After tackling my fear of flying by embracing Xanax I was ready to eliminate the other anxiety producing situations that have the potential to ruin my trips. When I arrive in a new location I am usually tired and frazzled. I’ve dealt with airport security, finding the right train platform or producing the proper travel documents and am ready to just crash. I’ve found one of the most stressful parts of a trip is traveling to my hotel or Airbnb the first time. I feel like it should be simple, but there are a number of factors that make it pretty difficult just to get to the damn hotel! These are my top 6 tips for finding your accommodations.
I always reserve at least the first night in advance. I know the fun of finding that charming hotel you’ve always dreamed of, but it is outweighed by the security of knowing where you would lay your head that first night. When you arrive at an unfamiliar spot the odds of finding the perfect hotel right off the bat are slim anyway.
I always print out the name and address of my hotel or address of my Airbnb location in both English and the local language. This saved us many times in rural Japan where few people spoke English. I like to have an actual print out in case my phone dies.
Before I land in the new country I plan for how to get data on my phone. I immediately set up this data at the airport. This might mean renting a portable Wi-Fi or buying a SIM card. I don’t step out of the airport without data!
Ease in Slowly
Most major airports are quite a distance from the city center. I have a couple of techniques for dealing with this. In the case of Japan, we decided to stay in Narita the first night. We took a 10 minute taxi ride to the hotel and this lovely small town was one of the highlights of our trip. We were about 45 minutes by train from the center of Tokyo, but had arrived in the late evening. The idea of wandering a busy city after a long flight was just too much.
I spend time researching online the best way to get from the airport to the center of town. Tripadvisor can be a great resource for this. Be careful to check that commenter’s advice is current. Rome 2 Rio is another great site for slowing all of the potential transit routes. We happily used HyperDia in Japan. The point is select a simple route without multiple changes that takes you to a major downtown location.
My Not So Secret Weapon
My secret weapon is actually the oldest trick in the book: take a cab! I have found that this is one of the nicest luxuries I can give myself on a trip. I’m tired, disoriented and ready to relax. The idea of facing commuters, subway platform changes, hauling luggage, stairs or unfamiliar addresses feels daunting. Hopping in a taxi and handing the driver my pre-printed hotel address feels great!
Using these simple tips has eliminated another stress from my holidays. Do you have any tips for getting to the hotel? Please share in the comments.