Whether traveling for work or traveling for play, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and pleasantly. An inexperienced traveler may not know how to find the cheapest flight, the best hotel rates or those off-the-beaten-track vacation spots that are a must for anyone with children. All the do’s and don’ts, ins and outs, and ups and downs of traveling are outlined for you in the following article, so you can have a safe, economical and exciting trip from start to finish.
Plan your packing. In these days of baggage fees and weight limits, most travelers carry one suitcase. To fit everything in, you need to be a smart packer. Check the weather forecast for your destination and choose outfits that you can mix and match. Opt for layers, which can easily be added or removed as the temperature changes. Also remember to wear your heavier/bulkier shoes so that they don’t hog too much space in your luggage.
Limit the amount of luggage you take on your trip to a carry-on bag. Luggage has a nasty habit of getting lost in airports. Even if it does not get lost, you often spend an annoying amount of time waiting for it to show up on the luggage carrousel. Limiting the luggage you take to a single carry-on bag will eliminate this problem entirely.
One way to deal with the tedium of being away from your family due to work-related travel is to take advantage of the time for yourself. Typically, meetings end at 5 and you’ll have until the next morning. Take the world’s longest bath, and use up all the toiletries. Watch three movies in a row. Write those couple of actual snail-mail letters you always said you would, but haven’t had time. Knit a hat. Read a book. In short, do all the nice things for yourself that you wouldn’t take the time to do if you were surrounded by your family. You’ll feel better knowing you took the time, and you’ll be that much happier and more relaxed when you see your family again.
Traveling light can make the difference is a great vacation and a tortuous experience. Think about it. If you don’t take it with you can almost always buy it there. There are exceptions of course but even with those just a little bit of thought while packing can greatly reduce your load and make your trip much more enjoyable.
If you are traveling overseas, you may want to consult a health practitioner about what vaccinations are recommended. Different areas of the world have different diseases and you always want to be prepared for what you are walking into. There are plenty of vaccinations out there that can keep you safe.
If you have a fear of flying and need a drink to help you relax on the plane, always make sure that you add two drinks of water to that one alcoholic beverage. The worst thing you can do is drink too much on a plane and get sick or dehydrated.
When traveling, the savvy tourist will always be on the lookout for local restaurants. A chain restaurant, even one belonging to a foreign chain the traveler does not know, will never be as colorful as an independently operated eatery. Not only are locally-owned restaurants more memorable, they are frequently cheaper than more generic options.
If you’re going on a cruise, it’s advisable to bring your own alcohol. While food is unlimited on the ship, alcohol is not. They won’t charge you anything right then and there, instead you’ll just swipe your room key. But come check out time, you may find you’ve racked up hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of alcohol if you and your family like to drink.
Use melted hotel ice to brew your morning coffee. Rather than using tap water, which can taste bad, fill up the ice bucket and let it melt overnight. As the sun rises and your eyes open, you can be assured the water in the ice bucket is clean, filtered and ideal to drink or use for your morning java.
When you’re visiting an unfamiliar city, make sure to spend a few minutes chatting with your hotel concierge. The concierge is an expert on the area and it is his or her job to ensure that you enjoy your stay. Ask your concierge to make restaurant reservations or reserve show tickets for you. Your concierge can often get you in to in-demand places.
Travelers are a common target of theft, but you can protect your luggage with a few simple tactics. Put Christmas bells on your suitcases and carry-on luggage, to alert you if someone tries to take them. Insert your foot through the strap or handle of your luggage when sitting in an airport lounge during a layover. Be aware that a distraction around you may be a deliberate attempt to divert your attention from your belongings.
When your travel plans involve a road trip, allocate a “stop” card to each member of your family. You can’t get out at every place that looks fun, but each member of your family should have an equal voice in deciding what attractions you see. If you give each person one “stop” card a day, they know that when they pull it out the family will stop to check out the attraction. This reduces arguing and is fun for the entire family.
Allow time in your travel plans for diversion. When you are planning events and activities during your trip, separate some of these plans with an hour or two gap in between. This allows for extra time at an event or the opportunity to explore some of the local scenery that you might not see otherwise.
From driving to the next state to flying overseas, traveling is fraught with potential perils. Preparing yourself for the unexpected is one of the key elements of having a successful trip. The tips and advice presented above can teach you all the tricks of a well-seasoned traveler, whether you’re going on your first family vacation or your 100th business trip.
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