Check your budget.
This is an absolute must. Make sure that traveling is truly a realistic option. You need to budget to determine how much you have to go on a trip and then you need to break down the travel budget so that you know where your funds are going—hotel, flight, food, etc.—that way you’re not all girls gone wild when it comes to money while you’re away and then you come back with nothing or in the hole.
Set up travel alerts.
Hopefully you’re planning your trip enough in advance to get the best deal possible. Most budget sites have options to send alerts when hotel and flight prices go down for the dates and location you plan on traveling. Airfare changes so randomly and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to save some cash, so set up these notifications and let the savings come to you.
Because a hotel, cabana or summer house is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s a good look. Google map the area, look at the surroundings and read the reviews to make sure the cost is low because of a special or less amenities, not because it’s in a bad neighborhood or a dump. You also want to make sure you’re staying in an area that’s close to the other vacay-worthy things like the beach or casinos or nightclubs. Money can easily be blown on cabs while away and that’s the last place you want your dollars to go on vacay. Also, if you’re going out of the country, read up on the regions customs so that you know how to act accordingly.
Get a check-up.
Not for you, for your car. If you’re driving a significant distance you want to make sure your car will make the trip. At the very least, check your tire pressure—too little air significantly reduces your car’s gas mileage and that’s the last thing anyone needs with these gas prices; too much air can give you a flat. Beyond that, you should also get an oil change and check your breaks; you don’t want to be that person on the side of the road waiting for AAA as cars pass. You might want to make sure the AC is in tip-top shape too with those scorching summer temperatures.
Pack in anticipation.
One, in anticipation of your actual trip, and two, in anticipation of unforeseen circumstances. Putting off packing until the last minute sounds like a good idea all the way up to the night before your trip when you’re frantic trying to find that one dress you realize you didn’t wash or you remember you needed to buy a new pair of sandals and it’s too late. Pack little-by-little at least a week before you plan to head out so that you’re just throwing in essentials like toiletries. The peace of mind will be worth it. Also, don’t forget potential threats from Mother Nature. Check the weather and grab a sweater for cool summer nights and an umbrella in case of a rainstorm. These items take up a tiny amount of space and you’ll be glad you brought them. Don’t forget the sunscreen!