Seeing the world, or just a city next door can lead to all sorts of fun and adventure. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a novice traveler, the following tips are a collaboration of helpful information to make your next journey much safer, easier and a whole lot more fun.
After you pick your destination, be sure to do sufficient research so that you understand it well. Get yourself a good map and take the time to review key spots. Becoming familiar with the environment ahead of time will make it easy to navigate once you get there.
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 packing for your trip, make a list of the essentials and stick to that list. Pack in advance if you can. If you simply throw all of the items you think you’ll need into your bag the night before, you’ll end up with over-sized heavy luggage that will be difficult to transport.
Airplanes can be filled with airborne bacteria. You can dab some Neosporin in your nose while on the plane to combat the germs in the air. You can also use hand sanitizer frequently. After you rub the sanitizer into your hands, put a small amount right under your nose.
Find out about national holidays. Before you schedule your international travel, check a calendar to see if there are any holidays during your stay abroad and what that means in terms of business and restaurant closings. It may affect what is open or available to do. You may find you have plenty or options or, it could be a day of rest for the locals – meaning a day wasted for you – leaving you with nothing to do.
When you go on a trip, make sure to keep a detailed travel journal. Write down where you went, what you did, and how you felt about it. This will allow you to reference back to your previous experiences if you plan a new trip to the same destination. This way you can plan a trip including the best parts of your previous trips while also adding new experiences.
Always check out a visitor’s center near your destination. They often have a lot of pamphlets on different attractions. A lot of these will even have coupons inside to get a discount. So not only will you find things to do, but you can save money while you do them!
Before you begin thinking about where you would like to travel next, subscribe to get emails from major airlines, hotels and rental companies. It will increase your amount of “junk” mail, but these newsletters often include information about last-minute hotel deals or flights that will allow you to use your frequent-flyer miles. Since these deals go quickly, finding out about them first is essential.
Learn the tipping culture for whatever countries you plan to visit. In some cultures, tipping is automatic, while in others, it does not exist. There are still a few cultures in which tipping is considered a great insult, so mind your manners by checking the customs. You do not want to insult your server.
As you make your travel arrangements, negotiate with the front desk at the hotel you would like to stay at. Do not necessarily request a lower rate because managers do not often change the price of their rooms. Instead, try to arrange for other perks, including a free breakfast or an upgraded room. You can also ask if they have any other packages or special offers.
If you need a rental car while on vacation consider renting an eco-friendly car. Zipcar and Flexcar are both “green” car-sharing programs which offer travelers low fees and convenient drop off and pick up. You will be able to reduce car emissions by renting the smallest car you can or a hybrid car.
Pack a collapsible cooler to use on your travels. Inexpensive but incredibly useful, collapsible coolers take up very little room in your suitcase and are ideal for allowing you to have a picnic on your vacation. Not only do they save you money, but they can also be used to hold your dirty clothes when you are ready to return home.
Whether traveling to see a family member or as part of an adventurous expedition, everyone needs some planning and preparation for their trip. Hopefully you learned something from reading this article that will help you on your next vacation and maybe something you can pass along to a friend.