Friday, May 2, 2008

Travel Tips And Suggestions

I can't say I've become a seasoned traveler over the years. The best I can hope for is that I've managed to survive traveling. Now with the airlines cutting us down to one checked bag instead of two (unless you want to pay the fee for the second bag), things might be a little trickier for those who are traveling for more than a couple of days. So I thought I'd share a few tips that work for me (more or less). I've also collected a few articles for you as well.

I try to book a flight as soon as my travel dates are firmed up. This sometimes gives you more options for arrival and departure times. Booking early also allows more seat selections for you. This is especially important to me since I suffer from motion sickness. I've discovered the ideal spot on the plane for me to lessen the effects. I also make sure I take two 24-hour Dramanine tablets prior to my departure. If I suspect I'm going to be doing other traveling during my stay (taxis, buses, boats -- okay, any moving vehicle), I'll continue to take the same dosage every day just in case.

I check in and print my boarding pass before I leave for the airport. This allows for great ease once you get to the airport. This is easy to do when you have access to your home computer, but you might find it just as easy when you are staying at a hotel since most hotels have business centers where you can do this too.

I always dress comfortably for the plane trip, and I always take a light jacket or sweater in the event I get cold (which is frequent and unpredictable). We are restricted to those small seats for hours and the last thing you want is to have your clothes confining you as well. Elastic waistbands are wise. Shoes and socks are wise. If you are wearing sandals, there is always the risk of something dropping on your foot, someone stepping on you... Let's face's just not safe. You also want shoes that will help you walk the distance in the event you have a long hike from gate to gate or gate to baggage claim.

I also try to choose a layover airport I'm familiar with. This saves stress when you know where everything is. It's much easier when you have a general idea of where the gates, shuttle trams, restrooms, and your favored food places are located.

I no longer worry about wrinkles when I'm packing since every hotel does have or can provide an iron and ironing board (generally speaking). I've discovered the small, zippered travel bags are very handy for organizing your items inside the suitcase. I'm sure it makes it convenient for security as well since the inspectors don't have to wade through your loose clothing. I try to take only what I need. The problem is deciding what I need. :) I've also discontinued use of my hard-sided luggage. Zippered luggage is more lightweight and easier to keep secured. Few things are more scary than to see your hard-sided luggage rolling down the baggage claim conveyor with half the clothing hanging out because the inspectors couldn't latch it.

Wear a fanny pack on the plane and make sure it has items in it you might want access to so you don't have to drag out your carry on -- wallet, identification, breath mints, glasses, etc. Make sure your prescription medication is in your carry on. Find an under-the-seat carry-on that rolls. It'll save your body a lot of wear and tear.

I generally stick with one airline and I've signed up for their frequent flyer miles programs. Whenever I fly on any airline, I also sign up for these programs because you can never tell when you might collect enough miles for a free trip. The same goes for hotels in which you stay. If they are a chain, check to see if they have a rewards program. Sometimes you can transfer one program's reward points to another program. For instance, Hilton Honors Rewards to American Airlines.

Here are a few other tips:

Travelers' mantra: Pack light, pack light, pack light

Get the most out of your frequent flier miles

Surviving the red-eye flight

How to pack for a business trip

Happy traveling!


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