Traveling away from home can be, equally scary or delightful. On the one hand, it can mean leaving the comforts of home and security of knowing the area you are in. On the other hand, travel means getting to see new places and do new things. The outcome of a trip is often determined by the preparation and knowledge going in. This article has tips to help you sway the outcome of your pending travel before you set one foot out the door.
If you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get your passport well in advance. Many people underestimate how long it takes to get a passport for the first time and are left scrambling and paying extra fees to get it expedited. Plan for your passport to take six to eight weeks to arrive, especially in peak travel season.
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.
If you’re purchasing souvenirs as gifts while traveling, be creative. You can use a local newspaper as gift wrap to give it a special touch. This works especially well if the newspaper is in a foreign language or has photographs. Other low-cost souvenir gifts, include matchbooks, coasters and clean napkins.
Scan your passport and email a copy to yourself. It rarely happens, but in the chance that you lose your passport during your travels, this will be a lifesaver. Getting a replacement passport can be a headache and having a copy can make the process much faster and less traumatic.
Having a good set of maps or road atlas can save one from a possible disaster if they get lost or electronic map devices such as GPS or smart phones run out of battery. Many things can cause electronics to malfunction and stop working. Having backup option can save one’s trip.
When traveling long distances by airplane, make sure to get up and walk around every hour or two to stretch your legs. Staying seated for too long can lead to medical issues such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), so take a stroll up and down the aisle every once in a while.
When buying airline tickets, purchase them as far in advance as possible. Two months in advance is when the cheapest flights are available through the airlines. If you know you are traveling for the holidays, it is especially important to buy your airline tickets as early as you can to get the cheapest tickets.
Before going on any vacation or trip, read the reviews. These reviews should be about the local restaurants around the area that you are staying, the hotel that you are staying in or the car service that you are using if you are renting a car. These reviews can help make your trip much better.
If you are worried about cleanliness while traveling, consider using your t-shirt as a pillowcase in your hotel room. Turn your shirt inside out and put it over your pillow. While it may not be as clean as you would like, it beats not knowing who or what was on the pillow before you arrived.
When you are traveling to a new city, join in on a pub crawl. You can experience the downtown area and meet new people. You’ll have even more fun by slowly eating dinner across the different restaurants; have drinks at one place and then an appetizer at the next. Work your way up to a main course and dessert.
Invest in a good pair of earplugs. It is often difficult to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, away from the comforts of your own bed. Add to this unfamiliar noise and you could spend your vacation in a sleep deprived state. Earplugs help you block out noises that might keep you up, or can help you concentrate when in a noisy location such as an airplane or busy terminal.
If you have diabetes and are traveling, plan ahead. Get a doctor’s note explaining that you have diabetes or wear a medical alert bracelet. Take enough insulin with you and even some extra, if possible. Pack snacks, such as juices, peanut butter and sugar cubes or packets, for emergencies. Dress in comfortable and loose clothing and shoes.
As was mentioned earlier in this article, the success of a trip is often determined before you even leave. Keep the helpful hints you read here, in mind, as you prepare for your next journey. With this advice at your disposal, you’re likely to create trips that you return from, with smiles.