Tips

Finding A Place To Stay When You’re Abroad

The task of finding a place to stay when you’re traveling can be extremely daunting. Not only are you visiting somewhere that you’ve never been, but in many cases your native language won’t be the norm in your destination. Don’t let this turn you away! Here are some tips to make it easier on you.

Plan Ahead

Make every effort to get your ducks in a row well before your intended travel dates. Six months or more is preferable. This not only allows you to get the most affordable prices, but it also puts your mind at ease knowing that you have a plan in place and will not be left on the streets. Without a doubt, when making reservations choose the refundable option. Plans change – just take my word for it. You’ll end up kicking yourself when the day comes that your flight gets rescheduled, you get sick, or you simply have a change of heart while you’re on vacation.

Talk To People

This may seem obvious, but if you have friends or family that have been to the area, let them know that you’re going and see what they have to say. They may be able to recommend a particular hotel, or even tell you to stay away from one, which can be just as helpful. In the best of cases, you can even have friends that live in your destination. This can be enormously helpful for many reasons. They can show you around the town, point out places to visit and places to avoid, and generally act as a tour guide (for free!). Plus it’s nice to have a friend to enjoy your stay with.

Most relevant to this post however is that they may even offer to put you up in their guest bedroom, which can save you a fortune and get you off of the beaten tourist path. As you get older, this advantage gets better and better. On my recent trip to Spain I stayed in my friend’s beautiful guest bedroom for a few nights, and I slept on the most comfortable futon I’ve ever used. Just remember, if your friends were traveling to your home town, wouldn’t you be happy to put them up and show them around the city?

Pay Attention to Detail

The last piece of advice is to think of the little things. You’d be surprised what items a hotel may or may not include, especially when you are paying quite a bit of money. Here are a few things you should check to see if they are included:

  • Internet Access (WiFi)
  • Air conditioning
  • Breakfast
  • Refrigerator
  • Beach towels

Make sure you know what you are getting into. Maybe you can’t afford hotels that have all of these amenities, and maybe it’s not important to you if they do. The most important thing is that you don’t want to get surprised when you show up to your destination and be left without a key accommodation that you were depending on.

5 Essential Home Upgrades for the Frequent Traveler

Living life on the road (yes, this is indeed a nod to the classic book by Jack Kerouac) lends itself to a lifestyle with minimal belongings. However, there are some things that you absolutely need and others that you don’t necessarily need, but make your life much more convenient or comfortable. Here are a few of my favorite recent purchases:

Safe

This is truly a must. Having your home broken into and your valuables stolen will really hit you hard, especially if you lose a family heirloom. A safe can keep your valuables such as jewelry, cash, and expensive electronics from being stolen while you are away. Just make sure that you get a quality product, and that you properly mount it upon installation.

Firebox

Along similar lines, a firebox is a great place to store important documents and other heat-sensitive materials while you are away. God forbid anything happens, but even a safe wouldn’t save your birth certificate from perishing if a fire were to break out while you are out of the country. There are plenty of models to buy, just make sure you get something that is big enough for all of your sensitive belongings, has sufficient insulation, and is capable of locking. You wouldn’t want the firebox to tumble over and spill its contents in the worst case scenario.

Vacuum Robot

The next couple of items are definitely not required, but are certainly a luxury. 

Since I’m on the road so often, I don’t have a lot of time to spare. One way to free up some extra time is to outsource your daily tasks to others capable of doing the job. Luckily, these days you can buy robots that do some of your household chores for you. Notably, a vacuum robot has really been a huge time saver. While it doesn’t get all the nooks and crannies in the room, I’d say it gets 80-90% of the floor cleaning done, meaning my work in that particular area is cut down by to at most 20% of what I normally have to do to keep my home looking presentable. Popular brands include the iRobot, or my choice the Eufy Robovac.

Electric Fireplace

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that this one is a bit extreme. However, I’ve been so thrilled with my recent upgrade that I have to share. Growing up I always loved spending time by the fireplace reading with my parents to wind the day down. Obviously, it’s downright impractical to have a fireplace when you’re renting, but fortunately these days there are sleek and hip alternatives in electric fireplaces. While they aren’t quite the same as the real thing, they do have a number of benefits that you don’t come across with a real fireplace – namely there is no mess, the air doesn’t get heavy from the smoke, and you don’t need to buy wood. They are also arguably a lot safer than real fireplaces to boot. I find that they look really cool, and can make your home look very modern. If you’re in the market for an electric fireplace head on over to bestelectricfireplace.review, they have some helpful resources in making your next purchase. If you’re looking to impress your guests, this is one simple addition that can really up your wow factor

Web Security Camera

Nothing puts you at ease when you’re on the road more than knowing your life back home is secure. These days you can buy web cameras for seemingly pennies compared to prices of earlier years. Better yet, most come with apps that you can use to log in and check on your house from the comfort of your mobile phone. Just make sure to have the camera pointed at the most important parts of your home and you’ll be good to go. You don’t have to worry about logging in all the time either, as many web security cameras keep archives hour by hour, at least for some period of time. Make sure to get a wide angle lens for the most coverage for each camera purchased.

Well, there you have it. I’m about to head out on my trip to Spain, and I’m sure I’ll have some fun stuff along the way. Stay tuned and as always, thank you for reading!