Whether your travels are leading you to somewhere with snow-capped mountains. or warm open beaches, getting there isn’t always as enjoyable as the vacation itself. Depending on the time of the year, you may be battling unexpected delays, icy roads, or packed security lines.
Some of these tips you may know, but to others who aren’t natural born travelers, you may find this helpful. As I begin to travel the world more and more, I am slowly putting together a list of ways that help avoid mistakes and speed up the travel process to get to my destination more quickly and without hassle. With that said, here’s 20 tips to help you travel easier. Lets get right to it.
No. 1: Get Your Caffeine:
If you’re buying those budget flights across the globe, chances are your flights are not at the most convenient times. Those red-eyes and early morning flights are a nightmare if you cannot sleep on planes. Despite my hope of airports having 24-hour cafes open, that is not the case. In these scenarios, caffeine is a must to ensure that you don’t fall asleep at your gate or anywhere else for that matter. My little trick, have a few packs of instant coffee in your carry-on or Awake, caffeine infused chocolate granola bars.
No. 2: No-fail list of essentials for your carry-on
International travel, especially, is defined by its miss connections, unfortunate delays, and too many people crammed into the security and customs lines. Whether its bad weather or unplanned plane delays and malfunctions, come prepared. Here’s all of the essentials you should be sure to pack in your carry-on to have with you at all times:
- Phone chargers
- Computer or tablet and chargers
- A good book
- One change of clothes
- Cozy socks
- Head pillow
- Oversized scarf (double as a blanket)
Tip: pre-download a few Spotify playlists, podcasts, and Netflix movies and shows before you take off incase the airports don’t have unlimited wifi.
No. 3: Utilize all of your travel resources
Tropical international traveling during the holidays? There’s an app for that. Going backpacking across Europe? Theres an app for that. Driving across the United States? There’s also an app for that. There’s a million apps for your destinations and specific trip goals. Use all of the resources that are available at your fingertips including phone apps, travel books, navigation tools, blogs, coupon websites, and much more. Here is a great list of travel apps to get you started by Travel and Leisure.
No. 4: Give yourself extra time
There is nothing worse than running through the airport like a mad-woman trying to get to your next flight. When you’re booking, if possible, give yourself some extra time in between connections on flights, busses, tours, and more. If you think you have enough time, add a half-hour for padding, especially during peak season travel.
No. 5: Notify your bank of your travel dates
This only applies if you’re going out of the country. Don’t get caught in a bind by forgetting to call your bank before you go out of the country. Call your bank and let them know when you are going out of town and where you will be going.
No. 6: Take only what you need when you go out
When you get to your final destination, only take what you will actually need with you for your day or nighttime adventures. There is no point to bring extra items and create a bigger chance of you losing your items in another country. If you don’t think you’ll need it, leave it.
No. 7: Learn basic phrases for where you’re going
Learn basic phrases in the native language of your destinations. Not only will it make it easier for you, but the locals will also appreciate it.
No. 8: Get behind business travelers in security lines and never get behind families
When you’re going through security at the airport and you get to choose which line you want to be in, get behind business travelers not families. More often than not, business travelers are on the move and moving quickly, while families typically take forever. It’s not their fault, they just have a lot of stuff and kids that may not be as helpful or behaved as they’re parents would like.
No. 9: Don’t eat near or in tourist locations
When you’re out and about at your destination, try to avoid eating near or at the tourist attractions. As a typical rule, walk a few blocks from the tourist location to find a place to eat, your wallet will be happy.
No. 10: Take a refillable water bottle
Save the planet and save you’re wallet. Bring a refillable water bottle with you when you travel to avoid having to pay for water bottles and instead just re-fill it at a fountain or restaurant. Just remember to bring it empty when you go through security and then fill it up on the other side.
No. 11: Search incognito
If you’re going to be searching for flights or Airbnbs, use the incognito feature in your web browser to hide your browsing history. This way, booking sites wont track your cookies and raise the price.
No. 12: Don’t overplan
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t over plan your trip, you lose the fun of the exploration if you’re constantly running on a tight schedule. Check out my full article on planning your trip without planning your trip here.
No. 13: Invest in a portable charger
Once you get one of these, you’re going to wonder how you ever travelled without one. Invest in a portable charger that charges your phone on-the-go without needing to be plugged in. This is essential for long days when you don’t return to a hotel or place of stay. You can find great prices and brands on these on Amazon.
No. 14: Force yourself to get on the timezone the first night
Your first day may be tough, but it doesn’t have to be worthless. Whatever you do, try to adjust to the local time on the day you arrive by forcing yourself to stay up later or go to bed earlier so the next day, you’re ready to take on the full-day.
No. 15: Make extra copies of your passport and important documents
Don’t forget to make a copy of your important documents and email them to yourself so you’ll have access to them one way or another.
No. 16: Eat at expensive places during lunch
You don’t have to skip all of your fancy meals, just choose wisely on when you eat them. Go to that expensive restaurant you wanted to try, just do so at lunch, they usually have special lunch deals that are the same food as the dinner, just at about half the price.
No. 17: Use no-fee bank cards
Keep your hard earned money for your travels and don’t just pass that over to your bank. Before you travel, see whats the best bank card or method of payment that you should use when you’re abroad to save that three or more percent.
No. 18: Pack a smaller bag inside your luggage
Usually when we pack our carry-on purse or backpack, we find the biggest one we have. That’s great. However, pack a smaller backpack or handbag that you can take with you when you go out for the day (or at night) that way you aren’t always lugging around this giant bag.
No. 19: Don’t buy a money belt
Please, for your own good, don’t buy a money belt. Thieves look for these on, particularly American tourists, and this basically points a flashing light right to your belt saying, “look at me, im a tourist with money, right here, take it!”
No. 20: Take bandaids
Accidents happen, especially if you’re going to be hiking, biking, surfing, or doing any activity during your trip. Just bring a little baggy of bandaids and maybe some antibacterial cream for cuts. It’ll save you searching around or going to the store if you need one. It takes up basically no space in your luggage, and its worth it to have – just in case.
I hope you’ve found these helpful for you. Check back at this post when you’re getting ready to go on your trip and my hope is that at least one of these tips will help you out along the way.