Living the life of a traveler is certainly enticing, you get the freedom to live your life the way you want to. However, it is not all that good, especially for the newbies. That’s why you need to learn some travel tips. Tips that can help learn new things like what to do when you miss the last bus, how to find accommodation when all the hotels (both online and offline) are booked.
How to become a pro in traveling is what I’m aiming to teach you from this article. I too have to learn a lot, yet here are the experience and travel tips that I learned so far in my journey.
One usually learn these tips when traveling, however, I get to learn many of those before even facing them in the real-life scenario. Most of the useful travel tips I learned are from the experience of other fellow travelers, like Alex Chacon (my favorite), Mumbaikar Nikhil and a few others. Other than these world travelers travel stories from my friends.
That’s why to speed-up the process and make things a little simple for you. Here are the 69 travel tips that you should learn to have a better travel experience.
1. Always pack a towel
Knowing how to pack and what to pack is important but I’m not going into details here. And what’s more important is to pack your own towel on every single for easy travels. You never know when you find the need for it, whether during a trek into the mountains or on a beach. And honestly packing a small towel won’t hurt your back. Hostels and hotels do provide their own towels (clean according to them). Still packing your own towel is one of the best travel tips.
2. Buy a small backpack/suitcase
This one is also to teach you how to pack. As there are several benefits of packing light. Buying a small backpack (with the capacity of 35/40 liters) would force you to pack everything that you will actually need on your trip. And honestly, 40 litters is enough to pack for a two weeks trip and you’ll still have some space. But make sure not to use that space by packing things that you are not even going to use on your trip.
3. Pack light (FYI – not talking about flashlight)
No-one will think you are poor if you wear the same t-shirt for a few days in a row, especially when you are traveling. After all, it helps you remove the excess weight from your backpack. The best way to pack light is by packing the half clothes you think you are going to need. Buy a small backpack as mentioned in the above point and it will help you pack light.
4. Don’t forget to take extra socks
You can take out the pair of jeans and t-shirts, maybe even a jacket from your backpack. But always pack extra pairs of socks this is one of the important travel tips. As there is nothing more comfortable than a pair of fresh sock when traveling. Try it and thank me later.
5. Don’t buy a money belt or fanny pack or whatever
Not just they look stupid but you are also making things easy for mugs and thugs. It’s like you are screaming, I’m new here, check my fanny pack, its full of money. You can steal it or rip me off by charging double fare for the ride. Honestly, just don’t buy a money belt.
6. Take an extra bank card and credit card with you
Disasters happen. On my last trip to Tosh, I faced one of such disasters. Heavy rainfall created the flood situation and the Manali-Delhi highway was swept off. I had to extend my trip and pay extra for the stay and ride back to Delhi. Not just this but getting robbed and losing cards is one of such disasters that requires you to carry an extra debit or credit card. Carrying an extra card will help you to stay connected to your funds even in case of a disaster.
7. Make sure to use no-fee bank cards
I’m not a millionaire (yet), neither are you (I suppose). Fact that we all love traveling shows that money isn’t our first priority. So why waste it on bank charges. Get a credit card and debit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or additional ATM charges.
8. You have to try solo traveling
Traveling and exploring the world teaches us a lot about life that includes learning new facts about yourself and obviously abut this world. By going on a solo trip you’ll be able to learn how to take care of yourself, how to make friends, talk to people. You’ll learn to be your own friend which I think is a part of self-love. With solo traveling, you will be able to handle the unfamiliar situation more gracefully.
9. Google map is your friend
To be honest, I still don’t trust google maps completely. I had incidents when I get lost by following google maps. However, in the past couple of years, technology has advanced and it has become more reliable. It gets the job done you can go where you wanted to. The app is always installed on my phone, I use it quite often. Sometimes just to check the destination of my next trip and start dreaming of it.
10. But don’t be afraid to get purposefully lost.
You are here to explore so don’t be afraid, take an aimlessly walk throughout the area, you’ll meet new people. This time you don’t have to use the google maps. Just keep track of your surroundings and find the hidden gems. This kind of travel tips you would only learn when you try them by yourself.
11. Always visit the local tourism office.
Well, I don’t want to sound geeky, but I’m one. So, this is my advice, visit the local tourism office in the next state or country you are backpacking too. They have all the information that travelers need. Exciting offers to the event, affordable accommodation options, a guide to the city and much more. It is one of the oldest traveling tips that not many people use these days. But I think you should always know where to find resources, right!
12. You don’t have to carry your stuff everywhere you go
You don’t have to carry your entire bag when you are going to have dinner or going for a short walk. You can leave it where you are staying (hotel room or hostel locker). Limit the cash you are carrying too so that in case something happens it won’t affect you much. Just remember to carry both credit and debit cards.
13. You should carry a lock too
You need them more than you think. Everyone is not the same, it’s good to keep a positive attitude but you have to stay cautious too, especially if you are staying in a hostel or dorm. A small combination lock would do the job.
14. Extra copies of passport and important documents is a good option
During a visit to a new country, It’s always a good option to make extra copies of your important documents. You need them to enter and leave the country. Make extra copies and send the soft copy to your email as well.
15. Ask the hotel staff for information
This is one of the reasons why people don’t visit the local tourism office anymore. The hotel seems to already have the information on things to do in the area, all the local events that are taking place, etc. Not many people do it but all the experts consider it as one of the pretty useful travel tips.
16. Learn the local phrases of your destination
It helps to start conversations, makes interaction easy and you’ll get to make new friends. Remember these friends can help you find the hidden gems as well. Most importantly it will make it easy to find the bathroom.
17. Pick a habit, read a book
I know you always wanted to read a book that is not related to your course. And you have plans to wake up early to catch the sunrise. You have plenty of time before you reach the destination too; pick a book and start reading, there are tons of benefits of reading a book. Don’t make an excuse this time and just read a book. Did you ever wonder learning travel tips will also going to teach you some good habits? Isn’t it great, right?
18. Starbucks and McDonald’s are your free wifi
And not just the free wifi but they are your free access to restrooms as well. And, I don’t recommend you eating there because it’s not healthy but it’s okay if you just eat one burger.
19. Learn the trick to book cheap flights
Well, there is no one-trick, some people tell you to book tickets on Wednesday night, while others tell you to book in months prior to your trip. I’m not saying these tricks don’t work, but there are many other ways too. I’ve written a separate article on it (read here: What Is The Best Time To Buy Airplane Tickets?). Also you can check this “nepalwikipedia website” it’s one of my friend’s travel booking website. Do check it out if you are traveling to Nepal.
20. Don’t fly direct
This one is not included in the extended article, that’s why it’s here. Sometimes it’s cheaper if you don’t fly directly to your destination. It’s a way to book cheap flights. Book flight to the airport close to your destination and continue your commute via taxi or bus. It can save you money but at the cost of your precious time. You can try this traveling tip if you have got plenty of time and a limited budget.
21. Dress decent and get behind business travelers when in security lines
Business travelers know the importance of time. After all, time is money for them. That’s why they are fast, they know the drill and if you are behind them you’ll be able to do done with the checking process pretty soon. So spot a business traveler and get behind them in the airport checking line.
22. Just never get behind families
You know how it is to travel with your family, it’s chaos, kids running everywhere, too much luggage to handle. And if you are standing behind a family, you know it’s going to take forever to get done with the airport checking. Just try to avoid families and kids.
23. Ask for upgrades, no-one going to judge you
All the professionals do it and it works. Most of the time you’ll be able to enjoy a bigger sweet if you ask for the upgrade at check-in. The trick is just to be nice and you have already learned by following the above-mentioned travel tips.
24. Libraries, Starbucks, and most cafés have free Wi-Fi.
Well, Macdonald and Starbucks are not the only places where you can access free Wi-Fi. Most of the modern cafés and libraries have the same thing and free washroom too. Another reason to get close to book. You should read a book this time.
25. Start visiting historical sites at lunchtime
I know everyone is out at lunchtime, but not many visits a historic site. As most of the tourists and travelers headed to lunch. You will not just find the site to be less crowded but it will look more beautiful. However, the best time to visit such places would always be super early hours.
26. Don’t eat where all the tourists eat
Always traveling on a budget, I avoid eating near a tourist location. The reason is simple, you have to pay more if you eat there and I just don’t want to quality of the food you have to suffer. You can try apps like Zomato, Yelp or Google maps for suggestions.
27. Find out more about the attractions before you visit
Especially if you are not on a long trip. By doing some research online about the places to visit in that particular area will help you to make the best use of your time. And you won’t feel sad about leaving. Now you can either look for this information online or do it the old check out the local attraction cards. The choice is yours.
28. When it comes to dinner, do what locals do
Prepare your own food. Buy some vegetables and fruits make some salad for breakfast. Go grocery shopping, see what locals eat you won’t just save your money, you’ll able to eat healthy as well (healthy in comparison to butter naan you would eat otherwise).
29. Have lunch at a fancy restaurant
Many expensive restaurants run special lunch offers. The food and service will be the same and you have to pay quite less for the service. You can easily find expensive restaurants that are offering almost 50% discount on their lunch specials.
30. Pack a flashlight
Yes, I know you have got a quite powerful flashlight on your phone. But it is still advisable to carry a flashlight with you on your next trip. Especially if you are planning a hiking or camping trip. You’ll be able to save your phone’s battery, and flashlights are the best when it comes to tell ghost stories.
31. Carry a basic first-aid kit
This is one of those travel tips that we all know but raerly follow. However, carrying some band-aids, antibacterial cream or ointments along with some pills for motion sickness is always a good option. Maybe you might not have to use any of it through-out the trip. But who knows what’ll happen next.
32. Stay in hostels
Well, hostels are cheap, and yes this is one of the reasons you should opt for a hostel rather than a hotel. But there is more than just this, hostels are like a community of travelers. You’ll meet a lot of new people, they organize in-house and outdoor events. You can’t have the same experience at a hotel.
33. Say “hello!” to strangers
Not everyone is going to rob you. Don’t be so negative, smile and say hello to strangers. Who knows maybe you have just made their day, or maybe you’ll find a new life-long friend.
34. But keep your guard up
Especially when you are solo traveling because some people are there just to rob you and your happiness. So don’t trust blindly, just pay close attention so that you won’t fall into scams and uncomfortable situations.
35. Try new food
But you can’t always keep your guards up, just be cautious and try new food. Don’t eat what you traditionally eat out, try local cuisines, don’t ask what is it, just put it in your mouth and see if you like the taste.
36. Avoid taxis
Well, they will mess your budget and money saving is one of the travel tips that we all need to learn. I personally avoid taking personal taxis. These taxis usually charge 10x (sometimes even more) more than what you might spend while taking a bus.
37. Use reusable steel bottles
Come-on you don’t really need a packed mineral water bottle. Your body will function exactly the same with tap water (clean tap water). By carrying a reusable steel bottle you’ll be able to do a little good for the environment by saying “NO” to the plastic use.
38. Bring earplugs and a sleep mask
While traveling you’ll mostly have to compromise the quality of sleep. Snorers and drunk backpackers in your hostel make it even worse. And even if you are staying in a hotel the noise of the city is still going to disturb the quality of sleep. Earplugs and sleep mask is a quite affordable method to deal with the situation.
39. Take free walking tours
Not just they are free but they are informative as well. You can easily find some exciting free city tours on google. Where you can ask the guide for questions, ask them about their favorite place to eat. Maybe you’ll get to find something good that is not available on the google chats.
40. Keep track of your luggage and clothes, take pictures
Well, I personally don’t do this, still, it’s a good idea because I often forget my sock or another piece of clothing at the end of my trips. Thankfully I’m not the only one, I know many travelers who made the same mistake. However to make sure the mistake won’t get repeated they took pictures of their luggage and clothes. It’s like a checklist but for clothes.
41. Always carry extra cash, cards are not enough
Fuck-ups can happen anytime. Your plan to take-out cash once you reach the destination is not very brilliant. Always carry some cash in your pocket, away from your wallet (in your pocket). And please don’t lose them.
42. Invest in good shoes
Nike sneakers are quite trendy and comfortable but if you are trying to live the life of a full-time traveler, you need to find something better. Exploring the world includes a lot of walking and to do that you need to take good care of your feet. Love them as they love you, after all, they play a very important role in your expedition. If you are not broke like me, try Birkenstock, these are the sandals than you can wear on most of your trips, even on some hikes as well.
43. Get vaccinated whenever flying to a new country
Catching flu in a new country is pretty serious, many countries required you to get vaccinated before you visit them. But even if it’s not in the law, you should always get the vaccination before you leave to visit a new country.
Also Read: 7 Reasons To Travel More And Live Your Life
44. Learn to bargain
I know you are not very good at it, me neither. But this is a skill that we all should know, this skill will help you guess the right value of something and probably be able to save yourself from the overcharging taxi-drivers.
45. Use points to pay for your accommodation and flight or train tickets
Won’t you be able to travel more when you get two free flight tickets every year? Credit card companies and even your bank offer several exciting offers for travelers, they might have an entire collection of travel cards. They will give you a certain amount of points every time you make payment through their card. These points can be latter availed to pay for your travel leisure. And in some cases, you might even start getting free upgrades to your service.
46. Always carry a jacket
Nights get colder even in deserts. You can spend the night even without one but in most of the situation, it is better if you are carrying one with you. Apart from saving from cold jackets also cool. Put that in your list of travel tips and start travel with swag.
47. Street food is the must
If you are visiting any part of India and especially if you are visiting Delhi don’t forget to try the street food. It’s cheap but delicious and doesn’t worry it might not look hygienic but it is pretty hygienic. If you are still not sure, look for the place where you can see kids are also easting. If they can eat and digest the delicious taste of Delhi ki chant, then you can eat it too. The same goes with the other places in the world. You can check out Veggie Pajji a food vlogger (one of my fav).
48. Travel Insurance is no prominent
Living the life of a traveler is not easy, sometimes (actually mostly) things don’t go as planned. It is something that no-one wants to use but in case you get robbed, flights get canceled or get sick in the middle of the trip and have to come back home, travel insurance is the only thing that is going to save your bucks. Simply by paying a few extra bucks, you can ensure your trip.
49. Learn to be patient
Travel is about the journey and not the destination, it is just a part of the whole experience. Stop checking google maps to see how far is the destination and stop stressing about the other things during your trip. Be patient things always work-out in the end. Maybe all the hotels are booked but try a little harder and stay patient, you are not going to spend the night on the street.
50. Be respectful
I don’t have to tell you this because I know you are a nice person. Still, just a gentle reminder, be respectful to the people, animals, and nature where ever you go. Don’t get frustrated when you are unable to communicate with the driver because he speaks a different language. Keep calm and look for the way to solve your problems make sure you don’t hurt anyone. Because traveling gives you peace and you should pass that peace with the others around you. By being nice you can easily achieve it.
51. Don’t plan everything
You are traveling for your freedom than why you need to follow a plan that tells you what to do next. So, don’t plan everything because most of the plans don’t go as planned. Just plan two or three things and then let the uncertain adventure complete your day. Otherwise you’ll just get overwhelmed and might not be able to enjoy the trip.
Just take a deep breath, tell your brain to do the same, relax.
53. Always carry a USB power bank
Living in the world of technology there are many benefits of it, however, the problem is that this new world lives on batteries. And batteries die waster than your dream. So, just carry a charged mobile power bank with you and continue to be in touch with the world.
54. Take photos of strangers, not just with them but with you
Make a photo diary or just took them so you can remember those nights that you would have otherwise forgotten by now. Relive the memory cherish the happy journey to the memory lane or tell the story related to that photo to your friends.
55. Book tickets online
Whether it be a flight, train or bus ticket checking for price online is a good option. Most of the time there are online offers that you can avail to cut down the ticket cost. Moreover, you can also save your time with the help of technology.
56. Subscribe to the airline newsletters
When it’s about finding cheap flight deals your newsletter might be holding a nice surprise for you. But only for those who have subscribed to the airline newsletters. Travelers know flight tickets aren’t cheap, to save money and travel more they all have subscribed to one or another airline newsletter. It’s one of the secret travel tips.
57. Don’t go completely with the review sites
I mean read the review just to oversee things but don’t trust just the reviews. Especially if you are reading restaurant reviews, people usually talk about everything but forget about what’s most important, food! They will talk about the ambiance, the washroom, the staff, and other stupid shit but forget about what’s more important. So, check the menu or opening timings and explore the rest by yourself.
58. Start wearing sunscreen (even if you are a man)
This should be in the checklist of things to pack before leaving for your trip. There are several long term benefits of wearing sunscreen but for the short term, you don’t have to worry about the harsh sun outside. Don’t want to scare but skin cancer is a pretty big issue these days.
59. Write down the address of the hotel or hostel you are planning to stay
I know you have the address on your phone but phones are very fragile. People often broke or lost their phones. I will call them reliable but that battery inside dies very fast. It’s better to have some information with you, outside your phone, to avoid any mishappening.
60. Wear jeans even when traveling
If you are like me, who finds his jeans more comfortable than his own life, this one is for you. If you mostly wear jeans and you are comfortable sleeping with them you should drop those pj’s. I know everyone tells you not to trave in your jeans but I find it very dumb. As I haven’t seen any harm of doing so. And this is one of the travel tips, that makes it easy to blend with the locals. As no matter what country you are visiting, jeans are pretty common.
61. Use google photos or drive to store your photos
Sync your camera with the google photos for the automatic backup of the beautiful moments that you have captured. This will not only give you more free space on your phone but it will also keep them safe. You don’t have to deal with the situation of a corrupt memory card or accidentally deleting all the photos from the phone. All the photos are stored safely in the cloud service and you can access them from anywhere.
62. Inform your bank before you leave
People learn from their mistakes, I’m one of those people and I’ve learned how safe banks are. If they notice more than natural spending from your account they block the cards automatically. During a trip, this might give you some problems but on the bright side, you get to learn how safe banks are. However, if you are still insisting, I’ll give you the solution, tell you one of the important travel tips. And that is to fill out your travel plan in your online banking dashboard and that’s it, you won’t have to deal with the blocked cards during your trip.
63. The airport is not the best place for money exchange
Whenever traveling to a new country and you need to exchange your currency, don’t exchange it at the airport because that the only place in the city with wort exchange rates.
64. Embrace the no internet zone
Honestly, I’m not a fan of the internet. I mean yes it made so many things easy but I feel like getting controlled when I spend too much time on the internet. You get to see things that you are completely ignoring in your surroundings when there is no internet. Cherish your free time, go to the common room of your hostel, hang-out with the other hostlers. Read a book, go for a walk, talk to some strangers, talk some more.
65. Keep a journal to write about your travels
Maybe you think you’ll remember everything but you won’t, no one does. And what if you forget about some beautiful memory of your travel? I’m sure you don’t want that to happen. Start a journal (a travel journal), mention all the special moments of your trip. Maybe write about your own travel tips.
66. Charge your electronics wherever you get time
I usually travel with my mac, so that I can work to earn while traveling. After all the more money I have the more I can travel. However for that to happen (to work while traveling) I need to make sure my electronics are charged all the time. So, whenever I stop to rest for more than 30 minutes, the first thing I do is to put my camera, phone, and MacBook on a charge. Even if you don’t work while traveling, keeping your devices charged at all times is pretty important. After all, in today’s world technology is what helps most of us to survive. So, do it whenever you get the chance and make sure your devices are not running out of the juice.
67. Just don’t lose your electronics
They aren’t cheap and honestly, you don’t want to ruin your mood in the middle of a trip. Arrange a separate tech bag, put all your chargers, cables, extra battery, memory cards and even your laptop in it. And guard it better than your own life.
68. Pack contraception (this should count as travel tips)
Don’t act like this, we all are adults here. Falling in love with a stranger is one of the most common things that happens when you go out and travel. Enjoy a good time with this new person and don’t take any risk. Use contraception to avoid mishappening (STD or a baby).
69. Just remember you are living the best of your life
No matter if you are a full-time traveler or just travel whenever you get time. Just remember how lucky you are, living your life the way you should be living. I meet this guy in the picture while on my trip to tosh. He is 80 years old and he has no regrets. Live your life like him and remember this all the time and not just when you are traveling. Remember to live the best of your life and you’ll be able to have more fun in life.