Traveling is a popular hobby with huge benefits, from learning about other cultures to creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you visit the next city over or fly to far-flung continents, though, traveling can be a lot more enjoyable if you keep a few things in mind. Read on for some tips to enhance your travel experiences.
If you’re worried about travelling alone, especially if you’re a female, you should consider taking some self-defense classes before you go. This way you can learn basic ways to get away from a mugger or rapist in the event that you need to. Most areas have a few schools that teach self-defense at reasonable rates.
When traveling in foreign countries, beware of police officers who ask for your ID. Make sure you ask them for their ID to prove they’re actually a cop. Instead of showing them your real passport, show them a photocopy instead. You don’t want to risk a thief running off with your passport.
If the hotel chain you will be staying at offers a loyalty program, join up. Even if you’re only planning on staying one or two nights, there are many perks to these programs. On the top of the list, is the fact that loyalty members are less likely to get bumped, if the hotel overbooks.
If you or a travel companion is seriously allergic or sensitive to cigarette smoke, don’t just ask for a non-smoking room. Requesting that your room be located on a non-smoking floor ensures that your neighbors will not be smoking in their rooms when the doors are opened, and that smoke will not carry between windows of rooms on the same floor.
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.
Traveling by train can be a fun alternative to driving or flying. Many trains have an observation car, where you can sit back and take in the passing countryside. Trains also make stops at different railroad stations, which is a great opportunity to explore a new place. Dining in the dining cars is a fun and different experience. You are seated with other passengers, so it is a great opportunity to mingle and make new travel companions.
When going on vacation with younger kids, try to get a room where it would be easy to eat in. This will make it easier on you and the kids. After a long drive to the destination, the last thing they want to do is sit still and eat. It is nice to be a bit free, even during meal time.
When you are traveling overseas, try searching for souvenirs in unusual places. It has become increasingly difficult to find souvenirs that were made at the place you are visiting. Try looking in supermarkets, stationery shops and hardware stores. You will find things that people in the area actually use and the packaging will be unique to your destination.
No matter what hotel room you stay at when you are traveling, make sure to examine the alarm clock when you get there. Many have been previously set and may wake you up at an undesirable time. Look at the alarm clock and turn it off if you don’t need to get up at a specific time.
Another important suggestion is to ensure that you are getting the rates they offer to residents of the location you are visiting. In many cases, rates are jacked up when they know you are a traveler and the increase can be substantial. Most hotels will offer a discount if they want their rooms booked. If you are friendly with a person who lives in the city you plan to visit, contact them too see if they are aware of any special deals. This method can save you a lot of money.
Do not take any drinks that are offered to you unless it is served by a restaurant or hotel. They could be laced with drugs or other harmful substances. This is because many locals like to drug tourists or lace their drinks in order to steal from them or take advantage of them.
Be aware of your surroundings when you travel. If you feel that you may be being followed, find a store and step into it or another place that is safe and wait to see if the person you think is following you passes. If you are unsure if it is safe, contact your hotel for help.
When making airline reservations, make sure you request seat assignment. Without it, you could be fighting with other passengers over which seat you want. Or worse, you could be forced to have to take a later flight because your original flight is overbooked. When you get your seat number, make sure it is documented on your ticket.
Joining an online travel forum can help answer any questions you may have about your trip, before you actually head out the door. The best forums have many experienced travelers as members and they can give you advice and pointers, so you can get the most out of your trip.
Make sure that you bring an actual map on your car trip. Don’t just rely on a talking GPS navigational system. Sometimes these make mistakes and a mistake could cost you a lot of time that could be used for enjoying your trip. Always bring a physical map to double-check your navigational system.
Now you’re ready to hit the road, board the plane, hitch a ride or get on that train to whatever destination it is that tugs at your heartstrings. Using these smart travel tips and a hearty dose of common sense, your future trips will all have a great chance at being dream vacations.