Traveling can be a fun experience. It can fill you with joy as you explore some of the many amazing places this world has to offer. However, as much fun as traveling is, it also has its fair share of downsides. There are many issues, such as lost baggage, delayed flights, inability to find a good hotel, not being able to find the right rental car and many other headaches that millions of travelers experience every year. The good news is that the vast majority of problems like this can be easily avoided if you plan ahead. Here are some travel tips to make your journey easier.
1. Get to the airport at least two hours early
Whenever you book tickets on most of the major travel sites, there is a message that appears, reminding you to get to the airport two hours in advance. Unfortunately, far too many people fail to heed this warning. After the events of 9/11, we are living in a totally different age in terms of airport security. Things go much more slowly than they did before 9/11. Nowadays, the lines for security checkpoints move slowly, taking a lot of time for everyone to be scanned and cleared to enter. Because of these added delays, you need to give yourself more time to go through security. If you are traveling at night, you might not need to worry about this as much because there will not be that many people at the airport. However, if you are flying during the day, and especially if you are flying on Friday through Sunday, you need to make sure you arrive to the airport two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave.
2. Book your hotel in advance
London hotels can vary greatly, so there are certainly wide varieties for you to choose from. However, you do not want to wait until you arrive in London to start looking for a hotel. Ideally, you should take care of the booking details prior to your arrival. After your flight, you will be tired and not in the mood to go from one hotel to another looking for a low price. All of your hotel research should be done several weeks before your flight. If you take some time and book your room in advance, you will be able to reserve the exact room that you are looking for; equipped with all the amenities you need to make your trip more enjoyable. You may also stumble on some deals that you would not be able to find by going to different hotels in person. Many hotels give a discount to people who book their room in advance, so take advantage of this deal when you can find it.
3. Do not use the minibar
The markup on the items in hotel minibars is insane. In some cases, they will charge $5 for a can of beer or a candy bar. There are people who pay this just because of the convenience of having the food right in their room. However, if you are on a budget, you should not even open the minibar. Simply leave the hotel, go to the nearest market, and buy any food or beverage item that you want. You will save a lot of money doing this.
This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a travel website that offers customers a fast and easy way to find the best travel deals.