You might be ready to hit the road again or travel abroad as 2023 continues to roll forward. There are a few tips and planning details to consider. Several of these travel tips might sound a bit extraneous, but most of them will apply to everyone in some way. Here are a handful of travellers tips to think about when planning a vacation.
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Remember, a vacation is a privilege
No matter where you go, is that you’re a guest. You’ve earned or been given the privilege to visit someone else’s hometown. Those serving you are doing their best to heighten your enjoyment. As such, they have less authority over you since they desire to keep you happy in the hopes that you’ll return or possibly recommend this place to others. Tourism is a huge industry that many workers depend on to support their families. One of the important tips for travelling is to remember, with privilege comes responsibility.
Research the location you wish to visit
This is one of the most useful tips in travelling that can benefit anyone. A few of the biggest reasons are:
• It helps to figure out the logistics of your trip.
• You can adequately prepare for the environment you’ll find yourself in.
• You can learn the local customs (this is important for many other reasons).
Depending on where you go, prepare for the experience
This doesn’t indicate that you should learn the full history of the location you’ve selected to enjoy. Nor does it mean you need to perfect your knowledge of the language and the local customs to a tee. Instead, research what is vital to your enjoyment. If you want to learn the language and customs, feel free to do so. But prepare yourself enough to understand a little something about where you’re going.
Don’t go into debt
Returning home to face a mountain of debt after a lavish vacation is a mistake that too many people make. There are ways to vacation on a budget, even if they don’t sound as appealing. It’s true, visiting a local lake or river doesn’t always sound as exotic as heading off to another country to experience an entirely different culture. Taking a vacation in your backyard or somewhere down the road can help to save money that you could apply to a bigger, more elaborate vacation later on. Keep it simple to start with, and build up to the bigger and more expensive outings.
Make certain you’re current on vaccinations, and be aware of various diseases
Different locations present different challenges, and the moment you know where you want to go, it’s wise to visit the doctor and make certain that your vaccinations are current. It’s also wise to ask about what types of diseases and health issues might arise when you visit another state, country, or region. Doctors will be able to tell you what to plan for and can help keep you aware of how you can prevent a medical tragedy from striking during your vacation.
Apply for a rewards travel credit card
This might run counter to the idea of not going into debt, but it still bears stating that building your credit through purchases can pay off. Make use of the travel credit card even if you have the amount ready for your vacation. The rewards that come from using a credit card can go a long way toward helping you to further enjoy your vacation. In the long run, building your credit and earning rewards is a great way to supplement your vacation.
Get a Priority Pass
No tips to travel will be complete without suggesting Priority Pass. Priority Pass is the best way to experience an airport. Some credit cards work with Priority Pass, but if you need to sign up for this option without a credit card it is possible. Trust us, if you want to avoid the noise and overall nuttiness of the average airport, this is the way to go.
Get a credit card that lets you skip the security line
Visa, En Route, and Mastercard do provide the option of skipping the security line. This option requires picking up another credit card, but it does come with the upside of getting you through the airport even quicker.
How to book cheap flights
Searching for a few days before or after your preferred dates could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Skyscanner, Viator, and Get Your Guide are our favorites. Looking for a good deal doesn’t need to be a hassle, but there are a few tricks that one needs to follow to save as much as one can.
Always get travel insurance
One thing you do need to account for on a vacation is that accidents can happen. Without travel insurance, you’ll be paying out of pocket for any service that is needed following an accident. By making certain to purchase travel insurance, you’ll find that you’re covered and won’t have another added bit of stress if something does happen.
Alert your bank and creditors of your vacation plans
These days, banks and credit card companies are typically on alert for scams and could very easily deny your debit or credit cards if they see an unknown purchase that originates from overseas. Letting your bank and creditors know that you will be on vacation and that you have your cards is a smart move. This allows them to understand that purchases on your card are legit and will hopefully prevent any blocks or misunderstandings.
Carry small bills
Carrying small bills is one of the useful tips about traveling. Retail workers and those in the food service industry appreciate small bills far more when it comes time to make a change. US dollars are accepted nearly worldwide and are great for leaving tips or having on hand when you need an extra bit of cash.
Planning can go awry in a big hurry. You might see something that you want to do or see on your vacation that isn’t in your itinerary, which means that your plans need to change on the fly, or after a few minutes of consideration. Trying to manage your entire vacation isn’t discouraged, but too much planning can cause an undue amount of stress. Avoding over planning is one of the important tips for traveling.
Choose the right backpack
A backpack that’s too small won’t serve your needs since it fills too quickly, while a backpack that’s too big can be extremely heavy and cumbersome. Picking a bag that’s just the right size is ideal since you will fill the space if you have it.
This type of advice is crucial when going on a hike, or when simply taking a trip that will keep you on the move for a while. Learning what you need, what is essential, and what will serve you the best during your day is important.
Pack a sarong
There are many different reasons for packing a sarong since in some countries it can be used to respect local customs. It can also be used as a sunshade, a warm covering, or can be a simple, decorative piece of clothing.
Carry portable chargers
A lot of portable USB chargers are slim and can fit easily into a backpack. By carrying at least two or more of these useful devices you can make sure that your devices will remain charged throughout the day. Two or three should easily be enough to power several devices.
Pack liquids in clear Ziploc bags
Airlines do allow liquids to be transported in clear Ziploc bags, up to about 3.4 ounces. This allows you to use your carry-on luggage in a more efficient manner so long as it’s the right size.
Pack a water bottle and a SteriPen
By taking a collapsible water bottle and a SteriPen you can save on the cost of bottled water and create your own clean water no matter where you’re at. The average SteriPen is a little expensive, but it pays for itself eventually and is a great add-on to your supplies.
Pack a carry-on care package
If it’s non-essential at the moment then it should be in your checked luggage. A change of clothes, your devices, and other items that can come in handy if your luggage is lost is a good idea to carry with you.
Plan for traffic
Unless you’re leaving early in the morning or extremely late at night, don’t assume that traffic will open up on the way to the airport. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time and pick the most efficient routes.
Arrive at the airport early
The best idea is to show up at least two hours early. Seriously, try getting through an airport like O’Hare in Chicago, or JFK in New York, and you’ll understand why showing up early is a wise move.
Look for business travelers at the security line
Standing behind business travelers is best for one very simple reason. Families are typically slow since they tend to include people who are not in a hurry, and who might not know the procedure, and small children can make things go a lot slower. Business travelers know the routine and while their line might be longer, they are there to get in, get through, and get to their gate.
Always respect local customs and cultures
It’s important to respect the local customs and culture. This can be accomplished by doing a bit of research and learning a little about where you’re going. By learning more about your destination and the people who will be hosting you, it becomes easier to show proper respect.
You don’t need to be fluent in a foreign language
It helps to be fluent in a foreign language when traveling, but it’s not always a necessity. Many countries do have those who speak English as well as their own language. Interpreters aren’t impossible to find, and many countries are willing to accommodate English-speaking visitors. That’s a big part of tourism.
Make your own bed
It’s expected that house cleaning will do what is necessary to keep your room clean. But making your bed and keeping things as neat as possible isn’t tough, and it’s usually appreciated. Keeping the locals happy can add to your enjoyment.
A smile goes a long way
You don’t have to go around grinning like a fool but offering a warm, pleasing smile to people who are serving you or helping to make your vacation a joy is recommended. A smile can do more than many people realize, and it shows those who are helping you that you’re a pleasant person.
Trust your instincts
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When traveling and stepping outside of your comfort zone it’s necessary to pay attention to those gut feelings. It doesn’t mean you should become paranoid and avoid trusting anyone, but it does mean taking care when you’re on vacation and don’t blindly trust every person and situation.
Don’t let your guard down
It’s not necessary to be continually vigilant and keep your head on a swivel. But it does pay to be aware of your surroundings when on vacation. Sadly, there are plenty of people all over the world to prey upon the unwary. By staying aware of your environment and who you’re talking to it’s possible to stay safe and enjoy yourself.
Don’t be afraid to try street food
Think of a hot dog vendor or a food truck, those are fair examples of street food that aren’t dependent upon a restaurant with a set destination. Some street food does get a bad reputation, but people are giving you a genuine taste of their country and aren’t out to harm anyone with suspect practices. So yes, eat a street taco or something that comes off a cart, it could surprise you.
Avoid hotels if you’re on a budget
Cost is usually an issue with a lot of travelers since it’s expensive to stay in hotels all the time. Cheap doesn’t always mean safe or good, but learning about other places to stay can be highly beneficial. There are bed and breakfasts, and renting an apartment isn’t out of bounds since it saves on food costs in the long run.
Don’t be afraid to splurge now and then
If you’re on a budget it’s understandable to save your money, but allowing yourself to spend money on special moments should be the reason you save in the first place. You don’t need a lot of money to build memories and enjoy your vacation. But it does help to recharge your batteries by staying in a nice hotel or having an extravagant meal.
It’s not necessary to eat out all the time
Whether you stay in-country or travel across the world, it’s wise to remember that every place has a market of some sort nearby. Eating out is fun, but it’s also quite spendy. There’s nothing wrong with eating out now and then, but to save money and enjoy yourself, it’s smart to buy your food from a market more often.
Give something back
Many folks believe that a vacation is just about relaxing and focusing on yourself. But there is a chance for you to show that travelers have something to offer to the communities they visit. A person could help to promote a local market, tutor children, or even support local businesses by frequenting them instead of contributing to corporate-run businesses. It’s important to be grateful when visiting someone else’s community, and this is a great way to do it.
Buy souvenirs and use the post office
Some folks buy souvenirs and don’t limit themselves, others don’t buy any since they can’t fit them in their luggage. But quite honestly, you can mail any items you find interesting enough to purchase back home. This supports local businesses, and it’s an interesting adventure as it allows a person to see how post offices work around the world.
Get a city pass
Anything that helps you to save time and get to the front of the line is worth the cost. A city pass can help to maximize your enjoyment by skipping the long waiting times during tours, and by allowing you to use public transportation.
Choose your tours wisely
Tours are recommended to travelers. This helps to inform people of the location’s history and why they’re important. But it’s smart to ask around about various tours and determine which ones are worth the money, according to locals and those who have already taken them.
Don’t forget the Idiot check
The idiot check is essentially the mental checklist of everything you’ll need while you’re out of your room, along with the actions you need to perform before leaving for the day. It’s the double and triple check you should perform to make certain that you’ve taken care of everything.
Go off the beaten path
Take the time to see the sights on your own. Tours are carefully crafted to inform and educate people while showing them the wonders of a location. But going off on your own is sometimes far more enriching.
Some folks still don’t end up packing this essential when they visit the more sunny spots of the world. Trust us, when it comes to vacationing in spots where the sun shines frequently, it’s best to pack your sunscreen.
Feel free to wander
There are bound to be places you’re not supposed to go, but many of those will be blocked off. Apart from that, simply wander around, see what there is to see, and use your best judgment and manners when visiting another location.
Keep an open mind
Thanks to what we see in the media, on social media, and hear from others, a lot of people have preconceived notions concerning other countries. The best thing to do is suspend those and wait until you arrive to see which notions are correct and which are rubbish. The chances are good that you’ll find more positives than negatives.
Be flexible in all things concerning your vacation
This is especially important when it comes to deciding where you’ll go, what you’ll do, and what you want to experience. If this is more than just your vacation, you need to be willing to change your mind on the fly and accept that your companion(s) will want to do something other than what you want to do.
Don’t let yourself get hangry
This is why you carry snacks with you when you’re out and about. Getting hangry (hungry + angry) isn’t something that a person should allow to happen. Keep things positive and keep a granola bar or something equally filling on your person.
Stick to the local cuisine as much as possible
There’s much to be learned from the local cuisine. Not only does it support the local area, but it’s also a way to broaden your horizons in a big way. Think about all the dishes out there that are waiting to hit your tongue, and try not to drool when thinking about them.
Take lots of photos
If there’s no photo evidence of your trip it didn’t happen, right? Well, that’s not exactly true, but it’s easier to substantiate your claims of where you went and what you did if there are photographs to back it up. Plus, these are memories in the making, so snap away and make sure your device has the proper amount of storage.
Sunrise is usually better than sunset
It’s tough to wake up in the morning when you’re on vacation. But there are a couple of reasons to do so since you can get more done when you wake up early, and trying to take pictures and do things at sunset is often tougher since more people are out during the evening. Hey, sunsets are considered romantic.
Back up your photos
In this current era, there’s no excuse to not have backups to your data. Too many people have lost their photos and other files through random happenstance. So carry a way to back up your photos and other important files. You’ll thank yourself in case anything does happen.
Don’t try to compete with other travelers
Seriously, traveling is not a game or a competition, unless someone finds a way to make it so. But a vacation is meant to be relaxing. So chill out, and don’t worry about what others are doing, or what they can afford. Be happy with what you’ve got.
Tell your companion that you appreciate them
This is especially important if your companion is paying for the trip, but it’s a wise move anyway. If not for your companion being there you’d be on your own. So let them know that you’re glad they’re there. Honestly, there are many ways to accomplish this, from taking them where they want to go to treat them to dinner.
One fight during the vacation isn’t the end
Seriously, even on vacation, it’s fair to say that people aren’t going to get along at all times. But if a fight does happen, make sure that it’s a private affair, that it ends as soon as possible, and that there are no hard feelings. Figure it out, work it out, and get back to your vacation. It sounds simple, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.
Learn to compromise
Things aren’t always going to go the way you planned. Your companion might not want to do the same things you do. Learning to compromise is one of the best travelling tips. Find something that you can both agree on and move forward. Of course, it isn’t bound to be part of the plan, but that’s kind of the point. The more you can adapt to changes in your vacation, the better off you’ll be.
Put the cell phone down
Granted, you might be using your cell phone to take pictures and videos. But there’s a time when the phone needs to be put away or at least put down so that you can enjoy yourself and relax. This is your vacation, and one of the best tips on travel is to take a vacation from what so many are normally obsessed with.
Don’t take unnecessary risks
A lot of people feel the need to shoot pictures that risk their health in one way or another. Taking a risk isn’t something to be afraid of, but calculated risks are far better than risks that are bound to cause bodily harm. Be smart and find a better way to get that awesome shot or experience your vacation in a way that makes sense.
Something will go wrong at some point, just relax and roll with it
Like it or not, the best-laid plans don’t stand a chance against life when it decides to happen. You can plan to be safe, plan to have fun, and plan to create awesome memories, but something, small or large, will always go wrong. Whenever it does, just roll with it as much as you can and adapt to the situation. That’s life, it happens. Enjoy your vacation as much as you can, that’s all that’s important.
Even the experts don’t get everything right when it comes to traveling, so don’t worry too much about mistakes that are made. Just do what you can to enjoy the experience and make a few good memories that will last for a while. If you have any advice for traveling to add to this list we’d love to hear them!