I love to travel. It is one of the best ways to experience new cultures, learn about other places and meet new people.
Travel is one of the best ways to experience new things, meet new people and learn more about the world. But it can also be stressful if you don’t know how to do it right.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s a lot to consider when planning a trip. From booking hotels, flights, and rental cars to researching restaurants and attractions in your destination city, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite travel tips and tricks to help make your next trip more accessible and enjoyable.
1. Make a Plan – But Don’t Over Plan
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of planning everything down to every last detail when you start traveling. It can be fun to make lists and write down everything you want to do or see during your trip.
But remember that travel is about experiencing new things, so don’t feel like you have to see everything on your list before you go home. Instead, try to take advantage of any opportunities that come along while traveling.
2. Choose Tours Wisely
If you’re going on a tour, make sure it’s with a reputable company. There are many companies that offer tours in different cities around the world. If you have time, try to find one that has a local guide who can give you tips about what to see and do.
Don’t book a tour that leaves you feeling rushed or pressured into buying anything.
3. Use airline reward programs
Most airlines offer rewards programs where you can earn points for every dollar spent on their flights or hotels with affiliated companies. Once you have enough points, you can redeem them for free flights or hotel stays.
4. Hire Local Guides
Local guides are experts in their fields who can help you get around town and learn about its history, culture, and traditions on your visit. They also offer private tours at a reasonable cost.
5. Pack light
Travel is about experiences, not things. This is one of the most common pieces of advice for first-time travelers and for good reason. It’s hard to enjoy your day when you’re weighed down by a heavy bag full of stuff you don’t really need.
Even if you do want to bring something along, there are ways to make it less bulky and easier to carry around (like packing cubes).
6. Choose the Right Backpack
When it comes to backpacks, bigger isn’t always better. A smaller pack will help you avoid overpacking and make it easier to navigate through crowded places like airports or city streets.
Plus, if you have an extra small bag that folds up into its own pocket, then you can use it as a day bag on short excursions too.
If you’re going hiking and camping, then opt for a larger hiking backpack with plenty of pockets and room for extra gear like sleeping bags and tents.
If you plan on staying in hotels and hostels, then consider getting a smaller backpack that’s easier to carry around and store when, not in use. Whatever kind of traveler you are, there’s an ideal backpack out there for everyone.
7. Buy Travel Insurance Before You Leave Home
It’s always good to get travel insurance when you are going on a trip because anything can happen while you are away from home. You never know what could happen and it is better safe than sorry when it comes to getting travel insurance.
It can also give you peace of mind knowing that you have coverage if something happens while abroad so it’s worth considering before heading out on vacation.
8. Always Pack a Sarong
Sarongs are one of my favorite travel accessories because they can be used in so many ways – as beach towels, as skirts (if you’re feeling adventurous), as blankets, or as cover-ups when visiting temples or mosques.
They take up almost no room in your luggage and are great to carry with you wherever you go. You can get them pretty cheaply Here
9. Pack Portable Chargers
If you’re flying internationally, chances are you’re going to need extra power on your phone and laptop. Make sure you have a portable charger in case one of them dies on you.
The Anker PowerCore 10000 is my favorite because it’s small enough to fit in my purse, yet big enough to charge my phone twice over without breaking a sweat.
10. Pack a Water Bottle and a SteriPen
This is one of my favorite travel hacks. I always bring my own water bottle and fill it up at the airport before boarding. You can also get refillable water bottles that are great for this purpose.
The SteriPen is a portable UV light to kill germs in your water without having to boil or filter it first.
11. Do an Idiot Check
Before you leave for your trip, make sure you have everything you need in your carry-on bag, including anything needed for your flight such as snacks, medicine, toiletries, etc. It’s better to do this so you don’t forget anything important.
12. Skip Hotels if on a Budget
Hotels can be expensive, especially in larger cities where they may be located away from the main attractions. If you’re looking to save money, consider staying at an Airbnb or hostel instead.
Hostels also tend to have cheaper rates than hotels and they often provide free tours and activities that will help you explore the city more efficiently.
13 Apply for a Rewards Travel Credit Card
If you travel often, consider applying for a rewards travel credit card. These cards offer points that can be redeemed for flights, hotels and other travel-related expenses.
These cards typically offer at least 1 point per dollar spent and some offer double points on select types of purchases (travel usually being one of them). You can also earn extra points by booking your travel through the card’s affiliated website or app.
14. Try the Local Food
This is probably the best tip I have ever heard – try the local food. You will find yourself eating some pretty amazing things when travelling around but make sure that you do your research before diving into any unknown dishes. If possible, ask locals.
15. Debit Card and Credit Cards
Most travellers use credit cards for security reasons, but using them abroad can be expensive due to foreign transaction fees and currency conversion charges.
It may be better to use your debit card instead as there are no hidden charges involved and you will only be charged for what you spend.
16. Cash in Small Bills
Cash is king when travelling abroad and it’s always handy to have small bills on hand just in case there’s an emergency situation or you need something last minute that doesn’t accept cards (like an ice cream cone).
17. Take Advantage of Free Walking Tours
The best way to get a feel for a new city is by taking a walking tour. A good tour will teach you about the history and culture of the city, as well as give you insider tips on where to eat, drink and party. The best part? Most walking tours are free.
18. Get a City Pass
If there is an attraction that you want to see while you’re in town, consider buying a city pass. These passes typically include transportation, access to attractions and sometimes even meals or other discounts at local shops and restaurants.
You can save money by buying one instead of paying separately for each attraction individually.
19. Don’t Compete with Other Travellers
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to compete with other travellers. You are not going to see all the same things as they did, nor will you have the same experience. So why try? Instead, go at your own pace and enjoy what you see.
20. Splurge Every Once in a While
While it is important to save money when travelling, there are some things that are worth splurging on. For example, if there is something that you really want to see or do but it costs extra money (such as entrance fees), then go ahead and spend on it.
22. Respect Local Culture
Traveling is all about immersing yourself in another culture, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore local customs when visiting another country or city.
When traveling abroad, try to speak the language wherever possible and avoid speaking negatively about locals or their country, even if you disagree with something politically or socially.
It’s important to show respect for other cultures while abroad so that when you return home people will do the same for yours.
23. A Smile Goes a Long Way
A smile goes a long way when travelling in different cultures so remember to smile when interacting with locals. Smiling shows that you are open and friendly and they may be more willing to help you if they see that you are friendly too.
24. Be Smart – Don’t Put Yourself at Risk
Make sure that your hotel has security cameras and guards protecting the property.
Be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave valuables unattended.
Carry only what you need when you go out and keep it with you at all times – don’t put it in a purse or backpack where it can be easily stolen.
Traveling can be a great part of life for anyone looking to broaden their horizons. However, it does not happen without some hurdles. It can also turn into more than you expected it to be. One of the best ways to make sure that your trip/vacation is going as planned and you have no worries is to be prepared.
Having these things in mind before travelling will reduce any unwanted difficulties to a minimum.