10 Travel Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Trips
Whether you’re a first-time backpacker or have folded your life into a pack and are heading out the door as a digital nomad (like me!), knowing the tricks to travel smart can help create a more memorable, meaningful experience of a lifetime. I’ve laid out some of my ultimate travel tips for you right here:
1. Follow Airlines for Cheap Deals
Many airlines will have regular sales to certain locations, so sign up for emails and you’ll be the first to know when a deal is on offer. Also, some search sites let you track prices for routes that you’ve searched for, so you can see when prices are going up or hitting rock bottom.
2. Choose a Pack That Lasts
Whether escaping for a weekend or on a one-way flight to Kathmandu, you’ll be carrying that backpack of yours for a while. Get a sturdy, strong pack (preferably with an inner frame for added support) that has ample locations to clip items to while on the move – think muddy hiking boots, wet towels and other dirty (smelly) things you might not want in your bag with your clean gear.
3. Compartmentalize Your Stuff
Nothing’s worse than having to repack your bag every time you stop because you couldn’t find that other clean sock. Separate your items into stuff sacks, so you can master the art of packing and unpacking in seconds.
4. Pack a Reusable Water Bottle
Grab a reusable water bottle for your travels and it may come in handier than you’d expect. On planes, buses, trikes, and bikes keep hydrated and healthy while reducing your plastic footprint on the planet.
5. Do Your Destination Research
The beauty of travel is that everywhere in the world is different, so if you’re heading to a new location, do some research. Find out the faux pas of your destination and avoid a potentially tricky situation, like pointing when it’s considered rude.
6. Photo-document Everything…
Taking pictures while traveling is extremely important, you’ll want to be able to share vivid stories with your grandchildren – or grand puppies? When you’re done with your trip, or a segment of it, upload, categorize and comment on your photos so you can remember the details of that toothless taxi driver or the little, lost goat that followed you into your mountain cottage.
7. …Then Put the Camera Down
At the same time that documenting your trip is priceless, so is living in the moment. Remember to take some time to acknowledge your present location and soak in all the amazing sites, smells and sounds. While the photos may last forever, that moment won’t – so don’t lose it before it’s gone!
8. Brush Up On Your Language Skills
You don’t have to become fluent in Tagalog to have a good time in the Philippines but knowing a bit of the language is one way to make a great impression with the locals. Wherever you’re jetting off to, teach yourself at least the basics: hello, goodbye, thank you, please, and how much. A few small words can go a long way.
9. Bring A Book You’d Love to Lose
Packing well is a skill, but if you do it right you should have room for a book or two. Bring one you aren’t too attached to so you can leave it behind when you finish it. Lots of hostels and backpacker’s venues have a ‘leave a book, take a book’ shelf where you can do a free exchange. Trust me, when your plane is delayed for 4 hours and you’re in an airport with no Wi-Fi, you’ll be glad you packed some reading material.
10. Leave Secret Spots Secret
Travel smart you might just stumble upon an incredible, hidden waterfall or an off-the-grid restaurant. While it’s great to share your experiences, sometimes it’s best to hide the locations of these secret wonders and help preserve their natural state. With tourism as a constantly growing industry, it’s no wonder we see places that were once remote and quiet inundated with visitors. Hike the falls, jump in the water, take photos, but leave your location tags off.
Wherever you’re going, apply these tips to your travels and from planning to unpacking, you’ll be ready for the experience of a lifetime.