Traveling is very exciting but planning the trip doesn’t tend to be as much fun. Figuring out the logistics of your trip, and making sure that everything is set up correctly, can get confusing. By educating yourself with these tips, you can make the planning process as painless as possible.
To get the best deals on flight prices, browse through several travel sites at once before you purchase your tickets. Some good options are kayak.com, southwest.com and priceline.com. On external websites, you can often find ticket prices that are less than the price on the original retailer’s site. However, always make sure to read the fine print to avoid hidden fees. Bon Voyage!
Pack all your necessary belongings in a carry-on bag for airline travel. Not having to check luggage means that you can save on checked bag fees, check in for your flight at home or at a kiosk without having to wait in line a the ticket counter, and will avoid the possibility of your luggage being lost.
If you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get your passport well in advance. Many people underestimate how long it takes to get a passport for the first time and are left scrambling and paying extra fees to get it expedited. Plan for your passport to take six to eight weeks to arrive, especially in peak travel season.
Always make sure that you have a set location for your important paperwork and documents when traveling. It is easy to lose or misplace these things. Determine a safe pocket or pouch ahead of time, and always take them out and put them back in this same location.
Be flexible. If your travel dates can be tweaked by a day or two, try using the “flexible dates” feature of most online travel search engines. This allows you to search departure and return dates within a given range. By just changing your dates by a day or two, you may be able to score huge savings on airfare.
Don’t judge a hotel by its name alone. Look for the year it was built or last renovated, which can be very telling. Hotels can take a beating and a newly built budget hotel, may be much nicer than a luxury brand that is showing a lot of wear and tear from not being renovated in years.
The shoes you wear when you go flying should be comfortable, lightweight, and easy to take off and put on. Security procedures require you to take your shoes off. Comfort is very important. There is a bit of walking at the airport, but also a lot of sitting, so they don’t need to have a great deal of support. Flip-flops or sandals are ideal air travel footwear.
Check out international fast food chains when you travel abroad! At first this sounds like a silly suggestion that will make you miss out on authentic local cuisine. However, the restaurants of international chains are often localized to cater to the palate of the natives. You may be surprised and interested to see the novelties on the menu at a restaurant you thought was familiar!
Know the rules for your airline’s baggage check policy. Some airlines will make you go and claim your baggage and recheck it for connecting flights. Be aware of this so you can schedule flights accordingly. You do not want to get caught running across an airport to catch a flight because of baggage!
If you’re traveling with kids, buy each child their own disposable camera. Tell them to take pictures of anything they find interesting. If they fill it up before the trip is over, you can get them another one fairly cheap. Then they’ll have something to remember all the things they liked – you’d be surprised how different the pictures your kid takes are from yours.
If you are traveling overseas, be prepared for anything. Cultures are very different once you leave the western world. Don’t expect to see anything resembling your normal life until you disembark in the United States again. Planning ahead for this will help you reduce the effects of culture shock during your travels.
If you’re going to be staying in a hotel for less than a week, don’t bother unpacking. It may not be fun to live out of your suitcase, but by not unpacking things you lower your chances of leaving something behind. You wouldn’t want to risk leaving something important behind.
As was discussed in the introduction to this article, traveling is a lot of fun but the planning part can be rather difficult. There are various ways to simplify trip planning and to have a more successful trip. If you want to have a wonderful time during your trip, use the above tips to make sure your experience goes as planned.