You are here: Home > Miscellaneous > Don’t Leave Home Without These Travel Tips!

Don’t Leave Home Without These Travel Tips!

Planning a vacation or going on business out of town? Whether this is your first trip or the fortieth, a nod to common sense and a few practical pointers will not only streamline your journey, but also enhance your experience by making it safer, easier and more fun.

Planning Your Journey
Be sure to familiarize yourself with your destination. The Internet is an excellent resource for researching the area you will be visiting, and many visitor centers will also send a welcome packet for a nominal fee – as well as answer any questions by phone. Things that you should know before you leave include: the address and specific location of your hotel, the exact route to get there and hotel check in time. Also be aware of any specifics you might need en route, such as money for cab fare or toll roads, and carry a decent map of the region in case all else fails and you get lost. A cell phone is always a good idea in case of complications as well – be sure to have emergency numbers handy to contact your family, employer, etc. if necessary.

Consider your transportation needs. Is this an extended stay? Will you need a vehicle to drive or does the area have adequate public services such as busses, subways and commuter trains? Familiarize yourself with available transport as well as related costs and be sure to keep a copy of the bus or subway schedules with you if you plan to ride instead of drive.

Select your lodging with your specific desires and needs in mind. For example, if you want the convenience (and lesser expense) of being able to store and prepare your own food, choose accommodations with a kitchenette, or at least a refrigerator and a microwave. If you are traveling with small children and want to lighten your load, many hotels offer cribs, which will save you the trouble of packing one. In the U.S. hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, personal toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and lotion, as well as optional laundry and dry cleaning services for an additional fee have become standard in many hotels, though you should first verify with your specific location before relying on any of these options.

Be certain that you have adequate funds for any emergencies on your trip. Always keep enough cash to call home, get transportation and a meal. Keep your money safe and on your person in a money belt or small wallet and don’t display needlessly. A credit card or access to traveler’s checks for unforeseen large expenses or emergencies is also necessary. If you are outside of your country, be certain that you have an adequate grasp of currency conversions.

Before You Leave
Properly prepare for your journey. If you are leaving your country, you must have a valid passport, be current with your immunizations and should familiarize yourself with relevant foreign customs regarding appropriate behavior. Also become acquainted with all pertinent laws according to your destination. Many books are available to give guidance for new visitors to just about every country in the world.

Take care of business on the home front. Put your mail and newspaper delivery on hold and leave a light on in your home for an “occupied” look. Also, ask a neighbor or friend keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. For a very extended vacation, consider paying someone to housesit – to attend to pets, plants, lawn care and other incidentals. Adjust your heating or air conditioning to minimum levels while you are gone and verify that all appliances and electrical equipment are turned off. Double check that your doors and windows are secure and don’t leave extra house keys in obvious places such as under the welcome mat or above the entry – would-be thieves are as aware of these places as you are. Remember to give your itinerary, destination and several contact phone numbers to someone that you trust.

Get plenty of rest the night before you depart – last minute planning and packing is not only stressful but leaves you prone to forgetting something. While traveling, wear comfortable clothing and shoes, but dress well enough to appear respectable in case of an unforeseen situation. Always keep your wallet, keys, ID, necessary medications and anything of importance, value or difficult to replace on your person, this is especially important when flying as airlines do occasionally make mistakes and lose luggage.

When Flying
As most are aware, the aftermath of September 11th has impacted the airline industry and everyone who flies. Therefore, leave sufficient time to check in for your flight as well as for inspection of your bags and person. Many airlines offer web or remote check in which can help speed up the process; this is especially advantageous if you do not have luggage to check. When packing, carefully review TSA and specific airline rules for acceptable carry on items. Typically disallowed in carry on bags are: sharp objects of any kind, lighters or anything that may be construed as a weapon. Comply politely with requests made by security personnel and be prepared to have your bag searched. It is a good idea to purchase a TSA approved locking mechanism to for your checked bags as TSA may break any locks if your bag is chosen for a random search.

Most airlines provide a light beverage and small snack such as a granola bar or peanuts, but food service is not guaranteed even on longer flights. Plan accordingly with easily accessible, nutritious snacks for yourself and especially young children. Also, be considerate of your flight neighbors – cramped conditions are not enjoyable for anyone and are made less so by thoughtless seatmates. Abide by rules of common courtesy and remember to bring entertainment – a book, magazines, puzzles or a laptop with headphones for music or movie DVDs.

Traveling By Car
If you are driving any distance, verify that your vehicle is in good working condition, and that all fluids have been topped off and tires inflated properly. Be sure that your spare tire is ready to use and that you have all necessary emergency road equipment – crow bar, jack, flares, etc. Keep proof of your insurance and drivers license handy and provide your children with age appropriate safety seats, which are mandatory in many U.S. states. Snacks and water for the trip will help you avoid driving delays, and entertainment for your passengers is also a good idea, as noted above for flying. Remember, don’t leave valuables or keys in your vehicle and always lock your car.

Safety In Your Hotel and Elsewhere
Once you have arrived at your destination, be aware of your surroundings so that you can take note of any suspicious or unusual activity. Be especially cautious at night and before entering parking garages or other secluded areas. When in public, always make an effort to appear confident and purposeful in order to thwart scam artists on the lookout for “tourists”. As with money, don’t display your hotel keys in public or leave them where they may be easily stolen. Don’t invite strangers to your room or needlessly reveal your personal details to anyone, and always verify the identity of any hotel employees before allowing them to enter. Also, when you are in your room, be sure to close and lock the door and check that all connecting doors are also secured. And never leave children unattended or trust them to the care of someone you don’t know!

Making the most of these traveling tips will help you better prepare for your journey and make your experience safer and easier – leaving you with more opportunity to enjoy yourself on both the journey and at your destination once you arrive.

An experienced traveler, Tonya Kopp offers everyone the advantages of seeing the world for just pennies on the dollar – for life. Visit SavvyTravelling.com
Article Source

Tags: , , , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.