Whether you’re traveling in the next few weeks or planning a vacation trip, it’s always a good time for travel advice.
Of course, you can find cheap plane tickets, but you will have to pay many additional costs if you are not aware. Luckily, most airlines still allow one free carry-on bag. The way to win this game is to make the most of that free bag by using the sit-and-zip packing method to create more room in your suitcase.
Get a stack of gallon-sized zipper bags. Take a piece of clothing and fold it lengthwise. Roll it tight like a tube. Put it in a zipper bag. Do not close the zipper. Instead, place the open bag on a chair or bed and sit firmly on it to expel the air. While he is still seated, close the bag with a zipper. Note: This works best for clothes that don’t wrinkle – synthetics like nylon, polyester, and rayon.
Imagine your luggage as a bag of groceries. Whether you have a rolling suitcase or a duffel bag, the weight should be evenly distributed so it doesn’t get too heavy. This is why larger items such as shoes should be stored in the bottom corners and sides of luggage.
User review sites have changed the way most people plan their travels, giving us an extremely useful tool for rating hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and more. Tripadvisor is the big kahuna, with over 250 million honest reviews, mostly of hotels, with those of less traditional accommodations like bed and breakfasts, villas, and private homes, as well as restaurants and attractions.
Traveling by bus is no longer as uncivil as it once was. So before you rush out to book a flight or train for short trips, check out the local bus service. Buses these days are often new and clean, with unexpected perks like free Wi-Fi and access to outlets, for starters. And no funky bus smell.
You will be redirected to dozens of third-party agents like Booking.com and Expedia when looking for low rates and hotel rooms. Great. Learn all you can, and if you come across a deal you’re ready to book, head straight to the airline or hotel website and book direct. Why? Let’s say your flight is cancelled. When you’re queuing to rebook using your existing ticket, you’ll be so angry when that airline’s booking agent tells you to call that third party because the airline has no obligation to board you on the next flight. I went there, I regretted it – horribly. And get a refund from that third party after being forced to buy a new ticket? Good luck.
There’s no benefit to keeping frequent flyer miles, because there’s no way of knowing if they’ll be worth anything down the road. While all airlines seem to have a “life of the program” exit strategy (they can kill the program at any time), miles generally expire within 18 months – although this time frame can be extended if you maintain your active account, either on the plane or using an airline reward credit card linked to your account. So get a free flight or golf clubs, electronics, magazines or whatever the airline lets you redeem miles while you can.
This travel tip should actually be first on the list. A good set of earplugs muffles the sounds of crying babies, drunk Aussies, barking dogs, honking horns and more – a traveler’s best friend. An eye mask will help alleviate jet lag as you adjust to a new time zone, on board and upon arrival.
If you want to see the areas of the city where real people live and work, go visit them on foot, without knowing exactly where you are going. Write down the name of your hotel and ask reception about areas of town to avoid. You never know what amazing things you will find around the corner. You can take a taxi if necessary. Just choose a direction and start walking.
Bring your own everything! It’s safer than putting yourself at the mercy of the airline. Bring a travel pillow, blanket or sweater and headphones – and, of course, food. Although the onboard selections are questionable, assume the quality will be poor.
Patience is my best travel tip. Don’t sweat what you can’t control. Life is far too short to travel angry and bored. Missed your flight? No worries, there will be another one. ATM running out of cash? Great! Take an unplanned road trip to the nearby town to find another machine. Call it an unplanned adventure. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could be worse.