This image is from here.
Here are a few ideas to make travel a little easier. Travel should be life broadening and you should make it as simple as possible for yourself.
1. You will probably not need all that you pack. It is better to pack much lighter and limit yourself to the essential. There is no need to cram your case before you leave with everything under the sun. Think about how many days you will be away for and pack accordingly. Taking some travel wash can allow you to pack less.
2. Take your time at the airport. Allow yourself plenty of time but don’t rush through the different stages. It is not worth dashing through check in, running through customs and then checking the departures every thirty seconds until it says ‘go to gate’. Try to relax and have a coffee and read a bit. Be aware but don’t panic.
3. Have a clear see through folder to put all your essential paperwork in. Ask yourself, do you need a paper version e.g travel insurance or do you have it on your email stored on a gadget you are carrying with you. The folder is easy to find, you can see what is in it and you can keep everything in one place. Another approach is to put everything important into the casing of something you will never want to lose e.g laptop skin.
Typical items might include
- Visa information
- Travel insurance
- Car park details
- Hotel confirmation – they don’t tend to ask for this these days and just want your passport and grab details from there.
4. If you can afford the time spend 15 minutes away from the people you are with so you can have time to look where you want and can relax for a short while in your own time. Other people can add to the stress of the ‘airport experience’.
5. If you can afford it you may be better organising a meet and greet service from departures. This great little service will take your car away from you as you leave and have it waiting for you as you arrive. This takes the stress of parking yourself about 10 miles away from the terminal and then finding it again when you come back. If you book early enough online it is often not much more expensive. There are many companies that offer this type of service.
6. It is better not to use a guide book if you can avoid it. If you are visiting a city for the first time then the most obvious way of knowing what to see is to use a guide bought from a massive choice at your local book store. Although this will give you lots of information ( most that you won’t need) it is better just to walk around curiously and see what you see. Use the tourist information and ask ” what are the best things to do”. There are often little leaflets that will tell you for free what to do. You can sometimes find a timeline telling you what to do morning, afternoon and night. In my experience guide books can add problems, cause disappointment and are usually redundant once you get there.
7. Avoid set meals in restaurants. It is better to go somewhere to eat off the beaten track and not on the tourist trail. Eat where the locals eat and choose just a main course but a good quality one instead of ore prepared set menus.
8. Think about the number of digital photographs you will take. Taking photos is a great way of capturing the moment and keeping those memories forever. Digital cameras allow us take what it feels like limitless photos many of which we will not look at. Set yourself a limit of ten a day and stick to it. This will make you think carefully how many you take. If you do take more then simply delete until you are left with the ten best ones. Think about how many people shots versus scenery shots you will take. Think about where your old photos are now. Are they still on the camera you are using? Are they in a folder that you never look at. Try to do something useful with them that are useful to you. Don’t assume that everyone else will be interested in other peoples photographs. Think about how you feel when looking at others photographs.
9. An open top tour bus can be a good and cheap way of seeing a lot. The tickets usually allow you to hop on and hop off all day taking you from one sight to another. You may not want to get of much but just admire the views.
10. Hiring a bike is a great way of exploring and feel as though you are keeping fit too. There is usually the option to simply hire yourself or have a guide tour with someone leading.
11. It’s a good idea to buy a currency converter app for your smart phone or gadget. It is really useful to be able to work out how much things cost quickly and easily. There are many ones available both free and at a small cost. Choose one which doesn’t require you to be online to use. Most apps will find the most up to date currency rate so you don’t have too.
12. You don’t need to take as much money with you as you think. Cash machines will offer a better rate than you can get at home and there will be plenty of them.
13. Hiring a car may add considerably to the stress of the holiday, especially for the driver. Think about alternatives such as organised trips. You do not have to go through the tour operators but got through the many other that you will see as you walk.
14. Don’t get obsessed with other peoples reviews on sites such as trip advisor and other sites. Go and see for yourself and don’t got with any preconceived ideas.
Any more ideas?