When you are traveling, no matter for pleasure or business, it is imperative to do some pre-planning before the trip. Here are a few tips that can help.
Learn about the place you are traveling to. Buy a decent city or regional map of where you are going to be, and take time to look it over to find museums, environs, and big sightseeing areas. You can get around the area a lot better when you are there if you have memorized local geography and details.
Make a list of what you need to pack. You should start this list at least one week in advance, preferably earlier than that. The list should include all of your necessities for the trip. That way, even if you wait to pack until you’re in a time crunch, the list can help you avoid clutter and to stay organized.
When traveling to a country outside of North America and Western Europe, carry cash or pre-purchased traveler’s checks. You cannot count on your credit or debit card to work the same way it does at home, nor is there any guarantee of access to ATMs. Converting your money or buying traveler’s checks before you leave also protects you against unscrupulous money changers.
While savvy travelers know that buying tickets directly from airlines saves them money, they also know that package deals from online travel agencies are an opportunity to save. By getting a single deal that includes airfare, hotel stay and car rental, a traveler can save money overall, even if certain portions of the package could be bought more cheaply on their own.
To decide if you should buy travel insurance you should take a look at what might already be covered. Many homeowner policies can already have riders that would cover theft of property even while you are traveling so buying additional would be a waste of money for that coverage.
Pack some plastic bags when going on a longer trip. Plastic bags always come in handy when you spill something, for toiletries or if you have some dirty laundry. Meanwhile, some places have laundry opportunities, so it is always useful to carry a plastic bag with you to keep your dirty laundry in.
While traveling to a foreign country is an exciting experience, it can also be risky if you aren’t familiar with its laws and customs. For that purpose, the State Department of the United States created a website (travel.state.gov) that you can visit to find out a wealth of information on the country to which you are traveling, including facts on crime, health conditions and popular attractions.
Make your travel plans without locking yourself into advance booking. While you can get a good deal this way, you are asked to pay in advance for the length of your trip, and you don’t have the flexibility to cancel or change the dates of your trip. Particularly if you know that your plans could change, pay a little more and stay at a hotel that will let you adjust the dates of your stay up until a day before your arrival.
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.
Booking trips online is like one-stop shopping for vacation planning. For help planning your trip, let a travel site help you. Make the most of your travel budget by booking air travel, rental cars and hotels online. Reviews and photographs of hotels are available on the web. Some travel web sites will offer deals if you book your trip, such as discounts.
If you are traveling by car for several days, think about researching fitness classes in the cities that you are driving through. Stopping at a rest stop can help you get out of the car and stretch, but joining a class at a yoga or fitness studio will let you meet people and check out the town. Look for companies that allow walk-ins and have fun!
Be aware of unlisted space during cruise travel. For security reasons, the ship’s brochure can’t show you where stairwells or other common areas are located. If you want to book a larger room and it is located near one of these places, it will probably mean less space for you. Consider spending the extra money on another amenity instead.
When traveling by bus, make sure to check the bus company’s luggage policy. Many companies have a limit on how many bags you can bring with you, and how much these bags weigh. By finding out how much you can bring with you, you can avoid unnecessary delays at the bus station.
Great deals that are available are in many cases limited. You can sign up to receive emails from different companies to find out as soon as the deal is offered so you can get first dibs on these deals. Sign up for these emails for your favorite hotels, rental cars, airlines and many other activities that can be done on vacation.
Try locating airlines that are not popular. Many smaller airlines do exist and many are great, cheaper alternatives to the larger more popular airlines. Many of these exist for international, but you can find some domestically as well. Try getting on a flight that stops at your destination, but goes a little further too.
Prepare a personal hygiene kit and put it in your carry on bag. This is especially important if your luggage happens to get lost. At least you will be equipped with necessary, everyday items. In this bag, include razors, soap, travel sized shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, a toothbrush and whatever else you may need.
When you make the decision to take a trip, the quality of your planning will determine how comfortable your travels actually are. Not only will it reduce your anxiety, but you can also be sure that once you get there you will understand what there is to do and see.