There are many important decisions to make when traveling such as which country to visit and how much you want to spend. It’s not just the big picture that makes a trip more enjoyable and less stressful. Here are 10 clever and simple tips that will make your next vacation more enjoyable.
1. Parking with your car nose out
It’s easy to forget to turn on the interior lights in the rush to get to the bus stop. I think more people have lost their batteries at airports than any other place.
You should not return to your car with a dead battery or broken windows from theft.
2. Take the time to do your economy.
Airports are constantly expanding and need more parking spaces. These spaces are more often found in off-airport parking lots. These lots will also be significantly cheaper than other lots. These lots are a great choice for budget-minded travelers, especially if you plan to travel for several days and need to pay parking fees. These are also the last available lots; if you fly during peak travel times, you might have to use these faraway lots. Although buses and monorails are available to these parking lots regularly, I find that I take up to 20-30 minutes longer than in more remote areas. You can save money or travel on a major holiday weekend by taking extra time to get to the terminal.
3. You can keep essentials with you in your bag.
According to recent statistics, at least one bag per flight is lost or delayed . You should always bring your essentials with you. This applies especially to items that cannot be easily or cheaply replaced, such a pair of running shoes or a raincoat. You’ll be able to get through airport security quicker if your carry-on is packed more efficiently. You can pack your quart-sized plastic bag with liquids or gels in an outer pouch or near the top of your bag to make it easier for you to pull it out at screening. For more information, see Packing Tips or What to Pack.
4. Find out more about your hotel.
You will need to know the contact information of your hotel in case your luggage is lost or delayed, if you miss your connection or are late checking in, or c), if you are traveling to a new destination. Print out the name, address, and phone number of the hotel before you leave. Then program it into your phone. You can also print a map of your hotel’s surroundings to use for your own reference or to give to a confused taxi driver.
5. You can take old currency with.
It can be difficult to exchange foreign currency once you have returned home, especially as almost no one ever spends time in a bank these days. What else is there to do but have so much fun money? You should always take any foreign currency with you when you travel internationally. You can then exchange your money with any country you choose when you receive local currency.
6. You can save your boarding ticket.
Are you someone who throws away your boarding passes as soon as you get off the plane? This is something you might consider. If your airline doesn’t give you frequent flier credit, your boarding pass can be used as proof of travel. This is especially true if you fly on codeshare partners of the airline. If you are self-employed, your boarding pass may also serve as a receipt for tax purposes.
7. Learn when to use and when to skim the skycaps.
Skycap upside: Check-in at the curb and then you can leave your bulky luggage behind. You’ll be able to head straight to your gate.
Skycaps have a downside: They won’t assign you a seat and they charge a small fee. Skycaps are often not paid full wages and rely on tips to survive.
When is the best time to use skycaps and when should you avoid them?
Skycaps can help you get on a plane if you are running late. Even if your bag is really tight, it’s unlikely that it will be allowed on the plane. However, I have seen skycaps work almost miracles in this area. This is how I do it: I go into the terminal, look at the check-in line and the clock. If I don’t have to wait too long and have enough time, then I go for check-in. I will assign your seats, make any special requests, credit frequent flier miles, and address any issues with the flight, such as cancellations or delays.
If the line is too long or time is short, I will walk back to the skycaps and tip them well before sprinting for the gate. Although your bags might not move as fast as yours, the skycaps will. Another scenario is that you have plenty time but your flight is almost full and the line is very long. Each minute that you wait in line means another minute when the aisle and window seats are gone. You’ll find that the queue at the gate is shorter than at check in, so you’ll be able to get your seat assignment faster.
8. You should get your seat assignments as soon as possible.
As I mentioned above, every minute you go without assigning a seat to your plane is another minute that someone else’s aisle or window seat becomes available. You can check in online up to 24 hours prior to your flight. However, not all airlines and classes of travel allow advance check-in or seating assignments.
9. Make sure to mark your bags with a clearly identifiable item.
No more flower-pattern steamer trunks! We all now buy our bags from the same shops and the same manufacturers. There was an inexorable stream of almost identical bags at the baggage carousel. You can mark your bags with a ribbon, a patch or large sticker. It will be difficult for other passengers to pull your bags from the carousel and check their small name tags. You’ll also be able see your suitcases coming out of the door from far away.
10. Keep track of your flight number.
Although it may seem obvious, knowing your flight number will make your life easier at foreign or small airports that don’t list full names or only list flight numbers.