Deciding where and how to travel can pose a few difficult questions and problems, even to the most savvy international traveler. This article describes a few sure-fire ways to book accommodations, plan trips, conduct business meetings on the road, and generally make the most of your sojourns outside the country.
Take a translation tool when traveling to a country that doesn’t speak your native language. This can be in the form of a book or a phone application. While you might find that a lot of people speak English in large cities, it may be quite different in small towns or rural areas. Attempting to speak in the language of the country is really appreciated by the citizens.
If you’re traveling with kids, it’s tempting to let them all tune out with their own mp3 players, but consider bringing along some books on CD. Having something literate and interesting for the whole family to listen to is not only entertaining and interesting, but provides a common experience that each family member can take forward with them into life (“Hey, remember when I was ten, and we listened to Black Beauty on the way to Maine?”). It’s the stuff of which fond memories are made.
Shop around for the best deal. Often, a shift in a day or two from your departure or return can amount to a significant savings of several hundred dollars in your transportation cost. Many websites can check this automatically for you. As a general rule, if you can avoid travelling on Fridays or Sundays, you will save a pile of money.
Before departing on a trip, the wise traveler makes sure at least one person back home knows where he will be. This “home base” contact should also be updated with any unplanned changes the traveler encounters on the way. Someone who knows where a traveler is – and where they should be – can be a great help in the case of trouble on the road.
One factor that may not come to mind right away when planning travel is weather. By looking up the weather forecast ahead of traveling, or possibly even before deciding when to travel one will know what to expect. If the weather looks bad, it can be prepared for or the trip even rescheduled.
When you travel to visit friends or family, be a courteous guest and do not assume they will make all your sightseeing plans for you. Many people assume they are there to be entertained, which is of course an incorrect assumption and generates bad feeling. Instead, do your homework ahead of time, let your hosts know what you’re planning to do, invite but don’t oblige them to accompany you, and spend your time together in good will, knowing you are being a gracious guest.
Pack some plastic bags when going on a longer trip. Plastic bags always come in handy when you spill something, for toiletries or if you have some dirty laundry. Meanwhile, some places have laundry opportunities, so it is always useful to carry a plastic bag with you to keep your dirty laundry in.
If you are traveling in an unknown territory, you can check out reviews of restaurants and hotels online. Having access to the internet on your smartphone, can be a really useful thing when deciding what hotel to spend the night in or where to dine. This can help you avoid bad areas and neighborhoods or really low rated restaurants.
If you are traveling to a hot country, remember to pack insect repellent. Insect bites can be not only annoying. They can be also painful, and many countries won’t stock the industrial-strength repellent available back home. While abroad, apply a liberal amount of insect repellent as night approaches to ensure you get an undisturbed sleep.
To ensure you receive the most personal and high quality service from your chosen hotel, call at night. The night desk clerks are usually much less busy than those working in the daytime, and are therefore, both willing and able to take you through the steps of securing the best deals.
Think about packing a pair of cookie sheets if you are going on the road with kids. The sheets can be used as a flat surface under coloring books or to play cards. You can even bring magnetic letters, numbers or shapes for the little ones for educational fun.
When reading reviews of destinations by other travelers, try to identify whether you and the reviewer have the same expectations and circumstances before basing your decision on other travelers’ experiences. One person may give negative reviews due to a lack of kid-friendly features and attractions; if you are traveling without children or on a business trip, such a review would not be particularly useful for you personally.
Many families choose their vacation destination in order to visit a specific amusement park, and, while an exciting time is expected for all, there are ways to ensure that these expectations are met. If one of your children is hesitant to get on a ride, don’t try to talk him or her into it by saying that the ride isn’t scary. Chances are, if it looks scary to your child, it will be. Prevent early burnout by taking a mid-afternoon break at a nearby restaurant for a sit-down lunch or by relaxing at the poolside of your hotel for an hour. Give each child a waist bag packed with snacks to avoid an argument at every concession stand you pass. Now, strap yourself in, and enjoy the ride!
Don’t stop researching prices after you have booked your flight, rental car and hotel room. You may find that the prices have dropped even further. Be sure to thoroughly read the cancellation policy on your reservations. If you can, cancel your current reservations and book at the better rates.
By adopting the foregoing strategies, you can make sure that your trips never disappoint. Whether you find yourself worrying about airline rates, ground transportation, hotel fees or any array of other complications, this article can guide you into making the right choices for your particular trip. Have fun, be safe and remember these tips.