There were nearly 90 million outbound flights from the US to foreign countries in 2017, which was up 9% from 2016. US world travel has been on a steady uptick since 2013.
In the modern scene, you no longer have to be “rich” to get out and explore the world. It’s becoming ever more “normalized” with every passing year – but no less exciting then it was 100 years ago!
But before you grab your suitcase and a map and head out the door, take the time to up the convenience and lower the cost of your next trip by learning these 5 world travel tips for 2018 and beyond:
1. Book Everything Ahead
If there’s anything you can book ahead online, do it. It will save you time and money, reduce stress, and help prevent mishaps.
Not only flights, hotels, and upscale restaurants, but also rental cars can now be efficiently booked online. Booking a car on easyrentcars, for example, is “easy” just like the name says. You do a quick search, compare your options, and hire a car ahead worldwide. And you get access to daily deals and special discounts as well.
You can book ahead almost every form of transportation, and accommodating those traveling with disabilities is also easier than ever. You can find exactly the transport that fits your needs and budget and have it ready when you arrive!
2. Pack Light But Smart
If you’re planning on staying overseas for a month or more, it might be a good idea to use your two-suitcase plus carry-on quota to the full. But otherwise, consider bringing just one checked bag plus your carry-on.
Impossible? Not at all. Bring just two or three days of clothes that fit the expected weather patterns where you’re going. Buy the rest of your clothes while there. Pack prescription meds and any necessities that will be difficult to find in the other country. Bring compact electronics like your cell phone and digital camera. Leave the rest behind.
Also save some space in your bag for gifts to give to any friends or relatives where you’re going; then refill that space with gifts and souvenirs to take home.
3. Prepare Your Smartphone For Travel
You can save money and get far better reception in most cases if you buy a local SIM card to use in the country you’ll be visiting instead of just using an international calling plan with a US-based provider.
To accomplish that, however, you’ll need to ensure your phone has quad band and is unlocked. Making these adjustments might not be worth it for very short trips or if you would have to keep changing the SIM as you skip from country to country at fast pace. But for everyone else – it really IS worthwhile!
4. Keep Your Hotel Info Handy
It’s all too common for a flight to be delayed during international travel, for bags to be lost or delayed, or for it just to take longer than you thought to get from the airport to the hotel. Make sure you have your hotel’s name, address with printed Google Map to it from the airport, and phone number with you on a physical piece of paper.
You’ll need that information as soon as you arrive, and you probably aren’t going to memorize it. Plus, if your phone battery’s down or you lose reception at the airport, you’ll find that a piece of paper still works even when a smartphone doesn’t.
5. Boldly Mark Your Bags!
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of using luggage that looks just like someone else’s. You don’t want to accidentally pick up another traveler’s luggage nor have them do the same to you. Too many bags are identical these days.
Mark your suitcase with stickers, ribbons, a stitched on patch, or anything that guarantees immediate recognition.
Traveling the world is easier than ever, but it still holds its potential pitfalls that you’ll want to steer clear of. Follow these 5 travel tips, and you’re off to a good start!