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Tips from Experienced Travelers
Traveling is like most things: The more you do it, the better you get at it. The website SmarterTraveler compiled a list of tips from experienced travelers that can help you reach your destination more smoothly and have more fun when you get there.
1. Download some apps. Flight-tracking apps for your smartphone or tablet can let you know about flight delays, gate changes, cancellations,etc. Also, use a travel app to download your travel information such as flight numbers, hotel info and more, so that you have everything you need at your fingertips.
2. Be ready with the essentials. Pack travel essentials such as a toiletries ahead of time, and leave them in your luggage; be sure that the container you use to hold them meets airline security regulations. When you get back from a trip, restock. Some travelers also make a list of other must-haves, such as clothes and travel documents, and leave it in their suitcase as a reminder.
3. Check in for your flight as soon as possible. If you cannot choose your seat when you buy your ticket, early check-in gives you the best shot at not being stuck in the middle of the last row. Also, the first passengers bumped from a flight are usually the last to check in. While you’re at it, print your boarding pass.
4. Hang out with the locals. Shortly after your arrival, head out to a neighborhood bar or coffee shop and strike up a conversation with some friendly locals. You are likely to get some good ideas about fun things to do, great places to eat – and places to avoid.
5. Read up before you go. Check out websites, travel books, etc. to find out what’s going on in your destination. Make a list of things you might like to do or see and places you might like to eat. This can help you get even more excited for your trip – and keep you from missing something amazing.
6. Call your credit card company to let them know where you will be. This is especially important if you are traveling abroad, because many credit card companies freeze your card if they see overseas charges. Also ask them for the number you should call if you lose your card or have other problems while you are out of the country. And even if you are traveling within the country, giving your card company a heads up can help you avoid problems with the company’s fraud unit.
7. Schedule some down time. Sure you want to do and see as much as possible. But don’t pack your schedule so tightly that you have no time to rest and process what you have seen and done. You will enjoy your travel more if you are not frazzled and exhausted. Besides, you can always go back.