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35 Travel Tips Every Traveler Needs

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travel tips

Whether you are a frequent traveler or a once in a while traveler, these tips will help you make the most of your trip. Some are basic common sense while others I would have never thought of if someone didn’t guide me when I first started traveling.

  1. Learn the tipping etiquette in the country you will be traveling to. We all know about tipping here in the United States, but did you know there are some countries that don’t tip and find it disrespectful if you offer one?
  2. Are you a student or a senior citizen? Be sure to carry your identification to take advantage of discounts often offered these two groups.
  3. Travel map apps for your phone – be sure to download one that will help you get around the area you will be visiting. Walking around with a big paper map pegs you as a tourist. You can also download an off-line map just in case you have no access to data in some areas.
  4. Print copies of important documents before you leave home. Have some extra copies of your passport and insurance documents (just in case!)
  5. Packing cubes! Use them correctly and you will be able to pack efficiently for your travels and bring everything you will need.
  6. Travel Insurance. Protect the investment of your vacation. Travel insurance is great in case something happens that prevents you from traveling as well as in the case of illness while you are away. Research your best options since most policies must be purchased with a certain time of booking your travels.
  7.  Learn a few of the basic words of the local language. Hello. How Are You? Please. Thank You. Small polite comments will be extremely helpful if you are traveling in another country.
  8. Research and plan. Major sporting events and festivals taking place at your destination during the time  you plan to visit can easily raise the cost of accommodations and food. If possible, choose a different time to visit.
  9. If possible, pack in carry-on only. The cost of checked baggage can add quite a bit to your travel budget.
  10. When researching flight costs, browse flight information incognito. The internet is smart. Websites know what you searched via cookies and then bombards you with airline ads. Use incognito mode or be sure to clear your cookies so you get a fresh look at flight costs and you aren’t lured into a higher cost based on your last search. 
  11. Travel over-night to save on accommodation costs.  You also won’t waste a day travelling.
  12. Book flights with lay-overs to save money. Direct flights may be the most convenient, but they are also the most expensive. 
  13. Vacation Pool! Depending on where you live, there may be many that are taking a road trip either by car or by camper. Split travel expenses and make new friends.
  14. Use public transportation when you arrive at your destination. It’s usually the cheapest way to get around a city, much cheaper then a taxi or private car service and quite often a fun way to see a new city. Many public transportation systems offer multi-day passes that will save you even more if you will be staying in the same city for several days. 
  15. Walk. You are on vacation. Do some sightseeing. Depending on the traffic in the city you are visiting, walking could very well be quicker solution.
  16. If possible, bundle flights and hotels into a package. This will usually save you some money.
  17. If your flight is over-booked and the airline is requesting volunteers to wait for the next flight, jump up and down waving your hands if possible. It’s usually not more then a couple of hours until the next flight and you will get some sort of freebie – either a hefty credit for another flight or an entire new flight to use at another time.
  18. Bring your own snacks for the airport and the plane. Everything in the airport costs more. 
  19. Do happy hour! Happy hour takes place everywhere and you can get half price drinks as well as half price (sometimes free) appetizers. You can fill up on enough appetizers so that you won’t need to eat dinner that night!
  20. Invest in a very good, re-fillable water bottle. You will re-fill it hundreds of times. Tap water is free.
  21. Visit a local grocer and purchase some easy breakfast items for your hotel room. Almost all hotel rooms offer small refrigerators. You can keep a small carton of milk, make coffee in your room, have muffins or cereal and save the expense of breakfast out. It will be a fraction of the cost.
  22. Lunch menus have cheaper prices then dinner menus very often offering the same food. Eat your large meal at lunch time.  
  23. If eating at a buffet that offers pieces of fresh fruit, take a few for a snack later in the day to prevent having to purchase mid-day or late evening snacks.
  24. If your hotel offers free breakfast of any kind – be sure to get up in time to get it! Even if it’s only danish or muffins – it’s one less meal you have to purchase.
  25. Many cities offer free concerts and events. When you arrive in a new city, pick up a local event newspaper or brochure from your hotel lobby. Some larger cities have “free museum days” or “free walking tours.”
  26. Be sure your electronics are on “wi-fi” when available. No one wants to come home to a surprise data overage charge.
  27. Birthdays are international! Many places will happily offer something as small as a free cupcake if they know it’s your birthday. Take advantage of a free treat!
  28. Look at destinations that may have recently suffered some sort of disaster. Sad, yes, but there are places that will need tourism badly after a disaster. Of course, there are places that you shouldn’t go to after a disaster so use good judgement. Keep an eye on flight and accommodation specials to some locations post disaster. 
  29. Track your spending. Credit cards made life easier but they also make it easy to spend way too much money without thinking. There are APPS you can download to help you keep track of your spending to be sure you don’t over do it.
  30. Adopt a no (or limited) souvenir policy. Be cheap and ruthless with purchases. No impulse buying. 
  31. Volunteer. There is an entire travel industry based on volunteering where you can travel to beautiful places inexpensively in exchange for doing good deeds. 
  32. Search for coupons for restaurants and/or attractions for the city or location you will be visiting.
  33. Earn cash back by paying for your trip on a credit card that offers cash back for your purchases. You can save quite a bit by choosing the right credit card. 
  34. Ask and you just may receive! Ask for an upgraded room. Ask if your hotel will beat another’s price. Small savings add up.
  35. Avoid high season travel if possible and ALWAYS find the cheapest way to and from the airport.
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Ellen Cusack

Wednesday 13th of July 2016

Love 5,19 and 27! I love using my packing cubes, it's like a portable dresser, so unpacking is not necessary! Great tips and tricks of the traveling "Open Suitcase "!

Janice Brady

Wednesday 13th of July 2016

great idea! portable dress - I would have never thought to call them that!

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