Your Summer Adventure Checklist

Summer is practically here. And, if you’ve been spending your afternoons in the office daydreaming about hiking through a tropical destination or sipping Mai Tais on a sun-covered beach, it might just be time for a vacation. 

Whether you want to hop on a plane and go halfway around the world or jump in the car for a road trip to the state next door, these summer travel tips can make your summer vacation one to remember, all while saving you money, reducing travel-related stress, and keeping your travel itinerary in-check.

Procrastinate for a Great Deal

The early bird may get the worm, but the procrastinator might very well land the best deal. Whether you’re searching for a hotel, flight or an attraction, booking last-minute might score you a great deal. Although it may be great for your wallet, you’ll have to be flexible. Booking last-minute sometimes means you’ll have to be packed and ready to go in 24 hours. This strategy is ideal for people who are OK leaving at a moment’s notice and aren’t picky about the destination.

Find Those Rewards

Want to save money? There are dozens of travel rewards credit cards and cash-back credit cards out there that can save you some serious money. Plus, co-branded hotel or airline credit cards offer great value and perks for cardholders, including

  • Automatic elite status
  • Reduced or waived baggage fees
  • Access to VIP airport lounges
  • Bonus miles
  • Discounts with participating hotel partners
  • A free night stay or two

However, most of these travel rewards credit cards require good or excellent credit, and some have an annual fee.

Pack Your Bags Accordingly

Packing your bags is one of the last things you’ll probably do before your vacation. But packing shouldn’t be an afterthought. And whatever you do, don’t just cram everything in sight into your bag. That might result in an overweight bag and, of course, a bunch of clothes that never get worn on your trip.

Instead, pack your bags according to the weather and the activities in which you’ll partake. Check the weather forecast of your destination and look to see what’s in your closet that you might want to take. Summer travel requires essentials like swimsuits, hats and sunglasses. But a quick change in the weather or a chilly nighttime breeze might have you reaching for something warmer.

In that case, add a windbreaker or lightweight plaid flannel shirt to your luggage or carry-on. A long-sleeve flannel shirt can be dressed up or dressed down, and it can even keep you protected from the summer sun.

Get Your ID or Passport in Check

It’s important to have proper ID before you leave on your vacation. If you plan to travel internationally, your passport has to be valid for the length of your entire trip. Remember, not all countries require six full months of validity, but it is slowly becoming more common.

When traveling domestically, however, you only need your driver’s license, unless your home state has already started to comply with the Real ID Act. In that case, your driver’s license will need to be updated. Bottom line: Having your ID in check will mean fewer travel headaches.

Traveling is Calling Your Name

What are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags, and don’t forget to grab your passport. Summer is practically here, after all. And there’s a beach or tropical destination calling your name. 

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