Stepping outside your comfort zone is something that is a prerequisite for a successful travel experience. Although, it’s not always easy to prepare ahead of time for the inevitable differences between your ordinary world and the one you will be entering, a few tips will help make the transition both easy and enjoyable.
When traveling out of the country, it is advisable to drink only bottled water. This is especially important in countries where the quality of their tap water may be questionable. It’s better to possibly pay a bit more and be safe than risk getting sick because of contaminated tap water.
When traveling to a country outside of North America and Western Europe, carry cash or pre-purchased traveler’s checks. You cannot count on your credit or debit card to work the same way it does at home, nor is there any guarantee of access to ATMs. Converting your money or buying traveler’s checks before you leave also protects you against unscrupulous money changers.
When traveling with more than one child, consider pre-packing each child’s clothing into a large freezer bag. These bags can be labeled with each day, so the kids can easily find the clothing they’re going to wear. This prevents them from needing to unpack the whole suitcase each morning, and also reduces the chance of items being forgotten at home.
Use carry-on luggage. Most airlines now charge extra to check a bag. So, to avoid this cost, try to fit everything into a carry-on bag, if possible. Even if your airline is one of the few that doesn’t charge to check a bag, you may still want to avoid checking a bag. In a move to cut costs, many airlines have reduced the number of employees who handle baggage, making for a much longer wait at the baggage claim.
When making coffee in a hotel room, you should use melted hotel ice. Rather than drinking tap water, put ice in the ice bucket and let it all melt overnight. The next morning you should be ready to brew your coffee with better tasting water.
Always check out a visitor’s center near your destination. They often have a lot of pamphlets on different attractions. A lot of these will even have coupons inside to get a discount. So not only will you find things to do, but you can save money while you do them!
American travelers who have not left the country in several years should be aware that they definitely need an up-to-date passport. For a long time it was possible for US citizens to visit Mexico and Canada without such documentation. This is no longer the case, with modern security concerns. American travelers should have their passports in order if they intend to visit any other country.
When traveling abroad, make sure to take care of your health. Check to see if there are any vaccinations that you need before heading away, pack a good supply of any prescription medications you might need, and locate a hospital or physician near your destination, in case of an emergency. Staying healthy will allow you to focus on the scenery and fun, not being sick.
As you make your travel arrangements, consider renting a vacation home from the residence’s owners. There is a large selection of properties online, and owners are usually very willing to negotiate the price of the home. At a hotel, the employees can’t always authorize those types of changes to the rate. Always ask for references and make sure that you look at a lot of pictures of the home before you book your vacation.
Exploring America’s National Parks is a wonderful experience. While you are out and about in the park it is important to clean up after yourself. It is imperative that we do our part to make sure the parks stay beautiful and clean for everyone to visit in the years to come.
Reading online user reviews can be a great way to find out about your vacation destination. There are various sites available, with multiple reviews from both travel professionals and every day people. Reading a few reviews can help you find the best hotels, most popular restaurants, and great out of the way places to consider visiting during your travels.
It is beneficial to check travel warnings and advisories before traveling to another country. This information can be easily found on the United States government’s website. Being aware in advance of any foreign political unrest or contagious diseases in the country will help you plan your trip accordingly, keeping yourself safe.
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.
Take cookie sheets with you when you are traveling in a car with children. Cookie sheets can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including snack or meal trays. They can also be used as a coloring desk and game table. Small children will enjoy using the trays with their magnetic letters and numbers, keeping them busy and happy during the drive.
You can have a great deal of fun at travel locations near your home. Your home state or neighboring ones can offer great getaways at a fraction of the cost. Staying local allows you to save money while benefiting your own local economy. You may be surprised to find a real gem, hiding in your own “backyard”.
Sometimes it is hard to stay on track with a healhty diet while traveling. There are times you may have to stop at a fast food restaurant. If so, there are a few things you can do to cut calories. First, order your burger with no cheese or condiments. Also, if possible, choose grilled meats and the salad bar.
Now that you’ve gotten a few tips for making your travel experience a success, you can go forward with confidence. Apply these time-honored tricks of the trade and pass them on to those who may be accompanying you on the journey. Everyone will benefit from being more informed and aware.