Research is the most important part of pre-trip planning, followed by flight and accommodation reservations. Make a checklist, ask someone to water the plants and care for the pet. Leave everything organized to be absent carefree!
Obviously you will be traveling when you can stay away from work and other appointments, but you should also consider the cheapest travel seasons, which are the seasons before and after the summer (January to April and October to December). The summer months (June to September) are the most expensive. Determine when to travel according to the weather, special festivals or events on the island and special travel offers. Please note that in low seasons, places to visit may have more restricted opening hours.
If you are going to rent a car, look for the best options and take into account the companies that offer free insurance, unlimited mileage or free child car seats. Car rental companies tend to have many hidden costs.
Make sure you have a passport valid for at least three months from the date of return. Make sure you have the visa required to enter Europe. It is recommended to apply for a visa at least 6 weeks before your trip.
Consult your bank about an international credit card, where you can use it and how. Inquire about any hidden fees for using your credit card outside of your country and keep the contact number in case your card is lost or stolen. Get travel insurance and decide if you just want health coverage or lost luggage and canceled travel insurance. Your credit card or health insurance company can sell travel insurance.
If you intend to drive, make sure you have an international driving license.
Organize the medications you use regularly to take with you on your trip.
Flight booking is an art these days. There are several travel sites that do an in-depth search to find the ideal time to buy and the cheapest time and day to fly. Check out the many low budget airlines and whether it can be cheaper to fly on a stopover. Plan transportation from the airport to your accommodation.
Once you have worked out your budget, you will have a general idea of the type of accommodation you should be looking for. Accommodation and flights are the two things you must book in advance.
When selecting accommodation, consider your budget, your personal taste, any needs you may have (breakfast included, wheelchair access, family room, etc.) and, most importantly, consider the location. Location, location, location! Find out how to get to the accommodation from the airport. Check the cancellation and payment policy.
At this stage you have already chosen accommodation that suits your budget and provides everything you need. The next step is to pay and print your accommodation voucher. Contact the accommodation to arrange any special extras and ask your questions. Save your email responses. Some travelers prefer to book a hotel only for the first and last night of their trip and to find other accommodations as soon as they arrive. This is only for the brave at heart and the super spontaneous.
Make your trip even more special, including a special activity, experience or day trip. Wine tasting, boat tour, bicycle tour, stand up paddle or many others that are available. This type of activity should generally be booked in advance, but do not book specific activities before you have booked your airline ticket.
Get strong luggage; check with your airline for the allowable dimensions of hand luggage. Start making a list and whenever you remember things to bring, make a note to check when packing.
The amount of time you spend on your trip and the things you do and the places you stay will be largely determined by your budget. Decide more or less how much you can pay before searching for accommodation and airline tickets! Search where exchange rates are best, convert your travel money into euros.
Search for local delicacies, the best restaurants and the must-see restaurants.
Map your basic itinerary, leaving room for maneuver, then start filling in the blanks to see if you can fit everything you want to see and do and on what days. Start with the top 10 attractions and after adding these essentials to your travel plan, add some attractions that interest you personally. If you have enough time, plan a day or two trip to another island. For each attraction check when it is open and if it has availability. There is nothing worse than arriving at a museum to find that it is closed! Have a basic plan, but stay flexible. To really feel Faial, include city and rural activities in your itinerary.
Nowadays, travel can be enhanced with a few simple gadgets. There are endless applications that you can download to make your trip easier, for example, use the Explorefaial.com mobile app as your guide and use the online resources to create your own travel plan; download a currency conversion app, metric conversion app, translation app and map app. Organize your smart phone plan so that you can use your phone at minimal cost, check that you can access the Internet from your phone and that the phone charger is compatible with the European system. Record the phone numbers of your airline and accommodation in your contacts. If you prefer to take pictures with a camera instead of your cell phone, remember to take the charger and batteries. Equip yourself with a good pair of earphones and enough music to listen to during your adventure on Faial Island.