While travel can be a rewarding, fun experience, it can also be dangerous and daunting! If you’re planning a trip and aren’t sure what to expect, read on to find out what everyone should know before setting off on a trip, whether it be for vacation or another reason.
If you have plans to travel, the most important preparation you should do is make a checklist of everything you need from toiletries to extra articles of clothing. Before you leave, make sure that all of these items are packed because most likely if you forget something, the gift shops available to you will overcharge for simple things such as toothpaste or shampoo.
Use websites that allow you to name your own price on hotel rooms for your next overnight stay. You can save a considerable amount of money by doing this. You won’t be able to know ahead of time what hotel will accept your bid, but the savings more than make up for it.
Stick to boiled or bottled water when you travel. It does not matter if you are flying half way across the world or just taking a day trip in your own state. Often your stomach will not react well to different water and it is better to be safe than sorry!
If you want to reduce your travel expenses, get some friends or family to come with you. You can share accommodations and have fun traveling together. Present your idea in an enthusiastic manner ahead of time and let them know exactly how much it will cost them so that they can save up enough money.
Keeping fresh water for you pet is a must when you are traveling. This is particularly important in hot climates. One way of insuring cool, fresh water is to rinse out a two liter drink bottle, fill it, and freeze it before you leave. As it melts it will provide your pet with the liquid they need to survive.
If you are traveling overseas, be prepared for anything. Cultures are very different once you leave the western world. Don’t expect to see anything resembling your normal life until you disembark in the United States again. Planning ahead for this will help you reduce the effects of culture shock during your travels.
If you are traveling abroad, it’s a wise idea to sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free government service for citizens of the United States who live in a foreign country or are planning to visit one. Providing STEP with your contact information and some details on your trip allows them to contact you in the event of an emergency and to advise you of travel warnings and alerts.
If you are not interested in striking up a conversation with your seat mates, make sure you bring along big, noise-cancelling headphones. Most people will not try to strike up a conversation with someone who is obviously not interested in talking. These have the added bonus of blocking out the sounds of babies crying or people chatting while you relax.
Even if you don’t have a digital music player, bring headphones on your flight. Many airlines have in-flight entertainment systems that are free to use but require headphones. Instead of paying $5 for the crummy airline headphones, bring your own and enjoy your flight in comfort and style.
If you are going to travel to another country you will need to get a passport. This can take some time so it is best to prepare in advance. You should be prepared to answer questions, bring in legal documents to prove who you are, and plan to wait a few weeks or more for the passport to be ready for you to travel with.
If you’re planning on making hotel stays, travel candles are something you’ll want to bring with you. Scented candles can eliminate offending mystery scents in hotel rooms. It is romantic, relaxing and could help you sleep easily. Many candles now come in small sizes, and wax that melts away instead of creating a waxy drip.
If you want to adjust faster to a different time zone, try to stay awake until 8pm local time. Even if you are tired, going to bed too early can prolong jet lag by keeping your body in your home time zone. So adjust as fast as you can to the new time zone, so you’ll get over being jet lagged faster.
Try to schedule layovers that are a minimum of two hours. While direct or nonstop flights should be your first choice, sometimes a layover is inevitable. By scheduling a long layover, you may slightly increase your travel time, but you will also be less likely to miss a connecting flight if there is a delay.
Use organization methods to reduce the amount of luggage that you need to take with you. Shoes take up a lot of space in your luggage. Use them to tuck small things like socks in them and it will save you some room in your luggage. Simple things like this will allow you to fit more into your one piece of luggage.
Select lightweight luggage that has a pull handle and roller wheels. Making your way through an airport can be a long walk and having lightweight luggage that you can easily pull behind will surely save you some grief. Make sure that it will stand up on its own, so as you are checking in, it will stay stable.
To pack light while traveling, make time to plan ahead. Lay articles of clothing out before you pack, and make sure that each top can go with more than one bottom. Bring clothes that are comfortable and easy to wash, in case you need to do laundry on the road. Think carefully about the shoes you bring. It is best to wear your bulkiest items on the flight, to make more room in your luggage.
Traveling, as you now know, is a complicated task that requires careful planning and plenty of precautions. Now that you’ve read what needs to be done to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, you’re ready to get on with planning your trip. Remember to be safe and always prepared!