You’ve booked your flight and are counting down the days before you embark on your upcoming trip. You can feel the excitement growing, and perhaps the pre-travel butterflies are starting to kick in. But don’t put your to-do list away just yet.
The capacity to travel is not something that most individuals are born with. It’s something that can only be learned by on-the-road experience. You make a lot of travel blunders at first.
Missed buses, careless conduct, cultural illiteracy, and a slew of other tiny errors all add to a lack of travel expertise. Then, like a fish through water, you’re gliding through airports and integrating into new cultures.
To help you speed up the process and minimize mistakes, we put together some travel ideas that will assist you in saving money, sleeping better, meeting locals, and simply being a better traveler.
So let’s not waste any more time, here are our top 6 tips for any type of traveler:
6 Important Things Every Traveler Should Know
1. Plan! Plan!! Plan!!!
Decide ahead of time where you want to travel, what you want to do, what attractions you want to visit – pretty much every little detail! It relieves the pressure of the actual holiday, allowing you to spend more time enjoying it rather than trying to plan out what to do.
Because, when you’re in a larger group, things get much more difficult since everyone has different ideas about what they want to get done and in what sequence they want to do it. Get all of the non-fun stuff out of the way so you can genuinely focus on having a great day.
Before you rush to head out for your vacation, you should be prepared to efficiently answer an impromptu pop quiz about your vacation plans.
2. Download Offline Maps
Make sure they’re offline maps, not just any maps!
Mobile networks in some countries are beginning to make it easier to use your data allowance in other countries, but even this has limitations, so if you still want the flexibility of being able to navigate through your vacation while on the go– without a mobile phone bill that will leave you in despair/outrage when you return home, download offline maps of the destination you plan to visit.
Fortunately, there are so many free applications available that you have no excuse not to carry a map with you while you travel. You could, of course, take paper maps from the hotel/hostel/villa you’re staying in, but such maps typically wind up in tatters/lost/wet and worthless after a few hours of use, leaving you back at square one!
3. Be Flexible and Spontaneous
Even if you have the best made holiday plans, you still need to be flexible if you want to have the best vacation. Some of this flexibility may entail swapping out your plans for an alternative, or it may need adding a few additional items to your plan/itinerary — in any case, my advice is to go for it.
You’re on vacation to try something new (otherwise, you’d simply remain at home, right?) so why not fully immerse yourself in the experience? Because due to the government shutdown, Longhorn Cavern State Park is closed on your road trip across America. Instead, visit the Caverns of Sonora.
You’ll be astonished at what additional surprises await you outside of your predetermined plans.
For example, on our way from Universal Studios in Orlando to Pensacola Beach, we chose to stop at Ichetucknee Springs to try river tubing – this was not on the itinerary, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable aspects of the trip.
Over an hour spent immersed in the most tranquil natural environment, tubing down one of the cleanest rivers in the US and seeing wildlife we would have missed otherwise, including turtles that swam up to us, snakes on trees, and the big one – a wild manatee! Definitely worth the detour!!
4. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
This is related to the previous point. Make an attempt to do something that you would not normally do. I’m not suggesting you go wild and start leaping off of aircrafts and streaking, but there’s a lot you can do on vacation that you wouldn’t be able to do at home.
This may include eating new meals, going mountain climbing (if you live in a flat city like Amsterdam), or even sky diving. Remember to always put your safety first, but try to do something new while on vacation since those are the memories that you will remember and appreciate the most.
5. Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may be one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you actually need it. There’s always the possibility that you’ll have to cancel or shorten your vacation, and you don’t want to be charged exorbitant cancellation costs.
Furthermore, travel insurance will save you money in the event of any unexpected medical bills! Most health insurance policies do not cover care outside of the United States, so it’s critical to have travel insurance that covers any health concerns, big and little, that may arise while traveling.
Things like lost passports, stolen computers, missing medications, delayed flights, and other frightening events may completely derail your trip.
When you make the first payment on your vacation, whether it’s nonrefundable airline tickets or a hotel deposit, we recommend getting insurance to cover it. It’s conceivable you won’t use it, but it’s so much better to have it *just in case*.
6. Don’t Exchange Your Money!
Currency exchange facilities typically demand a high fee. Instead, utilize an ATM upon arrival or obtain a card that has a 0% international transaction charge. This will definitely save you more cash in the long run!
Consider acquiring a travel reward credit card before your trip so you may accumulate points for your flights and hotel reservations ahead of time, as well as for all of your expenditures during your vacation.
Most travel reward credit cards have no foreign transaction fees and allow you to earn extra points on travel, allowing you to buy free flights and accommodations on your next journey!