25 travel tips I’ve learned from personal experience. If you have any of your own let me know!
Pack a smaller weekend bag in your large bag. Coming from someone who has had to buy a smaller bag several times on longer vacations.
Eat at expensive restaurants during lunch. A lot of nice places offer their dinner menus for lunch specials. Same food, better price.
Take free walking tours. Didn’t have time to plan an activity one day? Google: “free walking tour ___”. Pick your favorite stops on the tour to go back and revisit. They are also given by locals in most cities, take advantage and ask for recommendations!
Eat street food every chance you get. I really just want to put the drooly emoji right here.
Search incognito for your flights. It’s said browsers track your cookies and jack up prices when you repeatedly search for a flight. On Chrome, go to file>new incognito window.
Take advantage of long layovers. Tomorrow I’m heading to Iceland, but not before I spend 16 hours taking in the city of Boston for no extra cost! Actually, a lot of the time flights with longer layovers are cheaper!
Stay in a hostel. My favorite stories come from my nights in hostels. Be smart about them and read reviews before booking. The people staying there are usually always looking for other travelers to go out and do things with!
Get behind business travelers in line at security. They’ve been there, done that, and don’t have time to waste.
Get lost. & don’t panic when you do. Alleyways and tucked away little cafés are always a good idea.
Only take what you need on a night out. Pickpocketing is tooooo real. After having many of my friends have their phones stolen, I now only take 10 Euro and hold my phone in my hand all night!
Get a travel towel. There are an insane amount of times that I wish I had one of these. Hostels charge for towels and regular ones take up so much room!
Don’t be embarrassed to go to a Starbucks or McDonalds. They have wifi if you need it in a pinch, and I’ve actually enjoyed seeing the differences between all the one’s I’ve been to! Although maybe if you are only there for a few days, stick to the local places.
Get a no international fees credit or debit card!!! Probably my number one tip. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and would absolutely recommend it. A post all about travel hacking coming soon!
Try not to take taxis. Uber is actually available in a lot of cities now, and taxis can be overpriced. I always opt for the local public transportation such as the metro anyway!
Get a backup charger. Turns out phone batteries don’t hold up in really cold weather or through 20 Instagram stories a day.
Check Pinterest for things to do in the area. Most of my trips are planned through combining loads of other travel guides I read on there!
Be smart about when you buy. Tuesday afternoon is the best time to buy. Also aim to buy 6 weeks in advance for domestic travel and 8 weeks in advance for international.
Learn common phrases. Please, thank you, where is the bathroom, hello, goodbye, beer.
Leave room for flexibility. It’s called a vacation for a reason. Leave a few hours of wiggle room each day.
Separate your funds. Keep a debit card in your hotel room safe and just bring your credit card out. If you do get robbed, knock on wood, you’ll be a littttle less screwed over.
Wake up early! See the sunrise on the beach, do morning yoga at the top of the Shard, just have more time to do what you want.
Download your essential apps ahead of time. Ditch the map and get the downloadable version. I have a list of my favorite travel apps here.
Take notes in the moment. I so badly wish I had written down the names of restaurants I went to, the places I went to, etc., when I am looking back on photos, telling a story, or trying to give a recommendation! Whip out your notes app and just jot the important ones down!
Pack a bathing suit. Even if you aren’t going to a beach. Your hotel may have a nice pool or you could end up making plans where you are needing one!
If you don’t wear it at home, you won’t wear it on vacation. Can’t count how many times I’ve thrown in that dress because “maybe I’ll like it more when we’re at the beach!”
There you have it! 25 things I wish I knew before packing my bags and heading out for a few months!