If you’re looking to get away from it all with a trip away from home, don’t forget to travel smart. A mishap, mistake or forgotten item can ruin a vacation as surely as bad weather or an unpleasant travel companion. While there are some things you just can’t control, maximize your chances of having a good trip with the following travel tips.
Make arrangements for your pets while you will be away. Have a neighbor or friend come over to feed, walk and check in on them, at least once per day. They will feel more secure knowing that they will have fresh food and water and will be less stir crazy than if they were left alone for a long period of time.
When planning a trip, don’t count on a single booking website to show you the lowest fares. Compare prices across a variety of sites, including meta-searchers if you can find them. Also check with the airline and hotel directly, as they may actually be able to offer you a better rate than the website.
Request samples online. Instead of paying for miniature travel-size versions of all your toiletry items, do an online search for free samples. Companies regularly offer samples of new products that will be mailed right to your home. Request everything from toothpaste to shampoo to cosmetics and keep a small stash in your travel bag so you are ready for your next trip.
You always want to make sure there is a barf bag accessible to you. People can become nauseous and throw up at the drop of a dime on an airplane. Even if you are not feeling ill, you never know how the person sitting next to you is going to react to the turbulence.
Young children benefit from having their own personal bag when traveling. A small backpack is fine and the more choice they have in what to put into it the more entertained they will be on the trip. Always take pencils, paper, and crayons. Tuck in a map of your destination, maybe a hand held video game, a set of ear phones, and a snack or too. Another invaluable inclusion in these bags is a package of baby wipes.
The price of food in airports and on airplanes is notoriously expensive, unhealthy and of poor quality. If you have the time to spare, bring some food to eat at the airport or in the airplane, when you travel. Most drinks aren’t allowed through security, but most food is.
When staying at a hotel, remove the top quilt or comforter from the bed. Often, housekeeping is not responsible for washing the top comforter, which means it can be harboring dirt, bedbugs, or other remnants of other guests. If there is a spare blanket in the closet, use that one instead.
Always ask for upgrades. You can’t get it if you don’t ask. No one is going to offer you a free upgrade just because they like your shirt. When you check in with airlines and hotels, even car rental companies, ask if there are any upgrades available. If it is a special occasion like an anniversary, honeymoon or birthday, make sure to make mention of that.
If you need to travel across the country but are on a limited budget, consider traveling by bus. In the past, bus travel was viewed somewhat unfavorably, but today major players like Greyhound, have made major improvements to attract the growing number of travelers who can’t afford plane tickets. Today bus lines are a more civil experience. Cleaner, newer buses are the norm and most stations offer free wireless internet access and sundries.
Packing for a trip means keeping it light. Fuel costs are driving fees for overweight baggage and causing fliers to readjust their travel budget on the fly. Pack only what is necessary for your trip and leave extraneous items out. Sometimes it might be in your best interest to purchase small ticket items at your destination, as opposed to paying for the weight.
Winter travel can contribute to the flu and cold during that time of year, adding a terrible element to your holiday or winter travel stress. Visit your doctor’s office, before you leave, and get the flu shot. Wash your hands or use sanitizer constantly as most germs spread by contact.
Carry an over-the-door shoe organizer with you when you are traveling. Staying organized in a hotel room is very difficult. A shoe organizer is extremely helpful because you can put your toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush, aspirin and other items in it. If you have a clear organizer, you will be able to see where everything is at a glance.
Now that you’ve read the above travel tips, you’re more prepared to meet your travel destiny with the fearlessness of thorough preparation. Keeping these few simple things in mind whenever you leave home on a trip will give you more peace of mind and make sure you bring home more stories about great experiences rather than about stressful learning experiences.