Wouldn’t it be nice to travel with an expert? Someone who knows their way around, no matter where you are. Someone who speaks every language, someone who could get you anywhere you needed to go.
While recruiting a fully-fledged travel expert might be challenging for the ordinary traveler, what you can do is ensure that YOU are prepared with the latest tips and tricks. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s a lot of opportunity for stress. Flying, staying in hotels, and navigating foreign cities can all be a whirlwind. Make jet-setting a little easier with these 5 insider tips:
Complete a before-you-take off checklist
Make a checklist of all the important to-do items you’ll need to complete before embarking on your travels. This list should include things like getting your passport and other necessary documents ready to go and in your carry-on, confirming reservations throughout your entire trip, calling your bank and credit card companies to let them know you are traveling, tending to any household needs such as pet sitters or arranging for a neighbor to pick up your mail for you, and last but not least: packing!
Your trip will be off to a seamless start when you ensure everything is taken care of from the get-go.
Alert your bank and credit card company of your travel plans
I repeat this again because this can become a HUGE hassle if not tended to and it is absolutely worth the extra effort here. If you don’t want your credit card company or bank to put a hold on your card while you are overseas ensure you contact those entities prior to departure.
Always carry-on luggage
Big bags that need to be checked require that you plan for additional travel time! You need to be at the airport earlier to check them, you need to stay at the airport longer to pick them up once they finally come down the carousel, and who wants to spend even more extra time in an airport when traveling?! Take advantage of the ability to carry a smaller suitcase on the plane with you. Invest in a reliable, carry-on sized roller bag that will work no matter what kind of trip you’re taking. This not only drives you to pack efficiently, it also saves you the hassle of ever having to check a bag.
Plan for delays and try not to get upset when things inevitably go awry. By giving yourself some additional travel time, you allow room for things to happen that are out of your control. Patience is extremely important when traveling!
Innovate on your transportation
Do some research before you leave for your trip to find out what transportation apps are available at your destination. Arrange for a ride ahead of time to eliminate the extra stress of trying to finagle one from the airport when you are tired and anxious to make it to your destination.
Speak up about special occasions!
When staying in a hotel, make sure to mention if you’re celebrating a special occasion at the front desk. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, or even just your first time in this location – you have nothing to lose by mentioning it! The hotel might just upgrade your accommodations! Also check to see if the hotels you stay at have a free loyalty program. If they know you’re a member, you could receive extra perks like early check in or late check out.
Act like a local to stay safe
When you’re in an unfamiliar city, it’s always important to take extra safety precautions. One of the best ways to make sure you don’t become a target is to maintain a confident attitude. It’s often the times when people are unsure, lost, or stressed out when they run into trouble while traveling. Remain calm, cool, and collected and always walk like you know where you are, even if you don’t. If you act like you belong, others will buy into it.
Learn common phrases of the local language
A simple “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me” and “I’m sorry” in the local language goes a really long way. And hey, maybe “Beer” and “Is there a restroom available?” would be good to know too!