Traveling can be a special and fulfilling experience for you if you take advantage of it. Learning how to plan trips is not that hard, but it does require some research so that you don’t end up getting lost or losing money on something you don’t need. This list of tips should help you become a smarter traveler.
Make sure that you fill any prescriptions that you take on a regular basis before you leave town on a trip. Running out of medication while visiting a new place can be both stressful and expensive as you have to track down a pharmacy that can fill your prescription for you.
Only pack things that are necessary. The less you bring with you, the lower the chances of you having your valuables lost or stolen. Take with you only the essentials, and try to avoid stuffing your bag with too many heavy pairs of shoes.
Sanitize your area. You may get a few sideways glances, but in the confined space of a crowded aircraft, you are just asking to get sick. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer or some sanitizing wipes and wipe off your tray table, armrests and any buttons, as soon as you sit down. Be sure to also use it on your hands and try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Losing your rental car in large parking lots is no fun. Carry one of those fluorescent foam balls that fit over the tip of your antenna or maybe even a colorful ribbon to tie to the rear view mirror. They take up no room in your luggage and can sure make locating that car a whole lot easier when there are exactly 37 others that look just like it in the same row where you parked!
Don’t tempt robbers! Especially when traveling abroad or in unsafe areas, don’t make your belongings look tempting to steal. Instead of carrying around shiny new backpacks and gear, use older things. If you don’t have any older gear that will work, stick some duct tape on your new pack to give the impression that it is older.
Before leaving for an overseas vacation, create a copy of your travel itinerary to leave with a friend or a family member. This ensures that someone else knows where you should be and when. It can also assist you if your luggage is lost, since you will have a domestic contact who can confirm your whereabouts.
If you’ve been travelling long distance with kids, stop at a playground or park before you get to the hotel, to let them run off some pent up energy. Another thing you can do is to hit the pool, as soon as you get to the hotel. This will help keep them quieter while you’re in the hotel. Not only will your appreciate the peace but the other guests will, as well.
Want to take a trip with some friends, but nobody has a car big enough for everyone to fit in? Traveling with children and want to minimize the food and bathroom breaks? Try renting an RV; and then you can pack everyone in, even the family dog. Look online for rental companies in your area.
Always look up recent reviews to the travel destinations and hotels that you plan on visiting. The more reviews a place has, the more reliable it is and the easier you can figure out if the place is one you want to stay at. If the review has photos, even better. Pictures tell more than words can, most times.
If you’re planning to stay in the same city for awhile, you should look into renting an apartment or house instead of staying at a hotel. You can find many websites devoted to short-term rentals. By renting, you will save money, get better accommodations, and have a more authentic local experience.
If you are someone who loves to travel frequently, a timeshare may be a good investment. Many timeshares offer a points system and exchange weeks. If your timeshare is in Maine and you would like to go to Aruba, you can exchange or trade your timeshare week with someone else. Although there is an initial investment, the money you will save on hotel stays, will be well worth the expense.
Pay extra for the balcony when traveling on a cruise ship. Not only does it give you and your partner a little retreat, but it also provides you with an incredible view of the ocean. A balcony can add just the touch of romance that you might have been craving on your vacation.
Read several reliable travel forums. These forums have come a long way in recent years and can be quite informative about the potential destinations on your list. Take some time to read many of the posts on the site to find out what to expect when you get to your travel destination.
Use your work address or a business card in your suitcase tags if you are wary of strangers getting a hold of your home address. With the increase in identity theft cases, many people want to protect their identities whenever possible. By using your work address on your luggage, you can protect your identity while still making it possible for you to be reached if your bags are lost.
During your trip, do not give out any unnecessary personal information, such as your address or full name. You may not think so at the time, but taxi drivers, door men, or anyone else for that matter could store your information in their head and use it to steal your identity.
A great travel tip is to always take a look at the mini-bar in your hotel room. If there are bottles or beverages in the mini-bar that aren’t sealed you should contact the front desk and tell them about it so that your account isn’t charged. This simple step can save you money.
As you can see, there is a lot more to traveling than most people think. It requires a lot of research and planning, but it will be worth it in the end to have a great trip. By following the above tips, you are well on your way to becoming a smarter traveler.