Travel Tips

Responsible-Travel-Tips

At Best Western, we want you to have an enjoyable trip so we have put together some top tips for easy travel.


 

TOP TRAVEL PREPARATION TIPS

  1. Research your destination. Get copies of maps of your destination to locate routes, attractions, and essential services. Your library, travel agent, and the Internet are some good places to get information.
  2. Talk to fellow travelers. If you know people who have been to the place you plan to visit, ask them about what they liked about their trip and what they would do differently next time.
  3. Make a list and check it twice. Make a list of essentials that you need to pack. Also, make a list of things you want to see and do on your trip.
  4. Are you covered? If you are traveling outside of the U.S., your health and accident insurance may not cover you. Also, look into travel insurance for cancellations or other travel mishaps.

 

TOP TRAVEL PACKING TIPS

  1. Take advantage of those “hidden” spaces. For example, place small items inside your shoes or the pockets of shirts or jackets you pack.
  2. Pack extra bags in your bag. Packing a duffle bag in your luggage gives you extra space to bring things home with you. It’s also a good idea to bring plastic sandwich or grocery bags for laundry or other items.
  3. Tag those bags. Tag your luggage with a distinctive luggage tag with your contact information to help you find your bag if you lose it. A distinctive tag makes it easier to spot your bag at baggage claim.
  4. Don’t pack what you can get at your destination. Our hotels have a hair dryer in every room, along with many toiletry items, so you don’t need to pack them.
  5. Avoid checking baggage if you can. Limiting your baggage to carry-ons saves you time and aggravation checking your bags, plus you don’t have to worry about losing your baggage.
  6. Get on a roll. You can save space by rolling clothes instead of folding them.
  7. Watch your back (pack). Pack heavier items in the bottom of your backpack and distribute items evenly from left to right. Use both straps to carry it, too.

 

TOP TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

  1. Get your passport. Did you know that you need a current, valid passport if you are traveling anywhere outside of the U.S., including Canada and Mexico? If you don’t have a current, valid passport, visit the U.S. State Department’s Web siteto apply for or renew your passport.
  2. Do you need a visa? In addition to a passport, you may also need a visa to visit some countries. Check with either theU.S. State Department’s Web site or your host country or countries’ tourism or foreign affairs Web sites.
  3. Know before you go. Get any travel advisories or warnings about any countries you plan to visit at the U.S. State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management site.
  4. Learn the lingo. Learning just a few basic phrases in the local language makes getting around easier.
  5. Make change count. You may be able to get a better exchange rate by changing currency at home. Also, change money only at banks and authorized exchanges.
  6. Make sure your cell phone works. Ask your cell phone provider if your phone will work outside the U.S.

 

TOP TIPS TO SAVE MONEY WHEN YOU TRAVEL

  1. Buy essentials at home. Many travel essentials, such as film, may cost less at home.
  2. Pick a hotel with perks. Choosing a hotel with many free amenities, such as Internet access, parking, and local calls, can save you money.
  3. Hit the Internet. Many travel deals can only be found online.
  4. Go far from the crowd. Traveling off-peak, whether it means flying or visiting a destination during a less popular time of year, means saving money and hassle.
  5. Take advantage of discounts. If you belong to AAA or AARP, you can get discounts, freebies, and other deals on just about everything related to travel. Also, check into special deals for students, seniors, and families.


TRAVEL WITH KIDS – TIPS AND IDEAS

  1. Have patience: Try to relax and make the travel a fun part of your trip. Take the long ride as an opportunity to spend quality time with your little ones. Give them lots of attention, play games, tell them stories and by the time you’re ready to come home they’ll be talking about the “best trip ever!”
  2. Capture the memories – Buy each child an inexpensive disposable camera so they can take pictures. Your kids will really feel special when they can snap their own photos. They’ll also love the resulting photos they can later use in a memory book of the trip.
  3. Bag-O-Fun – Prepare individual bags filled goodies, but don’t let your kids look inside until you’re on the road. They’ll enjoy having their own personal items and will gladly spend hours with their snacks, games and crafts. Here’s a quick list of items you can include in the bag, but get creative and consider each child’s personality and hobbies.
    Favorite snacks, Books, Pad of paper, Coloring supplies, Pipe cleaners, Stickers, Games, Deck of cards, Puzzles, Brochures about your destination
  4. Don’t forget to play – Take the time to plan fun and creative games that can be played while you are traveling. Your children will have a blast and the time will fly by.
  5. Vacation scrapbook – Buy an inexpensive journal or notebook and encourage the kids to create a vacation scrapbook. Show them how to attach photos, tickets stubs, brochures, etc. from the places they visit. By the time the trip is over they’ll have a great book of memories to go with the ones they’ll always remember.
  6. Never enough snacks – Snacks are a good way to get children through times when they need to sit still or just aren’t behaving (boarding a plane, for example). Snacks also help break up the monotony of a long road trip. The trick here is to be sure you don’t give them out too fast. Pack snacks that are convenient and interesting to your children. Gummi Bears or fruit snacks top the list of quick and handy snacks for small children. For road trips, pack pretzels, potato chips or fruit. For younger children bring along sippy cups and don’t forget wipes, napkins and small trash bags.
  7. Games and crafts – If you plan properly, you can add a number of games and crafts that will be interesting to your children. Bring a small serving tray or box with low sides. Your child can use this as his or her own personal workspace to make simple crafts such as pictures, puzzles or even Play-Doh. An excellent game for young children is MagnaDoodle. It’s simple magnet drawings can be easily erased and small children have no problem scrawling pictures on it. You can even take turns drawing interesting little pictures with your child and each trying to guess what the other one is drawing.
  8. Be the DJ – One of the most common things to pass the time on trips is listening to music. Be sure to bring selections your children will enjoy. You can also bring along CDs with children’s stories or other educational material that your child may be interested in, just to mix it up a bit.
  9. Potty time – It may sound obvious, but make sure you always have your children go to the bathroom before you leave–even if they tell you they don’t have to. Also, when taking long road trips with younger children, have them wear pull-ups while riding in the car.
  10. Dollar store bonanza – Make sure you visit the dollar store before your trip. You’ll be able to find a bunch of cheap toys, supplies and many things that are fun as you travel with kids. You can even make a grab bag and reward your children for their good behavior. Let them draw for a prize every 50 miles or so on long road trips. This will add variety to the trip and give them something new to do in the meantime.

 

TRAVELING WITH PETS AT BEST WESTERN

  • Best Western recognizes the ever growing needs for pet friendly accommodations. We strive to offer our guests and their furry friends a comfortable stay and have done our best to ensure consistency at all of our pet friendly properties.
  • Best Western pet friendly properties will allow up to two domestic dogs in a rented room, with a maximum size of 80 lbs per animal. Other pet types such as cats, birds, monkeys, snakes, or other animals are allowed at the discretion of each property and require prior approval from the property.
  • There may be a maximum $20 per day charge for each room with a pet or multiple pets or a maximum per week charge of $100. A refundable damage deposit of up to $50 per stay may be required of all guests with a pet.
  • When making your reservation at a pet friendly hotel, it is recommended that you call the hotel directly if you have specific pet related questions and to guarantee availability of a pet friendly room.
  • Planning a vacation with your pet? Use the FIND A HOTEL search on the left to locate one of our pet friendly hotels and make a reservation.

 

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Research basic information about your destination
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted family member or friend
  • If you are driving, make sure your vehicle is in good working order
  • Get copies of maps of your destination to locate routes, attractions, and essential services
  • Consider joining AAA or another travel club for roadside assistance or other travel assistance

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TIPS

  • Did you know that you need a current, valid passport if you are traveling anywhere outside of the U.S., including Canada and Mexico? If you don’t have a current, valid passport, visit the U.S. State Department’s Web site to apply for or renew your passport.
  • In addition to a passport, you may also need a visa to visit some countries. Check with either the U.S. State Department’s Web site or your host country or countries’ tourism or foreign affairs Web sites.
  • Plan to drive in another country? Check to see if your driver’s license is valid abroad. You may also need an International Driving Permit or a translation of your U.S. driver’s license. Visit AAA’s IDP web site to apply.
  • Find the local U.S. consulate or embassy’s address and phone number.
  • Research basic information about the country or countries you plan to visit to help you become familiar with local laws and customs. Your library or travel agent are valuable resources here. Also, check with the U.S. State Department to see if there are any warnings or advisories for special considerations for the country or countries you plan to visit.
  • Become familiar with some basic words and phrases in the language of the country or countries you plan to visit.
  • Register with the U.S. State Department to make it easier for the U.S. government to help you in an emergency abroad.
  • Make photocopies of your passport, airline tickets, visa, Carry one set of copies in a safe place and leave another set of copies at home with a trusted family member or friend.
  • Your health and accident insurance may not be valid outside of the U.S. Check with your insurance provider to see if you need additional travel health/accident insurance.
  • Some countries have restrictions on things you can bring with you or take home with you.
  • There may be restrictions on bringing certain things back to the U.S. with you. Check with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for more details.

GETTING PACKED

  • Travel light.
  • If you need any prescription medication, bring enough to last you the duration of your trip. Also, if you wear glasses, bring an extra pair.
  • Keep medicines in their original containers. You may also need a letter from your doctor explaining why you need certain medicines.
  • Don’t pack or bring any prohibited items, such as weapons, sharp objects, or dangerous substances.
  • Don’t bring a lot of cash or credit cards. Instead, bring travelers’ checks, one or two credit cards, and only a small amount of cash.
  • Don’t pack or bring valuables, such as a jot of jewelry.
  • Make sure your baggage is labeled with your name and phone number, but use a luggage tag. You may also consider using your work address and phone number on your luggage tags.
  • Remember the rules for what you can carry on and what needs to be checked when flying. Visit the Transportation Security Administration web site to learn more about these rules.

AT THE AIRPORT AND IN THE AIR

  • Don’t leave your baggage unattended
  • Don’t let anyone other than airport staff members handle your luggage
  • Don’t accept any packages from strangers
  • Report any suspicious activities
  • Follow all safety and security rules and instructions

ON THE ROAD

  • Wear your seat belt
  • Don’t drink and drive, and don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking
  • Make sure that your children are in approved child safety seats
  • Don’t drive if you feel drowsy
  • Don’t use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving
  • Don’t hitch hike, and don’t pick up hitch hikers
  • Be aware of road conditions and your surroundings
  • Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas
  • Keep your car’s doors locked
  • Don’t place your baggage or other valuables in a place where criminals can easily see them
  • If you are having car trouble, only accept help from police or other authorized personnel

IN YOUR HOTEL

  • Find the nearest fire exits, fire alarm, fire extinguisher/hose to your room
  • Keep your hotel room door locked at all times
  • Ask visitors to meet you in the lobby or other public spaces in your hotel
  • Use the hotel safe to store valuables
  • Don’t get into an elevator alone with suspicious strangers
  • Ask hotel staff about safety and security policies if you are unsure

OUT AND ABOUT

  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Don’t take more cash, travelers’ checks, or credit cards than you need
  • Don’t accept rides from strangers
  • Avoid large crowds, demonstrations, or public confrontations
  • Keep a low profile
  • Don’t have too much alcohol to drink
  • Stay in well-lit and well-traveled places
  • Don’t “flash” your cash or other valuables
  • Don’t discuss travel plans with strangers
  • Find the location of the nearest police station, hospital, and other safe places .
  • Report any suspicious activities to the police
  • If you are robbed, don’t resist

 

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Research basic information about your destination
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted family member or friend
  • Make a list of important emergency information
  • Go over basic safety information, rules, and procedures, such as what to do if you get lost or sick

GETTING PACKED

  • Travel light
  • Pack essentials in your carry-on bag
  • Bring childproofing supplies, such as electrical outlet covers and baby gates
  • Bring along a basic first aid kit
  • Remember the rules for what you can carry on and what needs to be checked when flying. These rules also apply to liquids such as milk or formula. Visit the Transportation Security Administration website to learn more about these rules.

ON THE ROAD

  • Make sure that your children are in approved child safety seats as required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
    • Infants (under 20 lbs.) should be in rear-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or below shoulder level
    • Toddlers (20-40 lbs.) should be in forward-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or above shoulders
    • Young children (more than 40 lbs.) should use a forward-facing, belt positioning. Booster seat with the lap belt fitting low and tight across the lap/upper thigh area and shoulder belt snug across the chest and shoulder.
  • If your children are old enough not to need a child safety seat, make sure they wear their seat belts
  • Never leave your children alone in your car

AT THE AIRPORT AND IN THE AIR

  • Explain safety and security procedures, rules and instructions
  • Instruct your children to cooperate with airport security officials
  • Tell your children not to make jokes or false threats about security issues
  • Your children should be in approved child safety seats if they require them. The requirements for child safety seats in cars also apply to airplanes.
  • Check on requirements for strollers, diaper bags, and other baby and child equipment

IN YOUR HOTEL

  • Check your hotel room for potential hazards, such as electrical outlets and furniture with sharp corners
  • Find the nearest fire exits, fire alarm, fire extinguisher/hose to your room
  • Teach your children basic emergency procedures, such as what to do in case of a fire
  • Keep potentially hazardous items, such as toiletries, out of kids’ reach
  • Supervise your kids at all times

OUT AND ABOUT

  • Supervise your children closely, particularly in public restrooms, large crowds, and near swimming pools or bodies of water
  • Set ground rules for curfews and safety issues
  • Make sure your children cross streets with your supervision
  • If lost, instruct your kids to go to an agreed upon safe place and stay there
  • Dress your kids in distinctive or brightly colored clothes to make them more visible
  • Write down your contact information on an index card and place it in your kids’ pockets to make contacting you easier
  • Tell your children not to take anything from a stranger or go anywhere with a stranger
  • Check play areas for potential hazards, such as sharp edges or openings where your children could get stuck
  • Make sure your kids have and use proper safety equipment, such as helmets and life vests, for any activities that require them

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TIPS

  • Did you know that children of all ages need a current, valid passport if traveling anywhere outside of the U.S., including Canada and Mexico? If your kids don’t have a current, valid passport, visit the U.S. State Department’s Web site to apply for or renew their passports. There are also special requirements for minors that apply to passports
  • In addition to a passport, your kids may also need a visa to visit some countries. Check with either the U.S. State Department’s Web site or your host country or countries’ tourism or foreign affairs Web sites
  • In case of emergencies, contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy