Vacation has become a weekend-only event for many people as life gets busier all the time. Gone are the days of taking a month off each summer to visit a new place and become one with the sights and scenery of your getaway location. Many people think fondly of their childhood and taking a huge part of the summer to visit locations that they had never seen before.
If you do get the chance to take a long trip this summer, you might have a lot of questions about how to make sure that everything goes smoothly. After all, weekend trips are pretty easy to plan because you know you’ll be home right away. Going away long-term can add questions, stress, and worries to your travel experience if you are not careful.
If you want to know how to plan the perfect long-term summer getaway, then read on for tips and tricks to make this the best vacation of your life!
Preparing for a Long-Term Summer Getaway
Preparation is everything when you are thinking about getting away from it all. There is nothing worse than planning what you think will be a fun getaway, only to spend the whole trip plagued with stresses related to a lack of foresight.
Follow these tips and tricks, and you will be able to head out for your vacation without any concerns or worries dragging you down!
1. Check Out All the Details of Your Lodgings
There are many ways you can stay long-term somewhere these days when you go on vacation. Between VRBO, Airbnb, and long-term hotel stay rates, you have lots of options.
One of the most common complaints about a long-term summer getaway is that the lodgings that were picked were not actually all that comfortable or user-friendly. You have to remember that you will be in this location for some time, so you need to pick the right hotel room, rental house, or condo to ensure that your vacation is comfortable and relaxing.
If you are renting a house or condo through an app, make sure to look at all of the pictures and read reviews. You will also want to make sure to check out the fine print about added costs for internet usage and pets. Sometimes rental owners are cleverly able to hide the undesirable parts of a rental by posting the nicest photos upfront and they can obscure added costs by not mentioning them in the description of the rental.
If you are staying at a long-term stay hotel, make sure to do the same research and check on things like noise, internet slowness, pool and gym availability, and anything else that might make you unhappy with your stay. Sometimes it can be easiest to speak with a realtor or a rental agency about finding you a property to stay at so you can avoid doing the research yourself.
2. Make Sure to Use Reliable Help at Home
If you have plants or pets that you are leaving home while you are on vacation, you need to be sure that you have the right person, or people, looking after them while you are gone. There is nothing worse than finding out that the friend that you asked to care for your apartment or your pet did a shoddy job. Even worse would be having to cut your vacation short because of an issue with an unreliable house sitter.
Consider having your pet taken care of by a reliable kennel or vet clinic. This will remove any worries about their health and safety while you are away. If you do not have a friend who can come by to water your plants, maybe you can ask someone to take them in for you while you are gone. Dropping off your prize orchid with a friend across town is much less worrisome than stressing about its health each day while you are away.
This seems obvious, but there are many factors that go into a budget that actually prepares you to have a fun time on your vacation. If you leave home, only to find out that you did not prepare for the cost of food, or for the cost of excursions you wanted to do, you will not have as much fun.
Look into the activities that you want to do while you are on vacation and make sure to include some room in the budget for these items. You will also need to make sure to leave a slush fund of excess cash inside your budget for emergencies like an urgent care visit, a flat tire, or any other things that might crop up while you are away.
It is also wise to research what the cost of basic purchases like groceries and gas will be in the location you are visiting. It is all too common for people to think that they have a good grasp of the costs in a vacation area, only to find out that they have to spend far more than they expected just to eat and get around.
4. Make Sure Your Car Gets to You
If you are planning to have your car along with you on your long-term getaway, you should always do your research in advance with care. There are lots of shipping companies out there, but they are not all created equal. A good auto shipping company will make sure to give you a thorough quote that includes delivery details and information about their insurance policy.
Make sure to ask what kind of transport vehicle your car will be hauled on. If you want your car hauled in an enclosed trailer, you will need to make sure to ask about this in advance. Some larger vehicles will need to be hauled on open car trailers, but exotic cars or other smaller cars can almost always be hauled inside of an enclosed trailer.
5. Have Emergency Contacts in Order
If you are leaving a housesitter at your home, make sure that you leave them all the necessary contact information for who to get a hold of if you can’t come home right away. If you have left a pet with them, make sure to leave them with some contact information for a vet that you would approve them using.
Make sure as well, that you have emergency contact information on you at all times while you are away from home. If you fall ill and cannot tell anyone who to call to help make decisions about your care, you might end up in a bad situation that could have been prevented.
Emergency contacts on both ends of the travel arrangements that you have put in place can save time and heartache for everyone involved.
6. Consider Travel Insurance
While it might seem annoying to find and pay for travel insurance, these policies can come in handy when you are away from home for a long time. If you are going to be out of the country, this is really not a negotiable step in the process of planning a long-term getaway.
Travel insurance can protect you from being turned away if you need medical care and some policies will give you auto insurance while you are out of the country. You will also be able to do claims for lost or stolen items with certain policies.
Insurance is one of those things that people complain about paying for until they need it. If you find that you need travel insurance and you did not bind a policy before you left, you might be in a world of hurt while you are away from home.
7. Save Costs at Home
If you do not have pets or plants that need watching, and you are not leaving during the cold months of the year, there are some money-saving things that you can do to your home or apartment for the duration of your absence.
You can save electricity by unplugging appliances and even turning off the fridge. You can just give away or use up the food that is in the fridge, give it a good cleaning, and then turn it off! Coffee makers and toasters can be unplugged, and you can turn down the heat or set the air conditioning not to come on unless it’s very hot out.
All of these items can save you some money while you are away, and who doesn’t like to come home to a clean fridge!
8. Set up Lights on a Timer
You don’t want anyone but your friends to know that you are going away for a trip. To make sure that burglars don’t think you have left for a long time, you can set up lights in your home to turn on and off with a timer. This will make sure that your house does not sit empty and dark for months at a time.
You can also install a security alarm if you have considered doing so, but have never done it. This might cost too much, but you can also have a friend or neighbor drop by a few times to make sure that everything is all right with your home.
Lock up your car in the garage if you are able, and lock up valuables in a safety deposit box or a safe in your home. The less temptation that there is for thieves or troublemakers, the less likely it will be that your home will be damaged or broken into while you are away.
9. Plan What to Pack Carefully
This might seem obvious, but it really can be a tricky question. If you have never been to the place that you are vacationing in, you might not know about the rainy season, or maybe you think it will be warmer than it actually is during the time that you will be there.
Do some research by watching vlogs and reading up on the place that you will be staying. This will make sure that you think of all of the items that you will need to bring with you and save you from having to buy clothing and other gear that you have not budgeted for.
There is nothing worse than thinking that the clothes and gear that you have brought will make it possible for you to have fun as soon as you arrive at your destination, only to find that you have brought all the wrong things with you!
10. Make Sure That You Can Use Your Phone
If you are going to be traveling to a remote place or going overseas for your getaway, make sure that your phone will work in this location. If it will not, or if you are not planning to use your phone while you are away, you still need to be able to get in touch with people at home somehow.
It is never a good idea to just vanish into thin air while you are away long-term and you will need to make sure that people at home can contact you in an emergency, or that you can reach out to others if you get into a bind.
Many cellphone carriers offer plans that you can use while you are overseas, and you might also be able to set up a solid communication arrangement using email. Make sure that you at least bring a tablet with you so that you can get online to check your banking information and to reach out to people at home if need be.
11. Make Sure That You Are Healthy
Don’t head out on your trip without taking care of worrisome medical items. There is nothing worse than being away from home and having to find a doctor or a dentist for something that you should have taken care of at home.
Medical and dental care can be exorbitantly expensive if you are far away from home and many insurance companies charge more for the use of out-of-network providers. Plus, no one wants to have emergency surgery when they are away on vacation!
Taking care of your health before you leave can be as simple as getting a physical or checking in to make sure that your medications have been filled and you have what you need for your trip.
12. Consider Using a Rewards or Mileage Card
These cards have higher interest rates than other cards, but many of them offer travel insurance and other travel-related benefits that can really add up to some savings for your trip. This can also be true of mileage cards and might mean that your flights are very cheap!
Check the sign-up bonuses before you commit and make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck! Use this card leading up to the vacation to bank savings and other coupons and benefits so that you can use them while you are away!
Also, make sure that you notify your bank and other credit cards that you will be away so that they do not turn off your cards when you charge items in a new location. This is a great protection feature for fraud but can be a real hassle if you are trying to pay for something in an airport, or in the town that you are staying in for your getaway.
13. Make Sure You Think About Your Job
You may have the vacation time saved up to go on this trip and you might not need to worry about this, but if you work remotely and are planning to work while you are away, you have to think about some of the details of your trip with care.
Make sure that your internet at your vacation location will allow you the stability to work with ease. You will also need to make sure that your boss is okay with you being away or out of the country long-term.
It is a common problem for someone to assume that their company won’t care if they spend the summer in Italy, only to find out that they are not okay with this. Being fired while you are far away from home would be terrible and very stressful.
Open communication with your employer is key to protecting your job while you work in another location, and you will never be worse off for having made it clear with your company that you will be away from your home for the time of your trip.
Planning Ahead is Key
If you want to have a great summer getaway, planning ahead will make sure that your experience is memorable and delightful from start to finish. Leaving things to chance rarely makes for a good experience.
Take the time to budget, plan things out thoroughly, and consider all of your options before you commit to the details of your long-term getaway. If you have thought of all of the factors of your trip from the beginning, you will have a great and memorable vacation that is free from stress.