As anybody who has ever tried to give up caffeine, nicotine, or chocolate can testify, New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to keep. But if you’re planning on traveling during 2010, you owe it to yourself to make a few promises that will ensure your vacations go off without a hitch. So we’ve taken the liberty of coming up with a short list of ten things that travelers will want to follow for the new year. And to help you succeed, we’ve rounded up the very best of this year’s helpful tips.
1. I will not pay extra fees when traveling
It seems like everyone in the travel industry is trying to add on sneaky fees to what used to be—or should be—basic services. But by knowing the rules, you can avoid them when you fly. And luckily, major online travel agencies (OTAs) have become more consumer-friendly.
- Six Sneaky Travel Fees You Can (and Should) Avoid
- Fee-Free Flying
- Consumers Win with Booking Fee Elimination
2. I will not get sideswiped by hidden add-ons
Consumers must be more vigilant than ever, since airlines are finding newer ways to increase revenue. And hotels are getting in on the action too, adding surcharges and fees that don’t show up on the base rate.
- Holiday Surcharges Increase, Expand Deep into 2010
- Watch Out for These Hotel Fees
- Not Just the Airlines: Hotel Fees Also on the Rise
3. I will not get taken to the cleaners by a car rental agency
The real cost of renting a car may be surprisingly more than the advertised rate.
- What’s the Real Cost of Your Rental Car
- Seven Rental Car Problems and What to Do About Them
- Car Rental Booking Test Yields Surprising Results
4. I will review all my options before booking accommodations
When booking a place to stay, it’s important to compare various providers to make sure you find the best price. And travelers on a budget should include vacation rentals as part of their search, as well as hotels.
- Travelocity Offers Refund If You Find a Cheaper Room
- Comparison Shopping Still Critical When Booking a Hotel
- Tight Budget? Save Big With Vacation Rentals
5. I will move through security quickly
With all the rules and regulations surrounding airline travel these days, it’s critical to know what you can and can’t bring with you on the plane, and to be ready to move through the line quickly.
6. I will not pack more than I need
Long gone are the days when travelers could pack everything but the kitchen sink at no extra charge. These days, smart packers know that minimizing bags and maximizing space will pay off in the long run.
- Six Simple Tricks for Winter Packing
- Packing Tips for Carry-On Bags: What You Need to Know
- Readers’ Best Carry-On Packing Tips
7. I will have a pleasant flight (crying baby or not)
Babies cry, passengers are loud, and flights get delayed. But it shouldn’t ruin a vacation, and a little bit of planning ahead—and an upbeat attitude—can make an unpleasant flight experience seem like a minor bump in the road.
- The Best Ways to Deal With Annoying Seatmates
- America’s Worst Airports for Delays: How to Cope
- Longest Layover Ever? The 10-Minute Cure
8. I will have a stress-free vacation
Nobody wants his or her time to get away from it all to turn into a horror story, so planning ahead and knowing how to react in a situation can turn a nightmare vacation into a dream come true.
- Reader Horror Stories: Hair-Raising Tales From the Road
- Women Travel Planners Share Their Secrets
- Make This Your Happiest Holiday Flight Ever
9. I will not get sick, swindled, or stumped
Travelers can avoid these common vacation mishaps, and this year is the time to do it.
- Stay Healthy on Airplanes This Winter
- The Fine Print: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt you
- How Can I Make My Complaint Work Better?
10. I will find the right trip at the right price
That’s what SmarterTravel is all about, and we want to help make your next trip the best one ever.
- Destinations to Watch in 2010
- Ten Great Ways to Recession-Proof Your Vacation
- Unique Vacation Rentals Under $100 a Night
So Happy New Year, fellow travelers. Make this year a fantastic one.
What are your travel resolutions for 2010? Share them in the comments space below.