Traveling is exciting and can be a great time for you or one of the biggest headaches you will ever encounter if not done right. Read on for some great ideas on how to travel smart and take care of all the little things that if you don’t, will leave you wishing you stayed home.
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.
To receive the best service when traveling, tip generously at the beginning of the trip. If the bellboy or steward knows that you tip well, they will be more likely to tend to your needs. Especially on cruises, you’ll receive more personal attention and better service from the staff if you’re seen as generous.
Make a portable washing machine with a plastic bag. Save money by skipping expensive coin-operated washers and dryers when you travel by using a do-it-yourself tip. Find or pack a large and sturdy plastic bag, and add a little laundry soap and water. Put your clothes in the bag, and shake. Drain the soapy water and repeat the process with clean water, then hang the clothes to dry.
If you are taking your car to the airport and leaving it there, always make a note of where you parked it. You should write it on a piece of paper or put it in your phone. Most likely when you return from your trip, your memory will not be enough to find it.
Drive through windows at fast food places almost inevitably give you too much or too little sugar or other sweetener when you order coffee or tea. When traveling, don’t throw the extra away! Tuck into a baggie or maybe a little tin and keep it for the next time you are shorted. It sure beats having to turn around and go back through the drive through!
Hotel stationery is a great souvenir, and hotels do not charge you for taking it. The hotels realize that their stationery is a form of advertisement for them, so if you take it and use it, you are doing them a favor. Most higher-end hotels have beautiful stationery, so snap it up! They don’t mind.
Tired of the same boring road trip? Next time you have to pack up and go to an out-of-town event, try something different. After you map your main driving route, pick a few random places off the beaten path to stop at along the way. It could be a small mom-and-pop diner, a state park or maybe your first visit to a comic book store. Not only will this break up your drive, you will have added memories to keep forever.
To make a long airport layover fly by in a flash, see if you can purchase a day pass for one of the airport’s exclusive lounges. These lounges are meant for the airlines’ best customers, but with a day pass, you will be able to relax in style with free food and drinks, as well as, clean bathrooms, while you wait for your flight.
If you qualify, use an international “discount” card. Teachers, students and youths, all qualify for international identification cards and these cards have special benefits. The cost is small, but if you can find the right places to use them, the fee is negligible. Get them for your children, to get special offers.
Be aware of the potential for bedbugs while traveling and always check the bedding as soon as you get into your room. Do not put your luggage on the bed. Bedbugs are more likely to come home with travelers that allow their bags to touch bedspreads or mattresses. Instead, place your bag on a chair or other piece of furniture that is not upholstered.
When traveling in a car, make sure to keep a small trash bag with you. You will invariably collect some trash while eating or drinking, and the mess can accumulate quickly. Having a bag handy will allow you to keep your car organized and clean, creating a nice environment for you to drive in.
Remember to pack an eyeglass repair kit if you wear glasses. If your glasses break while away on vacation, it can be difficult to locate the correct parts and tools, especially if you are in foreign country. There is nothing worse than going sightseeing and not being able to see the sights.
When packing your luggage, use your extra shoes to hold small items such as socks, jewelry, toiletries, or electronics chargers. The space inside the shoes would otherwise be wasted space. This can also help to keep you more organized if you know, for example, that all of your prescriptions medications are in your shoes.
Research the type of travel insurance you are considering before making the investment. Make sure that it covers things like, baggage loss or delay and emergency medical expenses, so you can recover some of the cost of your trip if your vacation plans are cut short or cancelled due to these things happening.
Take along a bit of duct tape with you in case you find that you need it. It is one of those things that will fix many things that can go wrong while on vacation and having a long strip of it wrapped around a pen or pencil could save you from one of the many disasters that could come your way.
Take a photo of your luggage that you are checking. It will save you a good bit of time and grief if it should get lost during transport. You will be able to present a photo of the bag to the airline and they will have no question as to whether the bag that they have found is yours or not.
Hopefully this article has given you some tips and tricks on how to be a wise traveler. In this day and age you really have to keep your eyes open and your wits about you to keep traveling safe and smooth. Check your list before taking off and keep these smart tips in mind.