Stepping outside your comfort zone is something that is a prerequisite for a successful travel experience. Although, it’s not always easy to prepare ahead of time for the inevitable differences between your ordinary world and the one you will be entering, a few tips will help make the transition both easy and enjoyable.
Pack your luggage in such a way that it can be easily carried, even for fairly long distances. You’ll be walking with your luggage more often than you might think. A lighter bag will make your trip easier, safer and much more fun for you than if you are lugging a heavy case.
Be aware of departure taxes. Some countries have departure taxes. You will not be permitted to board your plane until you have paid them. Often a check or credit card is not permitted as payment on these taxes. Make sure you have enough cash set aside to cover them.
A great travel tip is to shop around online for the best hotel deal. There are plenty of sites such as Priceline.com, where you can find and book the best hotel deal. Sites like these are great because they include all of the information in one place instead of you having to go looking for it all.
If you are going to be traveling abroad you may want to consider staying in a hotel which offers you a place to cook your own food. Unlike in America dining out in Europe can be rather pricey, and if you’re money minded, it would behoove you to go grocery shopping and prepare your own meals. This may even help you get a better feel for the culture of the country you travel to.
One of the questions I most often get about traveling is the transportation question. “How do I get about when I reach my destination?” The answer really depends on the amount of driving you intend to do. If you intend to go places within walking distance perhaps only use a taxi as needed. Contrarily, if many of the places are a bit away, then it might be more prudent to rent a car for the duration of your trip.
When you’re traveling and you’re in need of a taxi, make sure you pay attention to the meter. When you first get into the taxi make sure that the meter isn’t broken, it is properly zeroed out, and it is turned on and off when you get out. Taxi scams are famous all over the world, and in a foreign place it is easy to get scammed. Paying attention to these simple meter tips can ensure you’re charged a proper rate and not swindled.
If you are planning on going swimming at all during your trip, bring two different swimsuits. This way, when one of them is wet, you can let it in the bathroom to dry and you will have to fresh one to put on for whatever water activities you have scheduled for the day.
Don’t rely on ribbons and bows to make your luggage stand out from the rest of the pack. These adornments can very easily be torn off in transit. Instead, opt for luggage in a bright, unusual color or vivid pattern that stands out on its own and can’t be removed.
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.
Children under the age of 18 who are traveling with friends families or grandparents, may need written permission from you for local authorities or border patrol agents if they will be leaving the country. To protect children from being abducted, many of these agencies now require proof that they have been authorized by the parents to take the children with them.
When traveling with a baby or a toddler, try not to make too strict of a schedule. A child this age follows their own schedule and you might not be able to do the things that you had planned to do. By being open about the schedule, you will get a greater satisfaction from your trip.
Pay with Euros! The American dollar does not hold nearly as much strength and prestige as it used to, so trade in for a Euro to get the best treatment. You should still carry some American dollars for tipping, because in many countries they are difficult to find, and are considered souvenirs rather than spending money.
Now that you’ve gotten a few tips for making your travel experience a success, you can go forward with confidence. Apply these time-honored tricks of the trade and pass them on to those who may be accompanying you on the journey. Everyone will benefit from being more informed and aware.