Travel can be an amazing source of inspiration, but if things go wrong, it can take on a nightmarish quality, instead. No one wants to go on a vacation that's more aggravating than relaxing. Fortunately, you can protect yourself against some common travel mistakes and stresses, by following a few easy tips.
Check out user reviews. The experiences of others who have traveled to the same location can be much more helpful than the biased sales information from the destination itself. Also, check out guest-contributed photos, which will be more real and less doctored than the professional photos. Be sure to look for recent reviews, and find ones written by people having similar vacation needs to your own.
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.
There are a few essentials everyone should have whenever they're travelling. No matter where you're going, make sure to bring your photo ID, preferably in more than one form, any medication that you frequently or infrequently need, and a small amount of cash. Everyone has their own personal needs, so think of what yours are before you travel.
Label your things. You know all of those return address labels you have accumulated over the years? Put them to good use as labels for your items. Stick them on everything from luggage and handbags to cameras and umbrellas. In case you lose an item, it will be much easier to get it returned to you.
Only pack the clothes you will need. In some instances, it does not pay to be over-prepared. Many people pack far too many clothes when they travel. This is a problem. It is especially a problem when they inadvertently lose the bags that contained them. Try packing multipurpose clothes that you can re-wear.
Before one is about to travel they should consider how they are going to pack. When packing one should always think about leaving one bag, suitcase, or other luggage partially empty. By leaving extra space there will always be room for more things that one may pick up while traveling such as souvenirs.
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.
Stay healthy while traveling by remembering not to overwork yourself. Travel itself can be a strain on your body so make sure you aren't scheduling in activities for every waking moment of your trip. Include ample down time when trip planning so you can recharge your batteries and stay at your peak for the duration of your travels.
If your destination has a visitors bureau, call them at least three months before travel to inquire about coupons or special packages. To attract more tourists, many of these locations have made deals with local attractions and service providers to offer steep discounts and special rates to visitors. You can save a lot of money and plan your time accordingly.
Pack your toiletries into a Zip-lock bag. You will need to do this to get through airline security and it is sure to save you some space in your baggage as well. It will take up less room than the typical toiletry bag and it will help avoid a mess in your luggage if anything was to spill during travel.
Making a friend of the concierge will make your stay at any hotel a much safer and smarter experience. This person should be greeted and tipped like your life depends on it. The concierge has a wealth of information on where to eat, play, relax, shop, and can also; get you out of any bind you might find yourself in while far from home.
If you have a fear of flying and need a drink to help you relax on the plane, always make sure that you add two drinks of water to that one alcoholic beverage. The worst thing you can do is drink too much on a plane and get sick or dehydrated.
Making the necessary preparations will make a big difference before a trip. These preparations range from ensuring that one has packed everything that is needed to using the bathroom before leaving the house. Having everything prepared and in place before traveling will give one more time to relax and enjoy themselves.
When booking your room on a cruise, always pay extra for a balcony. Having your own private balcony can be one of the best parts of a cruise. You'll get great views, have a nice quiet place to relax, and you won't have to worry about other people being around.
To make a long airport layover fly by in a flash, see if you can purchase a day pass for one of the airport's exclusive lounges. These lounges are meant for the airlines' best customers, but with a day pass, you will be able to relax in style with free food and drinks, as well as, clean bathrooms, while you wait for your flight.
Want to relax early in the morning when you travel? Check the alarm clock as soon as you check in. Often the alarm was set by a previous guest, or possibly even the hotel staff. Not checking it can mean a six a.m. wake-up when you're hoping to sleep until eight.
With this array of tips in your arsenal, traveling will be a breeze, not a pain. These are simple ideas, but simple acts can be an extremely effective preventative. Simple sense is all you need to keep a travel experience positive and fun, even when you're venturing way off the beaten track.