The best trekkers develop habits and routines to help make their travels go more smoothly. Adopt these seven tricks to take your trekking skills to the next level.
Do you do a lot of travelling? Then make it a habit to keep your suitcase stocked with travel toiletries and a regularly updated carry-on bag list. Even if you’re not away every weekend, having the essentials ready to go and an idea of what you need to check off can save you lots of pre-trip stress and prevent over-packing. Plus if someone ever offers to whisk you away at a moment’s notice, you’ll be prepared! 😉
Take Advantage Of Flight-Tracking Apps
It’s called a smartphone for obvious reasons, and one of the smartest things you can do with it is download a good flight-tracking app. There are plenty of great free tracking apps and you can upscale to the pro versions for instant alerts about flight delays, cancellations, and gate changes. You’ll also be notified as soon as online check-in is available, whether your airfare is eligible for a refund, and you’ll get help finding a new flight if yours is cancelled. Get into the habit of inputting your itinerary into your travel app before you take off, and you (or at least your smartphone) will be on top of the travel game.
Check in ASAP
With airlines trying to squeeze every last penny out of flyers by turning exit-row economy seats into “premium economy,” your chance of snagging a good aisle or window seat (without paying extra) is dwindling. Get in the habit of setting an alarm on your phone to remind you exactly when your airline’s online check-in starts: then if you weren’t able to select seats when you booked, it will give you am early shot at what’s still open. If you already picked a seat, remember that usually it’s the passengers who check in last who get bumped from oversold flights. Print your boarding passes at this time too and you’ll be able to ditch the long check-in lines at the airport.
Get in with the Locals
Photo: author’s own
Start a new tradition: make one of your first stops on each trip a bar, coffee shop or restaurant frequented by locals and not recommended by any guidebooks. While you’re there, chat up friendly natives for their tips on what to do. By starting off every trip like this, you’ll often discover things you would have missed by sticking to a guidebook or travel agent’s recommendations. Why not start a routine of dropping your bags at the hotel, then immediately heading out for refreshment at the quirkiest local establishment you can find? It’s a fun and informative way to ease into your holiday.
Do Your Homework!
I really can’t emphasis this enough: spontaneity on trips is great but doing a little homework before you go can vastly enhance your getaway. A few weeks before you travel, try signing up for daily deal sites (like Groupon or LivingSocial) for your destination. You’ll get offers for local restaurants and activities that you can redeem once you’re there – all at a heavy discount. And read up on the places you’re travelling to: there’s nothing worse than finding out about an amazing event or attraction after you’ve returned home!
Call Your Credit Card Company
Photo: author’s own
Another important habit is to call your credit card company and bank before you head off to any far-flung destination. Many companies will freeze your card if it’s used outside of your home country, thinking that it’s fraud. A few days before you leave, give them a call and let them know the dates you’ll be gone so you’ll still be able to access all your funds abroad.
Build some Downtime into your Schedule
Photo: author’s own
It’s tempting to try to pack a million different activities and sights into your trip, because who knows when you’ll get a chance to come back? Get in the habit of leaving some downtime in your schedule. Without it, you’ll be overexerted and tired, and you’ll never have time to just wander and discover the unexpected delights that can be the best part of any trip.