Traveling can be such an exhausting experience. So exhaustive that sometimes when we return home, we are glad to get back to normal life. But leading up to a trip can be fun and exciting, filled with a little anticipation and a whole lot of preparation. Here are some things to consider when you are planning on taking your next trip.
If you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get your passport well in advance. Many people underestimate how long it takes to get a passport for the first time and are left scrambling and paying extra fees to get it expedited. Plan for your passport to take six to eight weeks to arrive, especially in peak travel season.
When traveling, increase your safety and your peace of mind by wearing a money belt. This item is one essential that you cannot go without when traveling, and is barely noticeable to wear. Keep your wallet and your passport safe in your money belt so that no matter what happens, they don’t get lost.
If you are planning to travel to a country in a very different time zone to yours, make sure you factor jet lag into your plans. Having a low key, relaxing first day planned will get your trip off to a good start, and avoid you having to explore when all you want to do is sleep.
Asking for a better hotel room when you are checking in will most probably get you one! If you would prefer a better view, a quieter room or maybe one closer to the ice-machine, chances are very good that one is available. It takes but a moment to ask and will most definitely improve your stay.
If you’re going to be traveling soon, don’t go through a travel agent. You’ll find your trip costing twice as much. Rather, shop around online through different bargain dealers like expedia.com or travelocity.com. This will help you save some money that can be better spent when you arrive at your destination, perhaps on souvenirs, or for that nice guy online that gave you this tip.
When taking a road trip or flying with small kids, make sure to bring things to keep them entertained along the way. Pack some of his favorite games and toys. It is also a good idea to buy a new toy just for the trip, as it will provide a little novelty and help keep a small child’s attention.
Because security does not allow you to lock your luggage, you run the risk of the zippers coming undone and your belongings leaving a trail across the country and around the baggage claim. To help prevent this, use zip ties, which hold the zipper together, but can easily be cut off (with little cost to you) by security, if necessary.
Whenever you are flying to your travel spot, make sure to use the airport limo or a possible airport pick-up service. This ensures that you do not have to wait in line for a taxi and that you can promptly arrive at your hotel with the least possible frustration.
Pay special attention to the holidays of the countries you are traveling to. Different countries celebrate different holidays, and if you do not know when these are, you can give yourself a headache. Many restaurants and businesses will close on holidays, so look them up before you travel to save yourself the trouble.
You will want to cash your traveler’s checks prior to going anywhere to eat or shop. While many places accept the checks, sometimes they are hard to deal with. You don’t want to lose out, so go ahead and get local currency as soon as possible.
Knowing what is and is not allowed on an airplane can save you a hassle at the airport. Many people do not realize that simple everyday items such as hand lotion, sunscreen, etc., are considered spreads and either need to be in a clear plastic bag, or in your checked luggage. It is best to check with the TSA website before you leave for your trip to ensure smooth sailing at the airport.
Bring your own coffee or tea when you travel. Hotels often provide a small coffee maker for guests in their rooms, however often the coffee and tea selection is less than ideal. Everyone has their own personal favorite brand or flavor of coffee, so to make sure your day starts off the way you like it, bring that taste of home with you on your trip.
If your children are old enough, involve them in planning your next vacation. Allow each child to pick at least one activity that you will all enjoy together. Involving the children will instantly make them more interested in the vacation. They will have something to look forward to and feel like a true part of the family team.
A great travel tip if you’re planning on going for a cruise is to ask to get a map of the ship. There are so many different levels and areas on cruise ships that it can get really easy to get lost. Having a map handy can keep you from getting lost.
When staying in a hotel abroad, use common sense safety. Keep your door locked and meet visitors in the lobby. Do not leave valuables laying about where a cleaner could find them, instead, use the hotel safe. Let someone know when you expect to return, if you will be out late.
If you decide to stay in a youth hostel while traveling, be sure to secure your valuables as a precaution. Never leave anything important behind in the room while you are sightseeing, many thieves visit hostels to pray on unsuspecting travelers. Never make yourself and easy target. Many hostels offer lockers for an additional fee.
If you put these tips into place, you can avoid so many of the frustrations, anxieties, and sleepless nights that come along with planning a trip. Rest assured that you will be ready and prepared come departure day. There is no need to spend so much time worrying.