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.
Make sure you keep your receipts. Saving receipts and keeping them organized while traveling is always a smart idea, especially if your trip is business related. Not only is it a good idea for financial reasons, they can also serve as a journal of sorts and can even make nice mementos from your trip.
The advice “don’t drink the water” if you travel to a foreign country is, unfortunately, accurate. However, you can also have intestinal upsets any time you drink water from a place other than where you live, even in the U.S. That’s because the bacterial flora that live in your gut (intestinal tract) are very sensitive to the composition of your own water, in your own area. It takes them a while to get used to water from elsewhere, and in the meantime, they want to push that unfamiliar water right through. So until you get used to the local water, wherever you are, sip slowly or stick with bottled H20.
If you plan on going on a road trip, you should look at maps ahead of time and choose the best road. Make sure you have enough money for gas and food. You can choose ahead of time where you are going to stop so that you do not waste time looking for a gas station.
If you or a travel companion is seriously allergic or sensitive to cigarette smoke, don’t just ask for a non-smoking room. Requesting that your room be located on a non-smoking floor ensures that your neighbors will not be smoking in their rooms when the doors are opened, and that smoke will not carry between windows of rooms on the same floor.
Make your baggage easy to spot. Place large bright stickers and pictures all over your luggage, so that when you spot it coming through, you know for a fact it is yours. This helps to not only find your bag, but also to get rid of the embarrassment that comes when you accidentally grab one that isn’t yours.
Traveling by bus with children can be a trying experience, but you can make it easier by being prepared for boredom, snack attacks and other potential circumstances. Bringing along some travel games and coloring books and crayons are great ways to keep both younger and older children occupied. If you travel overnight rather than during the day, a young child is likely to sleep through most of the trip. Pack a snack bag with food and beverages for each child. Give your children the opportunity to stretch their legs by getting off the bus during brief stops.
Airline travel does not have to break the bank. There are several ways to go on that vacation you want to and not pay too much for it. You can travel during off seasons and save quite a bit on destination travel. There are also travel agents that can save you money when you buy airfare and lodging together.
When you are traveling, try to pack everything in one carry-on bag. Airlines have started charging for things that they used to include in the price of your ticket, including checked bags, snacks and entertainment. There are two airlines that do not charge you to check bags, but they often have long waits at their baggage areas. You’ll save time and money if you can keep everything in a single bag.
Take advantage of the hotel ice maker when making your next pot of in-room coffee. The ice makers in most hotels are filled with filtered water, while your room only offers tap water. A cup of coffee will taste better if the water is filtered. Fill your ice bucket at night and use the melted ice for your coffee the next morning.
Traveling long distance in a car with children can be challenging. Take along a variety of activities for the kids to play with such as coloring books, crayons, toys, etc. It is also fun to play games with the kids such as trying to find license plates from all the states, or playing I Spy.
If you are worried about cleanliness while traveling, consider using your t-shirt as a pillowcase in your hotel room. Turn your shirt inside out and put it over your pillow. While it may not be as clean as you would like, it beats not knowing who or what was on the pillow before you arrived.
To avoid angering the passenger sitting behind you on the plane, make sure to look behind you before reclining your seat. By checking that there is sufficient room to recline first, you will avoid many of the frequent mishaps that come from inconsiderate recliners, such as: spilled drinks, broken laptop screens, and bruised knees.
If you will be driving when you travel to another country, take the time to contact your insurance carrier. They can give you any needed documentation that pertains to your insurance coverage, any additional insurance you may need and much needed advice or information about regulations for driving at your destination.
Airport websites may be a great place to get some really cheap tickets. The site will list all of different airlines that offer service there. Watch out for the list of fees that the airlines might charge you. It may end up nickel and diming you with baggage fees and some other fees and end up costing you more than the other airlines.
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.