You will find 20 top cool tips for making your travel much better.
What day of the week you want to fly will determine how much you pay for your seat. Most often, you’ll find the best fares — for both domestic and international flights — fall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the two most unpopular days of the week to travel. Think about it: Most people start their vacations on the weekends, and business travel booms on Mondays and again at the end of the week, leaving Tuesdays and Wednesdays for those who can be a little flexible with their schedule.
Smart travelers take advantage of that decreased demand for seats on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to score good ticket prices. By traveling on those days they get an additional perk: Fewer fellow passengers means shorter lines at the airport.
Smart travelers use their smartphones as travel assistants. From your mobile screen, you can check your flight status, check your gate information and even check into your flight. And when problems arise — which they will — use your smartphone to solve the problem; don’t stand in the customer service line.
Before you travel, make note of your airline’s customer service number, and if you have a smartphone download airline apps not only for the easy check in but for easier customer service as well. While your fellow passengers wait for an agent at the customer service counter, you’ll have faster access to help through your phone’s browser, an app, or a call to your airline’s customer service number. If you’re flying through a major hub, chances are good that the airport has an app of its own, which comes in handy not only when you’re trying to make a tight connection and need to figure out the quickest path from gate to gate but also when you need to quickly find alternative flight routes because your plane’s been grounded.
“Dress up! People wearing impressive clothes are treated better.” —Simon Doonan, Creative Director, Barneys New York
Keep copies of travel docs. Nothing is worse than losing your passport or tickets and getting stranded in foreign land. Always keep a copy of your passport in every piece of baggage. An extra copy of air ticket & visa won’t hurt if you recycle them when you return.
Distribute your currency. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; spread money across your bags and some in your wallet. Use a spare purse or a self-sealing bag to keep the currency of the port you’re leaving that you can move back in when you return.
Check local weather. Weather can be a real spoiler. Quite a few parts of Asia & Europe are infamous for random showers. Be prepared. A folding umbrella or a monkey cap – or at least, the right pair of shoes – can really save a day.
Know about your consulate. It is essential to know how your country is represented in places you are visiting. It could be an embassy, a consulate or served by the diplomatic mission of another country. Fortunately, I have never had to use this information. But this is the first place and your last resort if shit hits the roof.
Download offline maps on your device. Avoid messy paper maps by downloading local road & public transport information on your smartphone, tablet or pad. If Google doesn’t let you, use Maps (-) on Android to save maps offline. And then if you have a local SIM, you can enjoy (approximate) location services with A-GPS without incurring data charges.
Carry an extra pair in your handbag. Don’t under-estimate the world’s best airlines losing your baggage. Especially when going remote places that are not connected with enough flights or when you have a meeting to attend the next day. You’re usually allowed up to 7 kgs over and above your laptop – enough for a spare shirt. If you’re wearing shorts & chap pals on a business trip.
Carry your favorite snacks. I love trying local food. But there are no guarantees. Anything from cost to taste to ingredients can come in the way of your diet and its best to carry some stock of local, instant or ready food. Maggi, theplas, fried-snacks like chakli, farsan, chips are all-time favorites.
Get the local pulse. Understand how and until what time it is safe to move around the place. Always avoid strangers – even fellow countrymen if you don’t feel safe. More than knowing where to go, know where not to go. If you’re on your own, learn a bit about the local culture. Don’t discuss the holocaust over beer in Germany or point fingers at places or people in Tokyo.Not just the place you’re staying but surrounding areas as well. Read your nation’s guideline on the country you’re visiting, and if your local mission advises registering yourself – do it.
Estimate your travel. Factor in stay, meals, commute, visa fees, airport taxes, and local entrance fees at least. You don’t need to budget to the last dollar you need, but carry enough to avoid exchanging at poor rates. Don’t ever exchange at the airport. If you ever run out, use your debit card instead of the credit card.
Accumulate air miles. Unless you’re booked in a class that doesn’t credit miles, there is no reason to not record your miles. Pick your favorite airline, check which alliance it belongs to and sign up for the alliance’s frequent flyer program. Then make sure you always fly an airline within that alliance and you will accumulate maximum miles. Star Alliance is one of the best programs by far, unless you are an Emirates fan.
Make a good impression at immigration. I’ve had some very varied experiences arriving at immigration, particularly in the USA, ranging from being processed quickly in a few minutes to being asked to go off to the interview room for a secondary interview (that was a fun start to my honeymoon). Be smartly dressed, polite and well spoken, make good eye contact with the immigration official and have a clear idea of where you are going next (name of hotel, car hire). Never ever make jokes and do not use your mobile phone. Also make sure you have a credit card to hand and if possible local currency as you may be asked to prove you are able to pay your way If you are traveling on business, never say “I am here to work” as they will be concerned that you are going to be working illegally; a better phrase is: “I am here to have some meetings with business colleagues”.
Robert Smith, Technical Manager.
Prep your documents. Before you get in line to check in, or at least before you get to the front of the line, dig out and have in hand all the items and documentation you will need to check in. Having this stuff out makes everyone happy — you, airline agents and the people behind you in line who appreciate your efficiency.
Weigh your bags. Many airports are installing scales in front of the check-in areas; if you suspect your checked bag might be overweight, weigh it before you get in line, and do any swapping between your bags before you reach the check-in counter. This also avoids any scrutiny from the check-in agents about your carry-on bag starting to swell.
Stow everything except your ID and boarding pass in your carry-on bag. This way, when you get to the front of the security line, you are not finding stuff in random pockets, messing with your phone, dropping credit cards and keys (or losing them — I have seen it happen), spilling crumpled cash all over the place and generally ticking off everyone behind you. By the time you get in the security line, you should be as close to ready to go through the actual security machine as possible.
Take inventory of what you will need to do when you get to the front of the security line. Do a quick mental review of everything you are wearing that you will need to remove (such as shoes, jewelry, watch, jacket), and what you have inside your carry-on bag that might need to be taken out (liquids, electronics). When you get to the front of the line, blast through your mental inventory and make it happen. Done well, you can go from fully clad for winter weather, with laptops and iPads in your bag, to a T-shirt, pants and socks, and all your sensitive electronics in their own bins, in seconds
Program airline 800 numbers into your phone. If you get stuck due to a delayed or canceled flight, you are going to want to be proactive in figuring out your options, as airline folks are typically understaffed and under siege in these situations. If you have the phone numbers of airlines that fly preferred route programmed into your phone, you will get a lot farther a lot faster than if you don’t.
In 2012, about 1.8 million bags were damaged, lost, or stolen by major U.S. carriers. While that may seem like a lot of lost luggage — it’s roughly 1 bungled bag per 333 travelers — it’s actually 2.5 times less than the 4.5 million pieces of luggage that were damaged or lost five years prior [source: Yogerst].
Most lost bags are just delayed, usually accidentally loaded onto a different flight (maybe to your destination, but maybe not). However mishandled, a missing bag is a missing bag and there are a few steps you can take to help get your luggage back, or at least get reimbursed for damage or loss.
The most important thing to do when your bag fails to arrive at baggage claim — or if it arrives damaged — is report the problem to the airline. Don’t leave the airport without filing a report (get a copy) and getting a phone number for follow-up. Also, don’t be shy about asking for reimbursement for emergency costs. The airline representative is also likely allowed to cover some additional expenses you may have while your luggage is being tracked down, or can tell you how to go about being reimbursed for them later (each airline will have its own reimbursement rules).
Airlines will search for your luggage but it won’t be fast. Expect to wait anywhere between a week to a month or more before your case is closed and your bags are either returned or declared officially lost. Expect more paperwork if your bag is determined permanently gone, this time to estimate the bag’s value. Since 2009, the baggage liability limit (that’s the maximum they’ll reimburse you for a lost checked bag) is $3,300 per passenger traveling on a domestic flight and $1,500 per passenger traveling on an international flight.