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Ready to head out in the world with the wind in your hair and nothing but an open road ahead?
When it comes to travel, the anticipation can be thrilling. However, the preparation alone can also be incredibly overwhelming.
Let’s face it - travel can be full of pitfalls for the unprepared traveler. If you make some bad decisions like a seedy hotel room, a crazy expensive restaurant, or being crammed in the middle seat on a flight, it can ruin the trajectory of your whole vacation.
The best way to feel at home on your vacation is to be well informed with the latest travel hacks. We all started out as tourists, so we know exactly what it’s like!
Some people break things down into multi step activities by creating lists ahead of time and others "fly by the seat of their pants." If that is your philosophy, then a lot of mistakes will be made. If you're busy trying to get everything done at home or work before you leave, it will be all too easy to forget things or make impulsive decisions. We learned this the hard way!
No hard lessons for you today.
We’re here to guide you every step of the way from travel hacks on packing to travel tips for flying and everything in between. We’ve put together 50 travel tips and tricks to help you prepare and find new and clever ways to save money on travel so that leaving your comfort zone will be a whole lot easier.
Travel Planning Hacks
Travel On Holidays
Try flying on the day of an actual holiday (Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day), which generally means lower airfares and plenty of seats available.
Sign Up For Fare Sales
Get on the mailing list of airlines and other travel web sites so you can be notified as soon as there is a discount fare.
Be Flexible with Airlines
Use travel websites to search for fares instead of the individual airline sites to find out the best deals.
Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays
Some airlines offer cheaper fares on specific days of the week. Generally, it's cheaper to fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Sign Up Frequent Flyer Miles
If you are a frequent flyer, it might make more sense for you to fly regularly with the same airline and earn frequent flyer miles which can get you points for your mileage as part of their loyalty program.
Book in Advance
The cheapest hotel rates can go quickly, so book your room well in advance to receive the best deals.
Check For Special Membership Deals
Sometimes a credit card, a travel agent, or a frequent flyer program offer discounted hotel rates.
Pros and Cons of Packages
Selecting the cheapest hotel doesn't necessarily save you the most money. Look into money-saving options included in the hotel rates and based upon meals, entertainment, housekeeping, room amenities, airport shuttle service, and activity packages.
Make Early Car Rental Reservations
Certain types of vehicles may be already rented and you could end up paying for a larger or more expensive vehicle than you need.
Notify Your Credit Card Company
Call your credit or debit Card Company before you leave to ensure that your card has been authorized for overseas. This prevents them from suspecting suspicious activity and putting a block on your card.
Pack A Towel
You never know when you will need it, whether it’s at the beach, on a picnic, or just to dry off.
Pack Light, Travel Light
Wearing the same clothes a couple of days in a row is perfectly okay. Take half the clothes you think you will need. Chances are you won’t get around to wearing everything you packed.
Make Extra Copies of your Passport
Email a copy to yourself so you’ll have easy access to them.
Ask Hotel Staff For Information
They can help you know where to go for cheap meals and attractions.
Be prepared should something go wrong. It’s better to have it than spend thousands of dollars in bills and ruining your vacation.
Take A First-Aid Kit
Accidents happen, so be prepared. Include Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, and antiseptic solution.
Travel Packing and Travel Success Hacks
Roll Your Clothes
Instead of trying to fold a pile of clothes into your suitcase, rolling allows you to fit more things in and leaves plenty of room for any souvenirs you might buy while traveling.
Take A Pen
Have a pen on hand so you can complete custom forms. Fill in forms as soon as they are handed out on the airplane. That way you won’t be rushed having to do it standing in line when you arrive.
Use ATMs To Get Local Currency
Avoid using currency exchanges at the airport to save on fees. ATMs will give you local currency so you can use your debit or credit card to get your money. Inquire ahead of time with your bank about the cost of any international fees when withdrawing money from an ATM.
Grocery Shopping On Arrival
You don’t have to go on a food-shopping spree, but getting basics like water and a few snacks in local stores instead of at the hotel can save you a lot of money.
Unpack When You Arrive
When you get to your hotel room, unpack only the necessities from your luggage to save you from doing a lot of repacking when you leave or risk leaving something behind.
Find Free Walking Tours
These tours will give you a good education and background of the city you are in and you’ll get some exercise, especially after a long haul flight.
Carry Emergency Cash
Emergencies can and do happen. Be prepared to avoid getting stranded.
Bring A Jacket
Nights can get chilly and you don’t want to ruin your evening by being too cold.
Snoring, traffic and hotel noise is inevitable and you’ll need plenty of sleep after long days.
Plan to Eat at Expensive Restaurants During Lunch
They offer lunch specials and often serve the same menu as dinner but for half the price.
Get a phone
SIM cards and pre-paid phones are cheap, so there’s no excuse not to stay connected. You may need to call home or your hotel.
Stay Away From Taxis
They are expensive. Only use them if you don’t have any other option.
Make A Souvenir List
This will save you time and money when you do your research ahead of time to know whom you are buying for.
Get an early night so you can wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
Meet Local People
Experience the culture and learn a few new words.
Get Lost On Purpose
The hidden gems you find along the way might surprise you.
Hacks While Traveling on the Road
Visit A Local Tourism Office
Cheesy? Maybe, but they can direct you to free activities and special events happening during your visit.
You only live once so don’t be afraid to experience new things!
Try New Foods
Culture is often best experienced through food. Step out of your comfort zone and try new foods.
Be Flexible with Your Plans
Leave space for spontaneity and don’t worry if you don’t stick to your itinerary. Go with the flow. You never know what you may discover.
Say Yes Often
Don’t limit yourself, that’s what travel is all about.
Take Bottled Water
Find out if the country you are visiting purifies their water, then save on plastic bottles by getting a metal bottle and fill it with tap water.
Be in the moment and take in your new surroundings. There’s no reason to be in a hurried pace while you’re on vacation – relax.
Take Lots of Photos
Cherish those memories of your vacation by taking plenty of photos to look back on in years to come.
Take A Journal
Journaling is an excellent way to stay in the present moment and to be mindful of your surroundings as your mind wanders. Get creative and write about it too.
Leave The Comfort Zone Behind
Come face to face with your fears in ways that really challenge your boundaries by bungee jumping, sky diving or taking a helicopter tour.
Treat Your Body with Kindness
Getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated will help you function throughout the day and get the most out of your vacation while feeling energized.
Want a free breakfast? Ask for some bread to go from the restaurant the night before. Place it in your hotel fridge overnight so it stays fresh in the morning.
Don’t Buy Too Much
Spend your money on things you don’t have to carry around such as tickets to a see live theatre, meals at restaurants and sightseeing tours.
Carry Healthy Snacks
Always carry protein bars in your carry-on bag so you’re always prepared when hunger does strike.
Car rental coupons can be found in travel magazines or in newspapers. Be sure to mention your coupon when making a reservation.
Use A Map
Don’t worry about standing out like a tourist. It’s better than getting lost in a new city.
Look Both Ways When You Cross The Street
Particularly in countries where traffic flows differently than what you’re used to.
Give these 50 travel hacks a try and see just how much more effortless your next jaunt across the world can be!