Travel Tips

Whether you’re an experienced traveler or just beginning to explore the world, you’ll find valuable travel tips and information here. Not just how to’s, but practical, real world travel tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

Notify neighbors when you are leaving and how long you’ll be gone. Put your valuables in the bank. Suspend all deliveries. This includes having the post office hold all your mail, stopping newspapers, and so on. Leave your key with a neighbor and set up automatic timers. These turn your lights off and on and plat the TV or radio. Disconnect electric appliances and computers. Turn down the thermostat. Clean out the refrigerator. Check your window and door locks.

Arrange for the care of your house, lawn, garden, and plants. Well-kept grounds give the impression that somebody’s home. Ask a friend or neighbor to make periodic checks of your house, or consider employing a house-sitting service.

Reconfirm your reservations before you leave. When reconfirming or making any arrangements, get the name of the person at the other end of the line. This lends weight to your claim if there is any mix-up.

Check with your travel agent to determine how far ahead of time you should arrive at the airport. These recommendations change from time to time, depending on the security level in place at the time of your trip.

Leave an itinerary with your friends, relatives, neighbors, or coworkers, so that they’ll know where you can be reached in case an emergency arises.

If an airline loses your luggage, complete the “lost baggage” report with the airline responsible for the loss, regardless of any inconvenience. Leave your itinerary with the airline, so that when your luggage is found it can be returned to you wherever you are. Keep receipts for any items you may have had to purchase while your bags were missing, to make it easier to recover losses from the airline.

Also, check your bags carefully for damaged or missing items before leaving the airport. The airline may not honor your claim once you’ve left the facility.

When you arrive at your hotel, get a map of the city with your hotel location clearly marked, as well as a card with the name and address and phone number of your hotel. It makes life much easier to be able to hand over a legible piece of paper to a taxi driver or someone giving you directions. This is especially important in countries where the alphabet is totally different from ours. Also, get a map of the bus and subway lines. You should also ask the concierge to explain the local public transportation system, and for advice on reasonable charges for taxis.

The front desk of better hotels often have amenities you may need – irons, hair dryers, voltage converters, etc., or some toiletry items you may have forgotten.

When visiting a foreign country, no matter how widely English is spoken, it’s a good idea to try to learn a few words in the local language, such as “Please” and “thank you”, “Good morning”, “Good-bye” etc. Take a phrase book along and make the effort to learn a few words. It’s good diplomacy!