Travel is a hobby for some and a business necessity for others. But regardless of your reason for getting from one place to another, there are ways to make it easier and more pleasant, and ways for it to bring stress into your life. Try these great tips for making travel time into a more enjoyable time.
If you are arriving in a new city and don’t yet feel comfortable there, consider asking if your hotel provides an airport pickup service. This will allow you to avoid the pitfalls of baggage porters and taxi lines which trap many first time travelers. It also ensures you don’t get lost in the city and go straight to your hotel.
When traveling in foreign countries, beware of police officers who ask for your ID. Make sure you ask them for their ID to prove they’re actually a cop. Instead of showing them your real passport, show them a photocopy instead. You don’t want to risk a thief running off with your passport.
If you are worried about traveling with a large carry-on bag, plan ahead. Airlines usually board in groups of five or ten rows, so pick a seat in row 11 or 21, not row 19. Also, as soon as the airline calls the seat block ahead of you, go get in line. This way you’re waiting at the front instead of the back.
Buy a kit of toiletries and set them aside exclusively for travel. If you travel often, packing all your toiletries can be a pain. It is not at all difficult to forget something as simple as a toothbrush or a stick of deodorant. Save time by purchasing a set of these things that you keep on hand, just for taking with you on trips.
If you plan to travel for more than a weekend, inform your bosses two weeks prior to leaving so that they can find someone to cover your responsibilities before hand. This way, you are not relying on someone who merely says they will cover for you and you have respectfully informed them the reasons of your absence.
Plan far in advance when booking flights around holidays. Normally you can find the best deal by waiting until the last second to buy a ticket. However, around the holidays airlines know that they will be busy so they start increasing the price early as people panic and decide to buy tickets. If you absolutely want to travel during the holiday season you should purchase your tickets as soon as possible.
When you’re visiting an unfamiliar city, make sure to spend a few minutes chatting with your hotel concierge. The concierge is an expert on the area and it is his or her job to ensure that you enjoy your stay. Ask your concierge to make restaurant reservations or reserve show tickets for you. Your concierge can often get you in to in-demand places.
When you are traveling, you can do a few things to save money at home. First of all, turn the air conditioner off or just down. Next, turn off the sprinklers. It will also help to put your lights on timers. And last, but not least, unplug your major appliances.
If you’re planning to stay in the same city for awhile, you should look into renting an apartment or house instead of staying at a hotel. You can find many websites devoted to short-term rentals. By renting, you will save money, get better accommodations, and have a more authentic local experience.
Reviews that are online are quite helpful but they are not always 100% reliable. Read between the lines to get a better idea if the person who has written the review is being persnickety or if they actually had a bad experience in the place you are researching. You may find other reviewers that say that it was a lovely time there.
American travelers who have not left the country in several years should be aware that they definitely need an up-to-date passport. For a long time it was possible for US citizens to visit Mexico and Canada without such documentation. This is no longer the case, with modern security concerns. American travelers should have their passports in order if they intend to visit any other country.
If you are traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean during hurricane season, it’s a wise idea to purchase travel insurance, if it’s within your budget. Unfortunately, by the time a hurricane warning is forecast, it’s too late to buy coverage, so make sure you get it at the time that you book your vacation. For a price, you can obtain “Cancel for Any Reason”� insurance that lets you cancel your trip for reasons not already specified in your policy.
When you are traveling overseas or even to Mexico make sure that you stick to drinking bottled water or water that has been boiled. Keep in mind that it may be dangerous to drink the water in the country you are traveling to. The citizens there may be used to it but you aren’t.
When you are trying to maximize your travel enjoyment, do not underestimate the power of weather. Long range forecasts have become quite accurate and you can check for just about any travel destination on the globe. Freezing rain on a Florida beach, or unseasonal sunshine on an Aspen ski trip, will ruin the best laid travel plans.
To get the best deal on popular local attractions, always ask your hotel first if they offer discounted tickets. In major tourist destinations like New York City, it is common for hotel chains to offer discounted rates to their guests. The same is true of family destinations like Florida where many hotels pump up their occupancy rates with reduced amusement park admissions.
Smart travelers have a smart routine that keeps their travel plans running smoothly and that makes every trip, no matter where or why, as easy as possible. Tips like the above can help everyone travel smarter, from the most world-weary traveler to the fresh-faced new traveler setting out on his or her first adventure.