Travel can be an excellent opportunity to expand your horizons and refresh your world-view. It can also backfire on you if you don’t take the time to prepare for the inevitable culture shock, whether your journey is domestic or international. Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your travel experience.
Dealing with airports is an unfortunate necessity of much modern travel. Pack an empty water bottle to fill after you get through security. This will save you from having to buy a $3.00 bottle of water after you get through the checkpoint. It also never hurts to pack granola bars, banana chips, or anything else to snack on between flights.
Keep your money in your front pocket when walking around in a new city or location. It is far easier for a pick pocket or other criminal to snatch money out of your back pocket without you even realizing it. Having your money in the front gives you more control, especially if you walk with your hands in your pockets.
A traveler should try to learn some of the language spoken at his or her destination if there is sufficient time to do so. Fluency in any language is difficult to achieve, but any dedicated traveler can get familiar with some useful phrases. Learning a bit of the lingo will enhance the traveler’s experience or even prove helpful in case of unexpected difficulties.
Traveling with a group? Work to compromise on where to eat and where to go. If you decide to be selfish, the rest of the group will resent you for causing them to have a bad time. By compromising, everyone is happy at some point and you are forced to try and experience new things.
When deciding what to wear on your feet when you go on a plane ride, keep in mind that you will be most comfortable in shoes that slip off easily. Crocs or flip flops are best because they can be taken off or put on in an instant.
Rental cars come in all colors and all models. The problem is that they all look basically the same! Make sure you note your car’s precise location before you leave it in a parking lot to go into a large discount store or anywhere else where it could be lost in the sea of other cars.
If you’ve ever traveled with young children you’ve undoubtedly been asked far too many times how much further it is. One way of solving this is to get each of the children a map and instruct them how to read it. They’ll be entertained, and you’ll be teaching them a skill that they will use the rest of their lives!
If you are having a problem picking a destination to travel to then make a list. Make a list of the top places you want to visit and then rank them. From that list you can then research how much it would cost to travel and pay for expenses while in that area, this can help narrow your decision in picking places you want to visit in the near future.
Get in touch with someone who runs a local blog in your destination city. Most often, these bloggers are highly knowledgeable about the ins and outs of their city, and are happy to share tips or tricks, helping you get the most from your trip. Make sure to actually read their site, so you can comment or compliment them on it before asking them for help.
When traveling, it is wise to consider possible emergencies that can occur, such as a lost passport. The US Department of State maintains a website (usembassy.state.gov) where you can find information on how to contact the United States Embassy or Consulate in the country that you are visiting. This information should be with you at all times. You passport might only take a day or so to replace.
Before you travel it is a good idea to join some online travel forums like TripAdvisor, Fodors, Frommers and LonelyPlanet. These forums are great places to pick up tips and advice from people who have already visited your chosen travel destination. You can also use these forums to find a travelling partner.
Beware of high cell phone charges when travelling overseas. Cell phones are usually the most expensive way to contact someone at home when you are abroad. E-mail or Skype are the cheapest options, but if you prefer to use a telephone, buying a phone card and using a local payphone can also be relatively cheap.
Consider purchasing a wi-fi detector before you travel on a road trip. Not having access to the internet can make a road trip seem a little lonely. A wi-fi detector can help you find a hotspot even when businesses are not advertising that they have it available. You can find these signal detectors on just about anything, including keychains.
Traveling with a pet means you must prioritize the pet in all conversations and reservations. You need to bring proper vaccination records for your pet and you will also want to inquire about regulations regarding pets with any hotel, car rental agency and any other facility your pet may be using/visiting with you.
Invest in a good pair of earplugs. It is often difficult to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, away from the comforts of your own bed. Add to this unfamiliar noise and you could spend your vacation in a sleep deprived state. Earplugs help you block out noises that might keep you up, or can help you concentrate when in a noisy location such as an airplane or busy terminal.
Now the choice is yours, so get out there and enjoy finding new places and people to challenge your preconceptions. Armed with a little extra knowledge now about the experience of traveling, you can expect a few less bumps on the road to your destination. Share this article with friends and family, who may be heading out with you or on journeys of their own.