Travel can mean the exhilaration of seeing new places or the nightmare of not having the comforts and security of home. Like anything, travel goes much more smoothly with a little bit of knowledge and preparation. Keep reading for some sound advice from seasoned travelers on making your journeys pleasant memories.
When selecting a location to travel to, there is no better source of information than a fellow traveler. Other travelers with similar needs and plans, can tell you what destinations are must-sees and what areas you should try to avoid. No guidebook can replace the first-hand experience of another person or family.
When traveling to less-developed areas of the world, remember to bring spare batteries for all of your electronics. Not all areas will have accessible electric outlets to charge your items, nor will every country sell even common AA or AAA batteries. It is better to come prepared than to not be able to use your camera.
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.
Even if you are taking a long flight, bring your own comfort supplies and don’t rely on airline personnel to provide them. Bringing a blanket, pillow and headphones with you is a good idea. It is also a good idea to pack a few snacks in your carry-on, in case your flight is delayed or they don’t serve food you like.
If you are worried about traveling with a large carry-on bag, plan ahead. Airlines usually board in groups of five or ten rows, so pick a seat in row 11 or 21, not row 19. Also, as soon as the airline calls the seat block ahead of you, go get in line. This way you’re waiting at the front instead of the back.
Get to the airport early to get a good seat choice. Most airlines ignore seat selections made when purchasing your ticket. When you get to the counter to check-in for your flight you can request the seat you want without too much hassle. This also helps you to be seated next to people you are traveling with.
Something you should never do is place an important document in the pocket of the seat in front of you. Most likely, it will slide down to where you will not be able to view it anymore and you will forget all about it. Then you will get off the plane and realize too late that you don’t have it.
Make sure to drink plenty of water when travelling, especially when travelling by air. During busy, hectic days of travel, many people neglect to stay adequately hydrated, leading to feelings of nausea compounded by the stress you feel when travelling. Always have a bottle of water on hand.
If you’re sensitive to the smell of cleaners (or just don’t like them!) try bringing some small candles with you on your trip. This can help mask the scent of the cleaners the maids use and the scents can also help relax you. Some scents can even sooth you and give you a better night’s sleep.
When making travel hotel accommodations make sure you call ahead and actually speak to someone at the hotel. Ask about their pet policy to find out if they allow pets and if they charge extra fees for pets. This enables you to choose a hotel that fits well for you whether you are traveling with pets or allergic to pets.
Make sure you double or even triple check all of your reservations before you leave for your trip. Just call the hotels you are staying at or make sure none the events you were planning on going to got cancelled. You don’t want to be left stranded with no where to stay or disappointed that your favorite band isn’t going to play in the city you are going to visit just to see them live. There’s nothing wrong with checking your plans for your trip.
Consider flying on holidays if you are looking for a cheaper fare. Many people do not want to deal with the hassle of being in an airport on a holiday so flights are usually much cheaper. If you plan an early morning flight, you will not miss any of the holiday festivities.
When you’re visiting an unfamiliar city, make sure to spend a few minutes chatting with your hotel concierge. The concierge is an expert on the area and it is his or her job to ensure that you enjoy your stay. Ask your concierge to make restaurant reservations or reserve show tickets for you. Your concierge can often get you in to in-demand places.
If you are traveling with dogs, make sure to brush your pet before getting into the car. This will help to minimize the amount of hair that you have to deal with. Also, try to plan ahead by figuring out a few places to stop for potty breaks. Your dog will need to stretch and relieve himself every couple of hours.
Allow time in your travel plans for diversion. When you are planning events and activities during your trip, separate some of these plans with an hour or two gap in between. This allows for extra time at an event or the opportunity to explore some of the local scenery that you might not see otherwise.
Talk to any road warrior and they can tell you both stories of great trips and disaster journeys. Some of the things they have learned have been shared in this article. Keep these tips in mind in preparing for your future travels, and you are sure to come home with great memories rather than headaches.