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Going On a Vacation? Some Tips on How to Prepare

Whether it’s your first vacation or a seasoned traveler it’s always a good idea make a checklist of everything you want and need for your trip.  Start the list a month before so that you have plenty of time to get everything ready.  This will allow you enough time to think of everything you will want to take with you.


A Few Months Out

Are your travel documents up to date?  Make sure you find out what travel documents are necessary to wherever it is that you are traveling too.   Some countries require that your passport be valid for an additional 6-months past the final day of your stay.  Do you need any vaccinations or visas?

If you have any special needs this is the time to let the ship or the hotel know.  You want to make sure that they have as much information as possible so that they can accommodate your request.  The more time you allow them, the more likely your needs will be met.

If you regularly use any sort of medical equipment that you would prefer to rent instead of taking it along this is the time to call Special Needs Group.  Is there anything such as a mobility scooter or a bed wedge that will make your vacation more comfortable?  All rental equipment is on a first come, first serve basis so you will want to make sure that your needs will be taken care of as soon as possible.

One Month Out

Do you want to buy anything?  A special outfit or new bathing suit?  Some new walking shoes?  A new set of luggage?  All of these things are best to purchase with a little bit of lead time.  This will allow time for you to try things in the comfort of your home to make sure they look and fit like you want them to.  You’ll also want time to break into any new shoes.  If you purchase these things a month ahead of time it still should give you enough time to make any returns or exchanges.

Are you celebrating a special occasion?  Is there a dining revenue that you definitely want to enjoy or are there any spa treatments that you don’t want to miss.  Make sure to make to book these as soon as possible so you aren’t disappointed if they sell out.

Make sure that you have all of your prescriptions ready so that you can fill them shortly before you leave.  Most doctors’ offices are very busy and not always able to assist immediately if not an emergency. 

Start a packing list for each member of the family.  It’s good to keep this list close so that you can add as you think of things.  This should ensure that you don’t end up having to make any unnecessary trips to a gift shop or local store.  Remember that most things, including basic necessities, are much more expensive at vacation destinations, on ships and hotel gift shops.               

2-Weeks Out

Start putting aside the things that you want to take with you that you will not need before you leave.  From those special vacation outfits that are not appropriate because of the weather at home.  If you are skiing and live in Florida you can certainly put aside all of your ski/winter clothes.  The same can be said about your bathing suits and flip flops if you are taking a Caribbean cruise in February to get away from the snow in Chicago. 

Make appointments for haircuts, waxing and mani/pedis.  You’ll want to look fresh but don’t try anything to new or radical right before you go away just in case it doesn’t turn out exactly as you want it to.

24-Hours Before

If you are traveling by air check in to the flight on the internet.  It makes for a smoother start to your vacation. 

Double check that packing list and make sure you didn’t forget anything.  Few things are as annoying as having to use some of your vacations funds to purchase something that you have at home for a lot more money than you usually pay.

Make sure all chargers are packed! 

A Few Other Things You Might Want to Bring

A Book or Magazine – Even if your vacation is going to be back to back adventures with little down time you should consider taking some reading material.  You never know when there will be a delay or the weather doesn’t cooperate and you find yourself with some free time on your hands.  This is extremely important when traveling with children. 

If traveling with kids make sure you have enough things to keep them entertained along the way.

Even if you are traveling to a warm weather destination it is usually a good idea to pack a light sweater.  So many places are air conditioned and can get pretty cold.

We hope this will help you prepare for your next vacation.


August 22, 2014


Special Needs Group / Special Needs at Sea is the leading global provider for Special Needs travel. We offer a broad range of Special Needs equipment including wheelchair rentals, electric scooter rentals, power chair rentals, oxygen and more. We are recommended by ALL major cruise lines for superior service and value. Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers. For more info, visit


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