When traveling to a foreign country, it is a great idea to befriend some locals. Locals can give you unique and inside perspectives on the culture, and take you to places that are off the beaten path. This article will give you some tips about how to make friends with the locals next time you travel.
When you travel, it’s important to stop for the cheese as well as the big-time monuments. What that means is this: Go to Mt. Rushmore, sure. But first, you need to stop at the Jolly Green Giant Statue in Minnesota and get your picture taken. You need to actually go see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, and Wall Drug. These places are kitschy, and that’s exactly why they’re essential. America is both a place of great beauty and great silliness, and both should be celebrated by the traveler.
When planning a trip, select your digital camera with the needs of your trip in mind. If you are planning on backpacking, for example, a rechargeable battery may not be the answer. In almost all cases, you will want a digital camera that can be turned on and focused very quickly, so that you don’t miss the shot.
Register your trip with the US State Department. Doing so will give them a way to contact you or your family in the event of an emergency. The State Department provides this service free of charge to American citizens who are traveling to foreign soil, so it doesn’t make sense not to take advantage of it.
Tired of the same boring road trip? Next time you have to pack up and go to an out-of-town event, try something different. After you map your main driving route, pick a few random places off the beaten path to stop at along the way. It could be a small mom-and-pop diner, a state park or maybe your first visit to a comic book store. Not only will this break up your drive, you will have added memories to keep forever.
If you are planning a trip to a foreign country, the first step is to check their visa requirements. It can take some time for visa processing, so it is a good idea to apply for your visa far in advance of your expected departure date. If you do not take care of the paperwork, you will not be able to travel freely.
Make sure you make the most of your destination vacation. Many hotels will book travel excursions for you, including picking you up at the hotel and dropping you back off. Tour operators are usually affiliated with the hotels so you may rest assured that you are in good hands.
Jet lag is a common side effect of traveling across time zones. There is no way to completely avoid it. But, if you keep yourself hydrated, it may help, since some of jet lag’s side effects are related to being dehydrated. If you will avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages and drink a lot of water during your flight, that should help.
You can travel internationally and save money. Travel to destinations where the U.S. dollar is the closest to the local currency in value. All inclusive packages are also a great way to save money when traveling. Last, talk to your travel agent and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Road trips can get very boring which is a great reason to plan activities along the route. By breaking up the monotony of the drive with more than just bathroom and meal breaks, you can create some fun and anticipation during the drive. Give your kids an itinerary of your route so they can focus on that destination en route to the main location.
When traveling by air, shipping your baggage ahead of you might be worth considering. Many airlines charge baggage fees of $25 or more per piece. Often, you will find that FEDEX and UPS offer less expensive rates for shipping your bags. The front desk at many hotels will hold your luggage if it arrives ahead of you.
Don’t make plans with the airlines the day you go or later. Instead, try calling them the night before to reconfirm your flight is still scheduled or to see if it’s overbooked. Give yourself at least a half hour to get to the airport. Also save time by checking in at home and pre-printing your boarding passes.
Make sure to buy durable luggage. It is bad enough that you may have a lot of items with you and your bags may already be heavy when you leave for your trip. While you are on the trip, chances are you will purchase souvenirs, and other similar items. You want to have sturdy, durable luggage to hold these items.
Look into alternatives to hotels. You may be able to find a beautiful bed and breakfast that just might make your vacation a bit more relaxing than the traditional hotel. They tend to be more quiet and quaint while offering some wonderful perks during your stay. It could be a bit more of a romantic getaway than the hotel.
As was stated at the beginning of this article, befriending locals is a great idea when visiting a foreign country. Locals can take you places that you would not otherwise see just sticking to tours. Apply the advice from this article next time you travel, and you will be sure to appreciate a unique and different adventure from your regular travel plans.