This is a short series of posts with my tips for traveling. I’ll explore things from booking to packing to flying and many things in between.
You’ve officially arrived at your destination and it’s time for adventure! Sorta. First, you have to figure out your ground transportation, check in to your hotel/Airbnb/VRBO, and unwind from the day of travel. Here are a few times that may help you once you arrive.
Depending on your destination and plans, you’ll have to navigate the world of rental cars, shuttles, taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, busses, subways, and more. Every airport is different. There are potential headaches around every corner. There is so much to include here, I’ve decided to go with a simple list of ground transportation tips.
- No matter where you're going, download and set up accounts with Uber and Lyft. You might not be planning on using them, but they can be lifesavers if you're unable to find a taxi or public transportation is having issues.
- If renting a car, make sure you have your driver's license, the credit card you used to make the reservation, and the confirmation number1
- If renting a car, make sure you understand the insurance coverage options available on your personal insurance and your credit card. Understanding this can save you a load of money.
- If renting a car, always turn down their prepaid gas option. Return the car full2 and save money.
- If renting a car, pack a car charger for your phone.
- If you are planning on a taxi or ride sharing, have some small bills on hand for tips.
- Always check the vehicle for your phone, wallet, passport, sunglasses, bags, etc when you're exiting.
- Many public transportation systems offer phone apps for times and directions. Download them before your trip.
- Preload your destinations in Google Maps or Apple Maps before you leave. Get a general idea of the area.
- Be courteous. You're the stranger in their land.
Before you arrive at your place-of-stay, make sure you’re aware of the parking situation, the check-in times, and luggage storage policies. If you have an early arriving flight, call and ask for an early check-in time. If they can’t accommodate you, prepare to store your luggage and change clothes in a public restroom.
Once you have access to your room, ask for extra pillows or blankets if that’s your preference. Set the thermostat. Set the temperature of the refrigerator3 Take a few minutes to relax and recover. How about a shower before your trip really begins?
- Even in a digital world, I always have a hard copy of my reservation. Car rental companies are notoriously awful at customer service and having all documentation has saved me more than once. ↩
- This is checked with an eyeball test. You don't need to use the gas station next door when returning the car. ↩
- Housekeepers turn up the temp between guests to save electricity. ↩