Avoid Unpleasant Vacation Surprises

Posted by Phil Rodgers in Wears Valley

Check on your credit cards

Memorial Day weekend was the unofficial kickoff to the summer vacation season. Most schools are out, and it's the time of year when families are making their big annual getaways. We certainly hope your travel plans this year include a trip to Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. We're excited about what the next few months have in store for us at Goats on the Roof.

But wherever you decide to journey this summer, we know you'll want things to go smoothly. And to help you achieve that goal, we're devoting this blog post to tips and suggestions for things you can do the day before you set out on your trip. These are all geared toward minimizing the chances of something unpleasant happening unexpectedly and to increase your chances of having a fun and memorable week away from home.

Notify your credit card company

Sometimes, credit card companies get suspicious when they see activity from places where you and your family usually don't spend money. Take care of that on the front end by letting them know your travel dates and destinations. So when you decide to spend $300 on a snorkeling adventure in Puerto Rico, you won't suddenly find yourself with suspended account activity in the middle of your trip.

Notify your cell phone company

This is especially applicable to international travel, but it can come in handy for U.S. trips as well. Your service provider can help you figure out the least expensive options for calling, texting and using Internet service when you're out on the road.

Notify your home security system company

Those of you with home security systems might want to take the added step of letting your service provider know your travel plans. So if an alarm trips, they'll know it's less likely to have occurred accidentally by someone living in the house.

Confirm all your reservations

You might think you have all your hotel, flight and attraction plans booked in advance, but it's not unusual for lodging properties in particular to mishandle a confirmed reservation. Make sure you have all your confirmation numbers handy and call the day before to gain that additional peace of mind before you hit the road.

Take care of your bills

Unfortunately, service providers and creditors don't care whether you're out of town or not. They expect to be paid on time. If you have automatic monthly drafts set up already, you're probably in good shape. But for those bills that require mailed-in or manual computer payments, make sure your bases are covered before you leave home.

Check the weather

If you're going to be driving all day or flying to a destination that's far from your home town, it might be worth it to see what the weather is going to be when you arrive. Will you need to pack different clothing? Should you make sure your car tires are good enough to handle a rainy, slick highway? These are small things that can have a big impact on a road trip.

Check the fridge

If there are foods in there that are about to expire, throw them out before you leave and take the garbage out. You might also want to make sure your sink and drain are clean to prevent odor buildup while you're gone. The more you prepare on the front end, the more you'll appreciate it when you arrive back home, exhausted from travel.

Hold your mail

Unless you want to come home to a stuffed mailbox or, even worse, to find out that expected package deliveries are missing from your porch, contact the United States Postal Service to hold your mail while you're gone and then deliver it upon your return. Also try not to order items that will need to be delivered as parcels by the USPS or FedEx or UPS in your absence.


This content posted by Goats on the Roof of the Smoky Mountains. Visit our home page, goatsontheroofofthesmokies.com for more information on the goats and their coaster.

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