If you are traveling abroad, it's a wise idea to sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free government service for citizens of the United States who live in a foreign country or are planning to visit one. Providing STEP with your contact information and some details on your trip allows them to contact you in the event of an emergency and to advise you of travel warnings and alerts.
If you are worried about cleanliness while traveling, consider using your t-shirt as a pillowcase in your hotel room. Turn your shirt inside out and put it over your pillow. While it may not be as clean as you would like, it beats not knowing who or what was on the pillow before you arrived.
Look for "nonstop" rather than just "direct" flights. Nonstop flights, as their name implies, make no stops before arriving at the destination, whereas direct flights may stop at other airports on the way to the final destination. Although you are not changing planes, the stops you make on a direct flight can lead to many unexpected delays.
If you are planning on traveling in the coming months, keep your eye out for promotional deals online through various discount travel sites. By signing up through a discount site and entering desired travel destinations and dates into their database, you will receive emails that will alert you when there are especially low prices or good promotions to your next intended destination.
Be aware of the opportunity to get travel credit and continue to watch the price of your flight even after you make your reservation. Many major airlines will give you a credit for future travel if the price of your flight goes down after you have purchased your ticket. You could save money on a future vacation by being aware of the price fluctuations.
If you've been travelling long distance with kids, stop at a playground or park before you get to the hotel, to let them run off some pent up energy. Another thing you can do is to hit the pool, as soon as you get to the hotel. This will help keep them quieter while you're in the hotel. Not only will your appreciate the peace but the other guests will, as well.
Save money on your travel plans by researching what other travelers are paying for similar trips. There are websites that allow you to input your route and then show you the average prices for airfare, in the month that you are traveling. Some sites will also display the best deals that other users found in the past few days. At the very least, you will get a good idea of what you should be paying.
When traveling abroad, always make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate location from your original. Should you lose your original passport, having a copy can make getting a duplicate easier and faster. Your embassy will also likely ask for some basic information that the duplicate will contain.
Bring a bag-of-fun for your kids. Make sure to have enough supplies to keep your kids entertained for the duration of the flight. There's nothing worse than an, "Are we there yet," ten minutes into a three-hour flight. Card games, special coloring books, and puzzles work well and, if you can afford one, pick up a portable video player. The hours of entertainment value are well worth the cost.
Never dress provocatively when traveling alone. Consider the culture that you are traveling to. The things that are not considered to be revealing in the states, may be considered offensive in other countries. Make sure to research Budget Travel acceptable attire before you leave for your trip. It could really save you some uncomfortable moments.
Travel with clothespins when you are planning to stay in a hotel. Many travelers find it difficult to close the hotel curtains completely, meaning that a little bit of light comes through and wakes them up in the morning. If you have a few clothespins with you, you can pin the curtains shut and wake up when you want to.
When it comes to exchanging your currency, it is all about location. Do not be a last minute currency exchanger running through the airport to try and get your foreign money. Airports can be a very costly source of currency exchange, and the rates may not be to your advantage. Exchanging should be one of the early things you do in your planning, as it also secures the money you intend for foreign spending.