My favorite travel tip is to make sure you have enough resources incase travel is delayed by a few days. We were driving home from AZ to Iowa this Christmas and our car broke down. We were stranded (Mom Dad. 9 year old and 18 month old) for 5 extra days until we could get our car fixed.Luckily we had the resources to make it through, until we finally got home.
I agree! I usually do my research on Trip Advisor and create daily itineraries, leaving a few extra hours in a day to account for delays or extra time spent. Also, i generally leave a spare day towards the end of the vacation to account for any spill over from the previous days. This way, I am not rushing from one spot to another and don't need a vacation from the vacation!
My best travel tip when traveling international, exchange plenty of cash BEFORE you leave the USA. I bank at a major US bank and order my foreign currency online on my bank's website, the money comes right out of my account and it's shipped directly to the bank and I pick it up there. There's a nominal fee, $10.00 or so and the money is exchanged at the current bank rate. It's easy, fast and very convenient. Plus, they will take the foreign currency back (minus coins of course) and redeposit back into your bank account. I love this service because exchanging money at the airport or in a foreign country can be costly and a hassle.
My favorite travel trip is to buy some type of scented lotion or cologne while I'm on vacation. Then after I'm home, and I put some on, it's like I'm right back to that vacation! My second fav travel trip is to check out all the port webcams when I don't have a cruise booked to appease (slightly) my fix.
As I sit here enjoying my Fuller's London Pride reminding me of taking the bus (when the tube was being repaired) past their brewery in Chiswick and of the great times had in London; I definitely concur with your suggestion of bringing back a memory - and it works. I often sample the local beers and then try to locate them at Total Beverage or some other similar store, the same with candy. Now, if I could only figure out a way to bring back waffles.
You are in good company. I recorded "it's a small world" the last I went to Disneyland. I play it to put myself closer to fun vacation memories. I constantly log into the Carnival website (or Vacations to Go website) to look at the possible "deals" waiting for me to take advantage of. I love vacation!!
This may have already been mentioned, but if you check your luggage for goodness sake do NOT put your car keys in the bag or any medicine you need. Pretty much common sense however; I know of a person or two that have for some reason put both keys and medication in their checked luggage only to find out their luggage went someplace they were not.
Same thing happened to someone I know. Would you put your high blood pressure meds in the hold luggage and not get it for 2 days because personal luggage was held back on another continent in favour of freight? No, neither would I. It doesn't matter whether I am on a plane or a train or a bus; any journey where my main luggage is out of sight I do exactly the same. I have a small hard shell case I keep with me (cabin baggage size) that everything of value and all meds go in. To me it is common sense, but I agree Iahflyer, lots of people don't seem to think logically when it comes to packing.
Another one of our (rather OCD) tips is this. We used to pack far too much - "just in case". Now Mrs Tommo makes a list of the main items of clothing (especialy shoes ) we need each day depending on what we are doing, adds a couple of spares of tops, shirts etc and that is what we go with. Our packing has decreased by more than a third which is so much better when it comes to packing, carrying, unpacking at destination, packing again to leave, carrying, unpacking again when we are back home.
Travel with a fat orange three prong three outlet splitter, like this: Leviton Triple Tap ...
When you wind up in a hotel with only one outlet at the desk, this is helpful. When you wind up in an airport gate area with only a couple outlets which are already being used, this is helpful. When you are in an international hotel with only one American outlet, this is useful. I use this almost every trip. It's small, easy to put in a purse or computer bag, inexpensive and durable. Make sure you get orange or yellow so you won't easily leave it plugged in an outlet. Get the heavy duty one so that it withstands travel.
My top travel tips are:
1) pack a small bag of the common medicines you would have at home. For example, I have in my travel bag a small set of Tylenol, Advil, allergy/sinus meds, tums, Imodium, Dramamine, band-aids and cough drops. These have been life savers both on planes and while traveling by other means both domestically and abroad. The last place you want to need one of these is on a plane
2) Another is that I have a small carabiner clipped to my backpack. This thing has been great in so many ways. I've used it to clip on bags from shopping in the airport or other places to free up my hands. I've used it to hang my bag from the closet in a hotel and at times to clip my bag to my belt as an added level of security wondering in new cities.
3) compile a list of names, numbers, copies of itineraries and other trip information. Print a copy to take with you and email yourself a copy of it. If you are traveling internationally, take a picture of your passport and email it to yourself and someone you trust. If your passport is ever lost or stolen this will make your day a bit easier. Having all of the information easily accessible can also save you from searching through various emails to find while away.
4) If you have a smart phone, load the app(s) for the travel companies you are using while away. The airline, rental car and hotels almost all have apps these days. These can help you confirm details, notify you of changes and give you ready access to ways to contact them in case you need to do so.
5) If you are traveling and need to do expenses, take pictures of your receipts when you get them. It will help later in case you lose one or if they fade beyond being readable.
These are very helpful and good suggestions!
#3, is very good, and one I have never done, but will! Having copies of these things could really help a person out, in a time of need. Likewise, you can either erase, or save for the next trip if you like!
Travel well, my friend!
I make sure my bag is big enough to bring back purchases. I prefer to go with extra luggage space than not enough for the trip home. When I traveled frequently I left many of my travel items in my suitcase. Even though I prefer to use the hotel toiletries I started keeping one of each with me in case I ended up in a hotel where I could not stand the scent of the products. Love that Residence Inns and Courtyards always have toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Don't know if this has been said before, but I always put an piece of paper with my name, address, email address and telephone number on top of everything in the case before locking it. Then if it does go missing, at least there is proof it is yours, and the authorities can contact you if they have to break a lock when it ends up on the other side of the world to your destination!
Just glanced over a lot of these and many good tips. Some of these may have been mentioned but here are mine:
1. I NEVER check a bag. Many years ago I thought that would be impossible but I've learned to pack very lightly, even on business trips I can get by with one black or brown suit and different tops.
2. I ALWAYS pack snacks, typically they include crackers like Wheat Thins, raw almonds, little Dove bars, raw carrots, maybe a Luna Bar or even a small sandwich. Even when my upgrade to first class clears there are some flights where the snacks are few and I don't want to spend a lot of money in an airport for a snack. When I pack my own at least I know what I'm getting.
3. I ALWAYS have a contingency plan where flights are concerned. I look at the flights before and after mine, the number of seats available, etc. If my flight gets delayed or canceled I've found if I call my carrier and request a certain flight I'm much more likely to get it than wait for them to rebook me. Even if the flight goes but is late and I might miss my connection I call my carrier and ask to be "protected" on a certain flight. Don't wait for them to call. Same thing goes for standing by for earlier flight; know the flights and the number of seats available.
4. I'm sure those of you that fly a lot know this but I always check to see the status of the incoming flight and where it is currently at. I HATE it when my carrier posts an on-time departure at 3 PM, it is 2:50 PM and the plane hasn't even departed the airport it is coming from and it is a one or two hour flight. To me that is THE most irritating thing about flying.
5. I have doubles of make-up, toothbrush, non-prescription pills like Tylenol, etc., always have that stuff in one small bag and never take anything out, then I just grab that bag and it goes in my carry-on.
6. I ALWAYS make a list and check everything off before I leave and believe it or not I've never forgotten anything I couldn't get along without.
7. And sign up for TSA pre-check if you can. It is the BEST thing ever.
Respect on the no checked bag insidenji! I used to travel extensively for business, but that was in the UK, so I did not fly. I had my company car. But even so I could never have managed one bag the size of which would be cabin luggage.
I have 2 words on that score. Ladies Shoes!
I agree with you about clothes though. When I was away for most of the week, I used to have a "black or blue" week. I had classic business suits that had a jacket, skirt and trousers. I used to take the black one or the blue one, another bright coloured jacket, and with a few tops had several outfits. I always used to say that as I went to a different place every week, none of the people I had to deal with knew me, so it was a new wardrobe every week. No-one knew I was wearing clothes I had had for years!
I used to do the same as you for toiletries etc. It saved masses of times to have the bag of duplicates of everything that I could just pack.
- Learn how to put your manual transmission car in reverse before you leave the rental office
- Photocopy both sides of your credit cards and email to yourself in case of theft. The reverse side contains the contact info for your issuing bank in case of lose or theft. Also, photocopy the info page of your passport and email to yourself for the same reasons.
- I also put a business card inside my luggage so if it doesn't accompany me on my trip, it can find me. ;-)
- Use Magellan's Retrieval Tags - when your bags go missing the tag tells airline employees in 8 languages that your itinerary is inside so they know where you are when and can forward your luggage accordingly.
- Use your GPS in pedestrian mode to get to your destinations within a town/city
- Take a photo of the street signs at the intersection where you parked your rental car so you can find your way back (either by your GPS or showing the pic to a local!)
I had to laugh at that one jerrycoin. Why? Cos I had to think what on earth you meant by a stick shift. Then I realised. In the UK we call cars where the driver actually has to change gear "manual". Personally, I drive an automatic, but there are many, many more manual cars in the UK than automatics.
Who was it who said "Two countries divided by the same language"?
Well I went totally against your advise in Cayman, rented a manual transmission vehicle and also drove on the wrong side of the road from what us U.S. folks are used to. Only issue I had was when I went to turn on the turn signal the windshield wipers went on as they were switched sides on the steering column.
Reading through all the excellent tips in this thread got me thinking. There are so many useful things I hadn't thought of, perhaps I need to make a list of them for future travel. Then I realised the list would be so long it would take me hours and hours just to make sure I had covered them all!
Which just goes to show that travel may be an absolute joy, but it is also full of potential pitfalls and hassle too!
Another travel tip if you are going through Schiphol (AMS). Besides the usual stuff, they make you take out all your cords and electronics (I have lately been asked to remove cameras and curling irons as well). The latter can simply be put in an accessible point in your luggage, but digging around for cords and chargers is another matter. I take along a big ziploc that can hold chargers for my American and British cell phones and my tablet. It's a lot less hassle.
I or someone else may already have suggested this, but especially if you have elite status (because they will pay more attention to you) have your airline call number for them on your phone contacts. If you think you are going to miss a connection, call them as soon as the plane is off the active runway. I rarely check luggage (and when I do things always go wrong), but once when I figured I could make the connection by running I did. Delta, however, assumed I couldn't and had changed me to another flight. I made it though my suitcase did not.
Bring a Mophie or other portable charging device. The one place your cell phone will ALWAYS die is in the airport, when every single plug is taken. I will not travel without my Mophie powerstation (PRODUCT) RED
Definitely agree with this one. I also carry a small power strip with me for such things. You never know when you'll need a plug and not find any open. I used to carry a small 6 plug one from Monster cable where the cord was designed to fold over itself and plug into an outlet making it very compact. Now I carry one I got from some AA Citicards event at an Admirals club. Has 3 plugs,fits in the palm of your hand Has saved me countless times
I live by the following travel rules (for business travel):
favorite travel tip:
1) there are many duffel bags that fold into a pouch and these are very convenient to bring with you
2) stop by a local library - no matter what city I am in I always try to stop into the local library. You get to check out local authors, talk to the local librarians or other locals, and most of them have free wi-fi
3) if you do not want to stand out as a tourist, hide your map inside a book. Whenever you are looking at your map, people will think you are just reading.
4) always have an e-copy of your passport, itinerary, hotel details, and ff#'s with you both available online as well as offline
5) if you are in a country that speaks a different language, ask the hotel to write 'please take me to this hotel' in the local language. That way it will be easier to give to the cab driver or bus and you have the hotel's information with you.