Travel can be an excellent opportunity to expand your horizons and refresh your world-view. It can also backfire on you if you don’t take the time to prepare for the inevitable culture shock, whether your journey is domestic or international. Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your travel experience.
When you sign up for your passport, make sure you fill in the emergency information. You should always prepare for the worst and the unexpected. Should something happen to you while in a foreign country, it is important to have this sort of information available to contact friends, family, or loved ones.
Make sure that you fill any prescriptions that you take on a regular basis before you leave town on a trip. Running out of medication while visiting a new place can be both stressful and expensive as you have to track down a pharmacy that can fill your prescription for you.
When planning to fly for a trip, don’t forget any frequent flier miles you might have racked up. It does you no good to hang onto those once you’ve already gone on your big vacation. Even if you don’t have enough miles to cover the whole trip, many airlines will allow you to discount your rate using your miles.
Before booking any vacations, do some comparison shopping. Make sure you’re getting a good deal on your flight and hotel by looking at the prices of several websites. If you don’t need to leave or return from your trip on an exact day, check the price of several days in the same week. One might be cheaper.
If you know you have to fly, do yourself a favor and wear shoes requiring minimal effort to take off. Don’t pick that day to wear your eyelet wingtips with hard-to-tie laces. Women can wear clogs or slip-ons; men should choose a casual shoe style that can be easily slipped on and off with one hand.
When packing toiletries for your carry-on, make sure to follow the 3-1-1 rule (3 oz bottles, 1 quart-sized Ziploc per passenger). Having your toiletries ready to go in a designated bag will make getting through security a breeze and have you on your way to your destination in no time.
You may find yourself at an unsavory hotel at some point since not everyone is able to live in the lap of luxury. If you are staying in an area where you don’t feel safe, pack a rubber doorstop in your luggage. In addition to locking and chaining the door, you can wedge this beneath your door. It is almost impossible to enter a room that has a doorstop placed beneath the door.
If you plan to travel with children it is best to think ahead. Kids are not the easiest to vacation with and will need quite a few entertainment tools to keep them happy. If you make a list in advance, you will know exactly what to bring when you travel.
If you are taking a small child in a long car ride, plan on taking breaks every few hours. Breaks give you the opportunity to stretch your legs and use the bathroom. Stopping and taking the child from the vehicle may also lower the incidence of motion sickness. Your trip might take longer, but having less stress is worth the delay.
Take cookie sheets with you when you are traveling in a car with children. Cookie sheets can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including snack or meal trays. They can also be used as a coloring desk and game table. Small children will enjoy using the trays with their magnetic letters and numbers, keeping them busy and happy during the drive.
When you are traveling by cruise ship, bring a carry-on bag with you that has your swimsuit in it. Most people like to immediately check out the pool or the hot tub, but it can take a while for your suitcases to arrive in your room. A carry-on bag with a few items in it allows you to begin experiencing the fun right away.
You may get angry if travel plans fall through. It is possible for flight delays to occur, and car rental companies may not have the correct car available. In these situations, there are only two people who can deal with what is going on: yourself and the agent you are speaking with. It’s easy to lose your top. Keep calm and stay polite. You will be more likely to get what you want this way, making your trip less stressful.
Buy travel insurance for your vacation package. You never know when something can happen! If someone was to get ill or injured, and you had to cancel your plans, you would be out all of the money you have invested into it without the purchase of travel insurance.
Do not forget to take a camera with you. Find one that is very slim and lightweight so you can take it with you anywhere during your trip. A simple point and shoot camera is all that you really need to capture all of the memories you will make during your vacation.
Airport websites may be a great place to get some really cheap tickets. The site will list all of different airlines that offer service there. Watch out for the list of fees that the airlines might charge you. It may end up nickel and diming you with baggage fees and some other fees and end up costing you more than the other airlines.
Try to avoid visiting Europe during the hot summer months. The consensus is that this is the worst time to vacation there. Another reason is that prices are higher, many trips are booked and over-booked, and there are many crowds during this time of year. Experience Europe in the off-season to see what it’s like for locals.
Now the choice is yours, so get out there and enjoy finding new places and people to challenge your preconceptions. Armed with a little extra knowledge now about the experience of traveling, you can expect a few less bumps on the road to your destination. Share this article with friends and family, who may be heading out with you or on journeys of their own.