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Top 10 Tips: Choosing your next trip

For many travelers, one of the most exciting aspects about traveling is actually planning the trip itself—choosing a destination, selecting exciting excursions and activities, scheduling intriguring cultural experiences, and anticipating the departure date.

We've assembled a Top 10 Tips list for elements to consider when planning your next travel adventure.

Itinerary
Choose an itinerary that complements your travel style and strengths, while not being too ambitious. Aim for a daily schedule that will provide maximum enjoyment—with the ability to see various sights without feeling overwhelmed.

Transportation
Choose a travel program that provides transportation options that suit your preferences. If visiting more than one location during your itinerary, you may need to travel between destinations by motor coach, small or large plane, large or small ship, or even by train.

Daily Physical Exertion (i.e. walking, hiking, etc)
Consider the requirements of physical mobility during your travels. What amount—and what type—of activities does the itinerary entail? Also keep in mind varying terrian, including cobblestone streets or sidewalks, unpaved hiking paths, and even boarding and disembarking small water vessels, like Zodiac rafts.

Elevators
If stairs pose a problem, it's important to select a travel program that includes overnight stays at hotels or properties that provide an elevator. Further, compared to the U.S., requirements for ADA-accessibility are not as prevalent, so visiting historical sites may pose a challenge.

Altitude
Be informed if your itinerary will bring you to higher altitudes, as this may have an impact on you. Before you travel, speak to your health care provider to learn about over-the-counter or prescription medicine that may help you acclimate to conditions during your trip.

Weather
Staying warm, dry, and comfortable will help ensure you have an enjoyable time while traveling. Understand weather and climate expectations before departing in order to pack accordingly.

Food Choices
If visiting a remote or less-developed country, choose food and beverage choices carefully. Bottled water is available almost everywhere now, but food safety can vary widely from country to country. Food allergies, sensitivities or preferences are all important items to consider, as will any potential language barrier that makes communicating them difficult.

Access to Medical Care
Do you have a pre-existing condition that may require medical care while you are traveling? Will the location you are planning to visit have the resources to assist if needed? While no one plans for accidents or illness while traveling, understanding what services may, or may not be available if the worst happens can be an important part of the planning process.

Travel Companions
Travel can be greatly enhanced when you are joined by like-minded travelers who have similar abilities. Choosing a program with those who have a comparable travel style can make all the difference.

AND FINALLY…

Travel Insurance
Remember that most health insurance policies do NOT offer coverage for travel outside the U.S., so considering a travel insurance plan is always a good idea. There are many good options to choose from and they can cover many different travel situations, health needs (including pre-existing conditions), and budgets.

Whether your travel style is relaxed and leisurely, or fast-paced and highly active, finding the right trip that will provide the best experience is worth the research. Being a well-educated travel planner is the first step to a wonderful journey.