Travel can be an excellent opportunity to expand your horizons and refresh your world-view. It can also backfire on you if you don’t take the time to prepare for the inevitable culture shock, whether your journey is domestic or international. Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your travel experience.
Purchasing an entertainment package when visiting a city with many attractions can save you time and money. An entertainment package purchased in advance usually includes tickets to several area attractions, often at a discounted rate. This will take much of the stress out of a vacation, allowing you to walk past the long lines at the ticket counter when you arrive and get straight to the fun.
Make arrangements for your pets while you will be away. Have a neighbor or friend come over to feed, walk and check in on them, at least once per day. They will feel more secure knowing that they will have fresh food and water and will be less stir crazy than if they were left alone for a long period of time.
When traveling in countries with unsafe tap water, remember other ways that you might be exposed. Close your mouth when using the shower and brush your teeth only with treated water. If you make tea or coffee with the water, allow it to boil for several minutes before steeping. Even a small exposure can make you very ill.
If you are staying at a lower-cost or no-name hotel when traveling, never put your bag on the bed. Be sure to check the sheet and spreads for bugs. If you must take your clothing out of your luggage, hang it in the closet instead of putting in the dresser or onto the furniture. Bedbugs are a major problem in North American hotels.
Scan your passport and email a copy to yourself. It rarely happens, but in the chance that you lose your passport during your travels, this will be a lifesaver. Getting a replacement passport can be a headache and having a copy can make the process much faster and less traumatic.
A great tip to keep in mind when you’re looking to book airline tickets, is to compare airline rates online. By comparing airline rates online, you can find the cheapest deal available, and save yourself a lot of money.
One way to deal with the tedium of being away from your family due to work-related travel is to take advantage of the time for yourself. Typically, meetings end at 5 and you’ll have until the next morning. Take the world’s longest bath, and use up all the toiletries. Watch three movies in a row. Write those couple of actual snail-mail letters you always said you would, but haven’t had time. Knit a hat. Read a book. In short, do all the nice things for yourself that you wouldn’t take the time to do if you were surrounded by your family. You’ll feel better knowing you took the time, and you’ll be that much happier and more relaxed when you see your family again.
Show your loyalty. Even if you are only planning to stay one night, if your hotel has a loyalty program, it can be worth it to join. In addition to additional amenities, such as garment pressing or free meals, a guest who is perceived as a loyal customer is less likely to be chosen if the hotel is overbooked and needs to cancel a reservation or needs to substitute a lower quality room.
Now the choice is yours, so get out there and enjoy finding new places and people to challenge your preconceptions. Armed with a little extra knowledge now about the experience of traveling, you can expect a few less bumps on the road to your destination. Share this article with friends and family, who may be heading out with you or on journeys of their own.