Travel offers knowledge and insights that enrich your perspective. For novice travelers, it's normal to make mistakes at first, but over time, you'll learn the do's and don'ts of planning trips and navigating foreign destinations. We’re diving into some of our top travel tips for a successful vacation!
1. Research Your Destination
Before packing your bags and making flight arrangements, dig into your destination! Find out about the culture, customs, and norms in that place. You can avoid some serious faux pas just with a little reading ahead. And check the weather and climate while you're at it. Sure, it might be the same temperature as your hometown in the place where you're headed, but the humidity and geography play a role, too: 60 in the prairies of North Dakota is going to be different than 60 degrees in San Francisco Bay!
One Reddit Traveler added, “…Also for Transit cities just in case. Also, save your hotel location and embassy details.”
2. Use VPN to Get Discounts on Flights
Typically, travel websites use your IP address to customize flight fares according to your location. However, using a VPN while planning your trip lets you conceal your IP address and access cheaper airfares. When you set your IP address to resemble that of a less prosperous country, you can book flights at a lower price. Conversely, opting for the IP address associated with the airline's main office could lead to substantial savings on your flights.
One Redditor said, “Try searching for flights in the airline’s original language. I once saved $700 for booking tickets in Peru by using Spanish rather than English.”
3. Avoid Expensive Hotels and Accommodations
Traveling may come with a high cost, but there are ways to make it budget-friendly. A successful approach includes choosing affordable accommodations instead of luxurious, five-star hotels. While having a comfortable place to sleep is essential, it shouldn't hinder your ability to discover new experiences, which is often the main goal of travel.
One Redditor added, “ Location beats a luxury room.”
Another stated, “If I can walk to get midnight munchies and to a few points of interest and to public transport, I'll put up with a lot, provided it's kept clean.”
4. Pack Light
Traveling light is a good idea for any trip. The less you pack, the more convenient your journey is likely to be. This is particularly true when you plan to visit multiple cities or countries. It's just easier to navigate your way through unfamiliar terrain with less baggage. There's also less chance of misplacing things. In short, traveling light is a practical and hassle-free approach to any adventure.
One commenter said, “Pack 24 hours worth of what you need too. I usually throw extra boxers and socks into my carry-on since I've been screwed by lost luggage too many times.”
5. Pack Extra Necessities
Anyone can understand why this is important. It's impossible to anticipate every potential mishap that may occur during a trip, and plans can change unexpectedly. For instance, you might decide to prolong your journey by a few days. It's prudent to pack a few additional pairs of undergarments or other necessities.
One of our Redditors said, “I pack extra socks and underwear and shorts in my carry-on in case an accident happens… [you] never know…”
6. Get to the Airport Early
This is pretty much the golden rule: arrive at the airport well before your scheduled flight. Start your travel day by waking up earlier than usual, enjoying a nutritious breakfast, double-checking that you have all your belongings, and then heading straight to the airport. Remember, it's better to be ahead of schedule than to risk missing your flight.
7. Always Wear Sunscreen
This is especially important if you’re visiting somewhere tropical or there's high exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation can damage your skin, cause premature aging, and even raise the risk of skin cancer. Opt for a product with an SPF of at least 30, with broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays. Apply every two hours or more often if you're swimming or sweating. Wearing a protective hat and sunglasses and finding shade during peak UV hours (typically between 10 am and 4 pm) can also help. Overall, wearing sunscreen isn't just about protecting your skin during travel but also about safeguarding your health in the long run.
8. Visit Tourist Destinations During Lunch
Visiting historical places at lunchtime is a great way to avoid crowds and have a better experience. Many landmarks and tourist attractions tend to be busiest in the morning and afternoon. Most people prefer to have lunch or take a break during this time, and you can explore these sites with more comfort. You may even get better photos without crowds in the background. Also, visiting historical places at lunchtime might help you avoid long lines and wait times. However, it's important to note that some places may be closed for lunch, so check ahead and plan accordingly.
9. Avoid Changing Your Currency At The Airport
Frequent travelers advise against exchanging your currency at the airport. Airport currency exchange counters tend to offer steep rates compared to local currency exchanges. Airport exchange rates can be up to 20% higher than other exchange locations, so wait until you reach your destination or find a reputable currency exchange office. You can also withdraw local currency from an ATM using a debit or credit card, which is efficient and cost-effective.
10. Beware of Biased Recommendations
As one Redditor said, try to seek advice from someone who isn’t being paid to provide it. Seek out opinions from independent sources, such as local residents or unbiased online reviews, to get a more objective and authentic perspective on the best options. People who aren't getting paid to provide their opinion are less likely to be scammers and more likely to have information that's applicable to their personal travel experience.
Traveling can be an enriching and exciting experience, but it's important to be well-prepared before embarking on any trip. Do some research and planning ahead, and you should have a fun and enriching experience!
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