7 Tips to Make Your Travel More Fun
Travel requires good preparation if you want it to be a fun and significant success. Little things go awry, but chances are you will have an enjoyable trip when you prepare well.
So, here are some tips that will make you the most effective travel planner.
1. Book Airline and Hotel Early
Plan your trip early so you can book your airline and hotel, taking advantage of lower prices. Here are some tips for online booking:
These sites track the choices you have looked at and put up the price. Who knows, but this has been my experience, so I often close my computer and make the booking the next day.
Now, with private or incognito search (options you'll find in your browser under File), they can no longer track your visits.
As we often are not sure when we're returning, we book one-way tickets. However, this may cause problems when you get into some countries that may ask you to show a return ticket, but not many countries do this now. So far, we have not had this experience. When you book, take note of these:
Some airlines make you pay extra for these, but getting the best seat you can afford is always better.
This choice is primarily right when flying for 8-16 hours. When it is only a short flight, get a cheap seat. Save your money for the long flights unless, of course, money is not an issue.
Stretching out for a few hours gives you that much-needed rest. You will be grateful for this rest when you have to show up in meetings upon arrival.
You can relax in a more oversized chair and watch movies on a much bigger screen. You can also enjoy better service and food, which makes the experience much more pleasant.
Ok, about hotels. There was a time when we never bothered to book a place, drive to a town or city, and start looking for a hotel.
Nowadays, it could be a risk. Here are some of the things that can happen:
2. Watch those stopovers.
Once, I bought ice wine at Vancouver airport duty-free, not knowing that liquid over 100 ml will not be allowed upon transit in Singapore when you go through security.
I was not the only one in transit carrying duty-free bottles. One passenger was so disgusted he opened his wine bottle, drank a bit, and poured the rest into the bin. I just gave my bottle to the security people telling them to enjoy it.
You must use staircases and walk a distance in some stopovers, so make your carry-on light enough.
In cases where you change planes, some airlines weigh your carry-on once more and charge you extra if it is heavier than the accepted weight.
3. Pack light.
Before you pack, look at the luggage restrictions of the airline you are using for your particular flight or airlines if you have connections.
I followed a lady the other day at the airline check-in, and I understand it was Christmas, but the airline staff weighed her luggage, put it aside, and told her to remove some items; otherwise, they would charge her $850.
Some airlines get your credit 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. However, some airlines weigh carry-ons as well.
Better, before you travel, check out your airline baggage allowance. It is on their site to prepare yourself, pack what is within limits, or have your cash ready if you don't mind paying for extra luggage.
Pack what is necessary. There are no elevators (like in some of the tube stations in London), and parking can be far from where you are staying. Lugging your heavy bags is not an experience you will enjoy.
When the beach is your destination, you don't need much there. Bring a dress you can wear for an evening to eat out, your swimsuit and sandals.
We just finished driving in Spain and Portugal for 22 days, and with our coats, nobody will ever know what you're wearing. A change is all you need, and wash your undies every night. They dry up fast. Remember, if you need something, you can always buy it wherever you are.
4. 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 products and support them.
If you have to buy small gifts for friends and family, go to shops maintained by social enterprises helping the poor and the disadvantaged. Get something light and tiny.
Look for one or two items to remind you of the place, something you will be proud to use or display at home as they show the uniqueness of the area, the beauty of the culture you have visited, and your good taste.
5. Shop for gifts in duty-free stores
Shopping in duty-free stores saves you taxes and space in your luggage as you can carry the bag on the plane. It also makes it easy to declare what you have brought back once you get through Customs.
There are more choices now in the duty-free stores, especially in big airports, with many promotions and sales. Have your list of gifts ready, and go early for your flight so you have enough time to get everything on your list. If you have forgotten someone, there is always the in-flight store.
6. Do your laundry.
Rates for laundry in many hotels are so high that bringing your laundry detergent and washing your dirty clothes 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 usually dry, and your laundry gets dry the next day.
Or have a plastic bag for wet laundry. Just bring the wet laundry along to dry in the next hotel, or hang it in the back seat of your car when traveling by road.
When you book places now, you can go for apartments and ensure the amenities include a washer and dryer. Most of the time, they supply you with detergents, but there are always the odd times.
7. Here's the key. Too much of your own company can be a bad thing.
It is the worst thing you can do if you want to have fun. Get out. Talk to people.
Sit in the park and talk with people who are there. Talk to vendors, restaurant servers, or street sellers when you buy food. You will start to have fun when you do these.
Interested in other tips to make your travel fun? Check these out: