If you want to become an expert traveler, or even just make sure your future trips all go smoothly and efficiently, there are plenty of ways to transform any travel experience from a merely acceptable one to a great one. Read the below tips to find out how to make your trips effortless and enjoyable.
Try to read up on the customs and traditions of a country before you travel there. Even the simplest things can happen differently depending on where you are. If you show that you are prepared to totally envelop yourself in the culture, people will welcome you with open arms. This will make your vacation much more enjoyable.
By going on the Internet one can access a large amount of information relating to where one is traveling and about the area one is going. Researching local attractions can help one plan out their trip before it even begins. Having a plan in place and information on the area can lead to a more enjoyable experience.
When traveling, don’t forget that you can travel by bus to many areas in North and South America. It can be much less expensive than flying and is generally lower-stress for the travelers. Traveling by bus has lost much of its stigma in recent years, with many companies purchasing new vehicles and even hiring security guards to ride along.
Be flexible when making your travel plans. Unless there is some reason that you must travel on a specific day, flexibility will save you money. Allowing a booking website to search for flights near your desired travel dates could save you as much as a hundred dollars per flight, especially if it shifts you off of a weekend flight.
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.
Camping is a popular vacation pastime, but with the extensive equipment it requires it is not a cheap one. Before deciding to invest in all the gear necessary for extended camping travel, it is best to “get your feet wet” by making short day hikes at nearby nature attractions to see if the camping lifestyle really appeals to you.
If you are not interested in striking up a conversation with your seat mates, make sure you bring along big, noise-cancelling headphones. Most people will not try to strike up a conversation with someone who is obviously not interested in talking. These have the added bonus of blocking out the sounds of babies crying or people chatting while you relax.
When booking a hotel online, don’t forget to search the web for discount codes or promotions for that hotel chain. If you are a AAA (American Auto Association) member, don’t forget to request the rate, which most hotels in North America have. There’s no reason to pay list price for a hotel room, so shop around and ask for better rates.
To save money on your vacation, don’t be afraid of last-minute bookings. When airlines or cruise companies still have tickets available a few days before the departure date, they lower prices because they are desperate to sell. With a last-minute booking, you can take the vacation of your dreams at rock-bottom prices.
Be aware of the opportunity to get travel credit and continue to watch the price of your flight even after you make your reservation. Many major airlines will give you a credit for future travel if the price of your flight goes down after you have purchased your ticket. You could save money on a future vacation by being aware of the price fluctuations.
Before you travel it is a good idea to join some online travel forums like TripAdvisor, Fodors, Frommers and LonelyPlanet. These forums are great places to pick up tips and advice from people who have already visited your chosen travel destination. You can also use these forums to find a travelling partner.
Traveling long distance in a car with children can be challenging. Take along a variety of activities for the kids to play with such as coloring books, crayons, toys, etc. It is also fun to play games with the kids such as trying to find license plates from all the states, or playing I Spy.
If you plan on renting a car, it is important that you read over the rental agreement before starting your trip. Sometimes, you do not need the superfluous insurance that is being sold to you. Most auto insurance includes coverage for a third party vehicle. By checking your policy prior to your trip, you can save a chunk of change.
Avoid getting an illness while you are traveling. Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose and be sure to bring along some hand sanitizer. Use it after you wash your hands in the lavatory. Stay hydrated by drinking bottled water. Avoid ice from the airline as it is teeming with bacteria.
If traveling with a baby, you can use their diaper bag as a carry-on too. It’s not only great for all of your baby gear, but it is a great way to pack your valuables. These types of bags are generally less likely to be targeted for theft. You can also carry waste bags in these that are great for little ones and for use when you are not at a toilet that can flush.
If you are traveling overseas, bring postcards from your home state with you. Give them to the people that you meet on your journey. They are great conversation starters, and they also give you a way to stay connected with new friends. Just write down your name and email address on the back, and you will be able to get in touch with them again.
People who travel for a living learn to use a lot of little tips and tricks, like the ones above, to make sure all their trips are simple, pleasant experiences, whether they’re leaving home for a day or a month. With these insider tips, you’re well on your way to being an expert traveler, too.