Travel planning involves a lot of decisions to be made. Sometimes, preparing for the trip is part of your enjoyment of your trip. This article has many helpful hints and pointers on making traveling arrangements and plans to help you stay focused on the fun and less on the stress.
Pack an extra bag for dirty clothes. No one wants to pack their dirty unmentionables in with all their nice things. Pack a small, collapsible bag to pack dirty clothes in for the return trip. Alternatively, bring a garbage bag. You can wrap dirty clothes in the garbage bag to keep them separate from everything else.
A GPS navigation system is absolutely vital for any long-distance car trip. If your car did not come with a factory navigation system, you should seriously consider buying one before hitting the open road. GPS helps you find alternative routes when closures, traffic or accidents close the road ahead. GPS can even keep you out of danger if you encounter emergency conditions.
If you are traveling with a companion but you do not normally share funds, consider having a joint wallet, for expenses like meals, travel and lodging. You and your companion can add the same amount of money to the joint wallet each day. This way, you aren’t constantly splitting bills or exchanging money.
International travel can be quite fun. On the plane flight to your destination, bring along a phrase book and try to learn a few phrases in the language of the culture where you will be spending time. You do not have to be fluent in the language and many locals will be delighted that you tried to learn a little bit of their language. Do not be shy about mistakes. Most people will appreciate you tried to learn a little bit about their culture.
If you are going to be traveling abroad you may want to consider staying in a hotel which offers you a place to cook your own food. Unlike in America dining out in Europe can be rather pricey, and if you’re money minded, it would behoove you to go grocery shopping and prepare your own meals. This may even help you get a better feel for the culture of the country you travel to.
Taking a long road trip can be fun, but getting lost is not. Before starting your trip, stop by your local market and buy yourself an affordable road map. While a GPS device is great, a map will always be accurate and is much safer on the road. This will ensure that you arrive at your destination in a perfect frame of mind.
Register your trip with the US State Department. Doing so will give them a way to contact you or your family in the event of an emergency. The State Department provides this service free of charge to American citizens who are traveling to foreign soil, so it doesn’t make sense not to take advantage of it.
If vacationing in an area you’ve never visited before, try to find a local to give you some information about the area. Major tourist attractions are always well marked and you’ll have no problem finding them, but learning about some local favorites can make your trip much more memorable and personalized.
For a stress-free vacation, make sure people can get in touch with you. Take your cell phone with you and keep it charged. Bring your laptop with you if you know you will have an internet connection where you are staying. In case of emergency, people can let you know what is going on and you won’t have any bad surprises when you come back.
When traveling, the savvy tourist will always be on the lookout for local restaurants. A chain restaurant, even one belonging to a foreign chain the traveler does not know, will never be as colorful as an independently operated eatery. Not only are locally-owned restaurants more memorable, they are frequently cheaper than more generic options.