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Traveling can be such an exhausting experience. So exhaustive that sometimes when we return home, we are glad to get back to normal life. But leading up to a trip can be fun and exciting, filled with a little anticipation and a whole lot of preparation. Here are some things to consider when you are planning on taking your next trip.
When traveling internationally, do not keep all your valuables in one place. Separate your passport, identifying information and cash and travelers checks from each other. Unfortunately, tourists tend to keep these items together, and in the event that they misplace a bag or are the victim of theft, they lose all their essential documents.
Make sure that your cell phone plan is on a national calling set up before you leave town. If you are normally on a regional or local plan, switching to a national plan, even just for the short time you will be gone, can keep you from getting charged for roaming or long distance.
When traveling to an area where the tap water is unsafe to drink, pay attention to the altitude as well. Above about ten thousand feet, water actually boils at a lower temperature. This means that it must be boiled for a longer time in order to ensure all of the contaminants have been killed.
When traveling to a new city, try your best to look as if you belong there: Never let anyone see that you are lost. Checking your map in the middle of the sidewalk is a sure-fire giveaway, as is asking for directions. Remember, new arrivals are good targets for pickpockets and muggers.
One way to deal with the tedium of being away from your family due to work-related travel is to take advantage of the time for yourself. Typically, meetings end at 5 and you’ll have until the next morning. Take the world’s longest bath, and use up all the toiletries. Watch three movies in a row. Write those couple of actual snail-mail letters you always said you would, but haven’t had time. Knit a hat. Read a book. In short, do all the nice things for yourself that you wouldn’t take the time to do if you were surrounded by your family. You’ll feel better knowing you took the time, and you’ll be that much happier and more relaxed when you see your family again.
Something you should never do is place an important document in the pocket of the seat in front of you. Most likely, it will slide down to where you will not be able to view it anymore and you will forget all about it. Then you will get off the plane and realize too late that you don’t have it.
Consider attaching small bells to your carry-on bag. If you are worried that someone might steal or tamper with your luggage during a flight, attach bells to it. Inexpensive, Christmas jingle bells will do nicely. The noise is likely to deter criminals. If not, the noise will draw your attention.
One way to collect memories of your trip is to do crayon rubbings of architectural features, historical markers or even, just interesting textures. All you need is a crayon and thin, newsprint like, paper. Tear the paper cover off the outside of the crayon. Next, hold the paper flat on the surface you are recording. To complete the rubbing, use the side of the crayon rubbing it back and forth until the image emerges.
Look for “nonstop” rather than just “direct” flights. Nonstop flights, as their name implies, make no stops before arriving at the destination, whereas direct flights may stop at other airports on the way to the final destination. Although you are not changing planes, the stops you make on a direct flight can lead to many unexpected delays.
Participate in loyalty programs if you are a frequent traveler. You may not anticipate being able to cash in, but these programs often accumulate faster than you realize. Companies are fighting against a sea of competition and want to keep your business. If you typically choose the same company, find out what kind of rewards they have in place for your loyalty.
If you put these tips into place, you can avoid so many of the frustrations, anxieties, and sleepless nights that come along with planning a trip. Rest assured that you will be ready and prepared come departure day. There is no need to spend so much time worrying.