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.
If you’re traveling with kids, it’s tempting to let them all tune out with their own mp3 players, but consider bringing along some books on CD. Having something literate and interesting for the whole family to listen to is not only entertaining and interesting, but provides a common experience that each family member can take forward with them into life (“Hey, remember when I was ten, and we listened to Black Beauty on the way to Maine?”). It’s the stuff of which fond memories are made.
Travel during the off-peak seasons. Hotels and airfare are usually a lot more expensive during the peak summer months. Also, popular destinations can be so over-crowded during the summer that it takes the enjoyment out of it. If you travel in the off-peak months you can save money on airfare and accommodations and you can avoid the crowds.
A great tip to keep in mind when you’re looking to book airline tickets, is to compare airline rates online. By comparing airline rates online, you can find the cheapest deal available, and save yourself a lot of money.
Be aware of the potential for bedbugs while traveling and always check the bedding as soon as you get into your room. Do not put your luggage on the bed. Bedbugs are more likely to come home with travelers that allow their bags to touch bedspreads or mattresses. Instead, place your bag on a chair or other piece of furniture that is not upholstered.
When you are traveling for the holidays, pack as light as you can. Airline baggage limits are getting more and more strict with their weight allowances and packing lighter can save you time and money. If you are planning your holiday travel to be with friends or family, consider shopping online and having gifts shipped to your destination. Doing this will cut down on luggage and assure you don’t lose any special gifts.
Travel insurance might be worth considering for a big ticket, non-refundable trip. The small price you will pay for insurance will be well worth it if an emergency medical situation comes up, or your baggage is lost, damaged, or even delayed. You will recoup at least some of the cost of your trip and feel some piece of mind as well.
Check what types of documents are needed for entry in your country of destination. A passport alone, does not guarantee entry into every country. While some accept a passport alone, others may have special requirements (such as unstamped pages in your passport book), and some require you to possess a visa.
Bring your own coffee or tea when you travel. Hotels often provide a small coffee maker for guests in their rooms, however often the coffee and tea selection is less than ideal. Everyone has their own personal favorite brand or flavor of coffee, so to make sure your day starts off the way you like it, bring that taste of home with you on your trip.
Before you go to your destination, try to find coupons online. These coupons can be for hotels, restaurants, shopping, and other recreational activities. Finding and printing coupons online can help you save large amounts of money. Make sure that the coupons are still valid and will not expire before you leave.
If you are traveling for business, but also plan on sightseeing, bring a diary or notebook with an envelope to keep your expenses separate. Make keeping track of business easier by jotting down each expense as you go along instead of trying to remember which expenses were work and which were fun. An envelope or pocket in the notebook is also a good idea to store your receipts in.
Bring a clean-up kit if you are traveling by car. Spills and messes are very common on the road, where hitting a pothole can send snacks and drinks flying. If there are children involved, then messes are even more likely. Put together a kit that includes trash bags, towels, and wet wipes to make sure these clean ups are quick and painless.
When traveling on a road trip with children, be sure to pack games for the ride. The items should not weigh too much or be too difficult to clean up. Dry erase boards, cards and activity books are all excellent choices. You are much more likely to have a peaceful, enjoyable ride if your children stay entertained.
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.