Travel can be an excellent opportunity to expand your horizons and refresh your world-view. It can also backfire on you if you don’t take the time to prepare for the inevitable culture shock, whether your journey is domestic or international. Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your travel experience.
When traveling abroad, you should make sure to carry a photocopy of your passport and other important documents in a separate location from the originals. Having a copy of your passport will greatly speed up the process for getting it replaced at the local U.S. consulate or embassy. You may also want to leave a copy with a friend at home.
If you’re traveling with kids, it’s tempting to let them all tune out with their own mp3 players, but consider bringing along some books on CD. Having something literate and interesting for the whole family to listen to is not only entertaining and interesting, but provides a common experience that each family member can take forward with them into life (“Hey, remember when I was ten, and we listened to Black Beauty on the way to Maine?”). It’s the stuff of which fond memories are made.
Keeping a business card from your hotel in your wallet may keep you out of trouble. Immediately upon check-in make sure you grab a card and have it with you wherever you may go. Most especially in a foreign country or unfamiliar place, if you get lost you can simply call them for help or if you happen to over indulge in spirits the card will identify your rightful place in the neighborhood.
If you don’t mind the inbox clutter, sign up for airline and hotel mailing lists when planning your trip. These lists will often tell you in advance about promotions or offer coupon codes – and they’re always free. These kinds of deals will go quickly, so seeing them right away gives you an edge when booking.
If you’re going on a trip to visit family, one way to make sure everyone will have a place to sleep is to bring along a number of inflatable vinyl air mattresses as well as an electric pump. These mattresses have improved greatly in quality over the years and the price is quite reasonable. Pumps can be hooked up to your car’s cigarette lighter or into an AC outlet. It is well worth the minimal cost to be sure that everyone has a bed to sleep in when you arrive.
Audio books are great to keep you and the family entertained when traveling! Did you know that most people can check audio books out for free if they have a valid library card? Many times you can even browse the selection of books that are available online and complete the checkout process right from your vehicle or even the airport!
Now the choice is yours, so get out there and enjoy finding new places and people to challenge your preconceptions. Armed with a little extra knowledge now about the experience of traveling, you can expect a few less bumps on the road to your destination. Share this article with friends and family, who may be heading out with you or on journeys of their own.