Travel is one of those things that everyone can get into, but in which not everyone really excels. Making travel arrangements can be a fast, painless thought-free process. However, getting the best deals and making the best plans, takes a little more effort. Here are a few tips for maximizing the benefits that good travel planning can bring.
Pack all your necessary belongings in a carry-on bag for airline travel. Not having to check luggage means that you can save on checked bag fees, check in for your flight at home or at a kiosk without having to wait in line a the ticket counter, and will avoid the possibility of your luggage being lost.
If you are traveling to Europe with electronic gadgets, remember that the voltage for household outlets is going to be different than in North America. This means that you’ll either need to bring a converter so that you can plug American goods into European power, or find appliances that can handle a range of voltages.
When packing, make sure you split up your valuables. If you are packing multiple bags for a trip, spread your more expensive items out between them. Always avoid putting all your valuables in one bag in case this bag is lost or stolen. Losing only one bag is still terrible but might not ruin your trip.
Planning to keep children happy and occupied while traveling will prevent a lot of headaches for everyone. Set aside special back-packs for any child accompanying you on your venture and fill it with goodies that will hold their attention, amuse them, and even feed them, if necessary. Small things that help pass time like books and notepads or travel games should suffice and will go a long way in easing hassles and boredom.
Register your trip with the US State Department. Doing so will give them a way to contact you or your family in the event of an emergency. The State Department provides this service free of charge to American citizens who are traveling to foreign soil, so it doesn’t make sense not to take advantage of it.
Look up reviews about hotels you plan to visit, but do not necessarily trust everything that is written. Everyone will have a different experience, so be forgiving of some negative reviews and do not be blinded by overly positive reviews. When trying to find a hotel, one suggestion is to call the hotel and ask the clerk a few simple questions. His customer service skills will often indicate the quality of the hotel.
Do not put a sightseeing attraction into your travel plans without researching it a little. While the idea of such an attraction is straightforward – go to a landmark and look at it – in practice, many popular destinations will require entrance fees or advance reservations. Being prepared for such requirements will keep you from getting disappointed.
When traveling with children by plane, try to book a direct flight if at all possible. Even if you have to pay a little more, it will be worth it when you arrive at your destination with happy children. Non-direct flights often result in increased stress for all due to long layovers and changes in flight schedules.
Everyone on board a plane, train or ship, has something in common, they have all paid for the privilege of being there. Some passengers seem happier than others, though. These are the wise travelers, who have made an effort to arrange their travel plans for maximum convenience and economy. A little education can help you to join their ranks and travel with a smile.