Travel offers you not only the experience of seeing new places, it’s also fun and educational. You’ll meet new friends and make lifetime memories. Of course, you want your adventures to go smoothly to make the most of your trips. Here are some ideas to help keep everything enjoyable and stress-free.
When planning to travel to a country that uses a very different language or even alphabet than your own, it’s a good idea to get precise, up to date information about exactly how to travel to hotel bookings or sites of interest ahead of time. Often, maps or travel guides won’t go into the amount of detail necessary, so make sure to have a custom map which shows everything you’ll need.
For safe traveling, don’t carry all your valuables in one place. No one wants to deal with missing belongings while on a trip, but if you do have to, it’s better to minimize loss. Put your credit cards, cash, jewelry, and whatever else you value in a variety of different locations — some in your bag, some in your pocket, some in your wallet, and such. That way even if something gets stolen or lost, you probably won’t lose everything.
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.
GPS units can really help out when you are traveling in an unknown area. With just the touch of a few buttons they can lead you right to someone’s doorstep. It’s important to remember, however, that GPS units don’t work in all locations. Just in case, don’t forget your maps!
When packing for a long trip, limit yourself to about two colors of clothing. This will help to ensure that everything you bring to wear on your trip will match with everything else. It will also limit the number of shoes and accessories you need to match with your outfits.
If you are traveling by airplane, be sure to bring along your own headphones. Most in-flight entertainment systems today require that you wear headphones. You may be able to buy them in-flight, but it will be at a greatly inflated cost. Headphones are also a great way to create ‘white noise’ to block out your neighbors and/or the plane noise.
If you are traveling abroad, it’s a wise idea to sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free government service for citizens of the United States who live in a foreign country or are planning to visit one. Providing STEP with your contact information and some details on your trip allows them to contact you in the event of an emergency and to advise you of travel warnings and alerts.
Learn the tipping culture for whatever countries you plan to visit. In some cultures, tipping is automatic, while in others, it does not exist. There are still a few cultures in which tipping is considered a great insult, so mind your manners by checking the customs. You do not want to insult your server.
With ideas like these, you should be more eager than ever to get out and explore the globe. You’ll broaden your mind and increase understanding of the great big world around us. Make some plans using these tips to make your next trip better than ever. Have fun and take great pictures!