Missed buses, irresponsible behavior, cultural ignorance, and a plethora of minor mistakes all contribute to travel savvy. Then suddenly, you’re going through airports and mixing into new cultures like a fish in the water. I want to help you speed up the process and prevent my mistakes (which I frequently do), so I compiled this massive list of my finest travel tips that cover everything regarding traveling, to help you reach your full travel ninja potential. Over the last twelve years, I’ve picked up these tidbits. These travel suggestions can help you save money, sleep better, get off the beaten path more often, meet locals, and generally be a better traveler.
Traveling may be a thrilling and eye-opening experience. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of adventure. However, don’t forget about travel security and safety precautions while overseas.
Knowing who to call in an emergency is another vital travel security measure. Find out how to reach the nearest embassy or consulate, police station, and other local emergency services.
People who appear to be from out of town are particularly vulnerable to crime, so attempt to blend in as much as possible. Choose attire that is unobtrusive and will not draw attention to yourself.
When looking at maps, be inconspicuous, and approach individuals with caution if you need instructions.
1. Always have a towel
It’s the secret to successful intergalactic hitchhiking, as well as common sense. You never know when you might need it, whether at the beach, on a picnic, or simply to dry off. You can never have enough of a towel during your travels.
2. A good backpack
Buying a modest backpack (I like something around 35/40 liters) forces you to pack light and avoid carrying too much stuff. Have a good bag that can take up a lot of abuse and which you can fill it upto the brim.
3. Pack only necessary
It’s acceptable to wear the same t-shirt several days in a row. Take half of what you believe you’ll need… You will not require as much as you believe. Make a list of basics, cut it in half, and only bring that! Plus, since you purchased a small backpack, you won’t have many places for other items anyhow!
4. Have extra socks
Always have as much extra pair of socks as you can. You can never have ebough of them and they are so essential.
5. Extra bank cards
Disasters occur. It’s usually a good idea to carry a backup in case you get robbed or misplace a credit card. You don’t want to be stuck in a new location without access to your funds. I had a card copied and a freeze placed on it once. I wouldn’t be able to use it for the rest of my vacation. I was relieved that I had an extra, as opposed to my friend, who didn’t and was constantly obliged to beg money from me!
6. Use no-fee bank cards
Don’t hand over your hard-earned cash to banks. Keep it for yourself and use it to fund your travels. Get a credit card and a debit card with no foreign transaction or ATM fees. Over the course of a long journey, the few dollars they spend each time pile up!
7. Travel solo
Traveling alone taught me how to fend for myself, converse with strangers, and deal with unusual situations with ease. It’s made me feel more at ease with myself, taught me what I’m capable of, and given me the freedom to be completely selfish and do anything I want!
8. Do not be frightened to consult a map.
Being mistaken for a tourist isn’t as bad as getting lost and finding up in the wrong neighborhood. Don’t be scared to look like a tourist by using a map or asking for directions. You are, after all, one! Always bring a map along.
9. However, don’t be scared to get lost on purpose.
You might be amazed by the hidden treasures you discover. I enjoy wandering about and attempting to find my way without the assistance of Google Maps!
10. Consult local tourism
They are aware of everything that is going on in the town. They can recommend free activities, special events taking place during your stay, and everything in between. It is their responsibility to help you get the most out of your trip. It’s remarkable how many visitors overlook this when traveling somewhere, but as a wise tourist, you know to take advantage of this resource!
11. Don’t have stupid accessories
Thieves are aware that they exist, and being seen with one scream look at me, I’m a tourist with money. Take advantage of me. If you’re concerned about pickpockets, keep a closer eye on your belongings!
12. Take only what you need when you go out.
Limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you so that you can easily recover if something goes wrong. Never carry more than one credit card or ATM card.
13. Always keep a lock with you.
They come in helpful, especially if you live in dorms and need to lock your belongings. When traveling, keep a compact combination lock with you. If you use one with keys, you’re doomed if you lose the keys!
14. Make duplicates of your passport and other key documents.
You never know when you’ll need some form of documents and won’t want to carry your original. Furthermore, if your passport is stolen, having a copy will be useful for your police report.
15. Even if you aren’t staying at the hostel, ask the employees for information.
Every day, hostel workers deal with budget travelers. They are well-versed in the best places to go for affordable eats and attractions. They are also more likely to be natives, thus they are well-versed in the city. Ask them for any and all facts you can think of. Even if you aren’t staying in one, simply walk in and ask for assistance.
16. Learn a few key phrases in the language of your location.
It would be appreciated by the locals and will facilitate your relationships. You don’t have to be fluent in the language, but knowing a few phrases like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you!” and “Where’s the bathroom?” will help you make friends with the people. They’ll appreciate your effort.
17. Go through a history book.
If you don’t know anything about a place’s history, you can’t understand its current. Learn about the places you’ll be visiting. It will offer you a better understanding of this destination you’ve been wanting to see for a long time!
18. Don’t be embarrassed to enter a Starbucks or McDonald’s.
When it comes to comfort, nothing beats familiarity, and both locations provide free wifi and public facilities. (Just don’t eat anything at McDonald’s!) That crap is disgusting and harmful to your health! You’ll be able to get it back home!)
19. Don’t fly direct.
When purchasing flights, it is sometimes cheaper to fly into airports near your final destination and then take a train or bus to your destination. Make careful to shop around for your flight and understand that flying direct isn’t always the cheapest option.
20. When going through security, always go behind business passengers.
They move quickly since they are frequently in a hurry and travel light. They are familiar with the procedure. As much as possible, form a line behind them. You’re going to fly through the line!
21. Never get in the way of a family.
They take an eternity. This isn’t their fault. They simply have a lot of stuff because of the children. Try to avoid standing in queues with a large number of children. It will take some time.
22. When checking into a hotel, don’t be scared to request an upgrade.
When it comes to assigning upgrades during check-in, they have a lot of leeways. It never hurts to inquire. If the hotel isn’t fully booked, they may be able to accommodate you. Just be extra kind!
23. Libraries, Starbucks, and the majority of cafés offer free Wi-Fi.
If you’re staying somewhere that charges you to connect to the internet, consider one of these options. You are welcome to connect for free.
24. The optimum time to see historical sites is during the lunch hour.
Be a skeptic. As big tour buses, groups, and most travelers head to lunch, there will be fewer people in your path. It’s usually ideal to go to an attraction early, late, or when people are eating. Even the most popular spots will be all to yourself!
25. Never eat near a tourist site or in a tourist location.
I usually go five blocks in either way before finding a place to eat. The closer you are to tourist sites, the more you will pay and the worse the food will be (and service). Find some tasty and popular eateries around you by using websites such as Yelp, Google Maps, Foursquare, or Open Rice.
26. Locals don’t dine out every night, and you shouldn’t either.
Go shopping for groceries. You can learn a lot about the diets of the inhabitants by looking at the food they buy. It will also save you a lot of money. You will not be sorry. Cook your own meals, save money, and surprise yourself!
27. Have lunch at a high-priced restaurant.
Most costly restaurants offer lunch specials that include the same food as dinner but at a fraction of the cost! When traveling, this is the best time to dine out.
28. Bring a flashlight.
It will help you see at night, avoid stepping on things and tell ghost stories. Who is scared of the dark?
29. Always keep a basic first-aid kit on hand.
Accidents do occur, so be prepared. For minor wounds and scrapes, I carry bandages, antibacterial cream, and ointments. You never know when you’ll need it, and you can’t always obtain it when you’re traveling.
30. Purchase airline tickets
To obtain the best deal, book at least 2-3 months in advance.
Don’t go too crazy trying to find the very cheapest fare. Spending five hours attempting to save $10 can bring you a great deal of worry. Here are some articles that will help you save money on flights:
31. Consider staying in a hostel.
They are inexpensive, plan events, you will meet a lot of people, and they are just a lot of fun! In addition, hostel bars sell cheap beer. Here are several posts on how to choose a hostel (as well as some of my favorites):
32. Meet locals
By using Meetup, the sharing economy, and hospitality websites. These websites will connect you with residents in the locations you visit to give you an insider’s perspective on your destination.
33. Be welcoming to strangers.
Not everyone takes a taste. Say hello to anyone you see on the road. Make strangers your friends. Keep in mind that they are just like you! They want to live a happy, full life, and they, too, have goals and dreams! You just never know. You might meet some people you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
34. However, keep your vigilance up.
Some people do bite, so maintain a healthy sense of skepticism. You don’t want to fall victim to any travel scams or get yourself into any awkward circumstances. Be receptive but wary.
35. Experiment with new foods.
Don’t bother asking what it is. Simply put it in your mouth and observe how it tastes. If you are wary, you may miss out on some uncommon and tasty local cuisine. Here are some articles on how to enjoy good food on a budget.
36. Avoid taking cabs.
They are usually a drain on the budget. Never, ever take a taxi unless absolutely necessary!
37. Pass past airport security with an empty water bottle
Refill it at your gate. When possible, drink from the tap to save money and protect the environment. If you’re traveling somewhere where you won’t be able to drink the water, bring a water bottle with a filter.
38. Participate in free walking excursions.
These tours, in addition to being free, will provide you with a solid overview and context of the city you are visiting. When I travel, I absolutely adore taking walking tours. You pass the time, you get to ask the guide questions, and you learn a lot about where you are!
39. Purchase city attraction cards.
If you plan on visiting several museums and other sites in a short amount of time, a city pass will save you money on the entrance (plus most offer free public transit!).
40. Photograph your luggage and clothes.
If your bag becomes misplaced, this will aid in locating it and expediting the process of having your travel insurance compensate you.
41. Keep emergency funds on hand.
Because crises do occur. Like when I couldn’t find an ATM in Romania and needed money for the bus to the accommodation! I always have roughly $200 USD in emergency cash on hand in case something unexpected happens!
42. Invest in nice shoes.
When you travel, you walk a lot. Don’t be too hard on your feet. If you love them as much as they love you, they will take you to incredible places.
43. Obtain a vaccination.
Because being sick in a strange place isn’t enjoyable — and many nations need you to get vaccinated in order to visit them, so you might as well, regardless of your feelings on the matter.
44. Learn to bargain.
Haggling is a joyful, entertaining approach to avoid paying the foreigner price. It’s the art of negotiation, and it will serve you well throughout your life, not just at the market.
45. Earn and redeem points and miles for free travel.
When you don’t have to pay for something, you can go a lot further in life. Learn the art of travel hacking and start collecting points and miles from your ordinary purchases to get free flights, hotels, train tickets, and other types of transportation!
46. Please bring a jacket.
The nights become frigid.
47. Consume street food!
You miss out on culture if you forgo street food. Don’t be afraid. If you’re nervous, seek restaurants where children eat. If it’s safe for them, it’s probably safe for you as well.
48. Purchase travel insurance.
Travel insurance is the most crucial thing you buy but never use. You don’t want to be out hundreds of dollars in bills if something goes wrong. It will be there if you are robbed, your flight is canceled, you become ill or injured, or you are forced to return home. It’s thorough, and for a few bucks per day, it’s one of the best investments you can make on a trip. You may believe you are superman/woman, but so did my friend who fractured his arm.
49. Take your time.
Everything will be fine in the end. There’s no need to haste. You’ll arrive at your destination in due time. The journey, not the destination, is the focus of travel.
50. Be courteous.
Locals are eager to assist you, but there is likely a language barrier, so keep your calm when things don’t go your way. If you don’t, you’ll come across as an asshole tourist.
51. Don’t over-plan your vacation.
Allow your days to unfold as they will. Schedule only two or three tasks and let the rest of the day take care of itself. It’s less stressful, and one of the finest ways to travel is to let the day carry you. Here’s my advice on how to avoid overplanning your vacation!
See Be patient and enjoy the whole trip.
53. Be frugal — but not cheap.
Don’t be pennywise but pound-foolish. Look for deals and don’t waste money, but don’t miss out on great experiences or walk 10 miles to save a couple of dollars. Time is money. Spend them both wisely.
54. Take earplugs.
Snorers are everywhere and you need your sleep.
55. Always have an extra USB charger.
Batteries die. Your good mood shouldn’t.
56. Take photos of and with people.
Lots of photos. Years from now, you’ll want to look back on those nights you can’t remember and the people who made them memorable.
57. Purchase your tickets online.
If you intend to participate in any activities or excursions during your stay, make your reservations online. When compared to shopping in person, companies frequently offer a lower price. Not only that, but you’ll be able to pay with a credit card, which will provide you with additional security as well as more travel points!
58. Register for flight bargains
When it comes to traveling, your flight(s) will most likely be your most expensive expense. Sign up for flight bargain websites like Scott’s Cheap Flights, The Flight Deal, and Secret Flying to save money. You’ll get amazing flight offers delivered directly to your email, saving you time and money. Sign up for airline newsletters as well, because that is where they will announce new routes.
59. Purchase your attraction tickets in advance.
Many big attractions allow you to secure your position ahead of time and avoid the lines. Always check the internet to see whether this is an option. You will save time by not having to wait in long queues and will be able to get directly in. I’ve seen people line up for hours to view the Paris Catacombs, the Louvre, the Churchill War Rooms in London, churches, temples, old fortifications, and other attractions.
60. Avoid using TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor is useful when you require operating hours or a location, but when it comes to reviews, I entirely disregard it. When something horrible happens, people always leave a negative review, but they rarely leave a nice comment when something wonderful happens, therefore the reviews are biased.