Although traveling nationally or internationally gives you the opportunity to see the world and interact with people of all backgrounds, it can also be a hassle, an expense or even a danger. However, there are ways to make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable, whether it’s for business or pleasure. All you need to do is follow these simple tips.
If you will be driving to your destination, fill a family member or friend in on your destination and planned route to get there. If something were to happen to you while driving, this person would be able to alert officials of your intended destination and the roads you would have been traveling on.
Use plenty of plastic when packing. Putting your clothes, toiletries, and other items in clear plastic bags is always a smart way to pack when traveling. Not only does it help you organize, it also keeps your possessions safe. If the bag should be exposed to the elements on the tarmac, the contents of your bag will stay dry.
Take an extra debit card with you while traveling. Things sometimes get lost on long trips. If you can, keep an extra debit card handy. Having too much cash on hand is often a bad idea. An extra debit card is much less risky and far easier to keep track of.
When traveling to a new city, try your best to look as if you belong there: Never let anyone see that you are lost. Checking your map in the middle of the sidewalk is a sure-fire giveaway, as is asking for directions. Remember, new arrivals are good targets for pickpockets and muggers.
Before you leave on any long vacation, try to find some time to get into shape. Generally while sightseeing, you will be doing quite a lot of walking. If you don’t prepare for this, you can end up sore and unhappy. Also, being more fit might give you added courage for a nude beach or other new experience.
Schedule a late night flight if you are traveling with a baby. Airlines dim lights and raise the cabin temperature on night flights so that people can sleep easier. People are also much quieter and tend to watch movies or listen to music instead of talking. These conditions will help your baby feel relaxed.
If you are traveling abroad, it’s a wise idea to sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free government service for citizens of the United States who live in a foreign country or are planning to visit one. Providing STEP with your contact information and some details on your trip allows them to contact you in the event of an emergency and to advise you of travel warnings and alerts.
Jet lag is a common side effect of traveling across time zones. There is no way to completely avoid it. But, if you keep yourself hydrated, it may help, since some of jet lag’s side effects are related to being dehydrated. If you will avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages and drink a lot of water during your flight, that should help.
When traveling, always know the number of doors between your hotel room and the exit. If there is a fire, you will have to quickly move to the stairwell. If the fire produces a lot of smoke, you may not be able to see, so feeling the doors and counting until you reach the right one may be your only option.
A useful item to pack for your flight, inside your carry-on bag, is a fleece blanket with sleeves. It can keep you warm on a cool plane, while still allowing you to hold your book or magazine. It can also be rolled up and used as a travel pillow.
A vacation does not mean that it has to be far from home. You can find a lot of great trips in your specific state or one adjoining it. You will spend less money traveling if you stick close to home and support the local economy. You might be surprised by the attractions that are hidden so close to home.
Inspect your hotel room for those nasty little bed bugs. As soon as you check in, turn down the covers and check the seams of the mattress for traces of bed bugs. Traces include bloodstains or the actual bugs themselves. This will prevent you from bringing the bugs home with you.
Bring a ruck sack with you when you are traveling on an airplane. Since many airlines are charging fees to check luggage, a lot of travelers are choosing to stick with carry-on bags instead. These bags are typically small, so to ensure that you have enough room for all of your stuff, take a ruck sack. It will fit into the overhead compartment and has a lot of space in it.
Be sure that the activities that you are going to be doing are covered under your travel insurance policy. There are some travel insurance companies that will not cover even the simplest of activities and others that will cover all of them. Read your policy completely to avoid not being covered.
A great travel tip is to check with your hotel if you realize you left your charger at home. Most hotels will let you look through a box of cords and various adapters to help you find the right charger you need. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help.
Discounts are great! If you are planning a trip through Europe, check online to see if you qualify for discounts. Many European countries offer discounted rail passes to people under 26. You may also be able to find discounts for museums, landmarks and other popular tourist attractions. Senior discounts are also available.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to make traveling more pleasurable, as well as safer and less costly. Many of these tips come from seasoned travelers who have learned through experience. Use their knowledge to your advantage the next time you have to plan a trip, whether it’s in a neighboring city or another country.