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.
Don’t exchange all your cash for the currency of the place you’re in. Use an ATM and withdraw pocket money. Banks often have better rates for exchanging money than you will find on your own. This will save you a lot of your money over time.
If you’re going to be travelling by air, make sure you don’t put any valuables or electronics in your checked luggage. Luggage handlers aren’t known to be gentle and any electronics may end up damaged during transport. Airlines are also known to lose luggage and you don’t want to take a chance of losing something valuable.
Save on money and calories during all of your travels by packing snacks, meals and beverages ahead of time. You can make healthier choices when you plan ahead of time, and you will be less likely to overspend on a sugar or fat filled snacks that are grossly overpriced.
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.
If your cellphone will not cover long distance from the place you intend to travel to, it might be a smart idea to invest in a phone card before leaving. A phone card will make calls much less expensive and ensure that you don’t accidentally make any expensive long distance calls.
Your baggage can really weigh you down on a trip. Carefully consider your clothing choices. There’s no reason to take half of everything you own! Take clothing that you can easily rinse out in a bathroom sink, or in a bucket if the situation so demands. Make your choices mix and match, so a few items will be worn several items in different combinations.
You may want to use the restroom before boarding the plane, if possible. You will be much more comfortable using a restroom that is on steady ground and that has a good amount of room to move around. Once on the plane, you never know how long someone will need the restroom and you don’t want to take that chance.
Bring your hotel business card with you when you are on your trip. If you are in a foreign country or city and you get lost, you will have something to show to others to help find your way back to the hotel. It is particularly useful for those who haven’t mastered the language.
If you’re going on a long road trip, try breaking it up into a few segments. Mark a few cities on the way to your final destination where you can stop for a bit. You can get out a stretch, get some food, and otherwise regenerate. You’d be surprised how much faster the trip goes if you break it up.
To save money when booking flights, see if you can fly to or from an alternate airport. Airlines often charge much less for different routes, so check out all your options to see which one is the cheapest. Even if you have to rent a car, it could still be cheaper to fly into a different airport.
When traveling abroad, make sure to take care of your health. Check to see if there are any vaccinations that you need before heading away, pack a good supply of any prescription medications you might need, and locate a hospital or physician near your destination, in case of an emergency. Staying healthy will allow you to focus on the scenery and fun, not being sick.
If visiting National Parks is in the cards for your vacation, consider purchasing an official National Park Pass. The passes can be purchased for $50 and are a great deal as they cover all national parks for one full year.
Social networking sites can serve as wonderful resources while you’re traveling. A quick Tweet or Facebook status update asking such questions as: Where’s a great place for ice cream in New York? or Which coffee shop should I check out in Rome? can provide you with a wealth of instant information.
If you must travel with your four-legged friend, rest assured that there are many pet friendly options available. Many airlines will allow your dog or cat to fly with you for a small fee. Check with the airlines to see who is offering the best deals, and what each airline requires for K9 travel.
When renting a car for a trip, try renting one from a location away from the airport. Many times the car rentals at an airline include items like taxes and additional fees that can really jack up their prices. Usually the off-airport car rentals will send a shuttle to pick you up in, which may be faster and more convenient.
Find entertainment and attraction’s websites before you leave for your trip. In many cases you will get a better price on the admission and it will eliminate standing in long lines to buy your tickets when you are there. It will also assure that the event will not be sold out when you get there.
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.