If you’re looking to get away from it all with a trip away from home, don’t forget to travel smart. A mishap, mistake or forgotten item can ruin a vacation as surely as bad weather or an unpleasant travel companion. While there are some things you just can’t control, maximize your chances of having a good trip with the following travel tips.
Always pack a map when you travel, even if you have a GPS system. GPS systems are not always reliable. If it were to malfunction or become broken, you would be lost. A highlighter can be helpful as well, allowing you to mark your map for easy reference. As a bonus, your well-used and marked up map, makes an excellent memento to remember your trip by.
Try packing with reusable compression bags to save space when packing. If you travel often, reusable compression bags might be a smart investment. You can find them in most retailers that have a housewares section. They are usually sold for storage use, but work very well in relation to packing luggage.
When traveling to a different area, make sure that you’re open to different local customs. Some ideas might be strange, but be respectful of other cultures. Not showing respect and not paying attention to local customs can be a real downer for your trip causing you to not feel welcomed in a city.
Not all medical insurance plans cover you when you travel abroad. When making a plan to travel to international destinations it’s a good idea to look into purchasing medical coverage for your trip. So, before you go you may want to research what kind of medical coverage is available to you and what the costs might be.
Before you leave on a vacation, get as much sleep as possible. Being well-rested will give you the energy you need to enjoy your vacation, as well as helping prevent jet lag. You aren’t going to want to sleep in and waste your vacation time once you leave, and you may have trouble sleeping in a new place, so it’s better to be prepared.
Double check your reservations. It may seem obvious, but there have been many cases where reservations suddenly disappeared from the databases, leaving you and your family with no place to stay. To prevent this from occurring, check with your hotel several times throughout the process to make sure that your reservation is still right where it should be.
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.
If you know in advance that you will be passing through some less-than-desirable neighborhoods or areas of town en route to your destination, don’t rely solely on your in-dash GPS system. Map out alternate routes using MapQuest or Google Maps, so you don’t end up in a bad part of town, in the middle of the night, with bad directions.
Now that you’ve read the above travel tips, you’re more prepared to meet your travel destiny with the fearlessness of thorough preparation. Keeping these few simple things in mind whenever you leave home on a trip will give you more peace of mind and make sure you bring home more stories about great experiences rather than about stressful learning experiences.