When planning a trip, there are several major decisions that you will need to make. Whether it is deciding which country you wish to visit, how much money you plan to spend or finding the best flights and accommodation deals, here are 10 essential tips to ensure your travel goes as smoothly as possible.
Having a Valid Passport
Before you can even begin your travel journey, it’s essential that your passport is in date. Even if your passport is currently valid, some airlines will not allow you to travel unless there is six months or more until expiry, so it’s best to check before you travel. If you have never travelled before, you will need to apply for your first passport. The process is easy and straightforward, however, allow 4-6 weeks for your passport to arrive at your door.
Parking at the Airport
As airports are forever expanding, the need for more parking spaces is a number one priority. You will find that some spaces in the airport will cost more than others, so work out how far it is to walk to the terminal entrance from your space. If you don’t need to be really close to the terminal, it’s recommended that you park as far out as you can. That way, you may end up saving a lot of money. Airport car parks can get incredibly busy at the best of times, so ensure you give yourself enough time to travel to the airport, park, and find your terminal entrance.
Packing the Essentials
When going on a trip, it’s best to only pack the absolute essentials. The last thing you want to do is carry around luggage that you know you’re not going to use. If there are any items that you cannot live without, make sure to pack them in your carry-on luggage. To get through airport security quickly, you will need to know what sort of items are allowed in your carry-on. Ensure that you pack any gels and liquids in an area of your carry-on that can be easily pulled out for when you go through the screening process. There are several items that you are strictly prohibited from carrying, so it’s always best to have a look online before you head out on your trip.
Know Your Hotel Information
If your luggage is delayed or lost or you miss your connecting flight, it’s important that you know your hotel information. Having your hotel’s contact information at hand is beneficial, so you can ring them should any problems occur. Before you head out on your trip, make sure to print out the name of the hotel, their address, and contact number. You should also store the information on your phone. Another good idea is to have a map of the neighborhood you are staying in, so you can have a better idea on how to get to your hotel.
Bring Old Currency with You
One of the biggest hassles when returning home is having to exchange foreign currency. If you are a frequent traveler and usually find stray foreign currency lurking around in your luggage, it’s best to bring it with you the next time you venture out of the country. You can use your loose change and small notes to pay for a taxi when you arrive or pay for a rail or bus card. Loose change is also handy for tipping drivers and hotel porters.
Keep Hold of Your Boarding Pass
If you are the type of traveller to discard their boarding pass as soon as you get off the plane, you may want to reconsider. A boarding pass can serve as identification of travel if the airline you are travelling with fails to give you the right credit for frequent flier miles. This problem usually occurs if you fly on a codeshare parent of an airline. Keeping hold of your boarding pass can be incredibly useful as a receipt of travel and tax purposes (especially if you are self-employed). It’s also essential if your luggage goes missing.
Make Your Luggage Easily Recognizable
Once you have stepped off the plane and through to the baggage carousel, unless you have marked your luggage with something distinctive, it can be tricky to know which bags belong to you. There are several ways to make your luggage stand out from the crowd, such as by playing a large sticker on your items or a unique patch. Once you have made your luggage recognisable, you will be able to spot it from the moment it comes through the carousel, saving you time.
The earlier you book your flights and accommodation, the better. The time of year you plan to fly will determine how much your flights and accommodation cost. It goes without saying, those flying in the summer months can expect to fork out more than those who fly in quieter months. For example, when booking flights to Toronto, you should purchase your tickets well in advance. There are several airlines that you can travel with, such as Porter Airlines who offer daily and direct flights to Toronto. Always ensure that you read up on your airline’s policies and regulations, so you know what items are prohibited, as well as any other important information.
Give Yourself Enough Time
There are all sorts of ways that you can cut corners to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. From packing your items in places that are easy to reach to figuring out where to park at the airport, you can cut time significantly and ensure you are calm and collected when flying from A to B. It’s always advisable to leave as much time as you can before your flight. Even if you arrive at the airport with a little bit of time before your gate closes, there is a chance you may still miss your flight due to how busy the airport can get. Make sure you allocate enough time to get to the airport, park and get checked in. If you do not drive, you will need to consider how you travel to the airport, especially if you are catching an early morning flight.
Have a safe trip!
Staying alert and aware of your surroundings is essential. Airports can get incredibly busy and it can be easy to misplace an item. Ensure that you lock your luggage before you travel so you can be assured that your items are safe. Any valuables that you have on your person should be kept in zipped up pockets to reduce the risk of losing them on your journey. It’s best to avoid bringing too many valuables with you such as jewelry.
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or a newbie, there are all sorts of tips that you can take on board to ensure your journey goes off without a hitch. As long as your passport is in date, you pack only what you need and have a foil proof plan for getting from A to B, your travel journey should go according to plan.
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