When you’re about to leave the safety of your familiar home for parts unknown, the last things you need to worry about are causing yourself problems that could have been easily avoided or missing out on opportunities. Check out this collection of tips and become as travel-savvy as you possibly can.
If you are a student planning travel to a foreign country, consider getting an international student identification card before you leave. Many restaurants, museums, and tourist stops offer discounts when you show student identification. Although the card costs money to obtain initially, the savings you achieve are often far greater than the base cost.
If you will be traveling to a foreign country where English is not the primary language, please make the effort to learn at least a few basic phrases, and make sure your pronunciation is as close as possible to the real thing. If you start out in THEIR language, most non-English speakers will quickly realize that you don’t actually speak their tongue, and will meet you more than halfway in a helpful attempt to communicate. Starting out in English, on the other hand, sends the message that they need to communicate on your terms, which is impolite.
When you know you will be on an airplane for an extended amount of time, make sure you dress for the occasion. Wearing tight jeans will not be comfortable and will make you miserable by the end of the ride. Try sweatpants or a loose fitting cotton dress.
If you plan to travel for more than a weekend, inform your bosses two weeks prior to leaving so that they can find someone to cover your responsibilities before hand. This way, you are not relying on someone who merely says they will cover for you and you have respectfully informed them the reasons of your absence.
Use other’s experiences to plan your vacation. By utilizing online review sites, as well as friends and family’s experiences, you can avoid making mistakes that have been made by others. Online review sites can help you choose the best hotel, restaurant, attraction and often contain many other useful tidbits to make your vacation the best it can be.
Hotel stationery is a great souvenir, and hotels do not charge you for taking it. The hotels realize that their stationery is a form of advertisement for them, so if you take it and use it, you are doing them a favor. Most higher-end hotels have beautiful stationery, so snap it up! They don’t mind.
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.
If you are an individual who travels a lot, invest in a quality suitcase. Look for one that is light in weight, holds all of your essentials, and is easy to roll. You’ll find maneuvering through an airport to be easier, and your suitcase will be more likely to make it through the baggage loading process.
Consider swapping souvenirs when you are traveling. Many people in other countries are interested in hats, shirts and a lot of other items that come from this country. If something catches your eye in a vendor’s stall, see if they would like to make a trade with you. You will also have the opportunity to talk to local people and create interesting stories for your friends and family back home.
Following these quick and easy tips means investing energy in having the best travel experiences of your life. Being a more resourceful, more prepared traveler will decrease your worries, increase your happiness, and leave you more energy and time to enjoy all the experiences and opportunities you encounter in your future travels.