In 2013 travel smarter
Posted Sunday, January 6 2013 at 02:00
Tips for easy travel. If you are keen on seeing the world sometime this year, you are likely to need some times that will ease your travel. Do not take anything for granted.
1. Travel Itinerary
Make travel itinerary before hitting the road. It can be as rough or detailed as suits your trip, or your personality, but know the outline of where you want to go and what you want to see.
If you are organising your own trip, start by checking how the professionals do it. Find out what itinerary travel agents and guidebooks recommend and then customize it to fit your needs.
Have a look at photos from the country you are planning to visit. Good photos can help you to find the places and sights that appeal most to you.
Sometimes you will find out about interesting things to do when you have arrived at your destination. You should therefore try to allow some flexibility in your itinerary, so you can do and see all the things you want to do and see. Let your itinerary enhance your travels, not limit it.
2. Booking trips
Do your homework and get better deals. Always shop around and compare prices. Never assume some company is cheaper or better because it is bigger or more widely known. Search for booking tips that work for your circumstances.
The more flexible you are with your dates, the better chance you have of getting the prices down. For example, find out which days of the week are cheapest to fly on and always check if you are eligible for any discounts.
Chose few companies and compare their prices and what is included in them. It is important to compare apple to apple, so do not forget to add all taxes, fees and surcharges if they are not included in the price.
When you have made your booking forget about it. Do not get frustrated if the price goes down or you find better price later elsewhere. What is done is done. Put it behind you until the next time you are travelling then use what you learned to help you find even lower prices.
3. Travel clothes and travel gear
You of course do not need to wear special clothes and gear when travelling. However, there is a good reason why special travel wear and gear is so popular.
Travel clothes are designed for comfort and convenience, they are light, they dry quickly, they wrinkle less... they are just perfect for travelling. Special travel gear can make your journey so much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Actually, after you get used to travel clothes it is somewhat difficult to understand why not everyone is wearing them all the time. They are just so comfortable and practical. We use our travel clothes all the time, well not ALL the time but we use them a lot even when not travelling.
4. Packing for a trip
Whatever you prefer or have to pack light or not always pack smartly. Divide your luggage into what you must take with you and what you would like to take. Start with packing the must items and then pack the rest if you have enough space left.
Be careful not to exceed the luggage allowance, it can be costly. Airlines are getting increasingly strict about their luggage allowances so always check them prior to travelling. There is though no obligation not to use your luggage allowance - packing light is not for everyone, or every trip.
Use the space you have wisely. Use the bundle wrapping method or the rolling method rather than the folding method when packing your clothes. Consider using packing organisation systems, like packing cubes and folders. They save space and keep your luggage organised.
5. Open Mind
Be open minded. People travel for different reasons. Some just want to enjoy themselves while others want to learn new things and expand their horizon. Whatever your reason, you should always travel with an open mind and pack lot of patience.
Some things will be different from what you are used to. Not necessarily better or worse - just different. Instead of letting it bother you, try to embrace the difference. It would not be much point in travelling if everything was just like home.
Show common sense around strangers, be alert and do not take any unnecessary risks. However, do not assume all strangers are dangerous or you will lose out. Meeting and talking to local people adds important flavour to any trip. Most local people enjoy talking to visitors of their country I am sure you do too.
6. Make travel budget and follow it in principle
We tend to concentrate on the cost of getting to our travel destinations and staying there like flight and accommodation. Sometimes we overlook how much we spend during our travels, or even before we go anywhere (like car parking at the airport).
Making a travel budget will save you money that is if you follow it. Keep track of what you are spending while travelling and make sure you do not exceed your overall budget. Follow your budget in principle, not too strictly, that will spoil your enjoyment. Make sure your budget has enough contingency for unforeseen fun things to do or see.
7. Keep Travel Journal
Most people tend to forget things quickly, so keeping a travel journal is a good idea. You will enjoy reading it in the years to come. You can of course use pen and paper but modern technology can make keeping travel journal easier and more fun than ever. You can add photos and share your experience with your family and friends, or even with like-minded strangers.
Travel blogs are growing in popularity, both in writing and reading them. We that love to travel usually love to follow other people travelling.
8. Bring a good camera
Always take a good camera with you. You cannot buy memories, but good photos will help you to store those you have.
If you are concerned about your camera being stolen, then make sure it is adequately insured and use discreet camera bag for it but do not leave it at home. The likelihood is you will always regret doing so.