Being a smart traveler is an art that is not received by birth. It is gained after lots of mistakes and incidents like getting out of budget, missed transportations, and much more. Because of those experiences, you get to learn some things that make you an expert traveler.
In my early trips, I made lots of travel mistakes and faced some weird situations too 😅. But those experiences made me learn a lot. They made me think and read about the travel experiences of people all over the world.
So, to help you save money and avoid those mistakes, I have created this detailed list of the 30 best travel tips from my experiences. These travel tips and experiences will surely help you travel like an expert while saving money and time with a better travel experience.
I hope this list would be useful to you and everybody would relate with most of the experiences mentioned here.
1. Plan Little And Keep It Flexible
Nothing goes as planned in our life, especially in travel there is a saying “always expect the worst”. There are lots of situations where you may need to change your plan. Some of them are like;
- If you find out about a better place to visit nearby and that seems more interesting than your pre-planned destination.
- Imagine you’ll arrive in a place and you don’t like that but your hotel and travel bookings are already planned then you’ll feel too restricted.
- The weather turns up or you do not feel well for the activities you have planned for.
Always allow your trip to be flexible and be ready for a change in plan. Surely, you should have a basic plan for your trip. Keep lots of options with information like in which activities you may have to walk more or less. So, if you do not feel like walking, then you can choose the activity involving less walking.
2. Always Use Incognito Window For Bookings
This is my personal experience and maybe yours too!!
I have seen travel fares and hotel charges keep on increasing while checking the fares before my trip to Udaipur, as I was just checking again and again. I suggest using an incognito window to check travel fares and hotel charges, to avoid price hikes for you personally.
3. Travel Insurance For International Travel
There are lots of stories and experiences that you can see on the internet about travel injuries and loss of money while on a trip. They also thought they didn’t need any travel insurance, as you think. You can skip travel insurance for a local trip in your native country but we recommend that you shouldn’t skip it for overseas travel. A lot of people are not aware that how travel insurance works and its importance. This is why most of them ignore this important travel safety step.
4. Do Not Completely Rely On Reviews
When deciding a destination or a spot there, I suggest not to completely rely on the review available online. As a psychological fact, people with bad experiences are most likely to write their reviews online as compared to those who had good experiences. On the other hand, it is very common to create fake reviews nowadays. These two aspects make online reviews non-reliable.
5. Health Checkup Before The Trip
Always visit your doctor before going on any trip. Getting sick on a trip is the worst thing that could happen.
6. Always Practice Your Packing Before The Trip
I used to face difficulties when searching for any small stuff into my bag and ended up unpacking the whole bag to find that one small stuff. And then, it was difficult to pack things perfectly as before. Practicing your packing before the trip would give you an estimate of efficiently fitting your stuff into your bag and it also helps in finding things into the bag.
7. Do Not Leave Packing For The Morning (Pack In Advance)
This applies to me 😅!! I am the person who becomes lazy when it comes to packing bags in advance and then I always need to hurry in the morning, especially when I have early morning departures or check out. Lots of time, I forgot some of my important stuff in hotels or home before leaving due to a hurry.
Once I forgot to take my ID card and that got me so much inconvenience on the trip. I suggest packing your bags in advance like pack your bags the night before any early departure.
8. Always Keep A First Aid Kit With You
I always carry a basic first-aid kit when traveling as I had faced some hard times earlier. There were times when I experienced extreme headaches and couldn’t find any painkillers. Once, while helping my fellow traveler to open her stuck backpack, I got a minor cut on my finger.
After all these experiences, I always carry some band-aids, painkillers, ointments, and anti-bacterial cream. I suggest carrying some basic first-aid essentials.
9. Always Carry A Combination Lock
Combination locks are very handy when you have to lock your bags or stuff, especially when you are staying in common accommodations like dormitories or hostels.
I suggest carrying a combination lock instead of the traditional locks (with keys) as if you mistakenly lose the keys it would only increase the hustle.
10. Carry A Power Strip And Power Bank
The best places for travelers to stay are hostels, but they usually have only a few power sockets. This is a very common scenario where a lot of passengers waited for their electronics to be charged. At that time it is very convenient to have a power strip so that you can charge many of your gadgets with a single power socket.
I also suggest packing a portable battery charger (Power bank) so you can charge your gadgets while traveling. But also make sure it should not be too heavy and big.
11. Carry A Travel Towel
Travel towels are so good that they dry quickly and can be folded up into so small and they are very lightweight also!! Many dormitories or hostels provide towels but not everyone. So you should not completely rely on those uncertain situations.
12. Get A Good Camera For Your Trips
One of the best things about traveling is the memories. So, I suggest getting a good camera. It could be a DSLR or your phone’s camera but it should be good. In my earlier trips, I didn’t have a good camera, so the pics were not good and those memories look blurry to me now.
Most of the time I didn’t even click pictures due to hesitation. whenever I had a chance, even when there was a very beautiful scenic spot also, I didn’t click any pictures.
I regret it a lot now ☹.
13. Write Your Accommodation Address Before Your Arrival
Imagine you reach your destination city and your phone battery runs out in the journey and all the information about your accommodation is on your phone!!! Looks scary right?
Well, not exactly the same but something similar happened to me lots of the time. When I arrive at my destination and try to locate my accommodation, sometimes the internet works slow, my phone hangs up, and of course, sometimes my phone battery runs out or goes out.
I suggest writing down your accommodation address on a paper with you. As soon as you reach your hotel or hostel, take their business card so you can show it to locals when you need help to locate it.
14. Carry Solid Toiletries Instead Of Liquids Or Gels
You might have understood my point!! I always prefer solid toiletries over the gels. Liquid/gel toiletries are very prone to slime your bag and ruin your other stuff like clothes and gadgets.
15. Scanned Copies Of Your Important Documents
A protected file on the cloud storage of scanned copies of your important documents. I always keep a file (on my cloud storage) containing scanned copies of my important documents. So, you can easily access them in any situation like when you lose your hard copies of documents.
16. Get A Test Walk With Your Packed Luggage
The final packed backpack is always likely to be heavier than expectations. This happened with me on my trip to Mussoorie (Queen of hills). That time I packed all my stuff in a single rucksack and thought it would be easy for me to carry that. But in actuality, that felt very much heavier, especially, on the ups and downs of that mountain treks where oxygen levels are low.
I suggest a test walk with your packed luggage, so you could cut out some stuff to reduce the weight.
17. Keep Pictures Of Your Luggage
Imagine if your luggage gets lost, a picture of your luggage would be helpful to find them and claim your travel insurance.
18. Use Google Translate’s Camera
When it comes to translating signboards, menus, and anything else in real-time, Google’s translate camera is very handy. You just simply need to touch the camera icon and scan the text you want to translate.
19. Drink Enough Water
This might look very common, basic, and outdated advice!! But it is also one of the most important piece of advice to stay in good health while traveling.
Even after knowing all the circumstances, very few people drink enough water, especially when they are traveling. I always drink at least 2-3 liters of water in a day and advise this to my fellow travelers too.
20. Flexible Water Bottle
Carrying a water bottle is good for health but at the same time they occupy lots of space in your backpack even when they are empty.
Nowadays, there are flexible water bottles in the market that can be folded, so they take very little space in your backpack. This makes them very suitable for travelers.
21. A Checklist For Check Out
Check out is the most common time when travelers forget their stuff or lose something. I suggest making a checklist for your checkout routine that can help to collect all of your important stuff and you don’t leave anything behind.
22. Always Utilize The Opportunity To Charge Your Devices
Always utilize the opportunity whenever you get a chance to charge your gadgets. We always think that we can charge them after a while. But most of the time we forget and then regret when eventually, our gadgets battery runs out.
23. Taxis/Cabs Are A Big No!
Taxis always take a big part in budgets on trips. I am the person who suffers from the habit of taking cabs every time. I travel in cabs most of the time, even when I could have traveled in public transport comfortably.
This behavior of mine always made me regret, especially when I tracked my spendings during my visit to some tourist spots in Jaipur!! From my last couple of trips, I’ve been trying to travel in public transports (because of my fellow travelers/friends 😅) and now I feel like I should have done this in all my trips. Public transports are cheap/budget-friendly where you get a different travel experience.
24. Visit The Local Markets And Eat Local Food
If you really want to know and experience the true culture of a place, you must visit the local market of that place. My friends and I always love visiting the local markets on our trips, especially at night after early dinner or you could have your dinner in a local area for cheaper dinner, to experience the local food and culture. Trying local food that you might have never seen or tasted before, could be a great experience.
25. Avoid Eating Near A Tourist Spot
Yeah!! We all have experience and know that tourist spots are always costly. You can take even your place for an example, that you might have observed the difference in prices in menus in tourist places in your region.
As I mentioned in my above tip, I always visit the local markets and you should too, where you can find out cheaper options for dinner.
26. Make Sure You Are In The Photos
The photographs of beautiful places and landscapes that you click are good but they are similar to the ones available on the internet! right?
I always had been introverted and shy to ask anybody to click my photo in public. I have clicked lots of photographs that are good but I’m not in them, and I regret it. Photos with you in them are the special memories of your trip that can remind you about the wonderful time of your trip when you look back at them.
27. Always Ask Before Taking Photos
Imagine you are at your home or workplace where some tourists start clicking photos of you or your place. It doesn’t look good to you!!
That’s why you should always ask before taking photos in a polite and respectful manner.
28. Admit That You Won’t Be Able To Visit Every Place
This is one of the hardest and important lessons for travelers. I’m sure it might have already happened to you during your trip that you were not able to visit every place where you thought of!!
29. Bring Extra Cards And Inform Your Bank About Your Travel
To be true, this is not my personal experience. While browsing over the internet I found that lots of people faced issues in their travel like their cards being lost, or got blocked by the bank.
I suggest bringing more than one card and to keep them in different places like one along with you and one in your backpack. Apart from that, you can fill your travel plans in your online banking form to prevent your card from being blocked during your trip.
30. Follow Health Safety Rules When In Crowded Spots
As we all know that the world has witnessed the horrific consequences of global pandemic novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It has forced us to re-think in the direction of health safety rules while traveling in crowded destinations. We all want to know how travel will change after coronavirus?
However, It is advisable to avoid any trips for at least 6 months after this global pandemic ends. After that, you should always follow the health safety rules and travel instructions provided by the WHO. Some of the basic health safety rules during traveling are mentioned below:
- Wash your hand longer and more frequently
- Avoid crowd and close contacts
- Do not touch your face before washing your hands
- Wear a face mask in crowded spots
- Carry a card showing your blood group
Thanks for reading the post!!
Let me know your thoughts about the post. Do share your tips and experiences in comments 🙂
Nakul Hada is an SEO analyst and a travel blogger. He is a travel buff who especially loves road trips. He believes in research self-learning which makes his article informative and practical. You can find him on Linkedin or on Instagram @nakulsinghhada.