10 Travel Tips To Remember Before, During and After Your Trip
(Travel Tip Tuesday was a special feature for subscribers only)
Travel Tip #1 – You CAN be your own travel agent.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many highly respected travel agencies out there. And, of course, if you don’t feel confident enough, you don’t want to take the time, or you don’t have time, then by all means get help. However, more and more people are becoming their own travel agency, so to speak. People are doing all the work themselves. They are making the calls, inquiring about events, booking hotel rooms, booking airfare, making reservation for dinners or special events. It really is not hard, YOU are in control, and it will cost you much less, especially if you’re on a budget.
Travel Tip #2 – Consider each other’s interests/likes.
If you’re traveling solo, this obviously doesn’t pertain to you. If you’re traveling with anyone, whether it’s your spouse, child(ren), grandparent, etc. consider what they would like to do. This is something you can spend some quality family time planning out and everyone will feel included. If it’s not something they chose that you’re not too thrilled about, suck it up, put a happy face on, and try to enjoy it. You just might!
Travel Tip #3 – Plan, but have an open mind.
As you are planning, go into it with an open mind. You can plan all you want, and that’s great, but know that sometimes plans can change at the last minute. You don’t want to be so rigid and be that person that gets drowned in sorrow and brings everyone’s enthusiasm down because things didn’t go your way to the tee. Plan, but be ok with the fact that if your restaurant reservation was accidentally cancelled, the excursion you really wanted to go on is full, your flight gets delayed, your hotel room is not ready or whatever the case may be, you can adjust and still have fun. Change is not easy, but it is achievable.
Travel Tip #4 – Don’t over pack!
The first 3 tips had to do with planning ahead. This week’s tip leads to the week of (or if you are a procrastinator the day of) your travel. It may seem simple enough, but this task can take a toll on you or make you anxious just thinking about it. Consider your destination and the time period you’re going. Look at www.weather.com (that’s what I do) to see 5-10 days ahead what the prediction is. You may not want to be stuck with all jeans, for instance, if the weather will be 90˚F! By the way, you don’t need jeans for every day of the week. We, at Mackintosh Travels, pack 1 pair of bottom (shorts, jeans, or otherwise) for every 2-3 days and 1 top for every day. Socks and undergarments can be stuffed in shoes. Don’t bring more than 2 pairs (open toed like sandals and closed toed like sneakers). It’s not necessary. We’re talking about only the necessities. But of course if you need more, like a formal outfit for a cruise and heels, then by all means take it. It’s all about the necessities. Plus, you don’t want to pay extra for baggage fees!
Travel Tip #5 – Use a GPS. Please.
Ok. I know what you’re thinking. We do use a GPS, duh! You won’t believe how many people actually don’t. Even if you think you know where you’re going, half the time this will end up in you losing valuable vacation time plus the fact that your significant other might get aggravated and therefore bringing everyone’s spirit down. If you absolutely need to (ahem…men) ask for directions, please!
Travel Tip #6 – Um, what did they say?
If you’re traveling internationally, the least you can do is learn a few basic phrases in their language. This is something that irks me personally. I don’t expect a lot, but common and necessary phrases like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you,” and “Please” are some everyone should know before traveling out of the U.S. It shows an interest in their culture and respect for their country. I would appreciate the same if it was vice versa. I wouldn’t worry if your accent isn’t perfect either. It is the effort that counts. So go ahead and try it next time. Mahalo! Adios! Au revoir!
Travel Tip #7 – Once you’re there, prepare.
What I mean by this is that once you’re at your destination, prepare for change. Change in time (possibly), change in weather, change in foods, change in people/culture, change, change, change. First, make sure you are drinking a lot of water. Nothing is worse than being sick, dehydrated, and stressed while you’re trying to have a memorable moment. You should be doing this especially if you’re doing more walking than normal. Also, make the internet your best friend. You’ll be using this a lot for researching while you’re at your destination. You may think you made all the pre-planning at home (see travel tip #1), but there is always something else that pops up no matter how organized you were.
Travel Tip #8 – Shop wisely.
When we were in Paris souvenir shopping, we realized something. Not everything is as it looks. We saw two Eiffel Tower replicas that looked (almost) exactly the same. To my surprise, one said “Made in Paris” and the other one said “Made in China.” Go figure, we bought the one that said “Made in Paris.” When you souvenir shop, it’s best to shop for the most unique and authentic trinkets & treasures. Your family & friends will appreciate it more. My rule of thumb is, if you can find it back home don’t buy it.
Travel Tip #9 – Stay safe.
It doesn’t matter where you travel, unfortunately, there will always be people out to get others. Don’t carry too much cash when you’re out and about. Ladies, wear your purses diagonally. Wear a money belt. No, these are not old fashioned. They DO work and not just for money, but your passport. Don’t wear visible valuables or keep them in your hotel. In fact, why bring them in the first place? Be vigilant of your surroundings. If you have children and you’re touring a new place, have them in front of you or right next to you. Don’t have them tag along behind you. Some of these may be common sense, but sometimes we all need a good reminder.
Travel Tip #10 – Heading Home
As you leave from your vacation to head home, don’t forget to check your surroundings. Check your hotel room to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Don’t forget to tip your bellboy or cruise wait staff. But most importantly, don’t forget why you took your vacation in the first place. Maybe it was to make memories with your family. Perhaps it was to relax and unwind from everyday stress. Maybe it was to grow closer within a relationship and experience new things together. Whatever the case, you will always have those photos to look back on years ahead of your time. Now….on to plan the next vacation!