Thursday, February 20, 2014

Planning The Perfect Getaway

This winter has been BRUTAL!! There has been record-breaking snowfall here in New York, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to let up anytime soon. I’m afraid we are in it for the long haul this season folks. I’m even beginning to forget what warm weather feels like at this point! The only silver lining here is that spring is less than a month away! Until then, I figure I can fantasize about being in a tropical location.

I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a vacation. My family and I usually take a holiday to the Caribbean. Puerto Rico being our top runner because of our connection to the island, but I’ve always wanted to visit its next door neighbor, the Dominican Republic! I’ve heard so many great things from people who have visited the island, and I really want to experience it for myself.

Beyond its amazing beaches, DR lines up rainforest-cloaked mountains, lively towns, and intriguing history and culture. As the first city founded in the Americas, the Dominican Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo boasts an incredible collection of museums, historic sites, art and music. The island also has an excellent reputation for its varied and flavorful food, which is important when you’re traveling with a family. I’ve got to say, the biggest appeal for me though is the beaches! Luckily it is now so much easier to reach destinations with online companies like First Choice offering holidays there. From emerald hills, to palm-lined beaches, I’ve heard this little island has it all! I really can’t wait to plan our next family vacation there. Hopefully we’ll get to visit it soon.

If you’re like me, planning a family vacation is not something you take lightly. International travel can be exciting, but it can also bring many unpredictable situations. I like everything to go nice and smooth, so I make sure to do my research before-hand, before I commit to anything. The worst thing I can do on a trip is be unprepared on foreign soil, so I try to make sure I cover all my bases and plan ahead. In fact, here’s a traveling checklist I put together which covers a few basics on getting ready for an international trip:

  • Have your passport and any necessary visas ready long before you book your flight. The process of getting valid papers requires a long time, and shouldn't be left for last-minute.
  • Organize a variety of ways of accessing money overseas, such as debit and credit cards, cash, and travelers' checks to exchange for local currency.
  • Keep expensive valuables and belongings at home. You don't want to go through the heartache of losing something you really love on vacation.
  • Pack adapters for electrical items such as hair dryers, phone chargers, and any other personal appliances. Depending on where you are going, the outlets will vary greatly.
  • Remember that you are a guest in another's country. Familiarize yourself with the laws and customs of your travel destination before you get there.

Planning for an international trip might seem like a lot, but once you got your toes in the sand, the sun on your skin, and frozen drink in your hand - it will all seem worth it! Happy travels!

*This is a featured post for First Choice. See disclaimer/disclosure for more info

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