I often get asked by people who are new to travel what my best travel tips are. I’ve definitely experienced a lot during my journeys. I’ve seen astonishing sunrises all over the world. I’ve eaten food that I would have never dreamed of tasting and met people who have touched my heart and soul. There has been both good and bad during my travels. I was scammed in Sri Lanka and practically kidnapped from the airport in Morocco. By following my travel tips, you will avoid the worst, and have the trip of your life.
13 Travel Tips To Make Your Trip Fabulous
1. Learn Some Of The Local Language Before You Go
Before leaving for a trip, I use Duolingo to learn a few key phrases of the language spoken in the country I will be visiting. I have found that just by saying hello in their language, the person usually opens up. I have been invited in for coffee and even dinner by the locals, even though I couldn’t really speak to them. This has left me with experiences I will never forget.
2. Pack Light
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Of all of my travel tips, this is the most important. You will have a better time on your trip if you aren’t carrying heavy luggage around. You will save money and time at the airport baggage carousel if you just take a carry-on bag with you on your trip. If you carry on your luggage, you don’t have to worry about your things getting stolen or your luggage getting lost, either. You can see some of my packing tips here.
3. Check Your Passport Expiration And Visa Requirements Before Leaving
Many countries require you to have at least six months left on your passport before you can enter, so make sure that you passport isn’t about to expire. Also, check to see if you will need a visa and/or proof of a return flight before you leave.
4. Leave Some Money Behind In Your Hotel Room
If your wallet gets stolen or lost, you don’t want to be carry all of your cash and every credit card that you own. Make sure to leave an extra credit card and cash in the safe of your hotel room, so you have some stashed away in case of an emergency.
5. Buy Travel Insurance
I have always bought travel insurance, and I am so glad I did. It came in handy when I got attacked by a dog in Bali, and had to get rabies shots. I use World Nomads as my travel insurance provider.
6. Alert Your Bank And Credit Card Companies Of Your Travel Plans
If you forget to alert your bank of your travel plans, you may not be able to use your card internationally. Don’t forget to tell them that you will be traveling.
7. Get To Know The Locals
In some ways, I feel like TripAdvisor has ruined travel. People rely on it to figure out where to go, and think that travel is all about seeing the sites. My best experience in travel has come from getting to know the locals. I ask them where their favorite places are to eat and follow their advice. I ask them to tell me the stories of their lives. Stop the people who you meet, and talk to them. They love getting to know you as much as you enjoy getting to know them.
8. Avoid Transportation Scams By Negotiating The Price First
It’s not just taxi scams that you have to be aware of. In some countries, tourists are even charged a different price for public transportation. Make sure you negotiate the price before you get on. Do a little research about all common scams in the area you are traveling to, and make sure you enjoy the ride instead of getting taken for one.
9. Make Extra Copies Of Your Travel Documents
Make sure you make copies of your passports, visas, and all other travel documents before traveling and keep the copies in a separate place from your actual documents.
10. Slow Down
I prefer slow travel because I can fully immerse myself in the essence of a place. Even if you are taking a short trip, don’t plan every second. Allow yourself to be spontaneous and have moments where you just watch the world go by.
11. The Minute You Check In To Your Hotel, Put The Hotel Business Card With Your Room Number Written On It In Your Wallet
Do this especially if you are in a different country. Often, the address will also be written in that language (important in places like Thailand!). There’s nothing worse than getting away from your hotel, and not being able to find a taxi driver who knows where your hotel is. Also, writing down your room number is also a good idea to avoid any confusion when you get back.
12. Don’t Always Book The Cheapest Flight You Can Find
Sometimes a cheaper flight might take twice as long to get to your destination. Make sure to look at all factors when booking your flight. Sometimes, it’s worth paying more to be on a more comfortable flight. Check out this post for more tips on how to travel cheap.
13. If You Plan On Driving, Check To See If You Need An International Driving Permit
Many countries require that you have an International Driving Permit to rent a car. Make sure to have one if it’s needed.
Do you have travel tips you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below!