Traveling can be a special and fulfilling experience for you if you take advantage of it. Learning how to plan trips is not that hard, but it does require some research so that you don't end up getting lost or losing money on something you don't need. This list of tips should help you become a smarter traveler.
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.
When traveling by airplane it is crucial to arrive early. You will have to find a place to park, wait in long lines at security checkpoints, and there's always the possibility that the airline oversold the flight. When using the airlines, always give yourself lots of extra time.
When traveling, pack only what you know you will wear. Try to pack multipurpose outfits, and items that pair with more than one other thing. This will help you to minimize what you need to pack. Making your suitcase lighter will make it easier to carry through an airport, and can save you on baggage costs too.
When picking a destination to travel to pick somewhere that is affordable. You don't want to travel somewhere that is so expensive you can't enjoy yourself to the fullest. You want to make sure you have fun, but at the same time, you want to make it fit into your budget.
Pack only what you know you will use when you are going on vacation. Make a list and be realistic of what you are going to be doing. Check weather reports when you are packing for the days ahead where you are traveling to.
Don't stand as soon as the plane begins unloading unless you are in the very front. Everybody wants to get off a plane as soon as possible, but with many passengers, baggage in overhead compartments and only a few exits, you may be in for a wait. Be patient, and instead of standing and rushing to disembark, stay seated and relax. You will be more comfortable, and will be able to retrieve your bags and exit the plane without being shoved around.
To make sure you have room for souvenirs you purchase on a trip, pack an empty duffle bag. The duffle bag can be folded up and stored with the rest of your items. When you're ready to leave, open up the duffle bag and use it to carry home everything you bought on your trip.
Before you travel, put together an entertainment pack for any children traveling with you. Taking a bag full of things to entertain each child, such as reading books, comics, puzzles, portable DVD players, coloring books and handheld game consoles, will stop children getting bored and causing trouble during the journey.
If you have a guidebook to help you in your travels you can tear out the sections you will be using and staple the pages together. This will lighten the load you are carrying. When you are leaving a place you can leave the used sections behind for other travelers to use.
When traveling, stay on top of the local situation. Be sure to check with your US Embassy or Consulate to find out what is happening in the country you are in. Be aware in all situations and don't risk going into situations that make you feel the least bit uncomfortable.
When traveling, increase your safety and your peace of mind by wearing a money belt. This item is one essential that you cannot go without when traveling, and is barely noticeable to wear. Keep your wallet and your passport safe in your money belt so that no matter what happens, they don't get lost.
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.
A great travel tip if you're going to go on a cruise is to put up something on your room door so that you can easily find it. A lot of the doors in cruise ships look the same so it's easy to get lost. Having a picture or something on your door can make it stand out.
Try to only bring carry-on bags. If you can travel light, you will not have to face the mess that is the check counter. Just remember the policies about weight, and be ready to buy toiletries upon your arrival to your destination. You can call your airline to clarify any specifics.
Try to reduce your carry-on luggage to just one bag for the overhead bin if possible. This will give you room under the seat to stretch your legs and relax. Another great idea is as soon as you are seated, take off your shoes and try to relax as much as possible. For ease you should try to remember to wear slip-on shoes when flying.
Make sure your pets are well cared for while you are traveling. Recruiting someone to stay with them in your home is great, but pet care centers are fine, too. Either way don't forget about your pets; they will need loving care while you are gone.
As you can see, there is a lot more to traveling than most people think. It requires a lot of research and planning, but it will be worth it in the end to have a great trip. By following the above tips, you are well on your way to becoming a smarter traveler.