A few tips for those Planning to Experience the Joy of Travel
Sunday, September 6, 2015 - Author: Toni C.
Traveling is one of the greatest joys in life. The experience of being immersed in the cultural traditions of worldwide countries is an opportunity to be cherished for a lifetime. Whether you are planning a trip to Europe, Asia or other continents, it is important to plan thoroughly before embarking on your adventure. Make sure you have enough time to spend in certain regions. A rushed trip can be stressful and unsatisfying.
Choosing a Destination
After you choose your destination, it is recommended to map out the cities and regions you plan to visit. For example, a short trip to France or Italy will not allow you to spend time exploring historical sites including museums, art galleries and national monuments. It is usually recommended to choose one precise location, at least for your first trip abroad. If you plan to visit several countries in a close proximity, be sure to allow sufficient time in each city on your itinerary. A two or three-week vacation in France and Italy will allow you to move about casually without the hassle of being on a set schedule. If you choose to book your vacation with a tour service, make sure you can venture off on your own if you wish. Many tour services require travelers to adhere to a rigid schedule, allowing only a few hours in some of the major cities in the world.
Planning Your Trip
Once you have chosen your destinations, it is important to research local transportation. The European Eurorail system is safe, clean and efficient. If taking the Eurorail between major cities, be sure to purchase first-class tickets. Short trips in economy class can become similar to a cattle car. If taking a long trip, for example between Torino, Italy and Paris, France, the overnight train is a good choice. Sleeper compartments are available. Some contain six bunk beds and others are single units. The beauty is that you leave one city at 10:00 pm and arrive at your chosen destination by 7:00 am, just in time to start your day. Short train rides between local cities are usually scheduled during the day. Eurorail prices are quite affordable, especially if your purchase tickets in advance of your travel. Rental cars are available in most major cities, but the cost of gasoline can be extremely high, especially during the summer months. If you are not comfortable driving in unknown areas, trains are the safest alternative.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Before planning your trip, be sure to research Passport and Visa requirements. Passports are accepted in most European countries, but some countries in Southeast Asia and Thailand require a travel Visa. If you do not have a current Passport, be sure to send in your application at least six weeks prior to your departure. If you are submitting forms for a Passport renewal, the time frame may be shorter. Airlines, ground transportation and hotel accommodations all require current travel documents.
Depending on your destination, it is advisable to research travel sites to locate reasonably-priced accommodation. Many major cities and small villages offer bed-and-breakfast accommodation, as well as clean and comfortable hostels. When booking hotels in major cities, try to stay away from major tourist areas, as prices are significantly higher than if you stay a few blocks away from city centers. Two and three-star hotels are moderately priced. For example, staying in a two-star hotel on the Left Bank in Paris will cost a fraction of what you may pay for a three or four-star hotel in the high tourist areas on the Right Bank. Smaller hotels are usually owned and operated by local people. Although the owners may not speak English, they are generally helpful, compassionate and amiable. Local hotel owners are eager to provide tourists with restaurant recommendations and helpful travel information. If you choose to stay in an upscale hotel, you will have access to a concierge who can arrange day trips and can help you purchase tickets to museums, theatre events and monuments. Most hotels provide assistance with public transportation schedules and access to rental cars and local airline schedules.
Depending on your travel destination, most major cities offer public transportation, such as the Metro and local bus service. Travel within cities is generally safe, unless you are traveling late at night. Regardless of your transportation needs, it is important to maintain control of travel documents, money and credit cards. Beware of pickpockets on public transportation in many large cities. If you are traveling between countries, local airlines offer short-hopper fares at reasonable prices. If you are on a time limit, it might make more sense to travel by air as opposed to train. Destinations in Asia may be more difficult to navigate, as transportation in remote areas is challenging. In these instances, it might be best to hire a driver for a day or two in order to allow you to reach the areas on your itinerary. Private drivers tend to be very honest and helpful. With a private car, you may be able to explore areas not accessible by public transportation
Unless you are traveling to a jungle, desert or remote third-world country, it is important to remember that most major cities have grocery stores, pharmacies and local markets. Pack wisely and lightly. There is nothing more stressful than packing a heavy suitcase on a long journey. Packing wisely also allows you to bring mementos and lovely gifts home to family and friends.
The most important aspect of travelling is to have fun and enjoy your vacation. There is no need for stress or worry if you are well prepared before starting your adventure. The key to a successful journey is planning ahead.