Seven traveling tips

Robert Loose, Reporter

There are a lot of dangers when traveling, weather around the country or internationally. It can be very easy to get lost, especially when you don’t know the local language or any landmarks, and even easier to ruin your whole trip by missing a flight or a train. Here, I’ve assembled 7 tips to help you have a fun trip, without inconveniencing yourself.

   Tip 1: Sync yourself with the local time zone. If you travel within the U.S., your time change probably won’t be that severe (an hour or two at most), but for any international travelers, jet lag can be a big problem. After you arrive at your destination, make sure to sync your watches and phones to the local time. Then, do what you would normally do at that time. If it’s night then go to sleep. If it’s broad daylight, go see stuff. By following the local pattern, you get in time with the rest of the area and can then enjoy your trip.

   Tip 2: Do your research first. If you know a place is a tourist trap (places like the Sagrada Familia, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, ect…), see if you can find tickets or guided tours. They will save you time and will teach you more than you would find online.

   Tip 3: Stay flexible, and don’t worry if your plans go wrong. If you miss your flight/bus/whatever; just relax. Most companies will either refund your money or find you another way to get to your destination.

   Tip 4: Be at the airport at least 3 hours before you need to be. Customs and Security take a long time to navigate, and getting to your terminal a little early can pay off big, especially for an international flight or if you have a lot of luggage.

   Tip 5: Download Maps. While away from home, data plans and WiFi connections may be hard to reach, making it difficult to navigate. Google Maps has a solution: Offline Downloads. In Google Maps there is now an option to download maps for later. It doesn’t use much space and can be a lifesaver in unfamiliar streets.

   Tip 6: Get through security as quickly as you can. Before you even leave your house, go through everything you’re taking with you. If there is anything even remotely dangerous (sharp blades, weapon shaped toys, pocket tools with sharp edges, alligator clips) you will probably get stopped. If you plan to take anything like that with you, leave it in your suitcase and put it under the plane.

Tip 7: Bring a jacket with lots of pockets. To get through security quickly, put anything metal in your jacket pockets, aka your watch, your phone, any jewelry, pens, pencils, your wallet, bracelets, anything and everything. Just put it all in your jacket and send it through the scanner. Make sure to be compliant with security, because these people can make your life really painful if you irritate them.