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.
Be respectful and patient towards security checkpoints and customs officials. In most cases, these exist for your safety. If not, being upset still won’t help you get through any faster. In fact, making a fuss at the security checkpoint is almost always a ticket to the express lane for the extra search.
If you are traveling to an area that has a high level of crime, consider purchasing your own padlock for the hotel room door. These locks are more difficult to pick than the ones the hotel will have already and no one in the hotel will have a spare to let in “visitors”.
Before departing on a trip, the wise traveler makes sure at least one person back home knows where he will be. This “home base” contact should also be updated with any unplanned changes the traveler encounters on the way. Someone who knows where a traveler is – and where they should be – can be a great help in the case of trouble on the road.
Check out alternative places to stay. You don’t always have to stay in a hotel to feel great on vacation. There are many “house-swapping” sites available, which allow you to stay in someones vacant home. Try looking for cabins or bed and breakfasts. Alternate lodging can be some of the most interesting and fun parts of vacationing, so be sure to check it out!
There’s no reason you can’t bring your dog with you on the right type of vacation. Vacations for pet owners are becoming more and more popular, and some accommodations offer deals for pets and their families. These can include pet-friendly cruises, cat spas, and doggy-day cares. Find out where you can take your pets and feel free to do so.
No matter what your intentions are, you should always join the airlines frequent travel club. Even if you never fly again, you may receive a perk just for joining. On the other hand, you may fly with them a few times and you will receive benefits every time that you do.
When you arrive at your hotel location, check out the local brochures. A lot of brochures offer fun and affordable activities within the area. Some travel pamphlets even offer coupons for more than one person and have little maps to guide you in the right direction. Local brochures can be a fun way to explore a new area.
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.
Making long term travel plans can seem time consuming and frustrating. The best way to make sure you have all your ends tied before leaving is to make a check list of all that needs to be done. This will ensure that once you have left, you will not be left thinking you are missing something important.
When trying to adapt to a different time zone quickly, stay up until 8pm or later. With jet lag having set in, you must keep from sleeping too early or take the chance of prolonging it. You can get rid of your jet lag quicker by adjusting as soon as possible to the current time zone.
Always be prepared to clean up spills and messes as you travel. Carry some general items such as plastic bags, travel wipes and even travel size cleaners. Trying to locate these types of things on the spot can be difficult and add needless momentary stress. Unpack these to a specific location in your hotel so everyone knows where to turn.
Consider picking up take-out menus and using them as your travel souvenirs. If you eat at a particularly great place, ask for a copy of the menu and write down what you ate on it. These menus can help you remember what you enjoyed and even allow you to seek out similar meals in your area.
Don’t be afraid to eat outside while traveling on vacation. Grab a sheet from the hotel; you can use it as a picnic blanket or a table cloth. Pick a location that you have been wanting to visit and get take-out from a local restaurant. Enjoy having a leisurely lunch or dinner in a beautiful place with your family.
You can easily use your trip as an opportunity to teach your children about financial responsibility by allowing them a souvenir budget if they are old enough. They can then pick things that they want and learn about spending and saving. When it’s all gone, avoid caving in and giving them more.
Inspect your hotel room for those nasty little bed bugs. As soon as you check in, turn down the covers and check the seams of the mattress for traces of bed bugs. Traces include bloodstains or the actual bugs themselves. This will prevent you from bringing the bugs home with you.
Look into last minute deals with cruise lines. They are a often much cheaper than what they would be if you were to book in advance. The cruise lines are anxious to book their empty cabins and will give a great rate for the last minute booking. These can also be found and booked through travel sites.
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.