Travel Tips

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

People who travel come up with innovative ideas for making trips simpler every time they step out of town. Here are a few of their best tips for making your next journey stress-free.

Preparation

  • Decide how you are going to pay for things while you’re travelling. Debit card? Credit card? Traveller’s cheques? Cash? A combination of these? Try to keep your cash to a minimum, since it is most easily stolen. If you opt for a debit card, know your account balance. If you choose a credit card, know your credit limit. And if you would like to user traveller’s cheques, buy them in advance. If you’re travelling out of the country, it also makes sense to convert some cash to the local currency of your destination for your immediate expenses.

  • Know if a passport or visa is necessary in the country you are visiting, and make sure yours is current. Keep a copy of your passport or visa in a safe place away from the actual document, and report loss or theft to local authorities immediately. Also leave a copy of your passport or visa with a trusted friend or relative at home.

  • Pack wisely. Make a packing list and stick to it. If you are staying more than a week, plan to do laundry at least once so that you don’t have to pack as many clothes. Check the weather forecast for your destination and bring clothes to get you through the highs, lows and periods of precipitation. Consider packing/wearing older clothes you can discard or donate before making your return trip home to clear space in your luggage for souvenirs. If you are travelling with others, split your clothing up into various suitcases so that if one bag gets lost, everyone still has clean clothes.

Safety and Security

  • When landing in an airport you are unfamiliar with, take precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

  • Do some homework on the layout of the airport so that you can confidently walk from your arrival gate to baggage claim, and from baggage claim to the taxi stand.

  • Have enough local currency on hand to get you through the day, but keep your wallet and valuables stashed in your carry-on bag or handbag.

  • Once in your hotel room, place your valuables in the safe and be sure to lock it.

  • Never flash large amounts of cash in public places, and be diligent about the safety of your credit or debit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash.

Health Precautions

  • Check your health insurance policy to see which expenses would be covered if you were to be involved in an accident or become ill during your trip. Travel insurance is a smart investment when you are travelling beyond your own province or country. If you are a visitor to Canada, travel insurance is vital as you will not be covered by the national health care program.

  • Find out if any vaccinations are necessary to enter the country you are visiting, and make sure all of your vaccinations are up to date to protect yourself from disease. Note that you may need an International Certificate of Vaccinations, available through your physician, travel agent or the embassy of your destination country.

  • Be careful what you eat and drink, particularly if you are in an unfamiliar country. Drinking another country’s water can make you ill, so stick with carbonated soft drinks and bottled water. Beware of raw foods as well.

Getting Around

  • If you plan to use a rental car, make your reservation prior to your trip, either by Internet or phone. Compare rates and features to get the best deal. Once in the car, stay on well-travelled, well-lit routes. Avoid short cuts and taking directions from strangers.

  • If you plan to use public transportation, do some research before you arrive so that you know which modes of transportation are most efficient, inexpensive, reliable and convenient. Use only officially marked public transit vehicles, locating in transportation hubs.

Sources: alltraveltips.com, Travellerspoint, TravelSense.