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4 Pro-Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Next Vacation

Vacations are precious — and not just because they’re a hit to our wallets! Those few days or weeks away from the 9-to-5 grind can rewind the stress, build great memories, and bring families closer together. They’re a triple-whammy of happiness. But getting the most out of your next vacation can take a bit of planning. Here are four pro-tips for building a holiday to remember.

1. Aim for a Mix of Surprising and Familiar

It’s easy to plan the same vacation year after year. After all, if you and your family enjoyed something once, they are more than likely to appreciate it again. Given these moments are so few and far between, doesn’t it make sense to play it safe?

Well, yes. But you also miss out by not trying something new. While there is always some risk that surprising new experiences might not be precisely the adventures you had hoped for, these moments of novelty can also keep your vacation fresh and exciting. To get the best of both worlds, you might like to aim for a delicate balance of familiar fun activities and new experiences. For bonus points, you may want to spring a surprise on your fellow-travelers with something they had no idea was coming!

If you’re traveling on the open road, here’s a great place to start. Take a look at the vast library of experiences described in the Road Trippers website. You’ll always find something new.

2. Choose a Travel-Friendly Credit Card

It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to travel, not all credit cards are created equally. Of course, the right credit card will be accessible where you’re traveling, impose no annual fees, and offer low rates for moving cash around.

But you can get a lot more specific than that! Take a close look at the rewards and incentives your card offers. For military personnel and their families, a USAA credit card can offer all kinds of targeted rewards that can enhance your spending power on vacation. Triple points for gas, rewards for dining out, and generous cashback deals can remove some of the financial stress while you’re having fun on vacation.

The right credit card can make a significant difference in how you travel.

3. Deal With the Pesky Logistics Up Front

It sounds relaxing to “play it by ear” on vacation, but traveling by the seat of your pants has its downsides, particularly when one of life’s unforeseen little emergencies comes your way. You needn’t plan every detail, but it’s a good idea to have a plan for the “bones” of your vacation.

If you need equipment, rent it upfront. The last thing you need is an eleventh-hour scrounge for scuba gear or bicycles if your whole vacation hinges on this stuff being available. Give careful consideration also to making hotel reservations — especially if you’re traveling to a remote area. This is all the more important in the age of COVID-19. A firm idea of where you’re staying throughout your trip makes it easier to stay safe. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with your hotel’s protocols for social distancing.

For more information about COVID-19 and its likely impact on your travels, Family Vacation Critic offers this useful guide, covering everything from flight cancellations to extra precautions you can take for kids.

4. Make Planning Part of the Fun

The idea of a vacation on the horizon can bring a fun sense of anticipation. It’s always a great idea to open up the planning process and spend some serious time talking about where you’d like to go and what you’d like to see.

Not only are you getting that buzz of something fun in your near future, but you’re also all getting the opportunity to shape what your vacation will look like.

For bonus points, spend some time learning about the history and geography of your vacation destination. You may even find new things you’re dying to see!

Get the Most Out of Your Next Vacation

Vacations are too excellent and rare to take for granted! These quick and easy steps can help you get the most out of your next trip away.