Before each vacation, it’s essential to prepare adequately to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip

Here are 10 important things to do

1.  Research your destination: Familiarize yourself with your vacation spot by researching its culture, local customs, must-visit attractions, and any safety concerns. This will help you make the most of your time and stay respectful of the local culture.  We like to use Trip Advisor to get the best reviews and of course YouTube Travel Videos is also a great source. 

2. Plan your itinerary: My hubby always has everything planned before we head to the airport.  Create a rough itinerary of the places you want to visit and activities you’d like to do. Having a basic plan will prevent you from missing out on must-see sights and help you manage your time efficiently. Another great website we like to use for excursions is Viator

3. Book accommodation and transportation: Secure your accommodation well in advance to avoid any last-minute availability issues. Additionally, book your transportation, whether it’s flights, trains, or rental cars, to savemoney and ensure you have the best options. We like using Google Flights this allows you to track your flight for a certain month, get updates when the ticket price drops and then you can book it directly with the airline.

4. Travel documents: Okay so this is a big one!!!!  Ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months or you will have issues leaving and returning back to your country.  Right now passports are taking an extra long, like 6 months – 1 year.  So plan accordingly, don’t procrastinate this!!!!  Also make a copy of your passport to leave at home as well as a copy in your suitcase or carryon, just in case you lose your passport. Here is the link to getting your passport USA Passport

5.  Get travel insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected emergencies, such as medical issues, trip cancellations, or lost baggage. This is really important, and remember to choose the right travel insurance.  We highly recommend this company, they have 3 different plans to choose from. Best Travel Insurance


6. Vaccinations and health precautions: Check if any vaccinations are required or recommended for your destination and schedule appointments well in advance. I always have a small plastic bag with medications that I keep in my backpack on the plane with me, like tums for upset stomach or heartburn, tylenol for aches and pains.

7. Inform your bank: Notify your bank of your travel plans to prevent any issues with your credit or debit cards while abroad. Be aware of any foreign transaction fees and exchange rates. We always exchange money once we get there, never exchange money at the hotel – way too expensive!

8. Pack wisely: Make a packing list to ensure you have all the essentials for your trip. We always do carryon so that way your luggage is with you every step of the way, roll all your clothes, bring things that are light so that you could layer if needed and learn how to wear things twice or three times if needed, like pants.  Always wear COMFORTABLE SHOES!!!!!  Don’t forget Phone Chargers, International Adapters, and any necessary electronics.

9. Secure your home: Before leaving, lock all doors and windows, set the alarm (if you have one), and ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your property. Avoid advertising your absence on social media to minimize security risks.

10. Prepare for emergencies: Carry important contact numbers, including local emergency services and your country’s embassy or consulate in your destination. Share your itinerary and contact details with a trusted friend or family member in case of any unforeseen circumstances.


Hope all of my suggestions help

you plan your amazing vacation.


Scottsdale Travel Chick

Hi There!   I’m Lara and I am from Scottsdale, Arizona.  I have lived here for more than 30 years and Iove it. My hubby and I are fortunate to be able to travel the world to explore exciting destinations. When our son went off to college we became empty nesters and decided to go for it.  No sense in staying at home when the world is your oyster!!  Follow along with us and learn about interesting places an “off the beaten path” experiences.   We are not the type of people who like to stay in fancy hotels all the time – for us its about the experience!  Well let me rephrase that, I do like those fancy hotels but the only way to learn about the city and the people is to immerse yourself.

This travel blog originated in 2018 and since then we have really traveled the world, check out our passport page and read about some of the exciting places we traveled to the last couple years.

Thanks again for checking us out.