Travel Guide 101

Seeing the world, or just a city next door can lead to all sorts of fun and adventure. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a novice traveler, the following tips are a collaboration of helpful information to make your next journey much safer, easier and a whole lot more fun.

When flying, always have a bottle of water handy. Drinking plenty of fluids will ensure that your body stays hydrated during the flight. The air inside the cabin is extremely dry, playing havoc with your body. Don’t substitute alcohol or caffeine for water, as this can make dehydration worse.

Before travelling, make sure you check the projected weather for your destination. You don’t want to be stuck with nothing but winter clothes during a heat wave or only shorts and tank-tops during a blizzard. Purchasing new clothing while on vacation may not only be expensive, but you might not have room in your luggage to take everything home with you!

Be respectful and patient towards security checkpoints and customs officials. In most cases, these exist for your safety. If not, being upset still won’t help you get through any faster. In fact, making a fuss at the security checkpoint is almost always a ticket to the express lane for the extra search.

If you will be driving to your destination, fill a family member or friend in on your destination and planned route to get there. If something were to happen to you while driving, this person would be able to alert officials of your intended destination and the roads you would have been traveling on.

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Before leaving on a trip, find out and write down the addresses of the American embassies in the countries you’ll be visiting. While the embassy is not a traveler’s aid office, they can help you if your passport is stolen or if you find yourself in some kind of unexpected legal trouble while overseas.

If you are traveling with too much luggage to carry on an airplane, take a digital photograph of your bag and the baggage tag. These come in handy if your bag is lost. The photos give you something to reference when describing your bag to the airport personnel and the tag confirms that your bag was labeled for the right airport.

When booking a hotel stay, be sure to ask when the hotel was last built or renovated. A low-cost motel that’s brand new might be a better option than an older building attached to a good name. Stay away from lower-end and mid-range hotels that haven’t been renovated in more than five or six years.

Think about cashing in the traveler’s checks you need for dining or shopping. Many places do, of course, accept these checks, but they are really a pain to deal with. You might be shortchanged if you spend them in-store, so be safe and change them to local currency prior to spending.

Whether traveling to see a family member or as part of an adventurous expedition, everyone needs some planning and preparation for their trip. Hopefully you learned something from reading this article that will help you on your next vacation and maybe something you can pass along to a friend.