7 Tips to Travel Smarter

With every trip we take, we learn from our mistakes, or from fellow travelers and their tricks and tips. The best way to learn is to listen to others and plan it out. Sometimes other people think of great ways to help us travel that we wouldn’t even think about! So we started asking around, talking to veteran travelers, and the ones who went on recent trips whose ideas are still fresh in their minds, and with these interviews we have compiled a list for you! See if these tips are helpful for your next trip, and be sure to share some too!

1. Planning Tips:

  • “Read up on the place you want to visit and make a list of the top places to go. Make sure you know what to look for because what’s the point of going somewhere beautiful, when you do not know what it’s about?” says Allison from Ohio.
  • “Aside from reading a guidebook (Like Footprints, Lonely Planet, and Frommer’s), read a book set in the location you are going to. I read a historical fiction book set in Istanbul before I went and then when I was walking around, I felt like I recognized what was being described, and I also understood more of the history and culture of the city.” – Yael from New York.

2. Flight Tips:

  • Try visiting a website that compares all of the prices of all the flight companies and check prices for the weeks around the dates you want to go, so that you can really find the cheapest flights.
  • In regards to using your miles, try to save them up for international flights, and don’t waste them on the cheaper domestic flights.
  • “I used KAYAK and Flightfox to compare pricing and plan complicated flights to my location.” – Emiliya from Chicago, Illinois.
  • If you’re flying international and your flight is big – sit in the middle. You don’t feel the turbulence as bad there.

3. Tips on Major Sites:

  • When planning a visit to a major site, research it well. Some places, you’ll want to buy a ticket in advance because the spots fill up quickly and you want to make sure you can get in during your trip.
  • Jeremy from Missouri says “Buying a ticket online in advance means you can skip the long ticket lines when you get there.” But make sure it is necessary first. Sometimes you’re going to want to wait until you get there to make sure that you are not going to be rained on when visiting an outdoor temple, and that you will actually get to see the mountain and the views rather than being snowed in. You do not want to waste money on a ticket if you are not going to fully experience the place.
  • Try to go when it is not tourist season, or at calmer hours of the day.

4. Weather Tips:

  • If you are planning on traveling somewhere near the equator, or in the opposing hemisphere, keep in mind the seasons and weather in your destination. You do not want to visit Nepal in Monsoon season, for example, or visit Patagonia (south Argentina) in the dead of winter.

5. Packing Tips:

  • When packing, pick out what shoes you’ll need first. Then match the clothes to that. Look for neutral colors for the greatest amount of options.
  • Stick a pair of socks in your carry on if you’re planning on traveling with flip-flops or sandals – so that when you take your shoes off at security, you are not bare-footed on filthy ground where millions of others have stepped.
  • Do not over-pack either! You can always buy another shirt or pants or underwear when you get there. Only pack basics, and the essential medication because only the medication may be more difficult to find abroad.

6. Food Tips:

  • If you are all about local culture and food, you should definitely look up some of the top local dishes before heading out to try them. Read up on recommendations. But the best way to find the cheapest and most delicious local food is to follow the locals.
  • “If you smell something good, try it.” Any spot that’s bustling with locals is a good call.
  • Another reason it is important to research food ahead of time is to check what is recommended not to eat. For example, in Peru and Bolivia, due to the contaminated water, it is very dangerous to eat fresh fruits and vegetables!
  • “Upon arriving in Beijing…I wandered down to the main street, where I spotted a restaurant overflowing with locals. I walked over, got in line and found myself seated with a steaming bowl of shu mai noodles, which was a fantastic way to start my culinary expedition.”

7. Tips for Traveling While Traveling:

  • When you compare costs while traveling, try different websites and tour guides to figure out the most recommended way for travel, both in terms of safety and finance.
  • “The website Rome2Rio makes transportation decisions easy by comparing the travel time and cost of flying, driving, and taking the train between two destinations.” — Lauren from Georgia
  • Also, while you’re in a major city, purchase the passes for public transportation – whether it be all-day, two-day, or week-long, in order to save money.

Travel Tips are always helpful to us world explorers- so keep traveling, keep learning, keep discovering, and keep sharing!