Once you know where you’re going, it’s a good idea to read (or ask other travelers) about the customs, type of local food, transportation costs, etc. We also recommend checking out the weather, as it will determine what to pack. Find out what there is to do at the destination, places you want to visit, and museums and restaurants you don’t want to miss.
For this you can use a travel guide, which you can also take with you in order to know where you are at all times and make last minute changes. You can opt for a pocket guide (nothing like the pleasure of reading paper!) or, if you prefer, you can download podcasts or digital guides ahead of time that you can check out on your favorite device.
Once you have your “must” list ready, locate everything on a map (you can use Google Maps) and then choose a centrally located lodging option.
One more tip! Take advantage of the fact that you can download maps on your cell phone in order to be able to look at them at all times, even if you don’t have Wi-Fi.
After researching the places you don’t want to miss, divide them by days, taking into account their location and the approximate time you want to spend at each one. Your hotel can help you out with this.
At Samba Vallarta All Inclusive we offer you consulting before and during your stay so you can get to know our destinations in depth through activities, cultural events, restaurant reservations, and special tours.
It’s also essential that you consider certain aspects like trip length, number of people, how you’ll be getting around (if you’ll be renting a car or using public transportation), if the trip is for business or pleasure, romantic or family-oriented, with friends or on your own…
If this all seems too much and you’re worried about going over budget, why not look for an “All-included” option like Samba Vallarta in Bay of Banderas, where you don’t have to worry about anything but having a good time, as food, drinks and activities are already included.
If you’re traveling by plane, take a good look at what type of luggage is included in your ticket, as many airlines charge extra for checked bags and only allow carry-on with a limited weight (generally two small items with a combined total weight of no more than 22 lbs).
It’s best to travel light and, if possible, divide your things in two: one suitcase for your clothes and a medium-sized bag you can keep with you to carry your cell phone, charger, and documents (plane/bus tickets, ID, passport, cash, tour guide, etc.).
When packing, lay out and organize the outfits you plan to wear —from shirts and pants to underwear, bathing suits, and socks— over your bed. That way, you can make sure that you’re not missing anything, or taking anything you don’t need. Add shoes, slippers, hat, sunglasses, and a jacket. Always keep in mind the weather of the place you’re traveling to and aim to take clothing you know won’t leave you too hot or too cold should the weather change.
Too much to remember? Check out the packing apps, which feature packing checklists according to your destination, the weather, and activities. There’s TripList, PackPoint and Packing List.