If you want to become an expert traveler, or even just make sure your future trips all go smoothly and efficiently, there are plenty of ways to transform any travel experience from a merely acceptable one to a great one. Read the below tips to find out how to make your trips effortless and enjoyable.
To avoid being the victim of a pickpocket, keep your hand on your belongings. Nearly every large tourist destination has its share of less savory residents, who seek to take advantage of unwary travelers. Prime targets are crowded areas, where people may be bumping into one another and therefore, may not feel the pickpocket. To prevent this, if you are heading into a crowded situation, keep one of your hands on your belongings at all times. This makes it impossible for someone to steal without your notice.
Peruse the blogosphere. Bloggers are everywhere, and there is most likely one, if not many, bloggers blogging about your destination. Their blogs are a great resource for finding information about hidden gems of the city–restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. Don’t be shy. If you contact them, many will be happy to answer your specific questions as well.
When staying at a high-end domestic hotel, bring along your own A/V cable for your laptop. Most hotel rooms at nicer hotels offer free in-room WiFi and a large HDTV, but will then charge a premium for in-room movies. Having your own A/V cable gives you access to your own selection of downloaded movies or an online account.
If you cannot bear to leave your pet home, consider taking her along on your vacation. There are many resorts and hotels that now allow owners to bring their pets along, and travelers are flocking to these types of places. Some accommodations include pet spas and day cares. Always check to be sure that pets are welcome before making an reservations.
If you’re going on a long road trip with kids, try swapping seats with them every once in a while. This makes them feel good since they’re sitting in the seat only mommy or daddy normally sit in. It will also keep them busy for a while, since they’ll get to see things they normally wouldn’t see.
When booking a cruise, opt for a balcony room. They are only slightly more expensive, but tend to offer much more space and a gorgeous view. Just remember to securely lock your balcony door when you are finished using it, as thieves are known to jump from balcony to balcony to find an unlocked door.
If you’re planning an expensive vacation or trip, you might want to consider purchasing travel insurance. If an emergency comes up or you or your travel companion fall ill, you don’t want to be stuck, begging the airline or cruise company to refund your money. If you have good travel insurance, you don’t have to worry about spending your hard-earned vacation money, laying around at home with the flu.
Shopping for airline tickets online isn’t always the best deal. In general, you will find the same price by buying online as you will from the airline itself or from agencies. At times you can find great airline deals online but they are limited and contain restrictions. If you don’t mind the limits, buying your tickets online may be for you.
When traveling, always know the number of doors between your hotel room and the exit. If there is a fire, you will have to quickly move to the stairwell. If the fire produces a lot of smoke, you may not be able to see, so feeling the doors and counting until you reach the right one may be your only option.
If you are in an unfamiliar location such as a hotel and someone knocks on your door, do not answer until you have checked them out. Anyone who is coming to see you at the hotel has either spoken to you or been in contact with the front desk. Call the desk and ask for information about the visitor to verify.
When you are getting ready to go away from home and travel the world, do not forget to notify your financial institutions. To avoid future hassle with your cash-flow in a foreign land you should notify any bank or credit card company you do business with. Nothing is worse than having no money in the middle of nowhere.
Make sure that you take enough prescription medication to last for the entire trip anytime you travel. You should always take some extra meds with you, just in case you are delayed or get stranded somewhere, for a long period of time. Bring your medication information along with you, as well, in case you need to get more from a pharmacy.
Need to convert your US Dollars to another currency? Don’t convert them at the airport, as soon as you step off the plane! Many kiosks in airports, charge high teller fees for converting to international funds as an easy way to make money. If possible, walk to a nearby shopping mall or bank to convert your funds.
A tip we all forget, change the bed sheets if you are staying somewhere more than a few days. While on vacation, we tend to think that we are in a magical world where normal things don’t exist. However, they do, and if we forget about them, you can suffer from ugly infections especially if you are staying in a warm climate. Keep your sheets changes regularly.
Avoid parking at an airport when at all possible. The fees at the parking lots of airports are often outrageous and can easily be avoided. You can ask a friend or family member to take you to the airport or hire a cab to bring you instead. The cab ride will often be less than the parking lot fees.
People who travel for a living learn to use a lot of little tips and tricks, like the ones above, to make sure all their trips are simple, pleasant experiences, whether they’re leaving home for a day or a month. With these insider tips, you’re well on your way to being an expert traveler, too.