Although traveling nationally or internationally gives you the opportunity to see the world and interact with people of all backgrounds, it can also be a hassle, an expense or even a danger. However, there are ways to make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable, whether it’s for business or pleasure. All you need to do is follow these simple tips.
You can save space in your luggage by packing in large airtight bags, such as ziplocks. Find the gallon or 2 gallon size bags, pack t-shirts, socks, underwear and other lightweight fabric items in them, and then roll the air out of the bag before zipping shut. This will reduce the size of your items down and you will be able to fit more in your bag.
When traveling, it is important to make sure your airline will suit your needs. Different airlines maintain different niches. Some are inexpensive, some provide superior service, and some cater to far more destinations than others. Before you book any trip by airplane, research different airlines first. It will save you a headache.
Use plenty of plastic when packing. Putting your clothes, toiletries, and other items in clear plastic bags is always a smart way to pack when traveling. Not only does it help you organize, it also keeps your possessions safe. If the bag should be exposed to the elements on the tarmac, the contents of your bag will stay dry.
Unfortunately, you cannot depend on an airline to see to your needs, even if your traveling involves a lengthy flight. Because of cutbacks, many airlines do not provide pillows, blankets or headphones, so bring your own if you will use them. You should also think about bringing some snacks with you.
When traveling by air with small children, pack a couple of toys that they have never seen before in your carry on baggage. Traveling can be stressful and difficult for a very young child. A couple of new toys can provide a much needed distraction. It also helps to prevent that over tired, or over anxious, crankiness that children sometimes experience.
If you are traveling by cruise ship, make your arrangements as close to the time of your trip as possible. Although the cruise industry used to advertise that you could only get exceptional savings if you booked in advance, things have changed and last-minute deals are usually better than advanced reservations. There is even a web site that shows cruises with up to 75% savings if you book at the last minute.
Get a jump on ridding yourself of jet lag. Plan activities that will have you outdoors for your first couple of days while abroad. When you are outside being active the exercise, fresh air and plenty of sunlight (if available) will do wonders for defeating the lethargy of jet lag. Taking a quick power nap upon arrival to the hotel can help as well.
When traveling with small children, try to bring some food, drinks, and snacks that they enjoy. Most children do not like the food and drinks that the airline offers. Also, make sure to bring toys, games, and activities that they will enjoy for the whole flight so they will be entertained.
When traveling, always keep a few snacks in your bag. Airline food can be expensive. Having to stop for snacks when you’re in the car can take time. A few small granola bars or crackers won’t take up much space and can save you both time and money.
Before you travel to a foreign country you should know if they accept American dollars, or if they don’t, what currency you need. You should be well aware of the current exchange rate because oftentimes foreign merchants will rip off Americans because they do not know the value of their money in the foreign country.
When you decide to do a city tour, make sure you stay with your group. Many great travel destinations offer guided tours so you can see the best sights in a short amount of time. If you let yourself get split up from your group, you can easily end up completely lost.
Save money with a trip to your local library. If your trip is going to be less than two weeks long (or however long your local library’s lending period) don’t bother purchasing expensive travel books. Libraries often have as good of a selection as a bookstore and sometimes better. You can check out the books and guides you need, and return them to the library when you come home from your trip.
Before you leave, compile a playlist of all your favorite songs on a portable music-player such as a ipod. Listening to your favorite songs while you are traveling will make your journey less boring. Make sure you take some noise cancelling headphones with you if you are traveling on noisy public transport.
If you are going on a long trip, bring a book with you that you always wanted to read but never had the time. Reading is a great form of mental escapism and can make your journey much more enjoyable. If you chose a non fiction book, you could also learn loads of new, interesting facts.
When travelling abroad, do your research when it comes to power sources. Just because you’ve purchased a physical adapter to allow you to plug your hair dryer in when you get to your destination does not mean that you’ll actually be able to use the device when you plug it in. Higher voltages in most of Europe will result in a smoking appliance!
When you are packing anything with batteries for a trip and will not be using them on your way either take the batteries out of the device or turn them around inside. If the device gets turned on by accident this will prevent the batteries from being drained and having to buy new ones.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to make traveling more pleasurable, as well as safer and less costly. Many of these tips come from seasoned travelers who have learned through experience. Use their knowledge to your advantage the next time you have to plan a trip, whether it’s in a neighboring city or another country.