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.
You can save space in your luggage by packing in large airtight bags, such as ziplocks. Find the gallon or 2 gallon size bags, pack t-shirts, socks, underwear and other lightweight fabric items in them, and then roll the air out of the bag before zipping shut. This will reduce the size of your items down and you will be able to fit more in your bag.
Be aware of departure taxes. Some countries have departure taxes. You will not be permitted to board your plane until you have paid them. Often a check or credit card is not permitted as payment on these taxes. Make sure you have enough cash set aside to cover them.
Make sure your house does not look vacant while you are away. Coming home to find that you have been robbed would be a nightmare. If you intend to be gone for a considerable length of time, consider redirecting or having a friend pick up your mail for you.
If you are traveling into a malaria-prone area, in addition to anti-malaria pills, bring a mosquito net or find a room with a large ventilation fan. The net is best as it can almost completely stop mosquitoes from getting to you at night. The fan works because mosquitoes cannot fly as well into the wind, but it is not fool-proof.
When booking a hotel room, don’t be afraid to negotiate. While many hotel clerks aren’t able to move too much on price, there may be other perks they can offer, such as meals or parking. In some cases the desk staff isn’t able to offer discounts or packages unless the guest specifically asks about them.
Take the first travel photo” of your luggage. If you do end up checking your luggage, take a picture of it before you turn it over to the airline. In case of a problem, this will document what the luggage looks like and its condition when you left it. Also keep your baggage claim ticket in a safe place or snap a picture of it, too, so you have all the information necessary in the event that your luggage is lost.
If you’re going on a cruise, pack a travel mug with you. They’re great for filling up with coffee or tea while you’re wandering the ship in the mornings. They can also keep you from spilling your drink while in the buffet line. And if you’re going to be sitting by the pool, they’ll keep your drinks nice and cool for you.
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.