Whether your business takes you away from home or you are looking for a memorable vacation, you can benefit from these handy tips on travel. While travel has tended to become faster and cheaper over time, there is still a big difference between the costs you experience as an unprepared traveler versus being a well-educated one.
Try to avoid calling attention to the fact that you are a tourist. There are many people who earn their living by preying on unsuspecting vacationers. To avoid looking like a potential target, consult your maps and itinerary before you leave, avoid conspicuous jewelry and clothing and keep your camera in your bag when you are not using it – not dangling around your neck.
When traveling by air, if you find that you need to check your bags, make sure you that keep at least a change of clothing with you in your carry-on bag. Then if your luggage accidentally gets lost and the airline has to track it down you’ll at the very least have a clean change of clothes. Even if it takes a day or two to find your luggage and get it for you, you can most likely wash your clothing at your hotel.
Many out of the way destinations are often overlooked for vacations. For example, while St. Thomas in the Caribbean is incredibly popular, with very little extra effort one can make a trip to Vieques off of Puerto Rico instead. It has many of the same amenities, is much less crowded, and will make your vacation seem much more special!
When booking a hotel room, don’t be afraid to negotiate. While many hotel clerks aren’t able to move too much on price, there may be other perks they can offer, such as meals or parking. In some cases the desk staff isn’t able to offer discounts or packages unless the guest specifically asks about them.
Make sure to choose a type of vacation that suits your personality. If you hate being outdoors, you shouldn’t go to the beach! Personality styled vacations are becoming increasingly popular these days, with everything from adults-only cruises to geek-friendly trips. Search for a vacation that you will truly enjoy.
Select a hotel in an older, more central part of town if your travel budget will possibly allow it. While these centrally-located hotels are usually more expensive, they are also much more vibrant and memorable. They are right in the middle of the action. Suburban hotels can be cheaper, but the hassle of their isolated locations often offsets your savings.
If you want to get the best price on a cruise vacation, either book your cruise early or at the very last moment. With booking early, you get the widest selection of accommodations plus you save 25 to 50 percent off the published price for each traveler. With booking at the last moment, you will not have the best choice of cabins but you can sometimes save more than 50 percent off the published price of your cabin.
Talk to your bellman. The man who helps carry your bags to your room is usually one of the most informed people in the hotel. He can tell you the best and worst places to eat, drink, and be merry or relax. Tipping him can bring you a wealth of information, so don’t be stingy!
Packing for a trip means keeping it light. Fuel costs are driving fees for overweight baggage and causing fliers to readjust their travel budget on the fly. Pack only what is necessary for your trip and leave extraneous items out. Sometimes it might be in your best interest to purchase small ticket items at your destination, as opposed to paying for the weight.
When taking a cruise, your health should be your number one priority. Before you depart, speak with your doctor about the trip you are planning on taking and any extra medication you may need. Let your doctor know the ports your cruise ship will visit and all modes of transportation you may encounter. Your doctor can offer advice on where you can obtain medical care as well as where you can get a prescription filled in an emergency.
When traveling abroad, always make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate location from your original. Should you lose your original passport, having a copy can make getting a duplicate easier and faster. Your embassy will also likely ask for some basic information that the duplicate will contain.
Knowing what is and is not allowed on an airplane can save you a hassle at the airport. Many people do not realize that simple everyday items such as hand lotion, sunscreen, etc., are considered spreads and either need to be in a clear plastic bag, or in your checked luggage. It is best to check with the TSA website before you leave for your trip to ensure smooth sailing at the airport.
You never know what may arise when traveling to another country so take the time to find out the location of your country’s embassy or foreign office. If passport issues arise or any other situation that may affect you as a foreign visitor to the country, your embassy can be the best place to resolve them.
When planning on taking a car trip, make sure you pack wet-wipes or sanitary wipes for the trip. It is almost guaranteed that there will be some kind of mess on your hands or in the car. This can come from food, drinks or mud.
If you are going to be traveling, it might behoove you to carry around some sort of protective device, like pepper spray. In some countries, the criminal element focuses on robbing rich foreigners, especially Americans, so you would be wise to protect yourself in some way. This way you can enjoy your trip and remain stress-free.
Educating yourself on the ins and outs of traveling can save you more than just money. Savvy travelers not only get to their destinations for less money, they often get there faster – and almost always less stressed out. The tips in this article are just the start of your travel education; be on the lookout for more ways to save time and money.