New worlds await you, whether near or far, and travel is the way to open the door to unexpected sights, sounds and experiences. Though it can be intimidating on some levels, travel need not be stressful if you take some tips beforehand from those who have tread the paths before you. A few bits of knowledge will go a long way in preparing you for an unforgettable trip.
Take a good book with you to read when traveling. If you always have something interesting to do, you will be less likely to get frustrated or bored during layovers and other time delays that are beyond your control. Buy a new title that you have been wanting to read so that you have something to look forward to.
If you are traveling to an area that has a high level of crime, consider purchasing your own padlock for the hotel room door. These locks are more difficult to pick than the ones the hotel will have already and no one in the hotel will have a spare to let in “visitors”.
Make sure that your cell phone plan is on a national calling set up before you leave town. If you are normally on a regional or local plan, switching to a national plan, even just for the short time you will be gone, can keep you from getting charged for roaming or long distance.
If you are traveling with a companion but you do not normally share funds, consider having a joint wallet, for expenses like meals, travel and lodging. You and your companion can add the same amount of money to the joint wallet each day. This way, you aren’t constantly splitting bills or exchanging money.
When booking flights for travel, always select your specific seat in advance. This ensures that you will get the seat you want, be it aisle, window, or emergency exit row. It also helps prevent you from getting bumped to standby in the event of an overbooking, since your seat assignment is locked in.
Peruse the blogosphere. Bloggers are everywhere, and there is most likely one, if not many, bloggers blogging about your destination. Their blogs are a great resource for finding information about hidden gems of the city–restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. Don’t be shy. If you contact them, many will be happy to answer your specific questions as well.
If you are going to be traveling abroad you may want to consider staying in a hotel which offers you a place to cook your own food. Unlike in America dining out in Europe can be rather pricey, and if you’re money minded, it would behoove you to go grocery shopping and prepare your own meals. This may even help you get a better feel for the culture of the country you travel to.
Remember, when traveling abroad it is better to avoid drinking the local tap water. Most visitors will be unaccustomed to the local water, and can get quite ill. It’s much easier to go to the local supermarket or grocery store, and buy bottled water instead. It cuts down your chance of sickness, as bottled water is usually produced to the highest of standards.
Every traveler should know by now that joking around isn’t the smartest thing to do while waiting in check in and security lines any more. Airport personnel are simply too concerned about terrorism to take jokes lightly. Progress through these lines politely and in a businesslike manner. You’re more likely to be treated accordingly.
Now that you’re wiser about the ways of the world, you can pack your bags and be on your way. Remember the suggestions you’ve read here, then relax and go with the flow. The world is an open book and it’s time for you to add a few pages of your own. What are you waiting for?