When it’s time to get away, whether for business or pleasure, the experience of traveling can be rewarding and fun. Take some tips from those who hit the highways and byways on a regular basis. A little planning and forethought can go a long way on the road to a pleasurable journey.
Before you go on a trip, ask around for tips from friends and family. See who has been there before and/or what they’d recommend you either visit or avoid. Are there particular restaurants, sights, or shows you should see? You can also check out sites on the internet that provide advice from fellow travelers.
Don’t be afraid to cash in your airline miles. Many travelers let their miles accumulate and never bother using them. Reap the rewards of your traveling and spend the miles you’ve earned! Miles have expiration dates, so be sure to use them before they expire. Often you can use them on items other than travel, so check out your options and get to spending.
When eating at a restaurant where you are still unsure of the culture, pay attention to the habits of the other diners. Not only will copying them help you decide what to order, it could even prevent you from committing an embarrassing faux pas in front of the other diners.
If you are planning on traveling in the coming months, keep your eye out for promotional deals online through various discount travel sites. By signing up through a discount site and entering desired travel destinations and dates into their database, you will receive emails that will alert you when there are especially low prices or good promotions to your next intended destination.
When taking a road trip, naturally you’re going to pass things that look interesting that someone in the car may one to stop and see. But you can’t always stop at every interesting spot or your trip would never end. Instead, give each member a “Stop Card.” This way if something comes up that they want to stop and see, they can use their card, and the entire family can stop, no questions asked. You can decide how many each person gets, depending on how much time you have.
Traveling with a suitcase that has no dividers or compartments you can split your clothes up in can be tough. A great way to get around this problem is by placing a piece of cardboard between different clothing selections or items. Not only will you be able to separate your items, but you will come out looking more organized.
Try using a racing belt to thwart pickpockets. Getting robbed can ruin your entire vacation. To lessen the chances of this happening, consider investing in the storage belts racers use to store their keys, money, and such. This will keep your valuables close to your body where they are less likely to be stolen.
Confirm your reservations. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination, only to find out that there isn’t a reservation in your name. As a simple precaution, 24 hours before your scheduled arrival, verify your reservations online or over the phone. This will allow time to make alternate plans if your reservation was missed.
When choosing an airline, it’s important to take more than just the price of the ticket into consideration. A lot of airlines charge money for checked bags now, and many charge other excessive hidden costs. Before ‘shelling out your hard earned money’ for what seems like a cheap ticket, do some research.
Travel is a great opportunity to learn more things. Even taking a trip to a developing nation can be a safe way to teach kids about the lives of people outside their home country. Through cultural exposure abroad, your family can build understanding and tolerance for many types of people.
If you are packing for a cruise, don’t buy anything new for the trip. This is because most cruises today will allow you to remain in casual clothes even for dinner, and almost never require that you dress in black-tie formalwear. Whatever you currently own is most likely acceptable for the trip.
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.
To save money on your vacation, don’t be afraid of last-minute bookings. When airlines or cruise companies still have tickets available a few days before the departure date, they lower prices because they are desperate to sell. With a last-minute booking, you can take the vacation of your dreams at rock-bottom prices.
Pack a multi-tool knife in your luggage. The scissors can cut through zip ties, and the corkscrew is perfect for impromptu wine tastings. When you reach your destination and unpack, make sure this multi-purpose tool goes with you wherever you go. Don’t put it in your carry-on though, as the airline won’t allow it on your person in flight.
Adjust your schedule to your destinations timezone a day or two before leaving. If you will be traveling to a location where morning is three hours earlier than you are used to, set your alarm to start the routine early. Get to bed earlier to match the timezone as well and you can acclimate your body to the ritual.
Pick up a few newspapers while you are traveling overseas. A newspaper makes a great souvenir. If you are able to read the language, it will remind you of what was happening in that locale on the days you were there. If you can’t read it, consider using it as wrapping paper for the gifts that you bring home to your friends and family. It will add another unique touch to your presents.
Now that you’ve armed yourself with some insight and information, you’re ready to venture in a relaxed and informed manner. Stay alert, and at the same time remember to relish the experience of meeting new people and embracing new cultures. Try these tips and you can be confident and enjoy the trip.