Just about everyone has to travel somewhere at some point in their lives. While some business or pleasure traveling can be enjoyable, some journeys can be boring, dangerous, expensive and full of hassle. This article contains some tips to make your travel experience better, and help you avoid some of the common pit falls.
To really get a feel for where you are vacationing, follow the locals. Many top vacation spots start to feel very generic and touristy. By asking around and finding where the people who live there hang out, you will get a more authentic feel for the area, and as a bonus, avoid the price markups that plague tourist hot spots.
If you know that you are going to have a long layover in a city, check what there is to do beforehand. A 3 hour layover in Washington D.C. can easily turn into a quick tour of the Washington Mall or a long sit in Minneapolis can become a quick shopping trip to the Mall of America!
When traveling to an area where the tap water is unsafe to drink, pay attention to the altitude as well. Above about ten thousand feet, water actually boils at a lower temperature. This means that it must be boiled for a longer time in order to ensure all of the contaminants have been killed.
Pay attention to hidden fees when booking airline travel. It is becoming commonplace to charge fees for checked baggage, especially overweight baggage. In addition, airlines now charge fees for checking in at the terminal instead of online, and may even charge extra to select a more coveted seat on the airplane, such as exit row seating.
If you need to use the bathroom during a long flight, please make sure to put your shoes on when entering the restroom. You never know what kind of germs can be on the floor of the plane, especially near the commode. When you return to your seat, feel free to kick your shoes off.
Select a hotel in an older, more central part of town if your travel budget will possibly allow it. While these centrally-located hotels are usually more expensive, they are also much more vibrant and memorable. They are right in the middle of the action. Suburban hotels can be cheaper, but the hassle of their isolated locations often offsets your savings.
To help relive stress, it is important to take a vacation from work. Going on an annual vacation will give you something to work hard for and it will give you a light at the end of the tunnel. It is important to reward yourself and there is no better reward than a vacation!
Make sure you check your credit card statement after you stay at a hotel. Even if your bill is correct when you pay at check out, extra fees may find their way into your payment. Sometimes rooms get charges twice by accident or another guest’s expenses will get put on your account. If this happens, call the hotel’s billing department right away.
If you take prescription medications, plan for your vacations. Carry enough of your medications with you to cover your entire trip plus an additional week. You will most likely not be able to fill prescriptions while traveling, plus you want to be covered if you are delayed at any point during your trip.
In an attempt to childproof everything, make sure to lock up poisonous items that your child is able to reach. Items such as medicine, cleaning supplies or perfumes, should be put away in a hard to reach cabinet or locked up. Make sure that you also organize your furniture, such as stools, in order to keep them out of your child’s reach.
Protect your children when traveling by making sure they are prepared in case they get lost. For older children, arrange a convenient meeting place where your family can regroup if separated. Younger children should carry a card with their name, the names of their parents and a contact number. Additional information regarding medications and allergies is also helpful. Instruct your children to give the card to a police officer if they get lost.
Beware of high cell phone charges when travelling overseas. Cell phones are usually the most expensive way to contact someone at home when you are abroad. E-mail or Skype are the cheapest options, but if you prefer to use a telephone, buying a phone card and using a local payphone can also be relatively cheap.
Before leaving your house to travel, the last thing you should do before you go anywhere is to use the bathroom. This will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to go away on a trip. Most importantly, going to the bathroom before leaving, will mean that you won’t have to go for a while, which will prevent an uncomfortable situation where you can’t find a bathroom.
Carry meal replacement bars with you when you travel. You never know when an unexpected delay will prevent you from eating a meal. Meal replacement bars are compact and easy to carry. An additional benefit of these bars, is that it will allow you to keep your typical meal schedule. This can help reduce jet lag, and keep your spirits up when faced with irritating delays.
Be aware of unlisted space during cruise travel. For security reasons, the ship’s brochure can’t show you where stairwells or other common areas are located. If you want to book a larger room and it is located near one of these places, it will probably mean less space for you. Consider spending the extra money on another amenity instead.
The next time you need to travel somewhere, be it a quick local trip with your family, a business trip or a long distance journey abroad, consider referring back to the tips in this article. By utilising some of the ideas and advice mentioned, your travelling adventure could be cheaper, easier and safer.