Travel can mean the exhilaration of seeing new places or the nightmare of not having the comforts and security of home. Like anything, travel goes much more smoothly with a little bit of knowledge and preparation. Keep reading for some sound advice from seasoned travelers on making your journeys pleasant memories.
To prevent injury or illness from ruining your trip, check that your medical insurance policy applies when you are away from home – especially if you are planning a trip abroad. If you find out that you are not covered, don’t worry. Check with your travel agent or online for vacation insurance.
Before purchasing a package deal for travel, check out the prices of the individual components. In many cases, the package deals are cheaper than buying the pieces separately, but not always. It never hurts to check out pricing for yourself before becoming locked in to purchasing the whole package, and you might discover there’s a part of the package you don’t want, such as meals.
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.
Enroll in the loyal customer club. These clubs reward you with a free night after you’ve stayed a certain number of nights at their participating locations. Even if aren’t planning to stay with them again, enroll anyway. Being a member often entitles you to extra benefits–anything from drinks to internet access–during your stay.
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.
Before leaving for an overseas vacation, create a copy of your travel itinerary to leave with a friend or a family member. This ensures that someone else knows where you should be and when. It can also assist you if your luggage is lost, since you will have a domestic contact who can confirm your whereabouts.
Consider flying on holidays if you are looking for a cheaper fare. Many people do not want to deal with the hassle of being in an airport on a holiday so flights are usually much cheaper. If you plan an early morning flight, you will not miss any of the holiday festivities.
If you’re going to be staying in a hotel for less than a week, don’t bother unpacking. It may not be fun to live out of your suitcase, but by not unpacking things you lower your chances of leaving something behind. You wouldn’t want to risk leaving something important behind.
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.
Always try the local cuisine when you visit a new destination. Part of a country or localities culture and lifestyle is in the food. You can’t completely experience these places without trying all that their food has to offer. Seek out the experience of locals and ask for their favorite lunch and dinner spots, then make several of those must-do’s of your list.
Exchange your money at your bank before you leave for your trip. Large financial institutions often have the best exchange rates, and changing your money before you arrive ensures you can avoid long lines at the airport currency exchange or even worse, being left at the mercy of less-scrupulous exchanges which prey on travelers who need local currency fast.
Don’t fold your clothes when you pack – roll them. Rolling your clothes into tight cylinders is much more space efficient when packing a suitcase. You will be able to fit more items in your suitcase, which is very important now that airlines charge hefty fees for each bag checked.
If you are a heavy reader it may be useful for you to purchase an e-reader before leaving home. E-readers are lightweight and small but can hold hundreds or even thousands of books. If you download many books before your trip you will never find yourself with nothing to read on your travel downtime.
If you are traveling for business, but also plan on sightseeing, bring a diary or notebook with an envelope to keep your expenses separate. Make keeping track of business easier by jotting down each expense as you go along instead of trying to remember which expenses were work and which were fun. An envelope or pocket in the notebook is also a good idea to store your receipts in.
When you are traveling overseas, make sure that you have multiple copies of your passport in different locations. This will allow you to maintain the most security possible in the event that you were to lose your passport. Always have backup for important documentation when you are planning to travel.
When taking a road trip it is important to factor in the true cost of the trip. Many people forget to factor the cost of their fuel when they are taking a road trip. You should figure out how much it will cost to travel to and from your desired destination before you begin to travel.
Talk to any road warrior and they can tell you both stories of great trips and disaster journeys. Some of the things they have learned have been shared in this article. Keep these tips in mind in preparing for your future travels, and you are sure to come home with great memories rather than headaches.