If you’re looking to get away from it all with a trip away from home, don’t forget to travel smart. A mishap, mistake or forgotten item can ruin a vacation as surely as bad weather or an unpleasant travel companion. While there are some things you just can’t control, maximize your chances of having a good trip with the following travel tips.
If you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get your passport well in advance. Many people underestimate how long it takes to get a passport for the first time and are left scrambling and paying extra fees to get it expedited. Plan for your passport to take six to eight weeks to arrive, especially in peak travel season.
When traveling, it is important to remember to pack only what you need. This rule is most applicable to trips by air, as luggage fees are much higher now than they previously were. Most airports will sell anything you might not have room for and major surrounding cities should as well.
Only pack the clothes you will need. In some instances, it does not pay to be over-prepared. Many people pack far too many clothes when they travel. This is a problem. It is especially a problem when they inadvertently lose the bags that contained them. Try packing multipurpose clothes that you can re-wear.
If you are traveling with a companion but you do not normally share funds, consider having a joint wallet, for expenses like meals, travel and lodging. You and your companion can add the same amount of money to the joint wallet each day. This way, you aren’t constantly splitting bills or exchanging money.
Check the services that are available, beforehand. Many small airports offer charter airlines; they may not show up as you search for rates, and sometimes can offer a better deal than major airlines.
When traveling overseas to other countries it can be very critical to know the culture of the area one is going to. This knowledge can prevent situations that may be akward, embarrassing, or even downright dangerous. Potential disasters can be avoided and one will have a better experience with the people in the area they are traveling in.
After you drop off your items in your hotel room, step back outside. To prepare for an emergency, count the number of doors between your room and the emergency exits. You want to be able to get out safely and if you are unable to see, you will need that number. You may want to have a flashlight handy, as well.
If you plan to travel and have animals, you will need to decide whether they are staying behind or coming with you. Pets can make travel hard if they will need a care giver while you’re gone or the places you plan to travel are not pet friendly. Searching for inexpensive care or pet friendly destinations in advance will help you tremendously.
When traveling by air, move the in-flight magazine and the SkyMall catalog from the seat pocket in front of you to the overhead compartment. Although it won’t free up a lot of space, every little bit counts. This simple adjustment can add some leg room to your journey and help you be more comfortable on your flight.
Before making firm travel plans call the hotel you are considering, and find out when it was built or last renovated. A low-budget facility can be a great place to stay if it is brand new, while a high class hotel can be a miserable experience for you if it is very old. You want to stay somewhere that was either built or renovated in the past five years.
Research and prepare for any communications costs that you might have, in regards to computing while traveling. Knowing where you will have access to Wi-Fi and what equipment you will need to connect at your various destinations, will make your journey easier and avoid on the fly purchases when you need to communicate.
Try to find and wear a money necklace when traveling. Similar to a money belt, a money necklace hold money, your passport, credit cards or any other valuable belonging you may have. It can easily be hidden underneath your clothing. This helps to hide your personal belongings from any thieves or pickpockets.
If you are going to be traveling on an airplane, purchase some antibiotic ointment and cotton swabs. Before you leave to catch your flight, put a generous amount of the ointment on the inside of your nose. It keeps out the germs and helps prevent you from getting sick. It also keeps your nose from drying out.
When going on a car trip, make sure that you treat it like any other drive and wear your seat belt. Also make sure anybody traveling with you wears theirs too. Things can still happen on a trip that can harm you or other people while driving. Road safety doesn’t take a vacation.
If you are traveling overseas, purchase a local newspaper to wrap the souvenirs up in that you buy for family and friends. Foreign newspapers make an interesting and unique wrapping paper for small gifts, especially if the newspaper is in a foreign language. If you know someone that is particularly interested in the country you are visiting, consider buying them a whole newspaper as a souvenir.
Travel is best done with a small group, but if you are travelling alone it can be a great experience as well. People who travel alone have a bit more freedom to do what they want, but special care must be taken, especially by women who are going out at night. Try to make some local friends.
Now that you’ve read the above travel tips, you’re more prepared to meet your travel destiny with the fearlessness of thorough preparation. Keeping these few simple things in mind whenever you leave home on a trip will give you more peace of mind and make sure you bring home more stories about great experiences rather than about stressful learning experiences.