12 Smart Tips To Improve Your Traveling Experience

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Like most areas in life, you are not born a savvy traveler; smart travel comes with experience and with making a lot of travel mistakes! Some traveling mishaps can be avoided and some of them are just a part of traveling. You cannot plan for everything, however, keeping a few things in mind will make your travels more enjoyable and make you a better traveler.

Now that things are opening up once again, I want to start booking trips and visiting new places. These smart tips to improve your traveling experience will enable you to save money, sleep better, and be safe.

1. Do Your Research

When you are planning a holiday, you are going to want to find the best deal when it comes to flights and accommodation. The best way to do that is to investigate deals from different travel companies as well as independent travel sites.

When traveling, research can significantly impact your time for the better. Researching prior to setting off can give you deep insights into the area, telling you places to avoid and places that you must go.

When you have settled on a destination, here are some things that you should research:

  • What are the country’s visa requirements?
  • What’s the weather/climate going to be like?
  • Are there any public holidays going on?
  • What is the tipping etiquette?
  • What clothing is culturally appropriate?

As well as being completely relaxed before you even leave, being prepared to travel in advance will make your time in-country a more joyful experience as you will have reduced any potential risks. Here are 5 things you should research when you have chosen a destination:

  • Currency and exchange rates
  • Mode of transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Culture – what is acceptable and what is not

2. Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can give you extra protection if our holiday doesn’t go ahead as planned especially when it comes to the COVID pandemic. It is particularly important to take out travel insurance if you are traveling independently because you may find yourself stranded due to unforeseen traveling problems.

If you are planning to engage in holiday activities such as water sports, it is vital that you check that your insurance policy covers you for activities like diving for example.

3. Make A Packing List

Before your trip, you should make a list of everything you need to pack. Writing a packing list is a great way to stay organised whilst traveling. It is important to write a list so that you do not forget vital travel documents and essentials that you will need. Using a list when you are getting ready to pack can save you time as well as reduce stress.

4. Stay Near Or At The Airport The Night Before

If your funds allow staying overnight either at or near the airport, you’ll start your holiday a little earlier! Instead of rushing to the airport on the day of your flight, you can relax and have a slower start to your day. You will be able to eliminate the stress and worry of being stuck in traffic or missing your train.

5. Take A Credit Card For Emergencies

Disasters can happen. It is always a good idea to have a backup in case you lose your card or even worse, you are robbed. You do not want to be stuck somewhere without access to your funds. It is important that you check your bank when it comes to withdrawing money abroad to ensure that you do not incur any fees. Also, let your card company know that you are traveling and where you are going before you leave. This will enable them to track any fraudulent activity on your account.

6. Take The Correct Plug Adapters

Different countries have different plug sockets, so ensure that you have the right one – do your research! Better still, invest in a universal adapter (covers all sockets worldwide), so that you don’t need to worry. You don’t want your camera, phone, or electric toothbrush to run out of charge!

7. Make Extra Copies Of Your Passport And Important Documents

Don’t forget to email yourself a copy as well. You never know when you might need to have some sort of documentation with you as you may not want to carry the originals. Additionally, if your passport is stolen, having a copy will be helpful for your police report and any trips to the embassy that you may need to make.

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8. Don’t Forget An Extra Camera Battery

You never want to reach for your camera to take a photograph of a memorable moment and realize that your camera battery is dead. By bringing an extra battery, you can always ensure that you have one on charge and you can alternate. That way, you’ll always be ready to capture those favorite moments!

9. Roll Your Clothes!

The best way to prevent creases and make the most of your space is to roll your clothes. Lay tops face down, fold in the sleeves, and roll from the bottom up. For trousers, put the legs together and roll from the waist down. Place your shoes and heavier items in first and place your clothes around them. Alternatively, once you’ve rolled your clothes, put them in packing cubes – another space saver.

10. When You Go Out, Take Only What You Need

You should limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you, so if something does go wrong, you can easily recover.

11. Drink Responsibly

This has to be one of the most important safety tips for travelers. There is nothing wrong with exploring the local nightlife. However, keep in mind that it’s even more important to drink responsibly when abroad. When you are away from home, you are more likely to get lost or end up in a dangerous neighborhood. Keep an eye on your drink at all times and don’t accept any from strangers.

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12. Make Sure That You Know The Phone Number For The Emergency Services

Be sure to look up the emergency services number for your destination, even before you get there. It is also a good idea to look up the number for your home country’s nearest embassy before you leave. Save them in your phone, so you will have easy access to them in the event of an emergency.

What Are Your Travel Tips?

These are my top 12 travel tips to help you have a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free holiday. What is one travel tip you would give? I’d love to hear in the comments.

This post was written by Lauren, Bournemouth Girl. She is a creative and personal development blogger from Bournemouth, England. Lauren is a lover of travel among other things.

Tech That’ll Make Your Road Trips Safer

Ah, technology, is there anything that it can’t do? From helping us to stay in touch with loved ones to keeping us entertained, it’s always there when we need it. And increasingly, that includes when we’re on a road trip, too. There’s a whole host of gadgets — some high-end, some primitive but effective–that we can use to keep ourselves and our families safe on the road.

In this blog, we’ll run through some of the best options, ones that you’ll want to invest in before you set off on your next adventure.

Looking out the front of a car
Pexels – CC0 Licence

Coverage Boosts

Most of the time, being without cell phone coverage is just a little inconvenient. When you’re on a road trip, it can be positively dangerous. If you’re far from civilization and break down, you’ll rely on your cell phone to call for help. If you’re without coverage, then what will you do? You can greatly enhance your coverage range by investing in a cell phone signal booster. This handy device works with many data providers across the world. Plus, it’s handy even when you’re not on a road trip. You’ll use it more than you think!

Staying Warm

One thing that people often forget about the great outdoors: it can get very cold. With minimal shelter, plus altitude changes, it can be freezing cold in nature areas even when it’s warm just an hour away in the city. If you break down, you could find that you’re battling the cold as well as other problems. The solution? A plug-in electric blanket. Just plug it into your care, and you’ll be warm within minutes. It’s much easier to wait for help to come to your rescue when you’re not shivering.

Driving down the road on a road trip

Looking Out The Back

There’s an uncomfortable truth about road trips: they can be dangerous. Rural areas are less regulated than cosmopolitan areas and also have more trucks, which are involved in more accidents. While you can never fully be safe, you can push yourself in the direction of safety by investing in a rearview camera. It could be the difference between a safe journey and having to get in touch with a truck accident attorney. Plus, this handy bit of kit will make you feel like you’re driving a new vehicle, which typically have a rearview camera as standard.

Jump Starts

If your battery dies when you’re in the city, then all you need to do is wave someone down and ask if they have jumper cables. But when you’re miles from society? There will be no passing cars, at least not quite as regularly. You can take the self-sufficient route by investing in a portable battery booster. With this by your side, you’ll be moving in no time.

Getting Out Of Emergencies

Finally, look at investing in an escape tool. With this, you’ll be able to cut your seatbelt loose and smash through your car window with ease. You never know what will happen on a road trip, and it’s best to be prepared.

How to Protect Your Home While Traveling?

A door handle

So, you’re slowly packing your bags for your next big trip. If you plan to go somewhere sunny to escape a cold Christmas, you are probably focused on figuring out what you might need to do to protect yourself from the sun and the heat that awaits you. Or, you might be excited about your field trip to Florida with your kids. Whatever your destination may be, it is essential to consider the safety of your home and your possessions while you are away. That is why we will discuss how to protect your home while traveling so that you do not leave anything to chance.

Why you need to protect your home while traveling

You might feel like nothing could surprise you when you prepare thoroughly for the journey. And you are not alone. Interestingly, most people tend to worry about the safety of the belongings they bring with them on the trip. This is because people usually associate the very feeling of safety with being at home. As a result, their caution is usually focused on avoiding pickpockets and frauds in a foreign country or state. 

However, eagerness to finally sit on the plane or the bus taking you to your vacation may distort your judgment. Just take note of the fact that most break-ins and burglaries happen during the holiday season. And of course, we are not saying it is not important to determine what you should not travel without. But, it is equally important to think about safety precautions you ought to make to ensure your home and your belongings are safe and secure. In that sense, a few things can help you deter criminals while you are traveling. 

Create an illusion that someone is at home

Certainly, the last thing you would want to happen to you during your holiday is a burglary. All of the lovely memories you make on your trip could be outright tainted by such an awful experience. So, instead of becoming a crime statistic, you should do everything in your power to outsmart burglars

The first step toward fortifying your home is to make it seem like someone is there all the time. You can set up an automatic timer on radios, TVs, and even lights to give away a false impression you are at home. Just make sure you set the timer to turn off the lights during the day. It will be incredibly suspicious if your porch light is turned on in broad daylight. When it comes to curtains and blinds, the best strategy is to position them to look like everything is normal, but don’t allow the possibility for someone to examine what is inside. 

A house with turned on lights and a wet driveway
Turned on lights can create the illusion you are at home

Ask a friend, neighbor, or relative to check up on your home

If you have a backyard, you should tidy it up and mow it before leaving your home. This way, the grass will take longer to grow out and show that no one is actually there. Also, if you are traveling in your car, ask a friend or a neighbor to park theirs in your driveway. 

In addition, you can ask someone you trust to check the house from time to time and collect mail, packages, and newspapers. A single stray furniture catalog on your doorstep or a promotional flyer on your doorknob could be a sign that the property is vacant. If you are going away for more than a week, you should consider canceling your subscriptions for the time being. 

Lock all doors and windows

This might sound like unnecessary advice. But you would be surprised how many break-ins happen due to this kind of oversight. Be sure to double-check if all possible entrances are safely locked. The same goes for pet doors and mail slots. Burglars can make use of these kinds of openings to insert tools that can help them break into your house. Also, be sure to disconnect any doors that can be opened automatically. For example, you should turn off the electronic opener in your garage and place a padlock on the doors instead. 

A black US mail mailbox
A full mailbox can be an indicator that you are on vacation.

Remove all valuables from your home

If you have money, artwork, or jewelry that you cannot afford to lose, do not keep them inside your home. You should consider taking your valuables to a safe storage unit while you are traveling. This way, you will ensure the safety of the most important items as well as your peace of mind. Moreover, it is not only the promise of luxury items that might instigate a burglary. Even newer appliances might provoke someone to try to break into your home. So, if you have state-of-the-art technology such as TVs or sound systems, it might be a good idea to lock them up while you are away.

Be careful about your social media posts

During the holiday season, many homes are targeted by criminal organizations for weeks. So much so that they might even follow you on social media to see if you are traveling. In that sense, as much as it might be tempting to share photos and live videos of your holiday, it is better if you restrain yourself. 

Two people hugging each other while posting on social media
It is safer if you and your family members post vacation photos after the vacation ends.

Of course, we are not saying you must not indulge in sharing your experiences with your followers. But it is wiser if you postpone posting on your social media until you return from your vacation. You can also lock your profiles or switch to ‘Private’ for the time being if you cannot resist the urge to post. Also, if you decide to share a photo, make sure you remove the geotags. Just think about it. Abstinence from posting on social media is another way to protect your home while traveling. And – it is free and effortless. So, if you observe it from that perspective, you might be able to acknowledge how important it is.