Essential Travel Tips

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These are hard times economically. You want to get your money’s worth, most especially in things you can live without like traveling. If you must travel on your own dime, it’s imperative that you make every purchase of product or service count. Here are a few ways to make the most out of what you get.

1. Cheaper is rarely better
Traveling in this economic climate is about maximizing your experience while minimizing your costs. You will find, however, that most good things do not come cheaply. As such, a better-than-average hotel charges a higher-than-average price, and that trickles down to the minutest detail of your journey. The trick is making your money count down to the last cent. Keep in mind the cost of each hour of your holiday: Compute the air fare, meals, leisure, hotel, and other potential costs on your trip. Check the cost against the hour and see whether they balance each other or not.

2. Consult trusted travel agents and travel bloggers
Whether you are going to a place for the first time or not, travel agents in the know can offer you sound advice. Travel bloggers can also clue you in on the “road less traveled” path so you end up spending less and enjoying more. Moreover, you can access their online information even while you are already at your destination if you find you didn’t sufficiently prepare beforehand.

3. Take advantage of travel package promos
Travel packages afford you time to plan your itinerary and stick with it. When everything is canned and relatively inexpensive, pre-departure anxieties melt away. Most vacation packages make good on their advertisements, but make sure you get all pertinent details regarding your trip before paying for the package.

4. Take half as many clothes as you think you’ll need and a minimum of two credit cards
Packing fewer clothes is for your convenience so you won’t find yourself toting heavy luggage. The two credit cards help you avoid spending cash on something you do not need to consume right away. So you do not spend more than necessary, withdraw money from an ATM using a bank card. Withdraw the highest amount you can each time so you do not accumulate staggering withdrawal fees over the course of the trip.

5. Bring a cell phone anywhere
Make sure the batteries are always full and that you have enough call credit. In unlikely situations, you cell phone can save your life and others’. However, avoid using your cell phone if you’re traveling abroad just to chat, since roaming fees add up quickly.

6. Don’t pack everything in checked luggage
Now and then you may have to show important documents such as company identification cards or work- and travel-related papers, and it is inconvenient to open your luggage every time you need to access them. Documents, vitamins, and cologne should be kept in your carry-on luggage.

7. Mark your suitcases so they’re easy to spot
When your bag is distinctly different from others, it is much easier to identify. This will save you the trouble of having to rummage through the carousel. With a distinct and bright color, your suitcase is far less likely to be mistaken for someone else’s.

8. Use a collapsible bag
If you buy a lot of small things while traveling, you might find yourself surprised at the bulk it adds to your bag. A collapsible bag allows you more space that you can use as spare luggage to pack everything in on your way back from the trip.

9. Have a back up plan
In case an unforeseen incident changes the course of your itinerary, be prepared with a Plan B. If you lose important documents such that your trip is cut short, have an alternative course of action in place.

10. Watch what you put in your mouth
You don’t want to find yourself needing medical services because of indigestion or diarrhea at the peak of your trip. Nothing can dampen your touring mood more than an upset stomach, so be adventurous with foreign fare but mindful of items that might make you uncomfortable or ill.

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