Leaving the comforts of home and heading out on the road is the perfect way to break up your dull routine and have new experiences, however travel has some unavoidable logistical demands. The following tips will help you avoid the stress that can ruin even the best-planned trip.
Always know where your luggage is. Airline and bus employees have been known to steal items out of cases when they are checked in. Additionally, other travelers might “accidentally” pick up your bag in hopes of finding expensive items. This also allows you to move between transit options faster, instead of standing around waiting for your luggage.
Pack an extra bag for dirty clothes. No one wants to pack their dirty unmentionables in with all their nice things. Pack a small, collapsible bag to pack dirty clothes in for the return trip. Alternatively, bring a garbage bag. You can wrap dirty clothes in the garbage bag to keep them separate from everything else.
Asking for a better hotel room when you are checking in will most probably get you one! If you would prefer a better view, a quieter room or maybe one closer to the ice-machine, chances are very good that one is available. It takes but a moment to ask and will most definitely improve your stay.
When selecting luggage, pay attention to the ease of carrying it over long distances. A rugged metal rolling suitcase is usually ideal. Some rolling bags even have straps that allow them to be worn as a backpack through areas where you can’t roll them. You and your luggage will be walking longer distances than you think.
Family and friends can be very gracious in letting you stay in their home, while you are visiting. Show your appreciation by taking a small thank you gift for them. It will show your gratitude and make them more open to allowing you to stay there again, in the future.
When planning a road trip, don’t forget to budget for the cost of fuel. While many other costs can be easily calculated in advance, the cost of gas is more difficult to figure, and can also add up surprisingly quickly. Online gas calculators can show you where the cheapest prices are and help you get an idea of what you’ll be spending.
Research everything that you can about your vacation. Read reviews online before booking. Ask people you know who have been there before. Doing some research will make you more aware of what can be expected, and will also help you decide what activities to do once you are there.
If you are traveling to the beach or staying at a hotel with a pool, pack your swimsuit in your beach bag. It can sometimes be difficult to sort through everything you have packed. To save time, pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and anything else you might need for the beach or pool in a beach bag.
Ditch the fanny pack. Not only do you look the part of a tourist, a fanny pack is often easy pickings for a thief. If you crave the convenience of the fanny pack, consider getting a multi-pocket travel vest instead. These carry just as much but keep the items close to your body where they are safer.
Everyone knows that airplane food is not exactly gourmet. A good tip is to take along your favorite spice or hot sauce, and dress up your rather bland meal. It will add that extra kick to your food, and will help it go down a little bit easier.
Going on a long trip can ensure that something will happen. Make sure to pack a small first aid kit with you to help with minor scrapes and bruises. Other items, such as bottled water and some snacks can also make a huge difference when you don’t have to buy these things at a higher price in a tourist attraction area.
Avoid wearing loud or particularly noticeable clothing when traveling. Try your best to blend in with your surroundings. Avoid wearing unusual clothing or acting in a way that marks you as a tourist. Pickpockets and con artists are often on the lookout for tourists. Looking too much like one could make you a victim.
If you or a travel companion is seriously allergic or sensitive to cigarette smoke, don’t just ask for a non-smoking room. Requesting that your room be located on a non-smoking floor ensures that your neighbors will not be smoking in their rooms when the doors are opened, and that smoke will not carry between windows of rooms on the same floor.
If you’re going on a cruise either by yourself or with only one other person, consider getting the smallest room available. It’s usually a lot cheaper and you can put that money to good use. You’re not going to want to spend a lot of time in your room except when you’re sleeping or washing, so why should you spend a fortune on it?
Bring your own adapters, unless you want to buy over-priced ones. Many foreign countries have differently shaped and sized outlets. Buying adapters while you are still at home is much more cost-effective. Businesses in these countries have learned to take advantage of travelers who forget that the plugs are quite different from back home.
Make the traveling process a little easier by ensuring that you always reserve your seat when you book your flight. If you aren’t allowed to, keep going back to the airline or booking engine until you can. You may not like your choices but still select a seat and keep going back to see if you can change it. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to get an exit-row seat if you check-in early at the airport, because they are not available online. Following these steps will help you get the seat that you desire for your flight.
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.