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.
When you travel, it’s important to stop for the cheese as well as the big-time monuments. What that means is this: Go to Mt. Rushmore, sure. But first, you need to stop at the Jolly Green Giant Statue in Minnesota and get your picture taken. You need to actually go see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, and Wall Drug. These places are kitschy, and that’s exactly why they’re essential. America is both a place of great beauty and great silliness, and both should be celebrated by the traveler.
When you are traveling to a foreign country, learn something about its customs ahead of time. It will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes in local etiquette. It can also help you understand and appreciate the culture a little better. In a way, you will be representing your country in a foreign land, so you would want to make a good impression.
When traveling outside North America, it is best to bring your own alarm clock. Most hotel rooms in less-developed areas will not supply a clock, and without one, you run the risk of missing the connection to your next destination. Sometimes these can be useful in train or bus stations as well.
If you have a laptop, bring an A/V cable with you on your trip. Most hotel rooms come equipped with a television, and many now include free wireless internet as well. By hooking your laptop up to the hotel television with an A/V cable you instantly have access to many more entertainment options, whether streaming a movie from the internet to using the laptop as a DVD player.
Packing for trip is really a process of balancing out the column of what you absolutely need against what would be nice to have. You only have so much room in your luggage. One way to make your trip so much easier is to only pack the bare essentials. Buy anything else you might need once you are at your destination!
Include identification inside your bags in addition to outside of them. It is easy for a baggage tag to come off the exterior of your suitcases while they are en route. Put your ID inside your luggage so it can be returned to you if it is lost.
Make your travel plans more affordable by booking your flight through a meta-search site. It can be tempting to get your tickets from a website whose purpose is to locate cheap airfare, but a meta-search site looks through a variety of airlines and travel booking sites at the same time. It will then redirect you to the site that has the price you want, saving you money.
If you will be traveling for an extended period of time, such as five to seven days or more, pack lightly and plan on doing laundry. Take a little extra money with you and visit a laundromat or a dry cleaner. You can save yourself a lot of precious suitcase space by washing and re-wearing some items of your wardrobe.
When it comes to destinations unknown, online bloggers are a veritable treasure trove of local information. There’s at least one in every city, in every country – someone who is passionate about their surroundings and loves discussing the things that make each place particularly wonderful. Blogs are also generally written in a completely user-friendly way, which is often easier to read than complicated rating systems on review sites.
Carefully choosing your hotel can result in a much better traffic experience. Dont just consider the price – think of what amenities you would like, and what the area around the hotel is like. Don’t just view your hotel as a stopping off point or as a place where you will just sleep.
Make the traveling process a little easier by ensuring that you always reserve your seat when you book your flight. If you aren’t allowed to, keep going back to the airline or booking engine until you can. You may not like your choices but still select a seat and keep going back to see if you can change it. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to get an exit-row seat if you check-in early at the airport, because they are not available online. Following these steps will help you get the seat that you desire for your flight.
When renting a car, be aware of the charges the rental companies set. There are generally four basic rates, each of them will specify if the miles are additional, given in the price or unlimited. Rates will vary depending on the the size and style of vehicle you choose. Ask about promotional rates, especially over weekends, but be sure to request these in advance.
Check what types of documents are needed for entry in your country of destination. A passport alone, does not guarantee entry into every country. While some accept a passport alone, others may have special requirements (such as unstamped pages in your passport book), and some require you to possess a visa.
Get a jump on ridding yourself of jet lag. Plan activities that will have you outdoors for your first couple of days while abroad. When you are outside being active the exercise, fresh air and plenty of sunlight (if available) will do wonders for defeating the lethargy of jet lag. Taking a quick power nap upon arrival to the hotel can help as well.
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.