Written by Jamela DizzyJuly 20 at 10:31 AM
My 3 year old son has been to 16 countries total because I never go out of the country without my son, my husband and my mother; and guess what? All of them are high maintenance (pun intended). Challenging but rewarding experience each time.
Travel for me personally is part of my life since I was born in Southeast Asia, Philippine Islands. We go on Island hopping trips with the whole family while growing up.
I have a Bachelors degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management and I have been a travel agent by profession since year 2000. I discovered that I need to stay connected as Registered Travel Agent for me to keep reaping the perks.
I have traveled to few countries in Asia and Australia even before I did migrate to San Francisco California. I have lived in different States from east coast, Midwest, Arizona and back to California.
Driving around and exploring those parts unknown in small towns are my favorite. Then, I was blessed to explore three islands in Hawaii and few countries in the Caribbean and Mexico. I have driven around central Europe and I cannot wait to complete the seven continents of the world by next year, 2018.
Here are my tips and tricks when you plan on your next big family vacation:
Plan ahead, six months or more in advance
Get connected to the experienced travel professionals and agents - they know the best deals in advance and the latest travel trends
Pick a destination that will suit all family members' individual needs: beach destination, resort, cruise or all inclusive destinations
Never travel without travel insurance
All airlines, hotels, resorts, land transportation, car rentals, transfers, tours, driving directions, and maps are all ready with print outs handy, and at the same time - electronic copies on your mobile devices
Visas and passports are all arranged and are not expiring within a year (to be safe)
Cash, money exchange funds, ATM access, and credit cards that have zero foreign transaction fees should be ready
Research all the online reviews of each destination months in advance with questions and answers about overall safety
Light packing for every member of the family, easy to manage, easy to move around
Designate who will be in charge of your toddler and who will have fun each day - communication is the key to any harmonious relationships
Create your Itinerary (day to day activities, adventure and reservations) with the help of experienced travel professionals/your favorite travel agent to save time, money and less stress for the whole trip
Test all the gadgets few weeks before your travel departure: action cameras, still cameras, accessories, memory sticks, batteries and all the small stuff, to be sure that all memories and adventures will be captured and preserved safely and smoothly
First aid, medications, any allergy pills, your toddler's vital prescriptions, and also the other family members meds (e.g. grandma's insulin and your spouse's special needs). You are in charge of all your needy family members' checklist (pun intended again)
Mindset is everything! Positive attitude - be mindful and vigilant, and balance it with optimism, hands-on experience, expect the unexpected, lighten up, smile, and savor each moment! Knowledge is always powerful, study hard and travel often!!
Next stop: Alaska Cruise!!!