Even savvy travelers make mistakes sometimes, especially during the crowded and high-pressured holidays. For Thanksgiving, it is expected that 47 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles, which means crowds and delays are imminent. Check out our list to avoid some common trip faux-pas and get through your hectic holiday hikes as stress free as possible.
Not Being Versed in your Airline’s Policies
From bag checking specifications to unexpected layovers, knowing the ins and outs of how your airline functions can only help you. Sometimes there are particular boarding pass specifications or charges that could be avoided with a little preparation. Taking some time to look over everything before booking your flight can save you time and money later on.
Not Verifying Paperwork and Documents
Sometimes visa applications take longer than expected to process or have a long list of requirements that take some time to gather. Making sure to secure your visa early and double check any additional documents you may need will prevent unexpected foils to your trip. Some countries also require your passport be valid for a certain length of time past the date of your flight home (six months past for countries like China, Russia, and U.A.E and three months past for many European nations). Check the requirements of your destination as a first step in making your travel plans.
Paying Wrongful Rental Car Fees
It is easy to be hit with car rental damage fees when it is your word against the rental company’s. To avoid these situations, photograph your rental car (inside and out) to document any pre-existing damage, as well as after your rental to record the condition upon your return. Ask for a record of the damages at pickup and try to return the car during hours the office is open so you can request a written record stating you returned the car unscathed.
Standing Out as a Tourist
While it may be a given to ditch the British flag hat, those squeaky clean tourist sneakers can also paint you as an out of towner. Pack your comfortable (and stylish) walking shoes and clothing carefully so you are dressed equally well for dinners out and days spent sightseeing. Bonus points if you can say sayonara to some items you packed before you return, which will lighten up your luggage and make room for souvenirs.
Relinquishing your Valuables
There is always a possibility that you will be forced to check the bag you intended to be your carry on. Be prepared for this situation by keeping all your most important items (paperwork, medications, credit cards, laptop, ect.) consolidated in a pouch in your larger carry on. Having everything easily removeable prevents you from having to rifle through your bag to collect everything, or worse, being forced to leave them in the soon-to-be-checked bag.
Paying Credit Card Fees
There are now plenty of credit cards out there that waive foreign transaction charges (such as some Chase cards and the American Express Platinum card) . Some cards also have added travel rewards that pack on extra savings. Do some research and try out a card. Some cards are feeless for the first year, so you can test it out and cancel it before being charged if you decide it is not the one for you.
No one wants to waste precious trip time. Save time on little things like packing all essentials to prevent scavenging for items like sunscreen or contact solution, which can eat up unnecessary time. If you have a question, don’t waste time searching for someone to help, a five-star hotel concierge a great person to assist you with any logistics or to offer recommendations. Even if you’re not staying at a five-star hotel, you can still stop by and seek the advice of a five-star concierge from a nearby hotel when you’re in a bind. Just be sure to respect the hotel’s guests and to tip the concierge for his assistance.