Travel can be one of the most stressful parts of life, but also one of the most rewarding. Being prepared and knowing what to expect on the road, at sea or in the air is essential to having a good trip. Read on to discover some knowledge that you can use to make good memories away from home.
Always know where your luggage is. Airline and bus employees have been known to steal items out of cases when they are checked in. Additionally, other travelers might “accidentally” pick up your bag in hopes of finding expensive items. This also allows you to move between transit options faster, instead of standing around waiting for your luggage.
When traveling by air, there is no longer any reason to carry a separate toiletries bag. All of your liquids and gels will need to fit into a Ziplock bag regardless. That bag will already be sealed, and will be smaller and lighter than any bag designated for the task.
Peruse the blogosphere. Bloggers are everywhere, and there is most likely one, if not many, bloggers blogging about your destination. Their blogs are a great resource for finding information about hidden gems of the city–restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. Don’t be shy. If you contact them, many will be happy to answer your specific questions as well.
If you enjoy alcohol, there’s no better way when traveling, to get to know a new city than with a pub crawl. Visiting multiple establishments in the same night, will give an interesting cross-section of the city that you wouldn’t gain any other way. Plus, you’ll make some new friends.
One of the questions I most often get about traveling is the transportation question. “How do I get about when I reach my destination?” The answer really depends on the amount of driving you intend to do. If you intend to go places within walking distance perhaps only use a taxi as needed. Contrarily, if many of the places are a bit away, then it might be more prudent to rent a car for the duration of your trip.
If you have young children and are planning to fly, you should remember that they will need something to help “pop” their ears when the plane is taking off and landing. You can bring gum, or if you child swallows gum, tootsie rolls are the perfect alternative, as they can be chewed just long enough to help.
Before embarking on an overseas vacation, check what documentation is necessary for travel to your destination. Different country pairs require different documentation, including visas. Visa requirements will also differ based on how long you plan to remain in that country. In many cases, if you travel without a visa you are attempting to enter that country illegally.
When booking your room on a cruise, always pay extra for a balcony. Having your own private balcony can be one of the best parts of a cruise. You’ll get great views, have a nice quiet place to relax, and you won’t have to worry about other people being around.
If you are traveling overseas, be prepared for anything. Cultures are very different once you leave the western world. Don’t expect to see anything resembling your normal life until you disembark in the United States again. Planning ahead for this will help you reduce the effects of culture shock during your travels.
If you’re going on a road trip, have your car looked over before you leave. Most things can be replaced if they break while you’re out of town, but if your car breaks down you can be in a lot of trouble. It can be expensive to get it fixed or to find a way to your destination or home, that’s more headaches than you need.
When traveling with children, make sure to pack each child their own bag of snacks and quiet toys. The toys and snacks will keep them occupied and satisfied, whether in the backseat of the car or on an airplane. Happy kids mean less stress for mom and dad, which means a better vacation for everyone.
Bring postcards from home to show off or trade. Striking up a conversation is much easier if you can whip out a postcard and tell someone this is where you are from. You can also trade these with street vendors for local postcards or other merchandise, especially if you are from a well-known or beautiful city.
Try to pack light when travelling. The last thing you want to be doing when is lugging heavy bags and suitcases through airport terminals and onto buses and trains. Only pack items that you are sure you will need and think about which items you could buy at your destination.
Winter travel can be quite stressful. Give yourself extra time as you get ready for your winter vacation. Delays are always a possibility. Bring something with you to keep you busy, such as a book, since you may have long waits at the security line or at the departure gate. Be prepared to wait. Cities that get a lot of ice and snow, can have delays of two or three hours or more.
Earplugs are beneficial if you are awoken easily. Some hotels don’t have great sounding in their walls. Earplugs will block the noise and help you sleep.
When traveling through a busy airport with children, dress them in bright colored clothing. A bright color will be easier to recognize, should you become separated. It will also be easy to remember (and tell airport security) what your child is wearing if they are dressed in brighter, more unusual colors.
Ninety percent of any good trip is preparation and knowledge. Having read this article, hopefully, you are now full of ideas on getting ready for and surviving your next adventure away from home. Apply what you have learned and you are sure to come home with good memories of visited destinations.