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How To Lighten Your Load When Traveling

June 30, 2014

How To Lighten Your Load When Traveling

Traveling is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can encounter. It doesn’t matter where you are going, close to home or far away, it is important to arm yourself with some great travel information. The following article will help you to plan out the perfect trip.

Travel can be a fun-filled activity, but always remember to learn at least a few words of the native language. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are a must, but phrases such as ‘I’m lost’ and ‘Where is the train station?’ will prove invaluable in the event you actually need them. It’s much easier than trying to act out complicated activities!

One decision you need to make when taking a trip is whether to buy travel insurance at all. If you are flying to New York and the ticket only costs $150, it’s not really worth paying another $50 to cover that trip in case of cancellation. However, if you are taking the trip of your dreams to a faraway place, it might be well worth the incremental expense on a $4,000 vacation to know that your money won’t be lost in the event of a cancellation.

If you’re worried about having your pockets picked while you’re on vacation, try sewing a small hidden pocket into the inside of your pants to keep your money and credit cards in. This way you won’t have to worry about them being swiped by an eager pickpocket. You can also do the same thing inside of a bag, if you’ll be carrying one.

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.

When renting a car take the time before you leave the parking garage to acquaint yourself with its most basic features. Make sure an instruction manual for the car model is in the glove box and take time to skim through it. It’s no fun to pull into rush hour traffic just as a thunder storm hits if you don’t know how to turn on the windshield wipers!

Having a good set of maps or road atlas can save one from a possible disaster if they get lost or electronic map devices such as GPS or smart phones run out of battery. Many things can cause electronics to malfunction and stop working. Having backup option can save one’s trip.

You should always arrive early to the airport when you are flying. It is so much less stressful knowing that you are checked in and through security with time to spare. It will give you time to use the restroom or grab a snack before the flight starts boarding.

Don’t tempt robbers! Especially when traveling abroad or in unsafe areas, don’t make your belongings look tempting to steal. Instead of carrying around shiny new backpacks and gear, use older things. If you don’t have any older gear that will work, stick some duct tape on your new pack to give the impression that it is older.

Hotel stationery is a great souvenir, and hotels do not charge you for taking it. The hotels realize that their stationery is a form of advertisement for them, so if you take it and use it, you are doing them a favor. Most higher-end hotels have beautiful stationery, so snap it up! They don’t mind.

Always try the local cuisine when you visit a new destination. Part of a country or localities culture and lifestyle is in the food. You can’t completely experience these places without trying all that their food has to offer. Seek out the experience of locals and ask for their favorite lunch and dinner spots, then make several of those must-do’s of your list.

If you’re traveling with kids, buy each child their own disposable camera. Tell them to take pictures of anything they find interesting. If they fill it up before the trip is over, you can get them another one fairly cheap. Then they’ll have something to remember all the things they liked – you’d be surprised how different the pictures your kid takes are from yours.

When booking a hotel online, don’t forget to search the web for discount codes or promotions for that hotel chain. If you are a AAA (American Auto Association) member, don’t forget to request the rate, which most hotels in North America have. There’s no reason to pay list price for a hotel room, so shop around and ask for better rates.

If you are interested in traveling comfortably on your vacation, don’t be afraid to upgrade your seat. Most airlines are combining traditional business class and coach seats by offering “premium economy” options. They have larger seats and better legroom, but they often do not cost as much. You can also try to upgrade your seat just before boarding, but you won’t know about the availability of the upgrades if you check in to your flight online.

Bring your own comfort items on the plane. With airlines trying to recoup costs wherever they can while keeping ticket prices low, many have resorted to charging for many of the comfort items that used to be free. A travel pillow, blanket, music and headphones can save you precious money that is better spent on your vacation.

Now that you know some of the travel basics, it is time to pack your bags, choose a destination and get out there and explore. Just don’t forget to bring along a camera (or two!).

From → Travel Tips

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