With Spring Break just around the corner, you’re sure to have several clients headed off for a variety of adventures. Here’s a list of travel tips you can share with them to ensure a better and safer Spring Break vacation as they prepare for their exciting getaways!
Money Saving Travel Tips
- Look for airport parking savings
If you have to leave your car at the airport, be sure to book a parking space before you travel. In most cities this is much cheaper than parking the day of, and also will guarantee that you have a space. Also look for options to park and ride. Most airports have an economy lot that is as much as $5 per day cheaper and a free airport shuttle to the airport terminals.
- Find a cheaper airport
Sometimes the closest airport to you is the most expensive to fly from. Of course, you'll have to consider transportation costs from other airports as well, but in some cases the airports further away from home and your travel destinations are significantly lower in cost.
- Carry your own food
If your flight is less than eight hours, don't count on a courtesy meal. Carrying your own snacks and even full meals will save you a fortune. And, yes, you can take that food through security as long as it's not liquid.
- Beat luggage fees
You know you are packing more than you need! Leave the bulk at home to save on luggage fees. Bonus points if you can fit it all in a carry-on suitcase; there are a plethora of videos on Youtube that teach how to pack a full week's worth of clothes into a single carry-on. Speaking of packing...
- Only the essentials
Make a checklist and stick to it. Oh, and if you're concerned about wearing the same outfit a couple of times on a trip, let that go too. You're traveling! No one will notice if you have the same shirt on you wore yesterday.
- Split up your valuables
Don't leave everything of value in one bag—and that includes your warm-weather clothing if you are coming from somewhere cold. If you are traveling with a spouse or friend, for example, put half of all the shorts and bathing suits and cash and jewelry in each of your bags, so if one gets lost or stolen, you still can get by. Do the same with cash—if you're traveling with $100, put $25 in your wallet, $25 in each suitcase, and $25 in your travel companion's purse.
- Keep document backups
Scan important documents such as passports, paper tickets, itineraries, and prescriptions for any medicines you take. Save the scanned documents in a web-based email so you can conveniently retrieve them. Add a paper copy of passports and critical travel documents to each bag as well.
- Jewelry and valuables don’t have to take the trip with you
Tourists are common targets for thieves. Leave your valuables and jewelry behind.
- Get travel insurance
Even if your medical plan covers travel-related medical emergencies, consider travel insurance. Depending on the plan you purchase, it will protect you in case of unexpected incidents including trip cancellations, natural disasters, medical emergencies not covered by standard medical insurance plans, and more.
- Register with STEP if traveling abroad
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. STEP will let you know about safety conditions in your destination country, contact you regarding emergencies such as natural disasters, and help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency while you are away.
- Keep your hotel keys safe
Whenever you leave your hotel room, close all windows and doors and never leave your keys unattended.
- Drink safely
For some people, spring break isn’t complete without alcohol. Trust only the drink that has been made while you are there. If it is bottled, check to ensure seals aren't cracked. Don't get wasted when you are far from home, and always designate one member of your party to watch over the rest each night to ensure each other's safety. Always take a taxi instead of driving after you’ve been partying.
- Travel in pairs or groups and notify others about your whereabouts
Predators typically go after the person traveling alone. Try to travel with a partner or a group, or bring a phone and let everyone know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive.
Go far, have fun, be safe!
Tips on Electronics
- Have a multiple chargers
Inevitably your charger will fail if you only bring one, so do yourself a favor and bring a back up. Also, carry a voltage adapter so that you can plug your American electronics in anywhere regardless of the plug size or voltage.
- Get an international mobile plan for your phone
Most people have smart phones these days, and it's a good idea to get an international plan for the month you will be traveling to have access to things like your GPS, internet and of course, to be able to call someone in the event of an emergency.
- Download apps that make access to friends and family at home easier
If you don't want to get an international plan for your phone you can download some pretty sweet apps before you go that will make it easier for you to send messages to friends and family back home. Two that you should definitely consider are Whats App for texting and Skype for free phone calls. These apps can both be used anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, and if nothing else, there's always email to connect. You can also message friends on Facebook, but for safety's sake don't post on Facebook or any social media that you are out of town until you return. It can be tempting to share images while traveling, but never let anyone know if your home is completely empty.
Following these tips should help your clients have a happier and safer Spring Break. By simply taking a little extra time to follow these tips, they will have more fun and be more likely to arrive home safely after the fact. Safe travels everyone!