Travel tips for intermediate travelers

Traveling can be an exciting change of pace if you plan properly. Whether you are traveling abroad or staying in the country, you need to protect yourself financially and physically. Planning ahead helps you evade a number of potential problems and turn your journey into an enjoyable and stress-free experience.

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It’s crucial to protect yourself while traveling alone, so give a friend or family member your itinerary and phone numbers that can be used to reach you. Send an email to yourself containing a copy of all your important documents and contact numbers. It’s also a good idea to pack a change of clothing plus any essentials in a carry-on bag in case your luggage is misplaced.

One of the major concerns for many travelers is money. In order to safeguard your funds while traveling, keep your cash, bank cards and traveler’s checks in different places such as a wallet, purse and carry-on bag. You can also purchase small pouches that can be worn under your clothing to conceal your valuables. You may be better off avoiding the use of credit or debit cards while traveling. Many credit card providers and ATM machines charge additional fees to access money overseas. At the very least, you should contact your credit or debit card company before you leave to let the company know you’ll be traveling. This will prevent a financial institution from putting any red flags on your account when they see a purchase being made in an unfamiliar location.

You can avoid hidden fees from various sources if you do some preliminary research. Compare prices among airlines on sites like to find the best deal. Using online consolidators is ideal because it allows you to combine hotel, flight and car rental prices into a discount package. Many people also save money by traveling during off-peak seasons. You may see substantial savings if you schedule your trip just before or after the busy season for any location.

Be aware of hotel resort fees and extra costs for housekeeping, valet parking or early checkouts. When using a rental car, don’t pay for collision insurance if you already have coverage through your insurance provider or credit card company. Weigh your luggage at home to avoid  overweight baggage charges.

If you establish travel-wise habits upfront, you will set yourself up for a safe, hassle-free trip. Book your flights, hotels and rental cars online to avoid paying in-person fees. Get in the habit of checking each area you visit before you leave to make sure you’re not leaving valuables behind. Stay aware of your surroundings and your spending so you can enjoy your vacation without worry!