Travel can be one of the most stressful parts of life, but also one of the most rewarding. Being prepared and knowing what to expect on the road, at sea or in the air is essential to having a good trip. Read on to discover some knowledge that you can use to make good memories away from home.
When traveling, always be prepared to have things stolen. Make advance photocopies of all of your important papers. You can even upload electronic scans of these documents for easy access while traveling. The local American embassy can assist you in contacting those at home who can wire you emergency funds or help in replacing your passport, but not much else.
When setting a reservation for a hotel stay, be sure to ask about dates for possible renovations. You surely do not want to deal with the noise of construction workers everywhere when you are trying to relax. Avoid staying in a hotel that is undergoing construction.
If you plan to travel with children it is best to think ahead. Kids are not the easiest to vacation with and will need quite a few entertainment tools to keep them happy. If you make a list in advance, you will know exactly what to bring when you travel.
Make all your travel arrangements yourself, without the assistance of company employees. Book your flights online because many airlines will charge an extra fee when you talk with one of their workers to secure your travel plans. Check your bags online because doing it at the airport could also subject you to extra fees. Be as self-sufficient as possible to save money.
When you are traveling by plane, consider bringing bottled water and hand sanitizer in your carry-on bag. Sanitize your hands after you wash them in the plane’s bathroom and make sure to drink as much water as possible. Both of these things will help to keep you from getting sick. Also remember not to touch your face and not to get ice included with your drinks. The water on planes has a lot of bacteria.
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.
If possible travel during off-peak hours. The price of flights changes depending on the hour, the day and the month of travel. You can save a lot of money by booking flights during off peak hours. For example, flights on Thursdays are usually cheaper than those of Fridays. This is because the demand for seats is lower on a Thursday as people who work away from home during the week normally want to fly home on a Friday.
If you need a rental car while on vacation consider renting an eco-friendly car. Zipcar and Flexcar are both “green” car-sharing programs which offer travelers low fees and convenient drop off and pick up. You will be able to reduce car emissions by renting the smallest car you can or a hybrid car.
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.
Bring a door stop with you when you are traveling if you are nervous about the hotel room’s security. Particularly if you are visiting overseas, some of the less expensive rooms do not have a dead bolt or chain lock. A door stop can be wedged between the door and the floor, offering a small deterrent to someone trying to get into your room.
A direct flight is not the same as a nonstop flight. Both types of flights mean you do not have to change planes; however a direct flight may stop at other airports before your final destination. This leaves more possible areas for delays, making you late to arrive at your destination.
Exchange your money at your bank before you leave for your trip. Large financial institutions often have the best exchange rates, and changing your money before you arrive ensures you can avoid long lines at the airport currency exchange or even worse, being left at the mercy of less-scrupulous exchanges which prey on travelers who need local currency fast.
Before heading off on a lengthy road trip, know where to stop to have your vehicle serviced. When traveling by car, you may have long periods when there are few options for vehicle service. Try to map out these stops ahead of time. You need to also make note of phone numbers for any repair businesses or nearby motels in case you need to make a call for assistance or stay somewhere overnight while repairs are made.
Review the cancellation policy of any hotel or car rental company that you are considering using for your travel needs. If you are able to back out of the reservation, look into other offers when the time to travel gets closer. You may find that you will save a good bit of money or get a better room or car for the same amount.
Be flexible with your travel schedule. There is a lot of money that can be saved by you leaving a couple days earlier or by using a different airport when you leave. Search out the cheapest options and make them a part of your trip so that you can both enjoy going and coming back from a trip with some money leftover.
Ninety percent of any good trip is preparation and knowledge. Having read this article, hopefully, you are now full of ideas on getting ready for and surviving your next adventure away from home. Apply what you have learned and you are sure to come home with good memories of visited destinations.