In honor of the next month of travelling, I thought I would share some of my wealth of knowledge in the travel department. I have put some tips together on a variety of travel issues that I have had and my solutions.
(Sorry for the gloomy Travel Photo – but I love gloomy travel photos so I’m not actually sorry)
TIP 1) Check-in Early
Most airlines let you check in 24 hours in advance, where you can choose your seat (I choose aisle, close to the front of the plane) and pay for your baggage before you get to the airport. I check in early to try to get a good seat, and to save some time when you get to the airport – you can go to Baggage Drop instead of getting assistance.
TIP 2) Sign up for loyalty program
I choose to fly Air Canada primarily and I am an Aeroplan member – which has some great offers and perks if you fly often enough. The biggest perks are free flights through accumulating points and using the lounges if you are an elite member or you purchase lounge passes – game changers if you have a long layover and worth the money!
TIP 3) Know what you have to take out at security + have it ready
If I fly with two carry-ons (which is rare), I always put my laptop, liquids and anything else I would need to take out in one bag, so then I don’t have to dig through a both. But depending on what you travel with, you need to take out your laptop, iPad, liquids, gels, aerosols – off the top of my head – so have those handy in one bag or at the top of the bag to get easy access. Take your belt and coat off in line, and have your bag open so when you need to grab your stuff and put it into a bin, it’s ready!
TIP 4) Bring Headphones + Eye Mask
If you are travelling internationally or plan on getting a snooze on the flight, buy a good eye mask and headphones to make it as dark and quiet as possible. It makes a big difference, especially if you can’t lie down!
TIP 5) Bring Snack, Meal or Pick them up at the airport
I haaaaaaaaate airplane food and try to avoid it. I always bring snacks (no liquids), I purchase a water and usually a dinner of some sorts before I get on, or buy one and bring it on to eat later. It saves money from buying a cheese platter or something on board, and it helps you from not feeling sick during the flight – but make sure you buy something reasonably health so you don’t feel even worse!
TIP 6) Don’t drink on the plane – but try to save it for later.
I totally understand getting the bang for your buck – free wine with dinner, but it dehydrates you and I find it upsets my stomach. But I do love a good bargain, and can’t pass up free wine. So if you know you don’t have to go through security again, take the wine, don’t open it and save it for wherever your desitination is!
TIP 7) Google directions to the taxi, bus, underground or your hotel before you leave
Biggest Game Changer Ever. Whichever mode of transportation you choose once you arrive, always google the directions before on an actual map (and bring it) or pin it on your maps app on your phone so you can make sure you’re going in the right direction – there is nothing worse than arriving at the wrong hotel!
TIP 8) Google walking directions to your destinations when you have wifi
If your hotel has wifi, or if the airport does, google walking directions (and screenshot them) or pin them so you know if you are going in the right direction and bonus: it’s free when you’re on wifi! this way you don’t have to be a typical tourist and always ask for directions, and you can become a millennial always being on your phone!!
TIP 9) Do your research on accommodations
There are a billion sites that offer a million different types of accommodations and the biggest flaw is to not be open minded. I have stayed in beautiful Hostels and disgusting Hotels – it all depends. So be open minded to Hostels, Hotels, AirBnB’s, anything, and make sure to check all options and sites so you don’t get ripped off. I find AirBnB to be great, HostelWorld is super reliable for Hostels and I usually use Hotels.ca for Hotels – usually cheap! Make sure you check guest ratings – and the highest rating with the most amount of people that have rated it (5 stars with only one person rating it, is naaaaaat reliable!) is likely your best option.
TIP 10) Use Compression
Travel with compression garments! Especially for athletes or those with physical ailments. There is nothing worse than showing up somewhere and not being able to get your shoes on because your kankles are so swollen. Train, Plane, Bus, Walk, Bike, whatever mode of transportation you choose – COMPRESS!
TIP 11) Travel Books are out
Travel Books cannot keep up with the ever-changing world – check out blogs, TripAdvsior, friends recommendations, whatever to figure out what to do, where to go, where to eat, where to stay. Try something trendier and keep up with whats going on in the world, rather than relying on one persons opinion from a 6 year old book.
TIP 12) Be Adventurous!
Try something different, explore different horizons, go outside of your comfort zone – your best experiences, memories and most enjoyable moments come from doing something different. If it’s not something new, then why are going somewhere new?