Whether your business takes you away from home or you are looking for a memorable vacation, you can benefit from these handy tips on travel. While travel has tended to become faster and cheaper over time, there is still a big difference between the costs you experience as an unprepared traveler versus being a well-educated one.

When traveling to a country outside of North America and Western Europe, carry cash or pre-purchased traveler’s checks. You cannot count on your credit or debit card to work the same way it does at home, nor is there any guarantee of access to ATMs. Converting your money or buying traveler’s checks before you leave also protects you against unscrupulous money changers.

If you’re going to use the safe in the hotel, it’s recommended that you wipe off the keys before use. And once it’s locked, press all the keys. Some hotel staff have been putting a powder on the keys that when a light is shined on them it lights up which ones you’ve pressed and they’re able to take things out of the safe.

If you’re going on a cruise, pack a travel mug with you. They’re great for filling up with coffee or tea while you’re wandering the ship in the mornings. They can also keep you from spilling your drink while in the buffet line. And if you’re going to be sitting by the pool, they’ll keep your drinks nice and cool for you.

Sometimes it’s better to pick places to travel where you have family and friends in the area. You can save money on hotels by staying with a close friend or family member when you travel, you can just make it up to them by taking them out to dinner. They can also show you all the cool sites to check out since they should be very familiar with the area.

After you drop off your items in your hotel room, step back outside. To prepare for an emergency, count the number of doors between your room and the emergency exits. You want to be able to get out safely and if you are unable to see, you will need that number. You may want to have a flashlight handy, as well.

Ask around on the social networks you frequent for any tips or recommendations of the area you’re planning on visiting. You’ll be surprised just what may come up. Ask what the best hotels are, what the best restaurants are, what places of interest you should visit. Friends usually give the best ideas!

Cash in traveler’s checks before shopping or eating. Even though many places do accept these checks, often times it can be a complicated mess. You may get shorted by using them, so use local currency when spending.

Educating yourself on the ins and outs of traveling can save you more than just money. Savvy travelers not only get to their destinations for less money, they often get there faster – and almost always less stressed out. The tips in this article are just the start of your travel education; be on the lookout for more ways to save time and money.

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