How To Plan For That Trip of a Lifetime

Get the most out of your next big trip (or the trip of your dreams!) with these tips.

 

The view from the top of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is easily one of our biggest travel moments!

The view from the top of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is easily one of our biggest travel moments!

Right now we are midway through an amazing Mediterranean cruise, sailing from Barcelona to the south of France, and finishing off with a few days in Italy. It’s easily a trip of a lifetime for many people, including us. The luxury of setting sail, the carefreeness of having journeys organized, and, of course, stopping in stunning seaside locations … how could you not love it?

When it comes to planning a bigger trip, or one that you have been dreaming of for years, you don’t want anything to go wrong. We’ve learned a few tricks from our own travels and from our fellow travel friends that always help us get the most out of a vacation and that help keep us ready should anything change last minute. Here are four secrets to upping the ante before you book (and making it a trip you will not forget)!

A trip of a life time means you shouldn't skimp on the little luxuries (like a dip in a hot tub with a view of Monte Carlo in the background!)

A trip of a life time means you shouldn’t skimp on the little luxuries (like a dip in a hot tub with a view of Monte Carlo in the background!)

1. Reward Yourself

Before you even start booking or making reservations for your trip, you can begin working towards building your dream vacation by collecting travel rewards points. A credit card with a great rewards program is essential during our travels, which is how we recently discovered the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. This simplified rewards program means you get points on every purchase you make, no matter where you use the card (think double reward miles on all purchases). And even better, you get a one-time bonus of 40,000 reward miles (equal to $400 in travel!) which will no doubt help out with your dream trip. And the fact that you can redeem travel reward miles for flights on any airline and with no blackout travel dates means you can start planning and saving points for the best flight options! And it’s not just flights – you can use travel reward miles for other travel-related expenses like airline fees, limos/taxies to the airport and swanky hotel upgrades.

Get ready to take in the views on your next dream vacation like this on the island of Corsica.

Get ready to take in the views on your next dream vacation like this on the island of Corsica.

2. Don’t Skimp on Luxuries

If you’re planning your dream vacation, this isn’t the time to skimp! Book that business or first-class ticket on your flight, arrange for a car pickup instead of a regular taxi, add on those extra long massages at the spa, and reserve the chef’s table at a swanky restaurant … because why not?! Adding in a few extra luxuries can take your trip from great to something you’ll never, ever forget. And while we know that so much of travel is about experience and not just about how much money you spend, take the time to think about where you would want to splurge (maybe the penthouse isn’t in your future, but a helicopter ride over Monte Carlo just might be).

One of our dream trips was to cruise through the Mediterranean.

One of our dream trips was to cruise through the Mediterranean.

3. Plan Ahead

It may seem like a simple thought, planning your vacation, but when you’re spending a lot of time and money on one big trip (honeymoons, anniversary trips, etc.), you can never plan too much. Have contingency plans in place for bad weather (no one likes a rainy day at the beach!), missed trains and other unforeseen events. Make sure you have reservations made well in advance for spas and restaurants so you’re not disappointed. Anything that is super important to you, make sure you have it covered (and checked off twice!).

Florence, Italy is high up on the dream vacation list for so many people, and with views like this, we know why!

Florence, Italy is high up on the dream vacation list for so many people, and with views like this, we know why!

4. Protect Yourself

We always recommend you travel with insurance of some kind, but we also know that for smaller weekend getaways and quick trips it’s not always top of mind. When you’re travelling for an extended period of time, or investing a hefty amount of money into a vacation, the last thing you want to have to deal with is not having insurance if something goes awry. We’ve all been there when luggage goes missing or a flight is cancelled, but insurance will also cover you if you become sick, injured, or have any major travel interruptions. A lot of credit cards, especially travel rewards cards, have travel insurance, like we discovered with the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard and the Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum MasterCard. The cards offer premium benefits including Travel Emergency Medical insurance and Baggage Delay insurance, while the World Elite version also offers Trip Cancellation insurance.  When planning the trip of a lifetime, you can never be too sure and have enough bases covered. Plan for the unexpected and put your mind at ease so you can unwind and enjoy every moment of your trip.

You can find more information about the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard here –> http://bit.ly/1TYWGji

This post was sponsored by Capital One Canada.