Though many people consider travel to be stressful and unpleasant, it doesn’t have to be that way. Getting outside of your normal daily activity can be a rewarding experience, and one that can change your life in large or small ways. Following these tips will help make the journey a positive one.
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, always be prepared to have things stolen. Make advance photocopies of all of your important papers. You can even upload electronic scans of these documents for easy access while traveling. The local American embassy can assist you in contacting those at home who can wire you emergency funds or help in replacing your passport, but not much else.
Before booking any vacations, do some comparison shopping. Make sure you’re getting a good deal on your flight and hotel by looking at the prices of several websites. If you don’t need to leave or return from your trip on an exact day, check the price of several days in the same week. One might be cheaper.
Use vacuum bags to pack more into your carry-on luggage. Trying to fit everything you’ll need for your trip into a carry-on-sized bag can be challenging. To maximize the space, try using travel vacuum bags for your clothes. You insert your clothes, zip the bag, and roll it to remove the air. Just be sure to unpack as soon as you arrive at your destination so that your clothes have time to return to their normal shape.
If you travel a great deal for work, the constant change of venue and planes can be exhausting. Make it a bit easier on yourself by always requesting the same seat when you book a flight (“9A, please, or right over the wing.”) Actually, over the wing is a good spot because the plane tends to be most solidly anchored and less susceptible to vibration. That way, you will feel as though you’re sitting in “your” seat on the same plane back and forth, and you’ll also be accustomed to working in that particular position (window at your left, etc.)
Look for “nonstop” rather than just “direct” flights. Nonstop flights, as their name implies, make no stops before arriving at the destination, whereas direct flights may stop at other airports on the way to the final destination. Although you are not changing planes, the stops you make on a direct flight can lead to many unexpected delays.
After you decide on a travel destination, be sure to check user reviews on local hotels before you secure your reservations. Gather these from multiple sources, including magazines, websites and guidebooks. Also ask the hotel to send you pictures of the type of room that you will be staying in. Doing your research will help you avoid unexpected surprises when you get to your destination.
Want to relax early in the morning when you travel? Check the alarm clock as soon as you check in. Often the alarm was set by a previous guest, or possibly even the hotel staff. Not checking it can mean a six a.m. wake-up when you’re hoping to sleep until eight.
Armed with the knowledge from these tips, you can now go out into the world with more confidence and less stress. Take the time to enjoy your new surroundings as you travel and learn from the people you encounter along the way. You’ll return to your everyday life refreshed and with a new appreciation for the things you normally take for granted.