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.
Learn about the place you are traveling to. Purchase a decent map of the city or region where you plan to travel, and spend time looking over the environs, major sightseeing areas and museums. Memorizing a few facts about where you will be visiting will make navigating much easier once you get there.
When traveling to an area where the tap water is unsafe to drink, pay attention to the altitude as well. Above about ten thousand feet, water actually boils at a lower temperature. This means that it must be boiled for a longer time in order to ensure all of the contaminants have been killed.
Use carry-on luggage. Most airlines now charge extra to check a bag. So, to avoid this cost, try to fit everything into a carry-on bag, if possible. Even if your airline is one of the few that doesn’t charge to check a bag, you may still want to avoid checking a bag. In a move to cut costs, many airlines have reduced the number of employees who handle baggage, making for a much longer wait at the baggage claim.
Do not bother packing your entire makeup case. Makeup cases are bulky and often take up a lot of room. Instead, put any makeup you anticipate needing for your trip in a simple ziplock bag. Put it in your suitcase’s side pocket. This will save a lot of room when packing.
Long driving trips can be fun and economical, but the cost of stopping for meals every few hours will add up, especially for a family. If you are planning a longish car trip, make sure you have plenty of car food available in advance. You may be able to get away with skipping the hourlong lunch stop, which will not only save you money, but will get you to your destination sooner. If you have a second adult in the car, that person can serve as “lunchmaker,” handing around sandwiches, cutting fruit, and making sure everybody gets their midday meal on the road.
Check out international fast food chains when you travel abroad! At first this sounds like a silly suggestion that will make you miss out on authentic local cuisine. However, the restaurants of international chains are often localized to cater to the palate of the natives. You may be surprised and interested to see the novelties on the menu at a restaurant you thought was familiar!
Before you begin thinking about where you would like to travel next, subscribe to get emails from major airlines, hotels and rental companies. It will increase your amount of “junk” mail, but these newsletters often include information about last-minute hotel deals or flights that will allow you to use your frequent-flyer miles. Since these deals go quickly, finding out about them first is essential.
Make your travel plans more affordable by tracking airfare with online services. Get an idea of what you would like to pay for your flight, put the location and the dates into the website and then wait until the fare goes down to your pre-selected price. You no longer have to keep checking every few days sincy you will get an email when the fare reaches your ideal price.
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.
If you’re flying with a toddler and bringing a car seat, purchase a wheeled device that attaches directly to the car seat. It can be incredible difficult to tote your luggage, car seat, and a stroller through the airport. Turning your car seat into a stroller might give you a free hand, which is much needed when you have a baby in tow.
Make sure that you take enough prescription medication to last for the entire trip anytime you travel. You should always take some extra meds with you, just in case you are delayed or get stranded somewhere, for a long period of time. Bring your medication information along with you, as well, in case you need to get more from a pharmacy.
If you’re traveling with an infant, remember that it’s not necessary to pack every piece of baby equipment. Most hotels will lend you a portable crib if you ask. Almost every restaurant that is child friendly has high chairs available. Packing a million pieces of equipment is heavy and cumbersome. Pack only the essentials and you’ll enjoy your trip more.
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.