If you’re traveling with kids, it’s tempting to let them all tune out with their own mp3 players, but consider bringing along some books on CD. Having something literate and interesting for the whole family to listen to is not only entertaining and interesting, but provides a common experience that each family member can take forward with them into life (“Hey, remember when I was ten, and we listened to Black Beauty on the way to Maine?”). It’s the stuff of which fond memories are made.
Set a budget for your travel expedition ahead of your departure. It is so easy to overspend when you are in the middle of a vacation high and you aren’t thinking about the realities or consequences of the money you are spending. Determining a budget ahead of time and sticking to it will ensure that you can afford to take future vacations.
To save energy when traveling in hilly or mountainous areas, consider taking a taxi to the highest point in the town or area you’re visiting, then walk down. This lets you see the whole town, including any mountain vistas, without having to cover too much altitude and wearing yourself out.
An excellent way to reduce costs on your next travel adventure is to allow for flexibility of your flight date. You can literally save hundreds of dollars just by changing the day of the week you are willing to fly, as some days during seasons of high travel are sure to be packed with excess costs.
You should always bring something that will keep you occupied on a flight. A simple entertainer is a pen and paper. You can play games, write poems, draw little sketches, anything you can imagine. This will keep your mind focused so you are not concerned about how much longer the flight will be.
Losing your rental car in large parking lots is no fun. Carry one of those fluorescent foam balls that fit over the tip of your antenna or maybe even a colorful ribbon to tie to the rear view mirror. They take up no room in your luggage and can sure make locating that car a whole lot easier when there are exactly 37 others that look just like it in the same row where you parked!
If you’re going on a cruise, pack a tackle box and keep your valuables in it. Cruises often have a lot of thieves aboard them and you don’t want to risk losing something important to you. Thieves will often ignore something like a tackle box, leaving your valuables safe.
Even if you don’t have a digital music player, bring headphones on your flight. Many airlines have in-flight entertainment systems that are free to use but require headphones. Instead of paying $5 for the crummy airline headphones, bring your own and enjoy your flight in comfort and style.
There are many large families that would like to travel to popular vacation destinations, but are afraid they cannot afford it. You can book trips with time sharing and save money each year by already having the lodging. If you plan trips when gas prices are low, you will also save money on your travel expenses.
Research and prepare for any communications costs that you might have, in regards to computing while traveling. Knowing where you will have access to Wi-Fi and what equipment you will need to connect at your various destinations, will make your journey easier and avoid on the fly purchases when you need to communicate.
Nothing can dampen a vacation like poor service. Tipping is an important part of service expectations and knowing the customary standards at your destination are important. Research will allow you to appear knowledgeable and generous when dealing with service providers and increase your overall enjoyment. Be frugal but not stingy.