My Top Travel Tips to Make you the World’s Most Savvy Traveler
Many people don’t have the ability to be savvy Top Travel Tips. This skill is only possible through on-the-road travel experience. Travel savviness can only be achieved through experience, mistakes, misguided behavior, cultural ignorance, and many other small errors. You will eventually be able to effortlessly move through airports, and you will feel like a fish in water when you are able to integrate into other cultures.
You make many travel mistakes in the beginning.
To speed up the process, and to avoid making mistakes (and I make many), I have compiled this list of my top travel tips to help you achieve your travel ninja potential.
Always bring a towel.
It is the key to successful galactic hitchhiking. It’s not a matter of when you’ll need it but it is possible to find it at the beach, on a picnic or drying off after a shower. Although many hostels provide towels, it is impossible to know when they will offer them. A small towel won’t make your bag too heavy.
Regular towels can be bulky and take too long to dry. Dry Fox towels are my favourite (use code “nomadicmatt to get 15% off your order)
You can use a small bag/suitcase Top Travel Tips
You will find it easier to carry less stuff if you buy a small backpack (I recommend something between 35-45 liters). The natural human tendency to need to take up space is to be overstuffed. Even if your bag is small initially, but you have plenty of space, you will eventually find yourself saying “I guess I can take more”. It will be a mistake later on as you will end up carrying around more stuff than you need.
The same applies to suitcases. You don’t want to carry a heavy suitcase, especially if your trip is long-term. I like Level 8 suitcases. These suitcases are sturdy, spacious, well-priced, and nicely designed (luggage can sometimes be quite expensive). They also have a TSA lock in the zipper.
If you plan on living in a backpack for several weeks or months, you will need to pack cubes. You can store large and small items in a variety sizes. These are great for organizing everything in your bag or backpack.
Make a list of your essentials and cut it in half. Then, only bring that. You won’t need much extra space because you purchased a small backpack, as I mentioned above. You won’t use as many clothes as you think. It is okay to wear the same tee shirt for a few days.
Unbound Merino is my favorite travel clothing brand. It can be worn every day for weeks and not get stale. They’re light and look great. They are very comfortable and last forever.
Take extra socks.
Losing a lot to laundry gremlins and wear and tear and hiking will cause you to pack extra. You might need more than you think. I’m sure you will agree with me. A new pair of socks is the best!
You can also take an additional credit or bank card along
Things get stolen or hacked when disasters strike. Once, I had my card duplicated and put a freeze on it. It was too damaged to use for the remainder of my trip. It was a blessing to have a backup. It’s not a good idea to be stuck in limbo without funds. Once, this happened to a friend. They had to borrow money from me for several weeks while waiting for their new card.
Use no-fee bankcards.
Banks shouldn’t be given your hard-earned cash. You can keep it for yourself and use it to travel. A debit and credit card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, or ATM fees should be considered. The few dollars that they spend every time on a long trip will add up quickly!
At least once, travel by yourself.
You will learn a lot about your self and how to be independent. Although it sounds cliché, it is true. Solo travel taught me how I can take care of myself, communicate with people, and deal with unfamiliar situations well. It has made me feel more confident about myself, allowed me to be very selfish, and enabled me to do what I want. If you have never done this before, it can be difficult to get used to but at least try it once. Be uncomfortable, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn. Push yourself to learn valuable life skills.
Use a map whenever you feel the need.
It’s not as dangerous to look like a tourist as being lost and finding the wrong place. You don’t have to be shy about asking for directions or a map and you can look like a tourist. You are one after all!
Don’t be afraid of getting lost.
Wandering aimlessly around a new city can help you get to know it better, to explore the area, and to avoid the tourist traps. It’s possible to find hidden treasures in a new city. I love to explore the area and find my way around without Google Maps. Travel is about the art of discovery. You never know where you might find a hidden gem.
Visit the nearest tourism information center.
This is one of the most overlooked travel tips. Information centers in tourism can provide information about all the happenings in your area. They can help you find free activities and special events that are happening during your stay. You can even get discounts on transportation and attractions. They are there to make your experience more enjoyable. It is amazing how many people skip this step when visiting a destination. But, savvy travelers know to make use of this resource.
Do not buy a money belt – they are stupid.
Thieves are aware that they exist, and being seen with them basically shouts “Look at me! I’m a tourist who has money!” You can make it seem like you’re a local and get better deals. Keep your belongings secure if you are concerned about pickpockets.
Take only what you really need when you go out.
Keep your cash and bank cards to a minimum when you travel. This will make it easier for you to recover in the event of an emergency. You should never take more than one ATM or credit card. Cash is my rule of thumb. I limit cash to $50 USD.
Always keep a lock.
When you travel, keep a small combination lock handy. These locks are very useful, especially if you’re staying in dorms. Budget travelers will need their own travel lock as most hostels have lockers. Although you can rent them or purchase them at hostels it is cheaper to get one before you leave. You can’t lose your keys if you use one without keys.
Keep extra copies of important documents and your passport.
Do not forget to email a copy to your self. It’s possible that you will need some documentation at some point in the future. You might even forget to bring your original. A copy of your passport is also useful for police reports if it is stolen.
Ask the staff at your hostel for any information, even if you’re not staying there.
The staff at hostels deal with budget travellers all day, every single day. They are familiar with the best places to find cheap food and other attractions. They are also more likely to be locals and have a good knowledge of the area. Ask them for any information. Even if your stay is not in one of their apartments, you can still ask them for information. They will usually provide it.
Learn the basics of the language spoken at your destination.
It will be appreciated by the locals and make it easier to interact with them. It doesn’t take much to learn the language, but a few words like “Hello”, “Goodbye,” and “Where’s your bathroom?” will help you to make friends with locals. They will appreciate that you tried.
Get a history book!
If you don’t have any knowledge about the past, it’s impossible to understand the present of a place. Learn as much about the places you’re visiting as possible. This will help you gain a better understanding of the area you are visiting. A Kindle can hold thousands of books, so that you always have something to read whether you are on the road or at the beach.
Do not be embarrassed to go into a McDonald’s or Starbucks.
Familiarity can be comforting, and both locations have free wifi and public toilets that you can use. You shouldn’t eat at McDonald’s. This shit is disgusting and dangerous for your health! It’s possible to get it back at home. You can also get Wi-Fi in libraries and modern coffee shops.
Avoid flying direct.
Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to the closest airport to your destination and then travel by train, bus or budget airline to get to your destination.
This method allows you to find out the cost of traveling directly to your destination. Next, compare prices at nearby airports. If the difference exceeds $150 USD, I will look at the cost of getting from my primary destination to the second airport.
These are my two favourite flight search engines:
Skyscanner is my favorite website to find cheap flights. It searches many airlines, including budget carriers, which is something that smaller sites don’t offer.
Google Flights – One of the most popular flight search engines, Google Flights allows you to enter your departure airport and view all flights around the globe on a map. This will allow you to see the cheapest destinations.
When you are at security checkpoints, always be there for business travelers.
They are often in a hurry and move quickly. They are familiar with the rules. As much as you can, line up behind them. You’ll be speeding through the line!
Do not forget to support your family at airport security.
They can take forever. They are not to blame. Because of their kids, they have too much stuff. Avoid getting in line with too many kids. It will take some time.
Don’t be afraid of asking for an upgrade when you check into the hotel
When it comes to upgrading at check-in, they have a lot of flexibility. Asking is always a good idea. They may be able to accommodate you even if there isn’t enough room in the hotel. Be super kind!
A hotel credit card might be worthwhile if you frequently stay in hotels (or wish to). Earn points by spending your money at home, and you can convert these points to free hotel stays. Status is what makes the best cards more attractive, and it increases your chances of getting upgraded.
Record your memories.
I believe everyone should write more in order to have something to refer back to, even in today’s hyper-technological age. A journal is something I carry everywhere with me. They are not only useful for work (I take notes and write down ideas constantly), but they also serve as a way to track my travels.
For journaling on your trip, as well as to record logistical information such as contact information and language tips, simple travel journals are great.
Our new travel journal is not just for blank pages. It also has space to plan your itinerary, jot down notes in local languages, and inspirational quotes. This journal was created for travelers, so that you can not only take notes but also write stories and reflections on your travels.
It is best to visit historic sites during lunchtime.
Be a contrarian. There will be fewer people in your way if you avoid large tour buses and groups. Most travelers go to lunch. It is always better to go to an attraction early or late. Even the most famous places will be yours!
Never eat near tourist attractions or in touristy areas.
In general, I will walk five blocks in each direction to find a good place to eat. You will pay more for food and service if you live closer to tourist attractions. You can find popular and delicious restaurants near you by using websites such as Yelp, Google Maps or Open Rice.
You should also avoid eating anywhere where the menu is only in 6 languages. This means that the restaurant is only for tourists.