Travel offers you not only the experience of seeing new places, it’s also fun and educational. You’ll meet new friends and make lifetime memories. Of course, you want your adventures to go smoothly to make the most of your trips. Here are some ideas to help keep everything enjoyable and stress-free.
When traveling, you can avoid hassle and reduce travel dangers by blending in. Don’t wear expensive jewelry or location-specific designer brands that mark you as a tourist. Instead, try to dress like the locals do, and don’t draw attention to yourself. Locally-owned businesses and lodging are less likely to be a target for terrorists and pickpockets alike.
To avoid any awkward confrontations, do some research if you are traveling to a foreign nation. This includes looking up standard phrases such as “thank you,” “how much” and “how are you.” You should also look around for standard customs of the country, such as gestures, so that you can avoid offending anyone with gestures or body language that seem normal to you.
If the hotel chain you will be staying at offers a loyalty program, join up. Even if you’re only planning on staying one or two nights, there are many perks to these programs. On the top of the list, is the fact that loyalty members are less likely to get bumped, if the hotel overbooks.
Every traveler should know by now that joking around isn’t the smartest thing to do while waiting in check in and security lines any more. Airport personnel are simply too concerned about terrorism to take jokes lightly. Progress through these lines politely and in a businesslike manner. You’re more likely to be treated accordingly.
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 traveling and sleeping in hotels, considering bringing along a small portable fan. This will allow you to create white noise, should you have a noisy neighbor. It can also help circulate the air in a stuffy room without needing to chill the room to uncomfortable levels using the air conditioner.
If you’re going on a cruise, make sure you pack a power strip with you. Most rooms aboard cruise ships will only have one (maybe two) power outlets. If you have multiple devices that will need to be plugged, in you’ll be glad you brought a power strip instead of fighting over outlets.
When you first arrive at your hotel room, check the mini-bar. Some guests are known for refilling bottles with water, so make sure each and every bottle is fully sealed. If any of them are not, you should immediately phone the front desk and tell them what you have found. You do not want to be charged for someone else’s dishonesty.
If you need to travel across the country but are on a limited budget, consider traveling by bus. In the past, bus travel was viewed somewhat unfavorably, but today major players like Greyhound, have made major improvements to attract the growing number of travelers who can’t afford plane tickets. Today bus lines are a more civil experience. Cleaner, newer buses are the norm and most stations offer free wireless internet access and sundries.
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.
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.
Before leaving home, do some research on the sightseeing locations you plan on visiting. Make note of attraction hours, days they are closed, and whether you need to get a ticket beforehand. For example, it is very frustrating to get to a much-anticipated art museum, only to find that they are closed every Tuesday.
Bring some extra zip top plastic bags in your luggage. They are useful for keeping wet or muddy items away from the rest of your luggage, for storage of toiletries that could spring a leak, or for sitting on a dirty park bench. They take up almost no room and can save you from discomfort later.
Some travel sites offer an e-tracking option. If you have the choice, use it. This option keeps you informed about the cheapest ways to travel. It also emails you when the flights you like have dropped in price.
If you are traveling with children, allow them the opportunity to get some exercise before you bring them to the hotel. It can be difficult for children to ride on a plane or in the car for a long period of time. Try to find a playground to stop at or allow your child to swim at the pool once you get to the hotel. This will help them unwind at the end of the evening.
With ideas like these, you should be more eager than ever to get out and explore the globe. You’ll broaden your mind and increase understanding of the great big world around us. Make some plans using these tips to make your next trip better than ever. Have fun and take great pictures!