Avoid a horrific holiday with travel tips for a better trip

Avoid a horrific holiday with travel tips for a better trip

Check your social media sites and you'll likely see a flood of profile pictures showing your friends having fun in the sun and sand.

That's because many folks from Newfoundland and Labrador take advantage of the Easter break by heading south to get as far away as possible from the rain, freezing drizzle and fog. 

But not all holidays are full of smiles.

Travel blogger Melissa Hogan has felt her share of pain and sorrow while trying to get away from it all. 

"For me, planning is almost half the fun," Hogan told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

"I say to my friends, 'I am not happy unless I have a spread sheet.' I've [got] Google Maps on the go ... where I think I might want to eat, things I might want to do."

Hogan created the blog Suitcase and Heels to document her adventures, and believes the best way to avoid holiday heartbreak is to secure your seat in advance. 

"Always check in online if you can," she said.

"Especially if you want to avoid the middle seat or avoid being bumped. If you wait to check in at the airport, and the flight is oversold, that puts you at a higher risk of being bumped."

Hogan offers up a few other tips:

- Packing cubes can be used to compress clothes and fit belongings into a carry-on — plus you'll save on luggage fees.

- Avoid data roaming charges by purchasing a local SIM card for your cellphone when you land.

- Always have a change of clothes in your carry-on.

- If you plan to do some shopping, bring along a collapsible bag in your carry-on. That way you save the extra baggage fee on the way to your destination.