Travel is a hobby for some and a business necessity for others. But regardless of your reason for getting from one place to another, there are ways to make it easier and more pleasant, and ways for it to bring stress into your life. Try these great tips for making travel time into a more enjoyable time.
Ask a friend or family member to drive you to the airport. You can save on cab fare and long term parking fees. Many people will be happy to perform this favor for you, especially if you are willing to reciprocate later on down the road, when they are taking a vacation.
When traveling to a country outside of North America and Western Europe, carry cash or pre-purchased traveler’s checks. You cannot count on your credit or debit card to work the same way it does at home, nor is there any guarantee of access to ATMs. Converting your money or buying traveler’s checks before you leave also protects you against unscrupulous money changers.
Build in some flexibility about where you go when planning a vacation. Although going to the same place repeatedly has its advantages, seeing new places and things provides pleasant memories, as well. Also, choosing a new destination can offer some savings if your travel budget is tighter.
Protect your liquids from spilling when you travel with a homemade bottle stopper. Before screwing the cap on your travel-sized toiletries, cover the top with a small piece of plastic removed from a plastic shopping bag. This will both protect your clothes from the liquid and keep the liquid inside its container.
Long driving trips can be fun and economical, but the cost of stopping for meals every few hours will add up, especially for a family. If you are planning a longish car trip, make sure you have plenty of car food available in advance. You may be able to get away with skipping the hourlong lunch stop, which will not only save you money, but will get you to your destination sooner. If you have a second adult in the car, that person can serve as “lunchmaker,” handing around sandwiches, cutting fruit, and making sure everybody gets their midday meal on the road.
One way to deal with the tedium of being away from your family due to work-related travel is to take advantage of the time for yourself. Typically, meetings end at 5 and you’ll have until the next morning. Take the world’s longest bath, and use up all the toiletries. Watch three movies in a row. Write those couple of actual snail-mail letters you always said you would, but haven’t had time. Knit a hat. Read a book. In short, do all the nice things for yourself that you wouldn’t take the time to do if you were surrounded by your family. You’ll feel better knowing you took the time, and you’ll be that much happier and more relaxed when you see your family again.
Smart travelers have a smart routine that keeps their travel plans running smoothly and that makes every trip, no matter where or why, as easy as possible. Tips like the above can help everyone travel smarter, from the most world-weary traveler to the fresh-faced new traveler setting out on his or her first adventure.