Traveling can be one of life’s most enriching experiences, from the wonder that accompanies immersion in a new culture to the surprises that come with any venture into the unfamiliar. Still, some planning and attention to practical details surrounding a travel excursion can allow the traveler to fully engage in the experience without unnecessary stress and distractions. Here are ten travel tips to help you worry less and get more out of your next big trip.
- Read reviews when making travel plans. Many hotels, restaurants, and other frequented tourist destinations are the subject of consumer reviews and feedback on sites such as TripAdvisor and even Yelp. Do some research.
- Follow travel blogs related to your destination. This is a great way to learn about little-known restaurants or other cultural experiences that the typical tourist would never find. A simple online search for “blog” and your destination of choice should get you started.
- Collect and store the address of each place you will be going and staying, and either keep them with you as you travel, or have them collected electronically in one document. If traveling internationally, having easy access to the US Embassy contact information is good precaution as well. Even better, leave a copy of this information with an emergency contact just in case.
- Bring photocopies of your passport with you and store them apart from where you normally keep your passport. As an added precaution, keep a copy saved securely online where you could access in case of an emergency, e.g. if your passport is lost or stolen.
- Contact your bank and credit card companies to notify them of your travel plans so that they will expect unusual and foreign charges, and also be on the lookout for unreasonable transactions should your cards fall into the wrong hands.
- Roll clothes instead of folding them to prevent wrinkles and save space. Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane and pack the most space conservative pairs.
- Take photos of checked bags, rental cars, or anything valuable that could be lost or damaged while traveling. Smartphones make this an easy precaution to take.
- Never carry wallets in a back pocket or let purses hang freely from one shoulder, making them easy targets for thieves.
- Get in the habit of charging your devices at every opportunity. You never know when you will be without access to an outlet for an extended period of time.
Document your travels and experiences. Keep a blog or a travel journal, take photos, videos, or whatever method of recording your adventures most appeals to you. Later, you and your friends and family will be so glad you did.