Travel can be an amazing source of inspiration, but if things go wrong, it can take on a nightmarish quality, instead. No one wants to go on a vacation that’s more aggravating than relaxing. Fortunately, you can protect yourself against some common travel mistakes and stresses, by following a few easy tips.
If you are traveling with children, a backpack or other bag packed with new and interesting toys and activities is a good idea. Make sure that these are things they are not normally allowed to play with, or special things for trips only. It will give them something to look forward to and they will be entertained longer.
When traveling overseas, hang on to your reciepts for credit card purchases. When you file them, date them and note the purpose of the purchase. When you get home, you have an easy way to reconcile your statement with the money you spent. This will make it much easier to spot any fraudulent charges.
If you know you have to fly, do yourself a favor and wear shoes requiring minimal effort to take off. Don’t pick that day to wear your eyelet wingtips with hard-to-tie laces. Women can wear clogs or slip-ons; men should choose a casual shoe style that can be easily slipped on and off with one hand.
When thinking of the items you are going to take with you on your trip, think about what the weather will be like. You can check how the weather has been in the region for the past week and also look at the forecast. Just make sure you take precautions if necessary, so you won’t be caught off guard, if the weather decides to change.
When you arrive at your destination don’t hesitate to ask for help in any way. The locals of the town should be more than willing to give you good advice on where to visit. You want to make the most out of your experience so don’t be shy, remember you’ll probably never see those people again anyway.
If you are traveling abroad you can be easily the target of a crime. Make sure you don’t wear any expensive or conspicuous jewelry and carry an extensive amount of money. Following these two tips will lessen your chance of being pick-pocketed or being the target of a petty crime.
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.
When renting a car take the time before you leave the parking garage to acquaint yourself with its most basic features. Make sure an instruction manual for the car model is in the glove box and take time to skim through it. It’s no fun to pull into rush hour traffic just as a thunder storm hits if you don’t know how to turn on the windshield wipers!
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.
If you plan to travel and have animals, you will need to decide whether they are staying behind or coming with you. Pets can make travel hard if they will need a care giver while you’re gone or the places you plan to travel are not pet friendly. Searching for inexpensive care or pet friendly destinations in advance will help you tremendously.
Do not ever tell a street vendor where you are traveling from. These vendors are experienced sellers. They know the financial interests of many different cultures and will use yours against you to get you to buy what they are selling. Just tell them, “No, thank you,” and keep walking.
Pay with Euros! The American dollar does not hold nearly as much strength and prestige as it used to, so trade in for a Euro to get the best treatment. You should still carry some American dollars for tipping, because in many countries they are difficult to find, and are considered souvenirs rather than spending money.
With this array of tips in your arsenal, traveling will be a breeze, not a pain. These are simple ideas, but simple acts can be an extremely effective preventative. Simple sense is all you need to keep a travel experience positive and fun, even when you’re venturing way off the beaten track.