Traveling is probably the best pastime in the world. What’s not to love about it? Seeing new and exciting places, meeting interesting people, discovering cultures that might be completely different than your own…It all sounds great in theory, but even the best holiday can go wrong if you don’t prepare for it. If you’re traveling during the holiday season, everyone else if going to be traveling too, but don’t let the crowds, queues and bureaucracy sour your mood. Here are the top 10 useful travel tips or your holiday, which can just save you from a mental breakdown.
When going someplace where you haven’t been before, make sure you don’t offend anyone by mistake. Reading up a bit can save you from cultural faux-pas that can cost you money, or can simply ruin your holiday mood.
Transport can be unpredictable, and if you don’t know the language of the country you’re visiting, it can be very difficult to find another means of transport if you miss your train, for example. So have some ‘escape routes’ before leaving from home, and a good map too!
3. Don’t pack too much
If you travel light, you don’t have to deal with the unending queues at the luggage check-in, and you can be sure that the airline won’t lose your bags. Also, half the stuff you pack will be useless anyway.
Don’t leave your phone at home, tell your family and friends exactly where you’re going, and if possible, tell them the phone numbers of the hotels you’ll be staying at. Better paranoid than sorry.
5. Buy some earplugs
Not being able to enjoy your holiday because you never manage to sleep on the plane or train is annoying, especially if the cause is your neighbor who snores. Annoying music, dogs barking, babies crying – all solved.
6. Pack snacks
If the journey is long, don’t forget to pack some food in case you get hungry. Airplane food can be really bad if you’re traveling on economy class, and a 7 hour train trip can be downright awful with an empty stomach.
7. Travel early or late in the day
Whether you’re going by plane, train or bus, the queues will be a lot shorter if your trip starts either very early or very late.
8. Expect the unexpected
Be prepared for surprises, especially when it comes to missing a flight or delays that can mess up your schedule and make you late for a connecting flight, for example.
9. Check the weather
Knowing whether to expect rain or shine will help you know exactly what to pack, and can save you from the frustration of walking around in the rain/cold/scorching sun without sun lotion in a unknown place.
10. Keep calm
Your luggage got lost, your wallet got stolen, you missed your train? Don’t fret too much, it’s a holiday after all, and you’re supposed to have fun. And these inconveniences might seem like the end of the world now, but they will make great stories to tell to your grandkids.