Travel Planning Tips

Whether you are a novice or an experienced traveler, planning a trip can be a daunting task.  These questions are designed to help you to begin thinking about your next trip!

See how many you can answer and let Susan’s Custom Tours & Travel help with the rest!

What was the best experience from your last vacation?

What type of accommodations best suit your needs?

What is the preferred time of your travel?

What are your interests and goals for this vacation?

What are your expectations for this trip?

What is your budget?


Take Great Photos

Digital cameras and cell phones make it so easy to take great photos and videos of your travels and you don’t need to be a professional photographer to get a frame-worthy shot.

Besides your memories, the greatest souvenir you can bring home from your travels are great photos and videos.

A few ideas include the classic photo but make the next one show feeling and emotion, an intimate expression. Try to take natural photos rather than posing.

Some examples of interesting photo subjects include:

  • A photo of your food – the one that was so good you’ll never want to forget it.
  • A candid picture of your group enjoying the local life.
  • Gathered around a table for dinner? This is the perfect opportunity to ask a server to snap a picture!
  • Make sure to take a few shots on the local transportation (ferry, bus, etc.), shopping, laughing, or a quiet moment at a museum or gallery.
  • Capture the Masaai Warrior herding sheep or the sheepdog with the farmer or the florist arranging flowers – with these small moments captured you will always be able to cherish the memories of exploring and learning about different cultures.

These are a few ideas for interesting photos that will trigger memories of your once in a lifetime vacation. For that majestic mountain, beach scene or grass plains incorporate a tree, shell or stone. Make it interesting! Place something in the landscape, play with composition and angles.

If your phone takes pictures, it takes video too!

Put that digital camera on video and not only record the scene but the voices and action surrounding the scene.

Frame a shot so the “sculpture” is not the entire photograph. Put the point of interest to the left or right of the photo and add a person, flower or painting.

And most importantly…
Have someone take a few photos of you on your vacation! Give them the camera.

Travel Healthy

The travel experience can be a range of emotions and feelings from excitement to exhaustion.

Take the time to care for yourself before takeoff by doing the following:

  • Sleep at least 8 hours a night.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially the day before and day you depart.
  • Pack a week prior to departure.
  • Give yourself quiet time and rest the night prior to departure.
  • Bring a travel pillow, blanket, and ear plugs.
  • Listen to meditations or calming music while traveling.

Before You Leave Home

Plan and pack smartly with this great list of suggestions before you leave home!



  • Have someone check your house
  • Turn off your water
  • Close & lock all windows
  • Stop mail delivery
  • Unplug electronics
  • Turn off OR raise AC unit
  • Lower heat
  • Stop newspaper delivery
  • Put lights on timers
  • Remove trash
  • Clean refrigerator


If you have a pet, arrange for pet sitting.

  • List instructions for care & feeding

  • Leave the # of your Veterinarian and Emergency Animal Hospital information

  • Leave copies of your pet’s vaccinations



  • Call your credit card company to alert them of overseas charges

  • Call your bank if you plan on using an ATM machine abroad

  • Obtain a reasonable amount of currency prior to departure

  • Have small bills for tipping

  • Call your cell phone company for international access if you plan on calling home


  • Leave all valuables at home and any item you treasure

  • Take a copy of your passport with you

  • Leave a copy of itinerary, airline ticket & passport at home

  • Remove all previous tags from luggage

  • Add new tags and place one inside your luggage as well as outside

  • If you have a black suitcase you are among the majority – put something on the outside of your bag to easily identify it

  • Keep your luggage in the required weight limit to prevent additional fees

  • Bring COMFORTABLE walking shoes, a wide brim hat, sun lotion, insect repellent, a pair of long pants, a money belt

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket or rain poncho

  • Make sure any prescription medication is filled and enough for the duration of the trip

  • Keep a color theme to prevent over packing – PACK LIGHT!

  • You will be carrying your luggage


Remember these!

  • Camera, charger, lens cleaning cloth

  • Binoculars

  • Phone charger

  • Extra batteries

  • Small flashlight


“Susan, I thought you did a fantastic job planning this trip. Communication was frequent and clear. I appreciate everything you did to make our group feel comfortable and prepared.  Seeing pictures of your previous trips and checking out your choice of clothing and essentials was very helpful. I also appreciate the great price you were able to find for flights and insurance and the fact that you booked them for us! You did all the work and made our lives easier. This certainly was a custom tour. Thank you!”

~ Beverly, Quincy MA


Let Susan Customize Your Vacation TODAY!


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