Traveling Soon? Here Are Our 22 Best Travel Tips
Shop for flights on Tuesdays, says one of many travel tips.
Look across multiple websites.
Buy in advance.
You’ve heard a lot of travel tips in your time on the web.
Here’s one you may have not heard: don’t go for low cost airlines.
As counterintuitive as this may seem, this travel tip actually makes sense when explained.
“Low-cost airlines aren’t always the cheapest. The ticket price may appear to be a bargain, but take a minute to tally the additional expenses. These include items such as booking fees, check-in baggage fees, advance seat reservation fees, and food and drinks on board. In addition, low-cost airlines often fly to secondary airports that are much further from the final destination than the main airports (i.e., Frankfurt Hahn Airport is situated 75 miles from Frankfurt!). This adds an extra transport cost, not to mention the inconvenience. Take the time to do a bit more research, as there may be a better deal out there.” — Keith Jenkins, Velvet Escape
Wild, huh? We’ve got more to share with you. Here is our selection of the best hidden travel tips from around the web.
Triip’s Top Travel Tips
#1: Don’t over pack. That fashionable but otherwise unessential shirt you’re thinking of bringing along? Leave it. We’re leading this list off with our best travel tip: focus on bringing a few items of clothing with you that you can mix and match throughout your time away. They can always be washed and used again and again.
#2: Here’s a travel tip for the thrifty adventurer: book directly with the hotel or service itself. Booking websites and other platforms may not always show all the pricing, any deals or last minute availability. Go directly to the source.
#3: This travel tip is closely related to the first. Buy a small suitcase. A large suitcase can hold everything you need, but take this travel tip to heart: you might not need everything you think you to. A smaller suitcase than what you’re comfortable with would force you to really make decisions about what’s essential and what’s necessary on your trip. Go for the small suitcase. Trust us.
#4: Here’s a travel tip that’s both fashionable and safe: don’t buy a money belt. In addition to looking stupid, these are dangerous accessories that are easy to spot for any would be thief. Do yourself a favor and ditch the money belt. Carrying bills in a secure pocket close to the body ought to do it.
#5: Queue behind business travelers and avoid families. In airports, speed is the name of the game. This is a travel tip business travelers understand well. Crying children unfortunately do not. Find the well-groomed, caffeinated and suited business travelers and use their hurried manner to your advantage to cut through the lines.
#6: Take advantage of the lunch hour to see touristy places. Likely, the place you’re going has its iconic monument, its Eiffel Tower, its London Eye. Our travel tip is to time your visit here correctly. At almost all points of the day, these destinations will be swamped with onlookers. Except at lunch. At around 11 a.m., crowds will filter out seeking the second meal of the day leaving you free to wander the site undisturbed.
#7: Avoid TripAdvisor. People usually don’t give businesses good reviews even when they’ve had a good experience and tend to review only when something bad happens. What’s more, lots of places have positive reviews written for payment. Travel tip: use it with caution or not at all.
#8: Write down the address of your accommodation when you arrive. You’ve got the reservation on your phone, right? Not a problem until your phone dies or (knock on wood) if it gets stolen. A handwritten address or even a business card that belongs to the hotel where you’re staying can be a supremely helpful if you need to get back to your hotel in an emergency situation. It’s a good habit to practice this travel tip throughout your journey.
#9: Back up everything in multiple locations. Travel blog Never Ending Footsteps’ writer Lauren Juliff has heard this travel tip once: everything that you put in one place with no copies or backups is something you evidently don’t mind losing. Keep paper copies of your passport and cards, multiple and in multiple places. Back your important documents up to the cloud in case those get lost or damaged. Create redundancies so you’re never caught off guard if you lose something important.
#10: Travel slow and save money. This one also comes from Juliff. In her blog, she shared this travel tip: she was able to negotiate discounts and get better deals on places she stayed at if she was able to commit to longer stays. Traveling longer is a good excuse to go to grocery stores and cook to save money. Who knows? Once you’re there, you may find some local ingredients you wouldn’t find back home. Embrace the adventure! You’re in a new place. Take some time to explore it.
#11: Here’s an unexpected travel tip: keep an open mind. You’re in a new place where the customs are different and where the norms may not be what you’re used to. Expect some discomfort, but avoid becoming judgemental. See a cultural practice you don’t understand? Try to observe it without judgement and just take in the novelty. Likely, the internet has an answer for inquisitive travelers like you who also had just seen this uncommon thing for the first time and googled it.
#12: Let someone at home know your plans. This travel tip applies especially if you’re traveling solo. Let people back home know as much as you do about your travel plans. In the event that something happens, they’ll want to know how they can reach and help if you’re unable to give the signal. This isn’t the happiest travel trip but this is unfortunately a must that we have to include to make you the responsible traveler we know you can be.
#13: Book cheap flights early. Even the most adventurous travelers sometimes book their flights as much as a year in advance because they know flight prices will just go up in the lead up to the actual flight date. If you know you’re flying, it’s best practice to just book the flight early rather than trying to game the system or sneak in to business class due to a web error. This travel tip will save you the time and energy.
#14: Let your credit card provider know where you’re going. Avoid having your plastic disabled because your bank or credit card company thought a traveling thief got your goods. This travel tip will keep you full funded throughout your travels: notify everyone who issues you credit that you’re traveling.
#15: Stay hydrated on planes. Free wine on planes is a must, right? Maybe. But remember to drink plenty of fluids. Getting drunk on a plane is great, but have you ever gotten over jet lag quickly because you were well hydrated and rested? This travel tip applies especially to long haul flights. Take it easy on the booze and go heavy on the water.
#16: Focus on the experience. It’s easy to go somewhere and get caught up in the need to keep friends updated on our travels by posting and updating our profiles. There is documented scientific evidence to show that travelers—or, for that matter, anyone—will absorb more if they take in an experience by itself without recording, photographing or otherwise doing whatever it is people do when they see something cool they think will get them likes, retweets or impressions. Our travel tip here is to do it for yourself, not the small stature of celebrity you think you’re going to get out of it. And this isn’t a blanket ban on all cell phone use while you’re traveling. Studies also show that taking a perhaps a smaller amount of photos but with more intention go a long way toward building that lasting memory that you seek rather than sharing it with the world and adding it to a feed where it might get a few seconds of someone’s attention. Your journey deserves more respect than that.
#17: Travel costs money, but perhaps less than you think is necessary. There are tons and tons of effective strategies for reducing and managing the cost of travel—among them, creating a travel budget and finding free things to do—but a lot of that is about changing your mindset around travel. You have a lot of preconceived notions around travel that frankly are probably misguided. No, you don’t have to go in to debt and no, you don’t have to book the nicest room just because it will make for great social media content. Sometimes, a crowded dorm will do. If you’re willing to put up with a little bit of a wait, a crowded commuter bus will do to get you from point A to point B. Our travel tip is for those who feel like they need to spend a fortune to get the most out of their travels: don’t feel like you need to a lot of money to get a worthy, memorable travel experience. Often, one can find the best experiences in unexpected places where they’re least expected.
#18: Don’t worry. We’ll repeat that last one for emphasis: do not worry. If the restaurant you wanted to go to is closed, use that as an opportunity to maybe discover a new place that you weren’t intending on visiting. If you miss your bus, chances are there will likely be another one that follows. Travel is a skill, and don’t be mad at yourself for not getting everything right the first time. Understand that sometimes the unexpected happens and one has to make concessions (just like you’d have to in your normal, everyday life back home). It only takes four deeps breaths to bring one from an anxious state to a calm one. Remember that as your inevitable frustrations emerge throughout the course of your travels. This travel tip applies here as well as to all aspects of your life: everything will be okay. Always has before, and always will continue to do so in the future.
#19: Slow down. The idea of a “seven countries in seven weeks”-style itinerary only sounds exciting until you realize the amount of effort that would require. Our travel tip is don’t fall in to the trap of spending the smallest fragment of time at a certain location or destination just to tick it off the list. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you think you’re going to create a lasting memory within the first hour or day you spend at a certain place. Whatever you’re after in your travels—adventure, self discovery, just getting to know the world better—that’s not likely to be an easy or expeditious thing to come across. Make time in your travel itinerary for the real magic to happen. That often occurs on its own time, not ours.
#20: Do some volunteering. This travel tip is a great way to learn more about a local community while helping toward worthy causes and actually helping people. By volunteering, you have the chance to make some new friends, maybe do something you’ve never done before and have a special experience few will have shared in their time abroad. Careful though: there are many voluntourism-related scams out there that scam do gooders regularly. Do your research and approach each of these opportunities with a high degree of skepticism. It’s a little work, but you’ll be glad you did it.
#21: Get lost on purpose. Write down your hotel’s name and address, and just get going. Where? Just go. There are big caveats to this, like avoid dangerous areas and know how you’re going to get home. But breaking out of the curated, tourist-centered areas of a city is the best way to learn what life is really like for those that live there, to get an authentic experience. This is an easy, low cost way to get something genuine out of your tourism experience. You’ll think well of yourself for doing something that’s that far out of your comfort zone.
#22: Read a book about the country you’re going to. You’re already doing some level of research beforehand on the web. Why not go old school and check out a book on your destination to learn more about the culture and history of the place you’re visiting? The blogs you’re reading are great, but the traveler writing them likely didn’t solicit any edits or make a strong effort to better their work in any way. You know who did? Published authors. This travel tip will make you more bookish and scholarly: take advantage of this widely accessible and free (thanks, public libraries) pool of knowledge while you’re preparing for your destination.