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Paradise at Polo Beach Club, Wailea Maui Hawaii vacation rental
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Plan Well - Travel Well
 by: Shari Hearn

I believe in spontaneity. I love picking up the phone and calling a friend out of the blue to meet for dinner. I love spontaneously getting in my car and taking a drive in the local mountains. I love being spontaneous and choosing something on the menu Iíve never tried before. But, thereís one thing I never am spontaneous about Ė travel. Yes, travel.

When it comes to travel, a well-planned trip is a fun trip. Now, some might say you're taking the fun and spontaneity out of a trip by over planning. Iím not saying plan every second of every minute of your vacation. You can be as spontaneous as you like once you're there, but plan for the unexpected on your trip. Don't let your travels around the world or your annual family road trip get ruined by not being prepared, whether it's not having the right clothing for the destination, or realizing a GPS unit would sure come in handy while you're traipsing through the rainforest.

How many times have you gotten to your destination only to find you forgot to pack your favorite shirt? Or, worse, your underwear? (I see the hands raised out there). Now, if itís just a shirt or underwear, you can always buy more when you roll into town. But, what if itís your allergy medication and your destination is going through its worst allergy season ever? Then itís a few hours out of your fun trip to visit the local urgent care center to get a new prescription (if the town youíre visiting has an urgent care center).

A well-thought-out travel plan can help eliminate the unexpected ruining your vacation. Research your destination thoroughly. Whatís the 14-day weather outlook? It might be nice and sunny in Hawaii most of the time, but maybe thereís a tropical storm heading their way in about a week. With that information it would be wise to include some rainy weather gear, wouldnít it?

Think about the unexpected. It seems every summer in the Southwest thereís someone who gets lost in the desert with dire consequences. You might want to invest in an inexpensive GPS unit to ensure that doesnít happen to you. Spontaneously taking the road less traveled might seem spontaneous and fun, but getting lost on a desert road in the searing heat (or a mountain road in 4ft. snow) can be a real fun killer.

What are some other travel planning tips you might not think of?

Make sure your travel bags and luggage can stand up to the journey. The worst time to find out your carry-on is breaking apart at the seams is when you're stuffing it into the overhead bin. Find that out ahead of time. Arriving at that expensive resort with a suitcase held together with rope is not a good look.

Make sure your health is protected while traveling to distant parts of the world, or, for that matter, your annual family trek to Disney World. Pack some travel vitamins. Yes, there are special vitamins made for travel. And, check out some good travel insurance while youíre at it. You never know when youíll need it.

Again, whether it's a trip around the world, or your family outing to the Great Smoky Mountains make sure your travel guides are up to date. You might be building your trip around an attraction that is now closed certain parts of the year, or, worse, has been closed the past several years.

Plan a trip well, and you can have all the spontaneous fun you want.

About The Author - (Contributing authors on each travel subject are selected based on content and authors background in each relevant travel area.) To submit articles to our site please email . Subject matter can range from world destinations, travel tips and recommendations, travel cities, travel to countries, travel excursions, means of travel, and travel websites. Also, you may email to be added to our recommended travel sites list.

Shari Hearn is a writer and frequent contributor to

This article was posted on April 15, 2006


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