Expert Advice

4 Things to Remember When Planning to Travel, According to a Seasoned Elite Premier Owner

Simple tips to make traveling less stressful

Eric Z
Couple enjoying the view from a cliff on vacation.

With more than a decade of Hilton Grand Vacations ownership under my belt, planning for travel used to be second nature. But, admittedly, I'm having to put some extra thought into making plans in the new-normal, pandemic era.

Exterior shot of Hilton Grand Vacations at McAlpin-Ocean Plaza lit up at nighttime in Miami, Florida.    

With one vacation to Hilton Grand Vacations at McAlpin-Ocean Plaza checked off so far this year and another to Hawaii in the works, I've discovered a few minor updates to my travel planning process that yield big results.  

So as the world is re-opening to travelers again, I'm sharing my top four simple tips for planning for travel in today's world. 

1. Make safety your top priority. 

For my family, that means we all got vaccinated. Whether the destination you're planning to visit requires vaccination, just knowing that you're already prepared (and protected) makes the process much less stressful. It also simplifies planning travel for destinations that might still have travel restrictions. 

2. Start planning early.

Do your research and prepare to book early. With the demand for travel on the rise, it'll be harder to reserve specific properties and certain dates. So take advantage of the 12-month window for home resorts and start immediately booking at the start of the 9-month window for other non-home resorts. 

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner at lobby front desk.    

Insider tip: Another hack I've learned over the years is to "walk the reservation." This is where you book the first three days, and you then add a day until you reach your desired check-out date.

3. Have a Plan B.

Be flexible and have a backup plan in place. While we're getting closer to travel and other parts of life getting back to "normal," we're still in the midst of unusual times.

Anything can change last minute.

Having a "plan b" ensures that we can still get away and have family time no matter what happens.

4. Do your part.

Try to choose companies like Hilton Grand Vacations that take cleanliness and safety standards seriously and make travel safer. If nothing else comes from the pandemic, I think we will all be more focused on our health and well-being collectively. Knowing you’ve chosen companies who value your well-being, too, puts your mind at ease.

Hilton Grand Vacations Team Member wearing a face covering and waving.    

Most importantly, I have newfound mindfulness as I plan to travel again.

I'm trying to be very thoughtful of our trip activities — not taking any vacation or opportunity for new adventures my family can experience with Hilton Grand Vacations for granted.

We're ready to get out and see the world again.

Read on for what you need to know for when you’re ready to start traveling again.

Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Eric Z.

Eric Z

Seasoned Owner and returning Explorer, Eric made his home resort The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in 2006 and never looked back on life before vacation ownership — quickly climbing the ownership tiers, reaching Elite Premier status. As an Elite Premier Owner, he and his family including, his wife, teenage son and parents, regularly enjoy elevated access to some of the best amenities and services offered to Members, such as extended vacations. 

Over the years, his travel has afforded him unforgettable father and son trips, priceless multigenerational family vacations and even his once-in-a-lifetime destination wedding at Kings' Land by Hilton Grand Vacations in Hilton Waikoloa Village. He's your go-to guide for practical vacation ownership tips and says, "I love Hilton Grand Vacations and the opportunity to share what I've learned over the years."

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