Vacationing and Travelling Frequently Asked Questions and Travel Tips
As we receive stories and advice from our readers, we will be pulling out the best advice we can and placing it here to help people get the very most out of their travel activites. Whether it's a list of things to avoid or a list of things to do (likely it will be both), this is the place to check when you are planning a vacation or holiday and need to make sure you have thought of everything.
There are few things more annoying then forgetting that crucial item or missing a certain show or activity that the place you are visiting is famous for. Be sure to visit us for best travel tips and to find answers to common questions often ask.
Also, if you have suggestions for the readers, or care to ask a question, or see there is something we are missing, we would love to hear from you.
To breeze through the security gate when travelling internationally I suggest that you bring a carry on bag where you keep all of your metal objects. Before going through security, insure that you have removed your change from your wallet. Remove your belt, ear rings, necklaces, broaches, and or other jewelry. Place them in your carry on bag for safe keeping. If you have a laptop, take it out of the bag an place it in the security tray separately. Do not bring liquids or fresh food snacks as you will most likely have to throw them out and answer additional questions. If you are like me and carry a multi tool or knife, be sure to leave it at home, or check it into your luggage as they will be confiscated if you try to pass security. Be corporative, keep in mind that airport security is only trying to keep everyone, including you, safe.
For long flights, I suggest that you do not drink too many liquids before you leave. There is nothing worse than the pilot turning on the seatbelt sign because of unexpected turbulence when you really have to go. This can be very uncomfortable and start a vacation off poorly.
Bring a snack. Airplane food is not very good at the best of times and now with pay for à la carte meal services on most airlines it is best to bring something you like. Chose your snacks wisely, be aware that fresh fruits and vegetables may be confiscated at either boarding or departure. Things like crackers, chips, packaged nuts are a pretty safe bet. If the food you bring is from a recognized brand you will be all right.
When booking a vacation package make sure you ask if all fees are paid. We booked a package with Vegas.com only to find out that we had to pay more for our checked baggage at the air port and then we discovered that the hotel room had additional fees that needed to be paid when we arrived at the hotel. If you are traveling on a tight budget make sure you check if all fees are paid. The lowest price isn't always the best price. Do your research! Get it in writing!
Before stepping up to the customs counter, make sure you have your travel documents including your id ready for inspection. Make sure you declare all necessary items including cash and trade items.
Before talking with a customs agent make sure you know all your travel details, just in case they decide to quiz you. If you can't remember which hotel you are staying at, or the airline you are taking you could be detained longer than you wish.
When preparing for a trip, I setup a carry on bag the night before my flight to store all of my pertinent documents. I make sure that I have my passport, id, ticket information and itinerary in a secure pouch that I can get to easily when needed. If you put all important documents in this travel bag, you only have to remember to bring one item with you.
Selecting a hotel isn't always about price. Do some research before you book your hotel. Be sure to check on the hotels reputation and read a few reviews. Reviews from fellow travelers can help you avoid accommodations that sounded nice in print.
Get direct flights where possible. I find that the chances of luggage being lost is greatly reduced when you fly directly to your destination. If you cannot book a direct flight, be sure to give yourself enough time to catch the connecting flight. Some airports like O'Hare International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport can take some time to travel. Don't miss your connecting flight because you figure you can get to the connecting flight in 30 minutes because you probably will not make it. Reduce your stress, plan to at least an hour before connecting flights, your heart will appreciate it.
You may think you are funny. In fact everyone you know may think that you are the best comedian in the world. Under no circumstances joke about being a terrorist or joke that the airplane doesn't look safe. Your joke just may end up allowing you to become intimate with airport security. Even if you avoid the pleasure of a cavity search, your flippant remark may spark some unnecessary anxiety from a fellow traveler. Having your airplane debarked or delayed while you are searched or tossed off the flight is inconvenient for everyone. Just don't do it.
For the biggest savings on airfare, travel on Sunday. Most airlines offer discounts for Sunday as they are typically quieter.
Travel light. If you can manage it, have all your cloths in your carry on! If you can avoid the baggage claim carrousel you can save a ton of time.
Arrive early at the airport. Give yourself at least 50 minutes for a domestic flight and at least 90 minutes for an international flight. The more time you can give yourself the less stressful your travel will be.