4 Tips for Navigating a New City!

If you have ever had to navigate around a city you’ve never been to, the trip can seem a little daunting.

Plan ahead to make sure you consider all your options when visiting new places!

1. Uber or a taxi?

Uber is a transportation company offering rides in more than 460 cities worldwide. The alternative to a traditional taxi, Uber is a popular way to get around and it’s simple to use. Visit www.uber.com and set up an online profile, including your name, contact email, phone number, and credit card information. Then, whenever you need a ride, simply access the account from your mobile device. You can choose the type of vehicle, accessibility options (to accommodate wheelchairs or car seats), or you can carpool to share the expense with other riders. You will be able to view the driver’s photo and you can track their arrival. Finally, you won’t have to worry about paying after the ride since Uber automatically charges your credit card on file – and no tip is required! Uber currently serves many cities in North America, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, China, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Visit www.uber.com/cities for more information. You can estimate the cost of the trip before you call. Most traditional taxi companies have fare calculators that give you estimated fares and others offer flat rates between airports and specific hotels or city landmarks.

2. Restrooms & Kids

Many parents find restrooms to be dirty and overcrowded, so you may want to consider bringing along your own options! If you are traveling with small children, visit www.shewee.com before your trip. This site offers many helpful emergency “bathroom” devices such as specially shaped funnels and bags filled with biodegradable granules that turn to gel after use. The products accommodate both men and women and are perfect for long car rides, remote areas, and for any restroom emergency. 

3. Maps & Apps

Most tourist cities have detailed paper maps that are up-to-date with restaurants, attractions, and landmarks. Your hotel or bed and breakfast can offer you information on local places to visit and the best ways to get there. Digital maps and apps have revolutionized the way we travel, but they can be frustrating if you don’t know how to use them. Make sure your phone is charged and bring a solar charger too. Most phone carriers’ offer very reasonable international data plans so be sure to call them before you travel. Ask a tech-savvy friend or relative to help you practice before the trip. Online mapping apps such as Google Maps work great around the world. Other maps offer offline options so you don’t have to run down your data plan – check City Maps 2Go. The best online apps will depend on where you go so do a little research to see which apps work best in each specific country. Visit Offmaps, Navfree, or TomTom (which includes GPS apps for your mobile device).  

4. Where to Stay

Some people make the mistake of booking hotel stays based solely on the hotel and its amenities. When traveling, you will also want to consider the distance between the hotel and tourist attractions, city restaurants, beaches, metros and trains, and the airport. You will probably have different criteria if you are traveling for business. If you have a tight travel schedule – say you need to be at the airport by 8am – you may want to consider staying close to the airport to avoid rush-hour traffic. You will also want to make sure the hotel has a shuttle if you won’t be renting a car. Before booking rooms, visit www.tripadvisor.com and check out what other travelers have to say about the area. If you prefer walking, make sure you stay close to all the action. Finally, check the hotel website for more helpful information and call them before your trip if you have any additional questions.

Have a great trip!

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