Traveling can be a special and fulfilling experience for you if you take advantage of it. Learning how to plan trips is not that hard, but it does require some research so that you don’t end up getting lost or losing money on something you don’t need. This list of tips should help you become a smarter traveler.
Take a translation tool when traveling to a country that doesn’t speak your native language. This can be in the form of a book or a phone application. While you might find that a lot of people speak English in large cities, it may be quite different in small towns or rural areas. Attempting to speak in the language of the country is really appreciated by the citizens.
When traveling, always be prepared to have things stolen. Make advance photocopies of all of your important papers. You can even upload electronic scans of these documents for easy access while traveling. The local American embassy can assist you in contacting those at home who can wire you emergency funds or help in replacing your passport, but not much else.
When you arrive in a new hotel room, let the hot water run in the shower for a little while. Even the nicest of hotels can be somewhat dirty. Letting the hot water run will help kill spores that the regular cleaning might have missed. You aren’t paying for the water bill in the room anyway.
If you are worried about traveling with a large carry-on bag, plan ahead. Airlines usually board in groups of five or ten rows, so pick a seat in row 11 or 21, not row 19. Also, as soon as the airline calls the seat block ahead of you, go get in line. This way you’re waiting at the front instead of the back.
Limit the amount of luggage you take on your trip to a carry-on bag. Luggage has a nasty habit of getting lost in airports. Even if it does not get lost, you often spend an annoying amount of time waiting for it to show up on the luggage carrousel. Limiting the luggage you take to a single carry-on bag will eliminate this problem entirely.
Before you go through airport security, make sure you put the extra change or your car keys in your carry-on. Keeping the line backed up because you have to take change out of every cargo pocket is a nuisance but easily avoidable. With that said, loosen your shoes laces before you get to the bin area so you slide your shoes off.
Bring your own adapters, unless you want to buy over-priced ones. Many foreign countries have differently shaped and sized outlets. Buying adapters while you are still at home is much more cost-effective. Businesses in these countries have learned to take advantage of travelers who forget that the plugs are quite different from back home.
If you’re going on a road trip, bring an extra gallon of water with you. While you may think to bring bottled water, you probably wouldn’t think of bringing a jug. A gallon of water can be useful for brushing your teeth, washing sticky stuff off your hands, etc. You never know when you may need to wash your hands and not be close to a rest stop or worse, to be near a disgusting rest stop.
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.
Think about different transportation modes. The bus has changed a lot over the years. You can even connect to Wi-Fi and work on your computer. Some lines offer package deals.
Consider joining a travel and motor club to provide you with travel assistance. Not only do these types of clubs provide towing, they offer maps, travel planning, insurance, travelers checks, lockout assistance and more. As a bonus, many hotels and attractions offer discounts to members. The cost of membership can pay for itself when you save money on all these things.
As you can see, there is a lot more to traveling than most people think. It requires a lot of research and planning, but it will be worth it in the end to have a great trip. By following the above tips, you are well on your way to becoming a smarter traveler.