THe Travel Checklist
People have many ways they travel. They travel with family, love ones, big groups and small ones. Sometimes traveling in a group can be a challenge especially if you have not traveled together before and sometimes even if you are traveling with family members with different objectives. Here is my suggestions on how to make this challenge easy and everybody happy during your trip.
First, prepare before you go. Discuss with everyone what expectations everybody has for the trip. Write it down then discuss the goals of the trip. Depending where you go there can many options on the trip that can leave everybody happy. For example, on a cruise there are day trips to take but not everybody in the family has go on them. Maybe your husband can go the day trip with the kids and then you can use the free time to go relax at the spa. It is ok to split up and then meet later for dinner or in a few hours. I went to the New Orleans Jazz festival where there are massive stages of musical entertainment that go on all day. My travel companion wanted to see some different acts than I did. So we split up and then we were both happy because we got to see acts we wanted to see. You can even take a video camera along and then show your travel companion what they missed. It is better to discuss the any plans before the trip so your traveling companion can make alternative plans and there no resentment that someone has to do an activity they had no desire to do.
On a side note always make sure your phone is charged so if you don't see the person at the meeting place you are able to call them. Also, try to make sure the meeting place is clear because there still people today who do not have a cell-phone or they never turn it on because of their very limited minutes. Even make sure everybody has the correct name of your eatery and its phone number if you meeting at the lunch place. Remember not everyone has a smart phone either. Also, make sure that you have your hotel key so you can get home if you don't reach them. Many festivals now have portable chargers available for this very reason.
Second, discuss food options beforehand. As you travel more you will surprised on how much people's food attitudes can factors in your day's activities. Things like dietary issues, allergies, money and people who have to eat early can factor in where and when you eat. Research online restaurants that are near by where you are staying. You may even be able to print out the restaurant menu and read all the reviews good and bad. This is a good idea especially if some popular restaurants require reservations. Also, this will help your family get use to the types of cuisine that the region you are going to offers. Try even to cook some family dinners centered on the region food type. Some people in the group may prefer cheap quick eateries. While some may prefer more expensive fare. Some people may not be afford to eat every meal. Some people eat big breakfast so they don't have to worry about lunch. Some people only need a cup of coffee for their breakfast. Sometimes restaurants close early. It has happened to me that I though I had plenty of time to eat dinner and then I found out a lot of the restaurants where I stayed closed earlier than I thought. Also, I found that some expensive restaurants are reasonable if eat at them during lunch. If you have a hotel with a refrigerator you even store the leftovers and eat the leftover later for dinner. I found some great restaurant only offer take-out and then I was able to heat them in the microwave at the hotel. Many cities have great farmer markets and a refrigerator in a hotel helps you refrigerate some those great farmer markets foods for later. I was in one farmer market that ten variety of plums and cheese. Sometimes the greatest lunch can come from the farmer market great bounty of meats,wine, bread, cheeses and vegetables. Also I found at music festivals there can good locale restaurants that set up food stalls at the festival. Some festivals now show case locale chefs cooking fare as alternative activity choices as well as their the music. choices.
Third, discuss what kind of hotel everybody will be comfortable staying at. Some suggestions are as the following: Are you a group that wants luxury or budget, a kid friendly hotel,a pool, a free breakfast buffet, a restaurant on the hotel property, do you want a hotel near all major attractions,a single bar or night entertainment available, a quiet hotel away from the center of town, a parking lot on the premises for those who rent a car.
Fourth, when it comes to pricing discuss what everybody budget is. There should be a budget for food and entertainment. Maybe some people in the group have more money than others so it good idea to know this before so everybody can be stay within their travel budget. A lot of times if plan ahead you find which museums offer free nights or cheaper prices if you buy tickets in advance. Some hotel even offer discounts for family, reward cards and discounts if you stay more than a couple of nights.
Fifth, discuss sleep patterns. Some people are early risers while other want to sleep late on a vacation. Some people don't care if they miss breakfast if means they can sleep late or save money. Just like there are people who would rather go back to the hotel and relax after a long day rather then go out to dinner after a long day of activities. Not everybody wants to be out all day. Plus some people can't be in the heat all day especially elderly people. For the church goer in the group see if there are any early or late services that they can attend if they are interested. There have been times on vacation that I have gone back to hotel early especially if I had an early day trip planned. If the hotel was nearby I sometimes go back to rest a while and take a nap. Naps are not just for little kids.
When it comes to vacation planning and discussions lead to a stress-free vacation. So talk before the trip so there is no bad blood during the trip but rather good times instead. You can never anticipate everything that might happen but these tools may help some problems from happening at all.