Haven’t Travelled in a While? Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Next Trip
Chances are, you're a bit rusty when it comes to booking a vacation. These travel hacks can help.
Travel Tips to Save Time (and Headaches) at the Airport
Most major destinations are served by more than one airport. Flying into a less popular one can result in cheaper tickets, says Natalie Bahadur, a Toronto-based frequent flyer. “Expedia.ca offers the option to search for the nearest alternate airports. If you’re heading to Los Angeles, for example, try Burbank and Long Beach,” rather than the city’s hub, LAX, says Bahadur. Another added perk of quieter airports? Shorter check-in and security lines, and less waiting around at the baggage carousel.
Don’t Assume All-Inclusive is the Way to Go
Booking a room-only or breakfast-only package—and buying lunch and dinner a la carte—can be better than an American-style, three-meals-daily package. Resort meal plans are marked-up and predictable. Yet once you’ve bought in, you may sweat at the idea of dining outside the resort at an additional charge. Avoid that trap and give yourself the freedom to eat at the same restos as locals. This will give you a more authentic travel experience.
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Travel Tips for Getting to (and From) the Airport
“Most city taxis are ridiculously priced,” says John DiScala, Los Angeles-based blogger of JohnnyJet.com. On average, DiScala takes 20 trips annually and is on the road 200 days a year. When possible, take public transit from the airport to your hotel. For example, the London-Heathrow express train takes just 15 minutes to get from airport to city and costs 25 pounds. By contrast, a taxi costs about 90 pounds and takes 40 minutes, reports DiScala.
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Rent a Car for Adventure Travel
When you’re in a gorgeous, expansive destination, wheels are essential for intrepid discovery. A rental car makes it possible to pack as many attractions as possible into your itinerary, even if they’re remote or spread out over a broad geographical area. Plus, you can bring along as much gear as you care to tote—and it’s likely cheaper than what you’d pay for an organized tour on a bus.
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Travel Tips to Save on Food
Look for ways to pare down your order in pricey restaurants and you can avoid that dreaded “Are we about to run out of money?” panic attack that typically kicks in on day five of a week-long trip. “Don’t order an appetizer. Don’t drink a lot of booze,” says DiScala. “Have dessert at a café or gelato stand, instead of at the dinner restaurant,” suggests DiScala. You’ll cover more ground—and ultimately see more of your destination—by spreading out your refreshment venues and grazing throughout the day.
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Hit the Market
Much like perusing the local newspaper, visiting a market gives context to a foreign country. Even the smallest villages tend to have a weekly open-air market (often on Saturday mornings), while in larger towns and cities, expect additional market days, as well as big supermarkets. Markets also yield amazing, wallet-friendly souvenirs. Think artisanal sea salt, local spices or sauces, and regional oils and vinegars. Edible gifts are almost always appreciated, saving you the stress of finding the “perfect” gift for each person on your list. The best part is they cost a fraction of what you’d pay for cheaply made, marked-up tchotchkes at a tourist shop!
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