5 Smart Travel Tips

There’s so much wonder and beauty to explore. With 195 countries spanning the globe, which ones do you want to travel and see? What monuments, buildings and cultures do you want to witness first hand? Whether you are going to Asia, Europe or somewhere in between, you should first know of some tips that will make your journey go more smoothly.

These 5 travel tips simplify the travel experience, letting you enjoy everything to the fullest:

  1. Take the Passport Application Process Seriously

Getting a passport doesn’t just happen instantly-there’s an involved process to go through that takes time. First off, you’ll have to collect necessary documents, such as your proof of citizenship (i.e.: birth certificate) and government-issued ID. There’s an application form to fill out (DS-11) and you’ll need to get a proper passport photo that fits very specific specifications. Passport photos can be taken at your local post office or pharmacy and they typically cost around $15.

Once you’ve gotten everything together that’s needed to get a passport, you’ll then go to a passport receiving facility and submit everything. Most places will only do so by appointment only, so schedule a time beforehand at the receiving facility. It’s not exactly cheap to get a passport either, so be prepared to pay $110 for a passport book (if you aren’t paying for it to be expedited). Expedited processing costs an additional $60, but processing takes only 2-3 weeks vs. the standard 4-6 weeks.

  1. Make a List Of What You Need to Do Before You Go

Before any trip, there’s plenty for you do to get ready. It’s easy to forget something, so the best thing you can do is to jot everything down that comes to mind. You’ll undoubtedly have to run a few errands, such as get some cash and/or traveler’s checks. So make a list of what you need to do before you leave. And last but not least on that list, make sure to include arming your home security system if you have one. An alarm system will help keep your home safe in your absence, especially if you’re to look into the various monitored alarm systems that could alert a security company to the potential break-in of your property. A monitored alarm system will give you much more peace of mind when you know you’re not able to get back to your home during or after a break-in. You should create a separate list of items to pack. It’ll save you time and energy in getting everything ready.

  1. Don’t Forget to Get Travel Insurance

It is always a good idea to get travel insurance. It covers so many things, such as: trip cancellations (yes, even for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses), medical emergencies abroad, emergency evacuations, lost bags, delayed bags, delayed flights and 24/7 assistance.

  1. Pack All Essential Items In a Carry On Bag

You’ve likely either experienced or have heard of someone losing their bags when traveling-especially while flying. For this particular reason, it’s wise to pack all necessities (medication, glasses/contacts, a change of clothes, etc.) in a carry on suitcase that you don’t have to check-in. Checked suitcases ALWAYS run the risk of getting lost or delayed in transit.

  1. Be Flexible

As much as you try to plan for a trip, there will always be a few unexpected surprises. For this reason, it’s best to go in being flexible. You never know when there will be a delay or something that sets you back off of schedule. In being flexible, you are able to adapt to these changes as they happen, so be prepared for the unexpected.