Whether traveling for work or traveling for play, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and pleasantly. An inexperienced traveler may not know how to find the cheapest flight, the best hotel rates or those off-the-beaten-track vacation spots that are a must for anyone with children. All the do’s and don’ts, ins and outs, and ups and downs of traveling are outlined for you in the following article, so you can have a safe, economical and exciting trip from start to finish.
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 .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.
Plan ahead to make traveling with your pet easy. More and more people taking their furry friend with them on vacation, and many destinations are now aware of this and very accommodating. Make sure you contact any hotels ahead of time, both to verify that they allow pets and to find out if they have any fees or restrictions. If you plan on attending any events or attractions where your pet is not welcome, ensure you have a safe place to leave them temporarily such as a doggy day care.
Enroll in the loyal customer club. These clubs reward you with a free night after you’ve stayed a certain number of nights at their participating locations. Even if aren’t planning to stay with them again, enroll anyway. Being a member often entitles you to extra benefits–anything from drinks to internet access–during your stay.
Scout out coupons and deals. Before you set off for your destination, do a thorough Internet search for attraction and restaurant discounts. A month or two before you leave, sign up for a local deals flash site for your destination to score some great discounts. You can also look into purchasing a coupon book for your destination. Browse the coupons it contains and determine if the cost of the book will be more than made back in the money you’ll save.
When you travel to visit friends or family, be a courteous guest and do not assume they will make all your sightseeing plans for you. Many people assume they are there to be entertained, which is of course an incorrect assumption and generates bad feeling. Instead, do your homework ahead of time, let your hosts know what you’re planning to do, invite but don’t oblige them to accompany you, and spend your time together in good will, knowing you are being a gracious guest.
When traveling by air, purchase your airline tickets as early as possible. Airlines that offer very low fares, like Southwest Airlines, have a limited number of seats available at the lowest price. By purchasing your tickets early you are assured of getting the best possible rates for air travel.
Don’t get carried away with taking too many photographs on your trip. Some people get so caught up in taking pictures of everything that they forget to experience the culture and landmarks. Take a few pictures, but also make sure to spend enough time outside of the lens to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
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.
When reading reviews of destinations by other travelers, try to identify whether you and the reviewer have the same expectations and circumstances before basing your decision on other travelers’ experiences. One person may give negative reviews due to a lack of kid-friendly features and attractions; if you are traveling without children or on a business trip, such a review would not be particularly useful for you personally.
When traveling abroad, make sure to take care of your health. Check to see if there are any vaccinations that you need before heading away, pack a good supply of any prescription medications you might need, and locate a hospital or physician near your destination, in case of an emergency. Staying healthy will allow you to focus on the scenery and fun, not being sick.
From driving to the next state to flying overseas, traveling is fraught with potential perils. Preparing yourself for the unexpected is one of the key elements of having a successful trip. The tips and advice presented above can teach you all the tricks of a well-seasoned traveler, whether you’re going on your first family vacation or your 100th business trip.