Travel Tips and Guides
1. Shop for quality souvenirs
When you shop for souvenirs, buy quality. Fair Trade and organic would also be great. Bargains are all over the many destinations you'll visit but most of these things you can easily buy at home in Walmart. So, your best option is to look for artisans who make one of a kind product and support them.
If you have to buy for small gifts for friends and family, go in shops maintained by social enterprises helping the poor and the disadvantaged. But look for one or two items to remind you of the place, something you yourself will be proud to use or display at home as they show not only the uniqueness of the place and culture you have visited but also your own good taste.
2. Get the best airline seat you can afford
Get the best seat you can afford. This is especially true when you are flying 8-16 hours. When it is only a short flight, just forget it. Get a cheap seat. Save your money for the long flights unless, of course, money is not an issue.
Being able to stretch out for a few hours give you that much needed rest you will be grateful for especially when you have to show up in meetings upon arrival. You can relax in a bigger chair and watch movies in a much bigger screen. You can enjoy better service as well which makes the experience much more pleasant.
3. Watch those stop overs.
Once, I bought ice wine in Vancouver airport duty free not knowing that upon transit in Singapore, when you go through security, liquid over 100 ml. unless you bought this in the duty free in Singapore will not be allowed.
I was not the only one on transit carrying duty free bottles. One just opened his wine bottle, drank a bit and threw it in the bin. Another opted it and just emptied this in the bin. I just gave my bottle to the security people telling them to enjoy it.
In some stop overs, you have to use staircases and walk a distance so make your carry on light enough. Some airlines, in cases where you change planes, weigh your carry on once more and charge you extra if it is heavier than the accepted weight.
4. Do your own laundry.
Rates for laundry in many hotels are so high that bringing your own laundry detergent and washing your dirty clothes regularly saves you a lot of money.
We often pack a ziplock of laundry detergent or buy these in groceries when we arrive in a place. Hotel rooms are often dry that your laundry gets dry the very next day. Or have plastic bag for wet laundry for those times when some of your items are not dry. Just bring them along to dry in the next hotel or when traveling by road, spread it out in the back seat of your car.
5. Pack light.
Before you pack, take a look at luggage restrictions of the airline you are using for your particular flight or airlines if you have connections. I was following a lady the other day at the airline check-in and I understand it is Christmas but after her luggage was weighed, the staff put it aside and told her to remove some items otherwise she will be charged $850.
In some airlines, get your cards ready because they charge $25 per checked luggage within the weight limit. If you can manage to place everything in your carry-on, the better it is for you. Although some airlines weigh carry-ons as well.
Better, before you travel check out your airlines baggage allowance. It is in their site so you can prepare yourself and pack what is within limits or have your cash ready if you don't mind paying for extra luggage.
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