So many days of the year are spent toiling away at work. The bright spots of relief through the stress or monotony are the days or weeks where we can kick back, relax and switch off life’s routine.
We all have our own version of paradise. Some find pleasure in the sun on a white sandy beach with the rhythm of waves crashing against a shore. Others want to see traces from the past such as The Great Wall of China or ruins in Athens or Rome. Even though everyone’s dream vacation is different, the goal is the same: Get out of the area and step away from the realities of life for a short while.
Of course planning a getaway is not an easy task; there are several things that must be taken care of prior to liftoff. Chaos and catastrophe can quickly replace leisure and enjoyment if you’re not careful.
AnnaMarie Perrotti, owner of Sand Dollar Travel at 1471 Route 9, has some tips so you can sail away for a perfect holiday:
All for the money: The package deal doesn’t work for everyone. “Going the all-inclusive route is great for families,” Perrotti said. “It’s very popular when traveling to places such as Mexico, Jamaica and Punta Cana.”
Don’t get caught in the rain: Relaxing on a beach, breathing the delightful scent of saltwater into your nostrils, is a grand vision but that ultimate relaxation can come to a rapid halt if you dare to take to the sand during hurricane season. “From May to November 1, it’s hurricane season,” Perrotti said. “Aruba is the only place that’s outside of that belt.”
Insure yourself: “It’s important to have travel insurance,” Perrotti said. “God forbid you get sick or something else comes up; you can cancel and get your money back.”
Avoid Europe’s chill: “The best time to travel to Europe is between May through October,” Perrotti said. “After that it’s pretty cold.”
Guided tour or solo adventure: Prior to going overseas, you must decide whether you want to go solo or have an escort. “This really depends on the client,” Perrotti said. “If it is their first time going somewhere they may want to have some guidance; it’s about their comfort level.”
Keep it secret, keep it safe: We’ve all heard the tales of those notorious pickpockets; don’t become a statistic. “You need a special wallet for your license, credit cards and other important essentials to be on the safe side,” Perrotti said. “We also always tell women not to wear expensive jewelry.”
Give yourself some credit: Charging purchases to your credit card beats carrying a large wad of cash. “Be sure to call your credit card company before your trip,” Perrotti said. “Or else you won’t be able to use it while international; they will think it’s fraud.”
Check it twice: It’s a natural reflex to check the expiration date on a milk carton or a plastic bag of shredded cheese before buying it, but we don’t have the same inclination to take a glance at the date on our passports before paying for a foreign trip.
“It’s important to make sure that it hasn’t expired or that it isn’t going to expire during your vacation,” Perrotti said. “You also need to make copies of your passport before you leave, just in case you lose it along the way; I have had to fax a copy of a passport to a client more than once.”