Leaving your home and bringing something different to the dull routine with a new culture and people is great, but you can’t avoid making plans for a trip. Use this advice to make the preparations go more smoothly.
Pack lightly when traveling. People always tend to pack much more than is necessary, and end up using only about half of what they take. Choose a few items that you can wear multiple times, and try to coordinate everything. If you forget to pack a particular item, you will probably be able to find something appropriate at your destination.
Write down your travel plans and leave a copy with friends or family. It is always wise to prepare for the unexpected. Should you go go missing, someone is sure to notice much sooner this way. Knowing what your plans were will also be very helpful to the authorities.
If your personal vehicle is more than a few years old and you will be taking a road trip, consider renting a car for the journey. You will ensure that the car you drive is mechanically sound as well as possibly renting a car that gets better gas mileage than your own.
When selecting a location to travel to, there is no better source of information than a fellow traveler. Other travelers with similar needs and plans, can tell you what destinations are must-sees and what areas you should try to avoid. No guidebook can replace the first-hand experience of another person or family.
Stick to boiled or bottled water when you travel. It does not matter if you are flying half way across the world or just taking a day trip in your own state. Often your stomach will not react well to different water and it is better to be safe than sorry!
Don’t let the bedbugs bite. Bedbugs have become prevalent at hotels and motels. When you arrive at your hotel room, instead of tossing it onto the bed or sofa, put your luggage on a hard surface like a dresser, table, or luggage stand. This will prevent bedbugs from crawling into your suitcase and traveling home with you. Also, before you tuck yourself in, do a thorough check of your sheets for signs of bedbugs.
If you’re going to be driving to your destination, especially if it’s a long trip, try to travel at night. There’s a lot less traffic on the roads so you can most likely get their faster. And if you’re traveling with kids, they can curl up in the back seat and sleep the drive away.
When choosing luggage for a trip, black isn’t always better. You want to be able to easily identify your luggage when it comes off of the baggage carousel, so buy luggage in a fun color like red or green, if you can. If you already own black luggage, add a distinctive ribbon or something colorful to mark it as yours. This will avoid any baggage mix-ups.
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.
Adjust to a new time zone faster by spending time in the sun. When you arrive at your destination, try to get plenty of sun exposure on your first and second days. This will help “set” your circadian rhythm to be in line with the local time zone and help you get over jet lag faster.
When planning a trip that involves a long car ride, try to plan some fun stops along the way. It will help break up the trip for you and make the drive feel a little less burdensome. It will allow you to experience something new, plus it will give you a chance to stretch your legs.
After getting settled in your hotel room, look for fire exits. This may seem trivial, but it can save your life. By knowing where the fire exits are – if the fire alarm goes off – you know which direction to leave. Also, try not to forget your hotel key or card in the event of a fire evacuation.
If you are going to be traveling on an airplane, purchase some antibiotic ointment and cotton swabs. Before you leave to catch your flight, put a generous amount of the ointment on the inside of your nose. It keeps out the germs and helps prevent you from getting sick. It also keeps your nose from drying out.
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 driving with more than one adult, especially if one is your spouse, try to share the driving responsibilities. This is especially helpful when driving long distances. This provides a break to the driver, so that he or she, can just sit back and relax for a while during the trip, too.
A great travel tip is to make sure you give yourself enough time to check out of your hotel. Many hotels charge additional fees if you do not checkout by checkout time. Make sure you check out on time.
The logistics involved in planning and executing a vacation can make you question why you wanted to take the vacation in the first place; but once you are there and experiencing the fun of your vacation getaway, you will be glad that you read and implemented these tips for putting together a great vacation.