Travel is not just where you go but how the journey shapes you
Travel is not just where you go                                                 but how the journey shapes you

Travel Tips

GENERAL TIPS:

 

Always relax when things are not going your way on a trip. Stay calm. Airline employees, hotel staff and rental car attendants react better to the calm, respectable customer. Remember that everyone is human and mistakes can happen. Speak in a calm tone and you are more likely to get resolution quickly, possible even an upgrade.

 

Make a checklist the night before your trip. Include the essentials such as medication, trip tickets, passports, cash, credit cards or traveler’s checks, etc. List those items first realizing that all other items can usually be replaced (if forgotten) once you arrive at your trip destination.

 

Always allow for the unexpected. Don’t make your plans with the assumption that there will not be any traffic accidents or weather problems or long lines at the check-in areas. Allowing more than adequate time will once again aid in your ability to be calm and relaxed.

 

When you budget for your trip, allow at least for a 10% overage. There are going to be things you see that you did not plan on buying that you must have.

 

Take all of your documentation with you. Always carry copies of all of your confirmation numbers for cars, flights, hotels, attractions, etc. If someone messes up your reservation, they cannot argue your documented proof that you had a reservation. If that happens, once again stay calm and respectful and you will probably get better accommodations than had they not made a mistake.

 

Mark all medication clearly in case your baggage is selected for a random search. You may even want to go to the trouble of making copies of your prescription and carry it along in case something is questioned. As airport rules change, you may want to check with the airline the day before departure to see what is acceptable to carry on the plane.

 

Do some research on the areas that you will be traveling to. This is where your travel consultant can help. Having a good knowledge and understanding of your destination can make the trip much more enjoyable. Study areas of transportation. Getting around with ease can make everything else that much better. Will you want to take a cab? Or maybe they have an excellent train or subway that serves the area you will be visiting. Will a rental car really be needed? Will your hotel be within walking distance of everything you will be wanting to do? Make sure you budget for the extra transportation.

 

AIRPORT/FLIGHT TIPS:

 

Pack with the airport in mind. Try to always check baggage instead of carrying it all through the airport. The extra 20 minutes it takes to wait for your baggage at the end of the flight is worth the wait when flights get delayed or when connecting flights are several gates apart. Take the time to see who is the most frazzled in the airport. It is usually those folks who are carrying 3 bags each as they rush to catch their next flight. Your fellow passengers will also appreciate how easy it is for you to move up and down the plane isle with just your one small carryon.

 

Research the airport you will be departing from and arriving at. See where restrooms, restaurants and shops are located in relation to your gate so you can plan your stops accordingly.

 

Pack a few quick snacks in your carryon bags in case you get on a plane that is delayed. Or maybe you arrive to your destination after hours when most restaurants are closed. A quick snack that you took time to pack can be just the thing that hits the spot.

 

Pick a flight time, if you can, during the early morning hours or mid-afternoon hours between 9:00AM and 2:00PM. Those are usually times that are less congested and can make check-in and security lines much more tolerable and less stressful.

 

If you are told at the ticket counter that your flight has been overbooked, use that to your advantage. Sometimes a flight that leaves a few hours later can mean that you can be bumped from coach to first-class if your schedule is flexible and you can wait that extra few hours. Most major airports have clubs for first-class or frequent flier passengers. Ask the airline to give you access to those facilities if you accommodate their need to bump you to another flight.

 

If you are taking a flight that is over 2 hours, see if you can get a bulk-head or exit row seat. The extra leg room can make it a much more comfortable flight. The only downside is that there is less room for carry-on luggage under your seat in the bulkhead row and you may have to store it above.

 

HOTEL TIPS:

 

Plan your trip where you can arrive at the hotel closer to the 3:00PM check-in time. Imagine all of the folks arriving in the evening and the lines that can form, not only at the airport, but also at the hotel, especially if your hotel also caters to the business crowd. Less time in check-in lines means more time in the quiet of your room or poolside or at the nice restaurant.

 

If the hotel messes up your reservation, once again stay calm and let them offer you ways to make it up to you. Remember to always carry your copy of the reservation for proof. Then ask for an upgraded room, food vouchers, etc. Some mistakes can mean better rooms and upgraded services if you act respectful to the person behind the desk.

 

Try not to let the hotel book your room next to the icemaker or elevator. If they do, see what the noise level is and then complain if it is too loud in your room.

 

CRUISE TIPS:

 

Preview and read up as much as you can about the ship you are thinking about taking. Understand its size and layout. Read reviews about its age and upkeep. Learn where the public areas are including restaurants, pools, nightclubs etc. This will help you and your travel agent make the best ship and room selection. You may not like to have a room that is under the areas that most of the nightlife takes place if you like to go to bed early and have peace and quiet. You may like to be located close to elevators or stairs though so read and learn or ask your travel consultant for advice!

 

Make sure you pack a carry-on bag with your medicine and other necessities since your luggage may not arrive at your stateroom until some time after you set sail.

 

Check out your dining table selection as soon as you board and make sure it is suitable. If not...contact your head waiter as soon as you can and they will usually try to accommodate your request.

 

Get to the pool areas on sea days as soon after breakfast as you can so you can have your pick of lounge chairs, if you plan on spending the day by the pool.

 

Book onboard spa appointments and specialty dining reservations as soon as you get onboard to make sure you get the times that works best for your vacation schedule.

 

Try to go to the shows and events that are planned onboard. They are a part of the cost and can be quite enjoyable.

 

Keep tabs of the extras that you are spending onboard such as drinks (liquor and sodas), gift shop purchases, photos, etc. They can add up in a hurry and can be shocking on the day of departure if not kept in check.

 

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Grand Rapids, MI 49525

 

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