Don’t let the recent problems at United ruin your travel plans. Yes, seeing a passenger physically pulled off a plane against their will is disturbing, the statistical probability of running into a major issue in your travels is extremely low. Sure, United had a few issues recently like in October when they had a system wide computer glitch that grounded flights across the country, or in February when one of their pilots boarded the plane in civilian clothes and made political statements over the intercom before finally being removed from the plane, but when you consider there are over 8.5 million flights per year with only a few incidents, you have to say the industry’s track record is actually pretty good.
If you’re like me, you won’t let a little bad press stop you from fulfilling your travel passion. Here are a few travel tips on how to maximize your experience for your next trip.
Back in the day whenever you visited a new part of the world you needed to hire a local tour guide or rely on outdated city guides. Now, with information so easily accessible you can research everything you could possibly want to know from the comfort of your couch. The more homework you do before your trip the more time free time you’ll have, at minimum research where to stay, where to eat, places to avoid, and the absolute must see’s. Take your time when booking online and check around online for travel coupons and setup airfare monitoring alerts well in advance of your trip to book early and save money.
Lodging will always be heavily weighted towards personal preference, but keep in mind the choice you make could have a significant impact on the success of your overall trip. Always cross reference on a map your lodging options against the sites you want to visit. In an ideal situation you’d be in the middle of everything you want to see. Once you’ve chosen a few options, read the reviews and get a better understanding of the amenities. For me, I look for good Wi-Fi so I can stay connected, a gym so I can squeeze in a workout, and a good bar/restaurant where I can grab a nightcap at the end of a long day of exploring. Keep in mind a cheaper price per night doesn’t mean you’ll actually spend less, for example if there’s an option a few miles outside town that’s $80 per night cheaper but you spend $100/day in cab fares to get back into town then you were better offer just staying in town.
Sure, your research will give you a most of the information you need, but nothing will ever compare to the knowledge of the locals. Don’t be shy, open up some dialogue, they will usually point you in the right direction and expose you to hidden gems that other travelers will never get to see. Make new friends and trade phone numbers so you can stay in touch. A little known fact: you don’t have to pay crazy roaming charges while abroad if you use a digital phone service. If not, use one of these before you embark.
The world can be a dangerous place and almost anywhere you travel has at least one area that’s considered dangerous. Hopefully you’ve identified this during your pre-travel research but if you didn’t then ask your hotel and the locals as soon as you arrive. Also, notice that I mentioned good Wi-Fi and not a business center as one of the amenities I look for, as business centers are commonly targeted by cybercriminals that utilize key logging software to steal your information.
Sure it’s nice to grab a t-shirt from your travels but that eventually wears out and gets forgotten. If you travel a lot it’s nice to bring something back that you’ll have for a long time and maybe even for generations. I personally collect Christmas ornaments which make decorating the tree every year a trip down memory lane. Some other notable collectibles are shot glasses, pins, jewelry, plates, artwork, snow globes, limoges boxes and other knickknacks. Obviously, your available space at home will determine what souvenir you collect but as long as it’s something personal you can’t go wrong.
Article Submitted By Community Writer