Though many people consider travel to be stressful and unpleasant, it doesn’t have to be that way. Getting outside of your normal daily activity can be a rewarding experience, and one that can change your life in large or small ways. Following these tips will help make the journey a positive one.
A GPS navigation system is absolutely vital for any long-distance car trip. If your car did not come with a factory navigation system, you should seriously consider buying one before hitting the open road. GPS helps you find alternative routes when closures, traffic or accidents close the road ahead. GPS can even keep you out of danger if you encounter emergency conditions.
Be flexible when making your travel plans. Unless there is some reason that you must travel on a specific day, flexibility will save you money. Allowing a booking website to search for flights near your desired travel dates could save you as much as a hundred dollars per flight, especially if it shifts you off of a weekend flight.
Pack some plastic zipper bags. You know you need them to get your liquids and toiletries through security, but extras can always come in handy. You may need a few extra for snacks on the road, as a garbage bag, or as an ice pack in an emergency. Most of all, they come in handy when you are packing to return home and have a soaking wet swimsuit to put in your bag.
You always want to make sure there is a barf bag accessible to you. People can become nauseous and throw up at the drop of a dime on an airplane. Even if you are not feeling ill, you never know how the person sitting next to you is going to react to the turbulence.
Always go out of your way to tip any bell station and housekeeper appropriately. You don’t have to overdo it, though, just a simple dollar per bag and no more than five dollars a day for the housekeeper is adequate enough. You can almost guarantee that you will have a pleasurable stay by doing so.
Book your reservations and flights with the exact name shown on your government identification card. Although you may typically go by a nickname or middle name, for the purpose of ticketing, use your given name. Small name differences can be a huge headache when trying to get through security, especially abroad where it isn’t obvious that Bill is short for William.
When you go on a trip, make sure to keep a detailed travel journal. Write down where you went, what you did, and how you felt about it. This will allow you to reference back to your previous experiences if you plan a new trip to the same destination. This way you can plan a trip including the best parts of your previous trips while also adding new experiences.
Show your loyalty. Even if you are only planning to stay one night, if your hotel has a loyalty program, it can be worth it to join. In addition to additional amenities, such as garment pressing or free meals, a guest who is perceived as a loyal customer is less likely to be chosen if the hotel is overbooked and needs to cancel a reservation or needs to substitute a lower quality room.
As you make your travel arrangements, negotiate with the front desk at the hotel you would like to stay at. Do not necessarily request a lower rate because managers do not often change the price of their rooms. Instead, try to arrange for other perks, including a free breakfast or an upgraded room. You can also ask if they have any other packages or special offers.
If possible travel during off-peak hours. The price of flights changes depending on the hour, the day and the month of travel. You can save a lot of money by booking flights during off peak hours. For example, flights on Thursdays are usually cheaper than those of Fridays. This is because the demand for seats is lower on a Thursday as people who work away from home during the week normally want to fly home on a Friday.
Don’t stop researching prices after you have booked your flight, rental car and hotel room. You may find that the prices have dropped even further. Be sure to thoroughly read the cancellation policy on your reservations. If you can, cancel your current reservations and book at the better rates.
Locate ethnic travel agencies in various cities in the U.S. These agents could be considered experts since they are from the region you’ve chosen to travel. They are basically a wealth of knowledge ranging from what to do and see to how to save money. Enrich yourself and have a great trip by experiencing the charm and culture of the region that could only be known by a true native of the land.
Try to avoid jet lag during your trips by following these simple things. Start by resetting your watch before boarding your plane. Make sure that you stay incredibly hydrated before, during and after the flight. Try exercising and sleeping well days before your trip. Fly on morning flights if you cannot sleep on a plane. Seek and avoid light as you need it until your body adjust to the time differences.
When packing toiletries for your flight, try using small bottles to pack them in. These handy little containers are durable, mostly clear or see-through, sturdy and even include waterproof varieties that makes them easier to pass through airport security. They are also great for packing shampoo and lotions, so that you can avoid needing to carry your big bottles.
Armed with the knowledge from these tips, you can now go out into the world with more confidence and less stress. Take the time to enjoy your new surroundings as you travel and learn from the people you encounter along the way. You’ll return to your everyday life refreshed and with a new appreciation for the things you normally take for granted.