Even experienced travelers (like myself, especially) can benefit from some helpful travel tips and reminders. Here are 5 things I did – or didn’t do – on my last trip.
You probably booked your flight months ago, especially if it was for a big trip, and in between, there may have been a schedule change (or several). Be sure to read each and every one of them and check the time AND DAY of your flight to ensure all is in order. Embarrassingly so, I didn’t….and lo and behold my connecting flight back from Europe was delayed by A DAY and required an overnight in Amsterdam. Airlines are supposed to call you if a big schedule change like this happens. The airline I booked my flight on was supposed to do this, but it got missed, so it’s always wise to double check yourself.
When you unexpectedly need a hotel in a strange city, a great app to have on your phone is Hotel Tonight. As their website explains, hotels give them their unsold rooms and then they pass the savings onto you. For a beautiful room with a king-size bed along with a free shuttle to/from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and morning coffee, we paid only $72. Plus, there was free WiFi, so we could download on our iPad the last 3 episodes of Man in the High Castle to binge-watch on our unplanned “staycation”. Be sure to keep your receipts, too. I did and got reimbursed for my one-night hotel, plus dinner and breakfast.
Even if you don’t have an international plan or have a limited data plan, be sure to bring your smartphone along with you on your travels. So many hotels, airports, coffee shops, etc. now have free WiFi and when your phone is in airplane mode and you are on WiFi, you can surf the internet and text your peeps back home, free of charge – which is how I booked my Hotel Tonight while waiting in the Milan airport for my flight to Amsterdam. And of course, your phone is also a great camera…
When renting a car, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the car before you drive off the lot and then again when you return the car. That way, there can be no disagreements as to any declared damage by the rental car company. See that little crack in the headlight? By my taking a picture beforehand, we could prove to the rental car company that we did not, in fact, owe them $230 for a cracked headlight, but rather it was there when we picked up the car.
Travel is an adventure. It takes patience sometimes and provides instantaneous delight at others. Dare yourself to say “yes” to all things… Inkfish with white beans and tomato sauce? Well… maybe… (it was delicious!) Two desserts? Why, I think I will (again, delicious). Gelato not once, but twice in one day? Yup, that’s a no-brainer.
Lori is a content writer at Sun Country Airlines. When it comes to what she loves most about Sun Country, it’s all about the affordability and nonstop flights from MSP (oh, and the ease of Terminal 2). Her favorite destinations are the ones she hasn’t been to yet, but can’t wait to explore, including Portland, Austin, and Santa Rosa.