10 Tips to Make Vacation Travel Easier: As summer vacations or other holidays are upon us, there is so much to do and think about before celebrating. At such busy times, travel can end up more frustrating than festive. Try our updated tips to make it a better trip.
10 Tips to Make Vacation Travel Easier: Packing:
Tip One: Avoid checking luggage. I spent part of one Christmas looking for my lost bag at the St. Louis airport. On another trip, I flew to Norway for intermediate ski lessons. I arrived but my bag did not. The hotel gave me their “Lost and Found” box to scavenger for a jacket to hit the slopes.
If you do check your bag, mark your bag handle with a ribbon or decal. Since typical black bags all look alike, at least it is easier to locate on a turn style. Even if you carry your bag on the plane, the small jets used today may require you to give it up, i.e., to “gate check” it at the last minute. The major problem seems to be that the wheels are often too large to fit either under the seat or in the overhead bin. The best way to avoid that issue is to measure your bag carefully before you pack.
Tip Two: Think twice before lugging your skis, an oversized snowboard or other equipment. I have found at resorts that lift tickets often include rental equipment. There was no discount if you brought your own gear. In any case, paying the airline and dragging it back and forth is no fun.
For travel during the Christmas holidays, for weddings or for birthday festivities, do not wrap gifts. Also with enhanced security, you may not be able to bring your favorite top dishes.
10 Tips to Make Vacation Travel Easier: Airports:
Tip Four: Arrive at the airport even earlier because vacation and holiday crowds mean longer lines wherever you are going.
Tip Five: If you are going abroad, see what limits your destination places on incoming tourists. Many countries require that travelers have passports that will not expire in less than three to six months. If you do not meet that requirement, you may not be allowed to board your outbound flight even to popular European countries.
Tip Six: Read your visa very, very carefully. You may find the surprise I did once: An apparent error provided me with a problem on my arrival and my departure abroad. A second detail to check is whether there are date limits. Even if not, when you take a long trip, you should know how long you are allowed to stay at your destination. Over staying your visa can result in a daily fine.
Tip Seven: Check to see if your airline limits on electronics larger than a cell phone. The main safety issue relates to batteries, including lithium batteries. when you are taking non-rechargeable devices, including digital cameras. When I traveled with a camera in the Middle East, my extra batteries were confiscated at airport security. Since most small electronics now have rechargeable batteries, this is less likely to happen.
See what size dimensions your airline is currently allowing for bags and totes to be brought on board. This is usually combined with a weight limit. I was very surprised on my 17 day trip traveling through China and Southeast Asia. The total weight allowed was only eleven pounds. That included the weight of the bag, the frame and wheels. The biggest problem in small jets is the size of roller bag wheels. They may not fit in the overhead bins. If you have them gate checked and have a tight connection, you may miss your next flight.
10 Tips to Make Vacation Travel Easier: Safety:
Tip Nine: Unfortunately, vacation travel are prime time for robberies and burglaries. To avoid being a victim:
Don’t broadcast on social media the dates you are traveling. You may come home to find an empty house or apartment. Tell all on your great travel adventure but wait until you return!
Tip Ten: If you are traveling abroad, consider taking a pre-paid debit or credit card with a set amount. They are easily to cancel or freeze online if stolen.
Send us your own tips that we can share with fellow solo travelers. Safe travels!