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Four Great Summer Travel Tips

Summer is a few months away, but planning a vacation in advance has its perks. You don’t have to do the same thing all over again or choose a destination in haste only to regret it later. Here are some ideas to get you started about how your summer vacation this year can be memorable.

Skip the amusement parks, enjoy family time in the lap of nature

Amusement parks are fun. They are also crowded, noisy and sometimes filled with brats. More so if you can make time to visit one at the end of the summer, in August, when families are trying to cram in as much fun as they can. How about a state or urban park? Wide, open spaces, lush greenery, recreational facilities, lakes, restrooms…and more allow you to make the most of nature’s bounty minus the suffocating crowd. Pack a picnic lunch and plan for outdoor games. You can share jokes and childhood stories under the generous shade of a leafy park or catch up on that book you deserted halfway due to work commitments, even as the little ones frolic around.

Soak in a different culture on an out-of-country trip

If you have the time, dollars and inclination for a Caribbean or European holiday, live like a local to experience a new culture and make new friends. Rent an apartment instead of booking a hotel. Shop at the local grocery stores, observe what locals eat and drink, and feel a sense of homeliness as you return to your private nest after a day of exploring the city. Avoid package tours where you are just a spectator and flitting from a historic site to a game reserve or a beach. Join tours that take you to local hubs or little known nooks and corners of the town/city. If you’ve always wanted to see how beer or cheese is made, sheep are sheared or indigenous products are handcrafted, opt for tours that allow an up-close-and-personal look.

Make the most of travel apps

Travel apps bring information to your fingertips, helping you make quick and smart decisions. To search for best deals on flights and pre-pay for flights, car rentals and hotel reservations, consider Kayak (available on iOs, Android, Windows and Kindle devices). Time Out offers a number of apps that serve as a guide for hotels, restaurants, nightlife, music, art & performance, and other information for big cities like London, New York, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. Another useful app is the XE Currency app, an instant currency exchanger, which can make shopping and payments more organized and informed.

What pet owners should keep in mind

If you plan to bring your dog or cat along on your summer vacation, remember to:

*  Bring water and food from home to keep digestive problems at bay

*  Take your pet out for a walk/exercise to help him/her relax and enjoy the trip

*  Before a long trip, feed your pet a little less than usual, to avoid car sickness

*  Pack a first-aid for your pet, just in case

What are some other tips you can add? Let us know today.