Planning a trip abroad? It’s not quite like planning a picnic. There are a lot of ins and outs to consider when planning any long distance trip. As a home-based travel agent, I’ve put together a list of some of the most important traveler’s tips that I’ve garnered over the years specializing in this field, both from personal experience as well as from some of my best clients.
Less Baggage, More Comfort
By choosing to take less luggage you can effectively minimize a great deal of the stress and strain associated with long distance traveling. Not only will you travel much easier by having less luggage to tow around, you also will not incur luggage check-in fees, as well as travel faster by saving yourself from having to wait to clear any baggage.
Think Outside the Book
Guidebooks are often a necessity when long distance traveling, though they can often take up needed space, as well as add a fair amount of unnecessary weight. Rather, consider photocopying or digitizing only the few pages you may have need of on your trip.
Clothing That Offers More
By choosing the right garment in which to travel could make the difference between a pleasant or unpleasant trip. Remember, despite just how spacious your chosen transportation may be, you will most likely be thrust into an overly bright compartment along with noisy fellow travelers. In my experience, a hooded top just may grant you an ample retreat from many of these types of discomforting distractions.
While long distance traveling, the ability for you to sleep or, at the very least rest comfortably soon becomes detrimentally invaluable. Bringing along ear plugs for use in perpetually noisy environments such as planes, buses, or even hotel rooms, can effectively minimize any sonic distractions that would otherwise have kept you from your much needed rest.
Don’t Assume You Can Do Without the Internet
Though you may, or may not consider it of terrible importance before leaving on your trip, the need to access the Internet while away will very soon become a most pressing matter. The need and ability to check emails, bank accounts, social networks, just to name a few, while far from home will present itself sooner or later. From my personal experience working in a travel agency, these days, taking along a WiFi enabled device on your trip is an indispensable option. Freely available WiFi services are available in countries the world round. The other option would be to seek out an Internet cafe, which are dwindling in availability world round as less and less people have need for such public services.
Long gone are the days of the traveler’s cheques. I have always advised against their use in favor of shopping around for the best exchange rate for your green. If you do quite a bit of traveling, my professional advise to you is to seek out a credit or debit card that doesn’t charge for purchases made abroad.
I’ve done a fair amount of familiarization trips in my prior profession as a travel agent, to various Caribbean countries, some of which were and still remain 3rd world countries. Even in visiting those countries, where the main public roads are still mainly populated with donkey-carts, horse carriages, and bicycles, never have I had much difficulty locating an ATM machine with support for my US bank based credit or debit card. For the sake of safety, I have always advised my clients against carrying more cash than necessity would require.
Take Your Time on Your Trip
Finally, if I may just interject a bit of a personal suggestion by advising anyone seeking to travel to slow down and take it all in. Many of my clients, who have become close friends of mine have often come back just to thank me for that one small bit of guidance. To me, the very definition of a wasted trip is one wherein you attempt to arrive at your planned destination just as quickly as you possibly can. Take my advice, and take your time to travel. Not only will you feel safer and more secure, but you just may have a much fuller and rewarding experience.