Before to go at any trip you need to keep some tips in mind like known about road map, plan travel according to budget, deiced who long on travel, chose beautiful spots for visiting.
These are some tips which help to keep you away from any harmful threads and you can enjoy more.
Assume you started this thread for people to give their traveling tips? Here's ours:
First, we travel a lot, but mostly around the West Coast. We live where people come from all over the world to visit (San Francisco Bay Area), so there's a lot to see and do within a 200 mile radius. The Web is by far the most helpful tool I use.
IF you don't know an area, a paper map of the REGION, or city/near-in suburbs, is helpful. But for specific distances between points I use the web: Mapquest or Yahoo Maps. My DH prefers Google maps. Quick way to get estimated driving times (exclusive of commuter traffic, which is hideous here).
- We travel to eat; we're foodies. So we always look for new restaurants to try, or want to fit in a couple of returns to places we liked the first time around. I have 4 websites I use: TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Chowhound, and Yelp. I find these cover the widest range of prices with extensive reviews. Yelp is essential for the less-expensive and ethnic restaurants no one else covers, but you do have to wade through a lot of garbage to get a real "feel" for the food.
Chowhound and TripAdvisor are the least useful but occasionally there's a gem to be found. OpenTable is my fav: Easy to use, automatically reminds you via email of upcoming reservations, gives you points which are eventually redeemable for gift certificates of $50 or $100 off your next meal at a registered OT restaurant. Note that I try to NEVER "no show" a reservation; I always carry the restaurant's name, address and phone # in our travel folder so I can call to cancel if necessary. If you 'no show' too many times, OT will bar you from their website, and rightfully so. Their reviews are restricted to length so it's easy to scan them and see what diners are saying.
Many people don't realize when they are traveling in the SF Bay Area that reservations, especially for dinner, are essential. That means **in advance**, at least two weeks (or more if you're aiming for a Fri or Sat night). This is where OpenTable is so handy: set your area, time and date, and you can see all the restaurants with seating available on one screen. There are links to the restaurant websites so you can quickly check out the on-line menus. If you don't like the menu, just back-arrow and keep going down the list of restaurants until you find one you like. A couple of clicks, and it's taken care of.
- Next is "Things to do, places to see": I use TripAdvisor and occasionally Yelp for this. Googling also works well. We like the offbeat and different, so I'm looking for interesting local excursions/tours. Some of it is very low in cost, too. We've found a lot of interesting stuff this way. There's usually a link to a website, so if I read the reviews and think it'll suit us, I can go to the website and see if I can make a reservation. These days you can almost always purchase tickets on-line so when you arrive you can usually avoid the long lines of people waiting.
- Hotels are next. TripAdvisor is my go-to for hotel reviews. I can get info there I can't get anywhere else, and it's pretty quick to go through. We prefer hotels to B&Bs, just our preference. We're looking for certain amenities and location is always a consideration. 80% of the time I reserve through hotels.com. As a member, every ten days reserved through them gets you one free night's stay at ANY hotel they can reserve. You can stay ten days at a Motel 6 and get 1 night free at a 5-star hotel! As long as you do at least one reservation per year through hotels.com, you can keep accumulating those free nights and they won't expire.
Also, I have us signed up for every single hotel, car, and airline rewards program we encounter. When checking in, I give them our membership # (or ask them to look it up); often we get upgraded for free even if we don't use the membership very much.
Remember that club memberships often get discounts. Triple A, AARP, and many other organizations negotiate discounts. We recently got a stunning rate for a Hertz week-long car rental by using our Triple A membership. Since they were one of only two car companies with lots right at the airport, we saved time and hassle not having to take an additional bus out to one of the discount auto rentals.
- After I have made our reservations, I make a paper file folder. This has:
* Copies of our Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney forms
* Emergency phone numbers, including the customer service #s of our bank, credit card companies and gas cards we're carrying.
* Hard copies of our hotel reservations with the confirmation #s (printouts of the confirmation emails)
* Printouts of "maybe if we have time" places: things that would be nice to do if we have a couple of extra hours on our hands.
We always have our laptops with us, but just in case, confidential info is stored in password-protected files in two places: on the laptop hard drives and "on the cloud" – with a major email service using their server, so we can access the file using any computer.
Last but not least, I program the GPS with all the addresses of the places we're going/have reserved. When we're back from our trip I delete them, to save space for the next trip!
One odd tip for finding restaurants overseas is to go to Facebook and type in the city's name and the word eat, restaurant or eats. We US military are in almost every country and we do a lot of communicating through fb and in/for most cities we have a fb page that the expats and we use to chat about the different restaurants.
There seems to be a generational difference between TripAdvisor and Yelp but both can be helpful.
Taking all you credit cards and your driver's license and copying them on a scanner or copier - BOTH sides is a good idea, keep that info in 2 different places in case of loss/theft of car or luggage or wallet.
females driving alone might consider making themselves look masculine. Put your hair up under a baseball cap and wear a plaid shirt.
I have found one very important tip for traveling and that is...take Mayan Oil with you. It will stop the itching od bug bites in seconds. My husband was traveling in Central America and got covered in chigger bites. A friend gave him this herbal concoction and it stopped the itching in seconds! http://mayanoil.com. It works! Pack it and take it with you!