Travel is a hobby for some and a business necessity for others. But regardless of your reason for getting from one place to another, there are ways to make it easier and more pleasant, and ways for it to bring stress into your life. Try these great tips for making travel time into a more enjoyable time.
If you are touring Europe, take advantage of their outstanding rail system. Instead of flying to each of your destinations, only fly into your first city and then hop on the train. Not only is it much more affordable, but by traveling overland, you are sure to get an amazing look at the area beyond your major city stops.
To avoid any awkward confrontations, do some research if you are traveling to a foreign nation. This includes looking up standard phrases such as “thank you,” “how much” and “how are you.” You should also look around for standard customs of the country, such as gestures, so that you can avoid offending anyone with gestures or body language that seem normal to you.
Don’t judge a hotel by its name alone. Look for the year it was built or last renovated, which can be very telling. Hotels can take a beating and a newly built budget hotel, may be much nicer than a luxury brand that is showing a lot of wear and tear from not being renovated in years.
Explore new lands and expand your horizons. Try your best to always explore new places you haven’t been to before. You only get one shot at life and you don’t want to spend it visiting the same city over and over. So go out into the world and explore new places and live new adventures.
Look at your health insurance policy to determine what the coverage is when you travel outside your own country. Chances are high that at some point, you will travel past your own borders. There is every possibility that you will need health care while you are away. Does your policy cover the cost of any health care you might need? You should know the answer to that question before you ever set foot across the border.
If you’re sensitive to the smell of cleaners (or just don’t like them!) try bringing some small candles with you on your trip. This can help mask the scent of the cleaners the maids use and the scents can also help relax you. Some scents can even sooth you and give you a better night’s sleep.
Don’t miss the bus. If you need to travel a moderate distance to your next destination, use the bus instead of more expensive taxis or rental cars. Many buses, especially in major cities, are quite clean and modern. Not only will you save money, but you will get an excellent chance to people-watch and get to know the locals.
Make your baggage easy to spot. Place large bright stickers and pictures all over your luggage, so that when you spot it coming through, you know for a fact it is yours. This helps to not only find your bag, but also to get rid of the embarrassment that comes when you accidentally grab one that isn’t yours.
Traveling by bus is an economical alternative to flying, but you should be aware of luggage requirements before packing for your trip. Find out the weight and size limits of luggage imposed by your chosen bus company, in addition to the number of bags you can take. If you are bringing skis, snowboards or other bulky equipment, make sure you comply with the company’s policies. Be prepared to move your own luggage if transferring buses, as most bus companies do not provide this service.
Making long term travel plans can seem time consuming and frustrating. The best way to make sure you have all your ends tied before leaving is to make a check list of all that needs to be done. This will ensure that once you have left, you will not be left thinking you are missing something important.
Eliminate the middle man when purchasing travel tickets. When you book direct with an airline or train line, 90% of the time you will get a better deal than if you use a booking agency. Many booking agencies are now reducing their fees, but if you have time to book direct, nine times out of ten you will save money.
Prior to traveling abroad, take some time to familiarize yourselves with the local laws of the country you are visiting. Laws can be very different from country to country. Consulates cannot step over local laws, so if you do break one, even if you were unaware of it, you will be held accountable.
If you are flexible with your travel schedule, consider booking your trip the day before or the day after your ideal departure date. Just one day can mean the difference of one hundred dollars or more in savings. Many of the big travel websites give you the option to see the prices of the days surrounding your ideal date.
If you and a group of family or friends are traveling by car, bring a walkie talkie wherever you go. Cell phones need to have a cell tower in order to work properly. Walkie talkies only need each other, making them more beneficial than the phones when you are traveling in rural areas that might not have cell phone coverage.
Smart travelers have a smart routine that keeps their travel plans running smoothly and that makes every trip, no matter where or why, as easy as possible. Tips like the above can help everyone travel smarter, from the most world-weary traveler to the fresh-faced new traveler setting out on his or her first adventure.