Going to different places around the world, domestically or internationally, hides many challenges. Those challenges, you either let them ruin your vacation, or you prevent them from the beginning of your travel and you create a great traveling experience for you and those around you. Today we will take a closer look at how to avoid troubles and save time over different stages of your travel.
Travel tips before travelling
1. Instead of a hotel, look into reserving a home if traveling with a family or a single room if alone. Websites like AirBnB can provide homes and private rooms from homeowners who are renting them out, usually offering better accommodations than hotels.
2. Roll your clothes when packing. Instead of creating a folded pile in your suitcase, rolling allows you to fit more things in. Plus, you can even roll underwear and socks within your clothes for optimal space-saving.
3. Scan your passport, identification card, and itinerary and email them to yourself. This provides an extra copy of each in the event of loss or theft. As an iPhone user, once I email the documents to myself, I usually open the email on my iPhone and save them onto iBooks. This provides me with an offline record.
4. It’s important to remember to call your credit or debit card company before you leave to ensure that you have your card authorized for your foreign destination. This prevents them from suspecting suspicious activity.
5. Mark your baggage as fragile. This is a tip I learned a while ago from a friend who found it to be a great way to ensure that your baggage is handled correctly. Your luggage is kept at the top because of this, which will make it one of the first bags to be released.
6. If you know where you want to go, and you are at least a few months out, now may not be the best time to buy. Download the Hopper app and do a search on Google Flights, and if the price isn't yet right, set an alert. This is also a reminder to Always Be Planning.)
7.Sign up for airlines newsletters: JetBlue, for example, frequently sends out flash sale emails. Similarly, following airlines on social media can help you stay in the loop with quick sales and promotions. Also, websites like Airfarewatchdog are great for finding top-notch flight prices, thanks to flight-tracker alerts that notify you when prices drop.
8. Free stopovers give you the chance to get two trips out of one vacation: without paying twice as much for flights. A number of airlines offer stopover programs, though one of the best known is Icelandair. You can extend your layover in Iceland for up to seven days (at no additional cost) and the airline will even pair you up with a complimentary Stopover Buddy to take you to the best local spots in town.
9. With Finnair, you can spend up to five nights doing everything from chasing the Northern Lights to exploring the city's food scene, while stopovers in Singapore from Singapore Airlines include a night's hotel stay and airport transfer for just $60.
10. Where you sit on a flight can make all the difference. SeatGuru helps savvy travelers examine every detail of an airplane seat before it's too late to make a change. Find out whether you'll be close to a bathroom, if you can count on power outlets, what the seat pitch is, or if that seat will recline. There are user reviews so you can get a sense of what the experience was like for other travelers.
11. Take advantage of the 24-hour rule, which allows travelers to cancel tickets on most airlines without a fee within 24 hours of booking. In 2017, check one last time for a better price, or jump on a flash airfare sale—even if you still need to ask your boss for time off.
12. Taking a collapsible laundry bag can help you keep dirty clothes organized during your trip—and separated from other items on the way back. You can also opt for a waterproof version, which is perfect for stowing a damp bathing suit after a last minute run to the beach on your way to the airport.
13. To avoid having a longer wait time at airport security and using precious storage space for gifts, ship your luggage out before flying.
Travel tips for your departure
14. Bring your own water bottle. Depending on the airline’s own policies regarding drink costs, the amount of times water is offered may not be to your liking. Having your own water bottle ensures that you have water when you want it. When they do come around, top off your bottle with what they give you.
15. Never underestimate the value of a fanny pack. Yes, they can be embarrassing and seemingly out of the mid-to-late 1980s, but trust me—every time I travel, even domestically, it has ensured that my valuables are safe, and it expedites security checks.
16. Splurge on Internet service if your flight is more than six-and-a-half hours long. You’ll thank me when you find that sparking conversation with your seat partner is harder than pulling teeth. Plus, you can complete work for the last time before you hit your destination.
17. Ensure that you have a pen before leaving home so you can complete customs forms. Fill the forms out when you get them, and ensure that your family members have theirs filled as well. People will clamor for your pen; flight attendants rarely have them.
18. 20 minutes before you land, sprint for the bathroom. Usually, when the seatbelt light comes on, I’ve found that you still have 15 minutes of leeway until you truly have to be seated. Use this opportunity to relieve yourself to prevent fighting for restrooms when you land.
19. If you want Wi-Fi on the flight (and your airline doesn't offer it for free, like JetBlue or Virgin America), buy it before you board. You'll save money and make a more rational decision on what you can and should pay for internet access.
20. Also take advantage of this handy map with Wi-Fi information from airports around the world, created by travel blogger and computer security engineer Anil Polat.
21. Several airlines, believe it or not, continue to offer complimentary alcoholic beverages for economy passengers. Consider flying with Air Canada, which offers a selection of spirits on international flights, Etihad Airways, which offers, wines, and spirits, and KLM, among others.
22. Dealing with canceled or delayed flights can be a headache. That’s where Freebird comes in, offering travelers a free and quick travel protection option. For a flat fee of $19 for one-way flights and $34 for round-trip flights, travelers will be alerted if their flights is delayed or canceled. When that happens, Freebird delivers options to book another available flight, which can be done on mobile without ever waiting in line.
Travel tips for your arrival
23. Dart directly for baggage claim. It is amazing how many people seem to lollygag after landing. Save that for someplace else to save yourself time and to prevent any arguments with fellow travelers.
24. Adding your flight number can serve as an extra precaution should you have an issue with your flight. With the flight information included, the car rental company will know if you'll be arriving late, should your flight get canceled or delayed. It's one less thing to worry about in a stressful situation.
25. Use ATMs to get local currency. Using money converters in the airport usually come with their own fees and the exchange rates are a rip-off. ATMs always dispense local currency, of course, so use your debit or credit card and get your money there.
26. Ensure that you have Yelp downloaded for domestic travel in the US. This is a great city guide for both travelers and locals alike and is the best way to find the most amazing places to eat and sightsee.
27. Shop for groceries when you arrive. You don’t have to shop for a feast, but getting basics like water and a few snacks in local stores instead of at the hotel can save you a ton.
28. When in your room, remove only the necessities from your luggage. Trying to make yourself at home by taking out every pair of shoes and all of your toiletries will only make repacking a living hell, and it increases your chances of forgetting something when it’s time to go home.
29. Priceline recently released a new feature on its free iPhone app, Road Deals, that enables travelers to get real-time information on discounts and deals for hotels along their route. The hotels are automatically updated as you go on your journey, with the option to make a booking in seconds. Simply put in your preferred budget and number of stars, and the app will take care of finding the best options for you.
30. Priceline recently released a new feature on its free iPhone app, Road Deals, that enables travelers to get real-time information on discounts and deals for hotels along their route. The hotels are automatically updated as you go on your journey, with the option to make a booking in seconds. Simply but in your preferred budget and number of stars, and the app will take care of finding the best options for you.
Travel tips on how to make the place yours
31. Use guidebooks sparingly. I recommended Yelp because it allows you to discover a few places off the beaten path. Guidebooks only present you with tourist spots; even those that advertised themselves as being off the beaten path.
32. Use the local language as much as possible. It reflects well not only on you but also on Americans/your nationality in general. It shows you are willing to make the effort, which can work in your favor in some situations.
33. Have a souvenir list prepared, and stick to it. This will save you money and prevent you from purchasing something that “you’ll find someone to give to another time”.
34. Eat locally only. Save McDonald's, if you have to eat it in any location, for when you’re home. Trying the local cuisine will save you more money and allow you to experience new and flavorful meals.
35. “When in Rome, do as the Romans” is a general saying that I like to translate it as, “don’t be a stubborn traveler, and get out of your comfort zone”. If a country advises modest dress, for example, follow through. It can even ensure your safety as a foreigner.
36. Different countries vary in what they do and don't charge for. Water at restaurants is one excellent example: In Spain, a waiter might automatically bring a bottle of water that'll cost you when the check comes. Do some research ahead of time on norms in your destination.
37. Traveling to a major urban center? Opting for a city pass can help you save if you want to hit up the popular tourist attractions. Paris' Museum Pass, for example, will get you free entry into more than 60 popular museums and monuments in the city, while Florence'sFirenze Card grants you access to all the major museums in Italy.
38. There are fantastic free activities in every city—if you know where to look. City tourism websites are often a great way to locate a city's top free sights and activities, including walking tours you can take whether you're in New York City or Amsterdam. Many museums in different cities offer free days (like in Madrid on Sundays).
Travel tips on your return
39. If you are a frequent traveler, live out of your toiletry bag and keep it packed. This will allow the packing process to be a bit easier and will prevent you from having to make expensive toiletry purchases if you forget something.
40. Use IFTTT when sharing traveling photos to make it seamless and easy. “Recipes” like sharing automatically to Dropbox or Evernote will allow you automatically to have a copy of your precious photos.
41. Unpack immediately when you enter the door. You may be tired out of your mind, but you’ll be glad you did it in the morning. Plus, it saves your luggage from smelling like soiled laundry.
The travel tips above we hope they will provide some assistance to you. Let us know in the comments below which travel hack was your favorite. Also, let us know if there are any travel hacks, not mentioned above that have proved successful for you. Always remember an easygoing trip starts at the time you get the idea and the inspiration of traveling somewhere, and it is a matter of organizing, comparing and also right timing!!!
(Sources: lifehack.org, travelandleisure.com)