A vacation can soothe the soul and leave you renewed, refreshed, and invigorated. Whether you are just now starting to plan your next vacation, or are merely looking for travel ideas and suggestions, it is our hope that this article will be of help to you as you plan your next trip!
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.
Having earplugs handy while traveling will save your sleep and sanity! Be it on the plane or in your hotel room, the use of earplugs will allow you to shut out at least fifty percent of the noises that will give you a headache, keep you from sleeping, or otherwise highlight travel in a negative way. They are also very cheap so bring plenty.
When traveling to a country outside of North America and Western Europe, carry cash or pre-purchased traveler’s checks. You cannot count on your credit or debit card to work the same way it does at home, nor is there any guarantee of access to ATMs. Converting your money or buying traveler’s checks before you leave also protects you against unscrupulous money changers.
Do not travel with wrapped gifts. When traveling for the holidays, it is tempting to get things done ahead of time and wrap all of your gifts, but don’t! The TSA does not allow wrapped gifts onto airlines and they may need to unwrap the gifts to inspect their contents.
If you can afford to travel by helicopter, this can be one of the best methods of travel to choose from. It is much more private than other air travel and every bit as quick. It also allows you to bypass long lines or waiting around in airports.
To remain safe while traveling in a country stricken by poverty and crime, you should travel with a guide and a group of tourists. Avoid wearing jewelery and do not let anyone see how much cash you are carrying with you. Also, you should not trust anyone you do not know.
Some hotels have video games in them for you to use. If you’re traveling with kids, ask the front desk to disconnect these. Most of the time as soon as they’re turned on they’ll bill you for playing them. So if you take a shower you may not notice your kids have been playing them until you get your bill at checkout.
Learn to take it easy. You do not have to follow a strict schedule when you are traveling. If you feel like you must schedule out your vacation, at least pen in a little “nothing” time, where you are free to follow up on anything that has interested you, or just lay by the pool with a drink.
Read the fine print on all travel purchases you make. This ensures you will always get treated fairly. For example, sometimes airlines try to tell you they can not change your flight, but their contract often states that they can. Companies try to hide this information from you because they want more of your money. Be a prepared consumer so that businesses will not be able to take advantage of you.
If you want to be able to barter overseas, bring something that is difficult to get outside of your own country. Bourbon is a great example for Americans. American Bourbon is nearly impossible to find outside of the United States, so much so that other countries will pay you double the original cost.
If you are in a country where it is recommended to drink bottled water, do not forget to use that same bottled water for everything. Brushing your teeth with the tap water could inadvertently allow the bacteria to get into your system, which can make you sick. Use the bottled!
Carry a mini notebook with you wherever you go. It is much easier to write the name of your destination and have someone understand you, than it is to make wild gestures while trying to say a difficult town name. Carry the notebook and write in it when you feel necessary. You will be much better understood.
Travel in May and October to avoid crowds, save money and enjoy temperate weather. In those months, many families with children cannot travel due to school commitments, making many tourist attractions much less crowded. This may also result in lower costs for airfare and hotels. As an added bonus, the weather in May and October is usually perfect for traveling — not too hot and not too cold.
Packing for a trip means keeping it light. Fuel costs are driving fees for overweight baggage and causing fliers to readjust their travel budget on the fly. Pack only what is necessary for your trip and leave extraneous items out. Sometimes it might be in your best interest to purchase small ticket items at your destination, as opposed to paying for the weight.
The travel tips and suggestions that have been presented in this article will help you as you are planning your next vacation. So take away some of the stress of making travel plans, and get started thinking about the fun and relaxing times you will soon be having on your next trip!