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5 Obvious Travel Tips Most People Don’t Know

SmarterTravel

Oftentimes, it’s the simple, easy things that we often forget. These no-brainers should be kept in mind while traveling, so don’t laugh at us by how obvious these five travel tips may seem—you, too, may even be guilty of letting one or two of them slip your mind!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Oftentimes travelers feel awkward or embarrassed to ask hotel staff for help, but that’s just silly—that’s what they are there for, and they do it all day long. Trust us, a concierge or doorman won’t be weirded out by your request for dinner recommendations. And best of all, they’re often the most in-the-know people in their cities! Fellow hotel guests are also great resources; many times a handful of them have stayed at the hotel before, or at least visited the area before, and therefore will likely have suggestions on everything from what the hotel front desk can provide to the must-visit tourist spots. (The doormen at The James New York always have a smile!)

Pack All of the Essentials

You should always pack a portable battery for your smartphone (since you know you’re going to run out of juice taking tons of photos and videos), empty plastic bags for laundry, wet clothes, and dirty shoes, and a hard copy of your travel plans and of your passport.

Sign up for Free Loyalty Programs

If the hotel has a free loyalty program, sign up! A lot of times you’ll get free Wi-Fi or other perks as a result. On the other hand, some luxury hotels (like The Greenwich Hotel) give all guests special, personalized treatment.

Know How to Get from Point A to Point B

If an airport is your final arrival point, knowing how to get from the airport to your destination is key. I usually spend time researching my transportation options, weighing cost against convenience. Often, shuttles to city centers or central hotels are a great option. And if you’re not concerned with finding the fastest option, the local metro system is usually the most affordable way to go, and is often still pretty convenient as well. Airport metro stations (or traveler information desks) often have special tourist discounts on public transportation cards as well, so it’s worth checking out in advance.

Don’t Waste Time Worrying About Cleanliness, But Know What to Look For

Travelers often ask us how to know if the hotel they’re staying in is clean, but unless you sit and watch the cleaning process, you can’t know for sure. Of course, there are telltale signs: Are there smudges on the glasses, dust in the corners, mold in the showers? Some cleaning practices, like the use of chemical cleaning products, can cause serious health issues, so you can avoid this risk by booking a LEED-certified hotel, like the Orchard Hotel, that only uses chemical-free products. Another way to ensure a fresh room is booking rooms at hotels that provide air purifiers upon request; both the Grand Hyatt Seattle and The Four Seasons Denver do.

—Jane Reynolds

This article was originally published by Oyster.com under the headline You’d Be Surprised How Many People Don’t Know These 5 Obvious Travel Tips. It is reprinted here with permission.

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