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What You Should Know Before You Travel

Whether you are traveling by boat, train, plane or car, there are lots of things to think about when you are taking a trip. Get out your notepad and get ready to write these tips down, because we’re about to tell you how you can take a great trip without the headaches.

If you are a woman traveling abroad, always make sure that your purse is properly closed or zipped. If it is possible, use a bag that is not easily opened, or one that has a complicated clasp. In foreign countries, many pick-pocketers target unsuspecting tourists that are not careful with their bags. Things can be plucked from your purse in a matter of seconds. Secure your bag to keep your personal items safe.

Plan ahead to make traveling with your pet easy. More and more people taking their furry friend with them on vacation, and many destinations are now aware of this and very accommodating. Make sure you contact any hotels ahead of time, both to verify that they allow pets and to find out if they have any fees or restrictions. If you plan on attending any events or attractions where your pet is not welcome, ensure you have a safe place to leave them temporarily such as a doggy day care.

Try packing with reusable compression bags to save space when packing. If you travel often, reusable compression bags might be a smart investment. You can find them in most retailers that have a housewares section. They are usually sold for storage use, but work very well in relation to packing luggage.

Hotel etiquette calls for tipping the bellhop and housekeeping staff. You should tip the bell hop around one dollar per bag that they carry. Doing this will not only show that you appreciated the work they did, but it will also foster a good relationship with them.

A traveler should try to learn some of the language spoken at his or her destination if there is sufficient time to do so. Fluency in any language is difficult to achieve, but any dedicated traveler can get familiar with some useful phrases. Learning a bit of the lingo will enhance the traveler’s experience or even prove helpful in case of unexpected difficulties.

If you’ve got a day ashore planned, why should you spend your time finding a place to eat and then paying a fortune for some food? Most cruise lines offer 24 hour room service. So before you disembark, have a sandwich and chips brought up to your room. You can pack it up and use it for lunch while you’re out enjoying the sun.

If you are traveling by airplane, be sure to bring along your own headphones. Most in-flight entertainment systems today require that you wear headphones. You may be able to buy them in-flight, but it will be at a greatly inflated cost. Headphones are also a great way to create ‘white noise’ to block out your neighbors and/or the plane noise.

Youth hostels are a valid option for cheap, no-frills travel lodgings in Europe. What some travelers might not know is that similar hostels are available all around the world, even in the United States. While the hostel system is most thoroughly established in continental Europe, a little research will find decent hostels in almost any large city in the world.

When traveling with children, make sure to pack each child their own bag of snacks and quiet toys. The toys and snacks will keep them occupied and satisfied, whether in the backseat of the car or on an airplane. Happy kids mean less stress for mom and dad, which means a better vacation for everyone.

Bring postcards from home to show off or trade. Striking up a conversation is much easier if you can whip out a postcard and tell someone this is where you are from. You can also trade these with street vendors for local postcards or other merchandise, especially if you are from a well-known or beautiful city.

When traveling, many times you will need a rental car. When you arrive to pick up your car, the agent will help you complete the rental process. You will be presented with a car rental agreement, be sure to read it thoroughly before signing it. Assure you know exactly what your liability is and exactly what you are paying for by renting the car. You should look over the car and if you see any defects make sure it is noted on the agreement.

Always have a copy of your passport available, and keep it a different location than your actual passport. In the event of a stolen or lost passport, having a copy will make replacing it much easier and faster. You can tuck a paper copy into your shoe or scan your passport and keep a digital copy on a small flash drive you can keep on a key chain or lanyard.

Learn a few basic phrases in the local language. While it is impractical to attempt to learn the entire language of every country you visit, you should focus on memorizing some key phrases to make your journey easier. This is especially true if you have dietary restrictions, so you can inform your waiter properly and avoid potential allergies.

Bring some extra zip top plastic bags in your luggage. They are useful for keeping wet or muddy items away from the rest of your luggage, for storage of toiletries that could spring a leak, or for sitting on a dirty park bench. They take up almost no room and can save you from discomfort later.

Make sure to read plenty of reviews from different sources about your travel destination. Don’t book any vacations before checking different websites and travel books and making sure that other travelers had positive experiences with your airline, hotel, cruise line, or any other service that you use when you travel.

Hopefully you have now made yourself and checklist or to-do list about traveling. The advice set forth here should serve you well in the future as you travel whether it be for business or for pleasure. Taking a trip should be fun and exciting and now it can be with this information.

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