If you want to become an expert traveler, or even just make sure your future trips all go smoothly and efficiently, there are plenty of ways to transform any travel experience from a merely acceptable one to a great one. Read the below tips to find out how to make your trips effortless and enjoyable.
Shop around for the best deal. Often, a shift in a day or two from your departure or return can amount to a significant savings of several hundred dollars in your transportation cost. Many websites can check this automatically for you. As a general rule, if you can avoid travelling on Fridays or Sundays, you will save a pile of money.
If you are traveling into a malaria-prone area, in addition to anti-malaria pills, bring a mosquito net or find a room with a large ventilation fan. The net is best as it can almost completely stop mosquitoes from getting to you at night. The fan works because mosquitoes cannot fly as well into the wind, but it is not fool-proof.
When you plan a trip, taking a digital camera that fits your trip is a good idea. For example, a camera with a rechargeable battery might not be suited for backpacking. Usually, you will need a digital camera that’s easy to turn on and focuses quickly in order to avoid missing once-in-a-lifetime shots.
Join a good travel price watcher. This is a feature many travel sites use, and allows you to enter the destination you want and it will watch for deals for you. Once the price drops to your specifications, then you will receive an email alert. This will help ensure you don’t miss a savings opportunity.
A plastic shoe organizer over your hotel door can keep you organized. It is difficult to stay organized away from home, with little to no storage space except your suitcase. Put an organizer over your bathroom door when you arrive, the kind with the clear pockets is best. You can use it to store your essentials and keep them where it’s easy to locate.
When traveling by plane make sure you take every precaution you can to ensure smooth travels. You first want to make sure your luggage does not exceed the maximum weight requirements by the airlines. You also want to label all of your luggage so that there is no confusion with other passengers who have similar luggage to yours.
To wear adapted clothes while traveling, look up the weather in advance. Remember that you might not be used to extreme heat or cold if you live in a place with a mild climate. Bring various clothes with you and do not hesitate to buy new clothes in local stores.
If you’re planning on taking a cell phone with you on your trip, make sure to call your cell phone provider to ask them about roaming charges. The familiarity of your cell phone may make you feel better, but it may cost you a lot more to use it on foreign soil. A good alternative is buying a local SIM card and using it while you’re there.
If you are traveling by plane, make sure you have enough room in your luggage for the things you want to take back. If your bags are packed full before you get there and you want to buy new clothes or souvenirs, not only will your clothes get all wrinkly, but there could be a chance that your luggage bag bursts and you lose the old things, as well as the new.
Confirm your reservations. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination, only to find out that there isn’t a reservation in your name. As a simple precaution, 24 hours before your scheduled arrival, verify your reservations online or over the phone. This will allow time to make alternate plans if your reservation was missed.
When you get to your hotel, check the alarm clock. In some cases, the last person who stayed in the hotel will have previously set the alarm. If you do not wish to be awakened at four in the morning, you may want to double check the all the alarms.
While many luxury hotels offer free wireless internet service, a few out there charge exorbitant rates for hourly access. Find out which businesses are in the area directly around your hotel; more and more restaurants, coffee houses, and even car dealerships offer free wireless internet service. Book a room on the ground floor of your hotel; chances are you will be able to access the internet through a local business rather than paying for service through your hotel.
Don’t hoard your frequent flyer miles. It’s hard to know if those miles will be worth anything in the future, especially since many frequent flyer programs expire miles if they have not been used in eighteen months. If you don’t want to use them on flights, most programs also offer magazine subscriptions and product discounts.
It is essential to join a car-rental club before traveling. While hotel loyalty programs give you various “extras” like free breakfast, car-rental clubs help you avoid long lines and eliminate endless paperwork. They also keep you from constantly getting up-sold. A car-rental club helps you avoid stress and frustration, leading to a better traveling experience.
When packing your luggage for a flight, affix a card with your name, phone and address inside the bag in the event the luggage is misplaced and tags are lost. Often the airlines will inspect the inside of lost luggage when the tag is lost, in an effort to find some identifying information about the owner.
Knowing what is and is not allowed on an airplane can save you a hassle at the airport. Many people do not realize that simple everyday items such as hand lotion, sunscreen, etc., are considered spreads and either need to be in a clear plastic bag, or in your checked luggage. It is best to check with the TSA website before you leave for your trip to ensure smooth sailing at the airport.
People who travel for a living learn to use a lot of little tips and tricks, like the ones above, to make sure all their trips are simple, pleasant experiences, whether they’re leaving home for a day or a month. With these insider tips, you’re well on your way to being an expert traveler, too.