Taking a step into the great big world of traveling for the very first time might feel a tad bit scary, but by keeping the helpful tips listed below in mind, you will soon find yourself traveling like those more experienced travelers, who go on many trips, every year.
When you travel, it’s important to stop for the cheese as well as the big-time monuments. What that means is this: Go to Mt. Rushmore, sure. But first, you need to stop at the Jolly Green Giant Statue in Minnesota and get your picture taken. You need to actually go see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, and Wall Drug. These places are kitschy, and that’s exactly why they’re essential. America is both a place of great beauty and great silliness, and both should be celebrated by the traveler.
Make sure you keep your receipts. Saving receipts and keeping them organized while traveling is always a smart idea, especially if your trip is business related. Not only is it a good idea for financial reasons, they can also serve as a journal of sorts and can even make nice mementos from your trip.
Before leaving on a trip, it is vital to make sure that all of your documentation is up to date. This includes identification such as your driver’s license and passport, any necessary immunization or medical records, and credit or bank cards. This way you will not run into any problems when making purchases or during your travels regarding non-matching ID.
If you are traveling to an area where the tap water tastes strange to you, try using the hotel ice machines to get your water. The ice machines make use of water filters, so the quality is better but you don’t have to cover the expense of bottled water. This can be used for your coffee maker in the room as well as other drinks.
Walk when you can. To keep your ankles from swelling and your joints from getting sore, stand up and walk whenever you get a chance. On the plane, get up and go to the bathroom or walk the aisle, once every hour. If you have a layover, opt to take a few laps of the terminal, rather than just sitting at your gate.
When you get to your hotel room, check the alarm clock. People have been awoken by an alarm that was accidentally or purposely set for an inconvenient time. Turn off the alarm or set it to the time you want it on.
Sometimes by choosing multiple means of travel one can get the best of everything. For example by taking a plane somewhere and renting a car when you arrive, one can get the benefits of a quick flight as well as the benefits of having a car to go wherever wanted while traveling.
Another good way to get some sleep on an airplane is by using headphones or ear plugs. This will drown out the constant engine noise and also the little kids and talkative adults on the plane. You will be able to relax and get some much needed rest.
Driving far in a car means consistently changing radio stations for ones that a clear. To solve this, make CDs or tapes with all of the group’s favorite songs so you can jam happily without distracting yourself by trying to find a clear station while driving. This also allows for you guys to listen to music non-stop rather then sit and wait for commercials to end.
Most airlines will overbook their flights during busy times or seasons. In the event that too many people show up for the flight, they will need volunteers to take a different flight at a later time, in exchange for vouchers for travel, food and lodging that can be used at a later date. If you aren’t in a hurry, you can pay for part of your next vacation!
When packing toiletries for your carry-on, make sure to follow the 3-1-1 rule (3 oz bottles, 1 quart-sized Ziploc per passenger). Having your toiletries ready to go in a designated bag will make getting through security a breeze and have you on your way to your destination in no time.
When staying in a hotel room, make sure to lock any valuables such as jewelry or electronics in the in-room safe. If there is no safe in your room, ask at the front desk and the hotel can usually put them in a safe there. If you don’t secure your valuables, the hotel is not liable if they are stolen from your room.
Before you begin thinking about where you would like to travel next, subscribe to get emails from major airlines, hotels and rental companies. It will increase your amount of “junk” mail, but these newsletters often include information about last-minute hotel deals or flights that will allow you to use your frequent-flyer miles. Since these deals go quickly, finding out about them first is essential.
Take cookie sheets with you when you are traveling in a car with children. Cookie sheets can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including snack or meal trays. They can also be used as a coloring desk and game table. Small children will enjoy using the trays with their magnetic letters and numbers, keeping them busy and happy during the drive.
Traveling during the holidays can be a stressful experience. Long lines at the airport and traffic congestion can cause you to arrive late to your destination, or even worse, miss your flight. Allow yourself plenty of extra time by leaving earlier than normal. This will save you from rushing, and allow you to enjoy the holiday season.
Try to schedule layovers that are a minimum of two hours. While direct or nonstop flights should be your first choice, sometimes a layover is inevitable. By scheduling a long layover, you may slightly increase your travel time, but you will also be less likely to miss a connecting flight if there is a delay.
After you have read this article for travel tips, you should feel more comfortable about traveling. You have the knowledge and now it’s time to use it. You should now be ready to travel and explore new places and cultures.