Traveling can be a special and fulfilling experience for you if you take advantage of it. Learning how to plan trips is not that hard, but it does require some research so that you don’t end up getting lost or losing money on something you don’t need. This list of tips should help you become a smarter traveler.
If you are touring Europe, take advantage of their outstanding rail system. Instead of flying to each of your destinations, only fly into your first city and then hop on the train. Not only is it much more affordable, but by traveling overland, you are sure to get an amazing look at the area beyond your major city stops.
Whether you are traveling within the United States or in a foreign country, always make sure the taxi cabs you use are certified with the city. There is usually a sticker visible from the back seat of the vehicle. If you are unsure, research city-licensed cabs before you travel. This way, you can avoid unlicensed cabs that overcharge their patrons, and save money to do more fun things during your travels.
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.
When traveling to poorer or less-developed areas, avoid touching any of the local animals. This obviously includes farm animals, but also covers stray cats and dogs as well as draft or pack animals. You never know what diseases these animals could be carrying, and chances are you don’t have the same immunities as the locals.
When selecting luggage, pay attention to the ease of carrying it over long distances. A rugged metal rolling suitcase is usually ideal. Some rolling bags even have straps that allow them to be worn as a backpack through areas where you can’t roll them. You and your luggage will be walking longer distances than you think.
Remember to report lost tickets immediately. Lost tickets can be refunded, but this can take as long as six months. It might also involve a substantial replacement fee. Reporting your lost ticket as soon as possible will not make things go any faster, but you will get your money back sooner.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country and have any allergies or medical conditions, plan ahead. While most modernized countries can provide anything you might need, some specialty items that are available in the United States aren’t available elsewhere. Planning ahead will make you’re trip much less stressful and will allow you to enjoy yourself more.
As you can see, there is a lot more to traveling than most people think. It requires a lot of research and planning, but it will be worth it in the end to have a great trip. By following the above tips, you are well on your way to becoming a smarter traveler.