travelling. Many banks will decline transactions when the shopping patterns are “not the norm” for their clients purchasing history to protect them from fraudulent charges. Call your cell phone provider to adjust your coverage plan to avoid large cell phone roaming charges while you are on vacation. Carry emergency and hotel contact information with you when you travel as well as a take a copy of passports with you.
6. Pack SMART! – Be sure to divide your belongings between luggage pieces to avoid the overweight baggage restrictions, this is especially important on your return trip! We all shop! Be sure to pack all of your important documents, medications (including prescription medications, as well as the over the counter ibuprofens and antidiarrheal medications), and a change of clothes in your carryon luggage just in case of the infamous and dreaded lost luggage incident.
7. Time to Travel! – Bring books, personal electronic devices, toys, etc. with you to keep the children occupied during your trip! They are live savers! If you are driving be sure to take turns at the wheel and ensure you have a shotgun rider who can assist with map reading and directions.
8. ENJOY! – Above all else, relax, have fun and enjoy your vacation…. Whether you have been working or studying hard, you’ve earned it!
These tips will help you plan, prepare and persevere for your Spring Break trip…Wish I was coming too!