With experience comes travel mastery!
After many trips abroad, we’ve come up with an ultimate list of travel tips and tricks that will help you become a savvy traveller even if this is your first trip!
These travel tips and tricks will help save you time, money, hassle and will ensure you have a smooth trip and incredible experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Implement all of these tips and you will start to travel like a pro!
While some travel mishaps can be avoided by learning from blog posts like this, some travel hiccups are just part of the experience of travelling that can’t be planned for.
So with that in mind here are our best travel-savvy tips and tricks!
1. Always take out travel insurance
Paying for something you probably won’t use can seem super annoying, especially if you are going on a long trip where your travel insurance can clock up to be a hefty bill.
However, travel insurance is actually extremely important for things like medical emergencies. For other things like missing connecting flights or losing a laptop, travel insurance can give you a pretty crap deal, but if you end up needing to be airlifted by helicopter off the side of a mountain and end up in hospital for a week with a broken leg, you (and your whole family!) will be so glad you got covered!
We love travel insurance companies that specifically cater for nomadic and flexible travellers where you can start a policy from anywhere in the world and add to it as you go.
World Nomads and Safety Wing offer affordable and flexible travel insurance options!
2. Use a flight comparison tool when booking flights
Before you book a flight with an airline, always check a comparison tool like Sky Scanner to make sure you are getting the best deal.
You will be able to see whether the same flights can be purchased from a different platform for less or you may even find alternative flights that are more convenient or cost-effective!
If you have flexible dates you can find the cheapest days, weeks and months to fly with Skyscanner’s clever search tool!
3. Bookmark places to visit on Instagram and Google maps
If you see an amazing Instagram post of a place you want to visit, save it! You can even sort your saved posts into categories according to your destination.
This way you can easily go back and refer to some of the top spots you want to go to and find those special Instagram spots!
You can also save places such as attractions, landmarks, restaurants etc as a favourite on Google Maps. It will show up as a star on the map and therefore make it super easy to remember about and find once you are there.
This is also an awesome way to help you plan a day if you want to do a number of things as you can see the distance and also find suitable public transport to get from place to place.
4. Start preparing at least 6 weeks in advance
Some trips can be spontaneous but other trips require some planning in advance for example if you need a visa or to renew your passport.
Depending on where you are going, look into everything you need to get sorted 6 weeks beforehand so that you can relax.This is also the time to check whether any attractions, restaurants or shows you want to go require booking in advance.
You can’t just wing some things, like the Inca Trail for example which only lets a limited number of people through each year.
5. Bring more than one credit/debit card with you
If something happens to the one card you have, you may find yourself in a pickle if it gets lost or stolen.
We would recommend carrying two debit cards, one being your normal bank debit card (that you can use all over the world) and one multi-currency travel card such as Monzo or Revolut (which you will use for most things as it is the cheapest!) and also one credit card for any emergencies.
This way if you lose one you will still have access to money in multiple accounts so you won’t get caught out.
This will buy you the time you need to sort out replacing any cards.
6. Allow at least 1.5 - 2 hours between connecting flights
Even though a short connection can get you to your destination faster, without having much leeway between flights you have a reasonable chance of missing your connection due to a delay and giving yourself a headache!
This is super important if your connecting flight is with a different airline or on a separate booking as the airline won’t be responsible for getting you to your final destination.
If the connecting flight is on the same airline ticket it is not as much of a big deal as the airline will take care of you and may even delay the connecting flight taking off so that you can make it.
However, if your connecting flight is with another airline there may be a delay, or it may take you way longer than you thought to collect your luggage and potentially travel to a different terminal and go through security which may lead you to miss your flight.
It also may not be worth it to make any insurance claims on this type of mishap or may not even be accepted at all so it’s better to save the hassle and just wait it out!
7. Book tickets online where possible
This will save you so much time especially if it's for an attraction that has massive queues. You may even get a better price online or by using a discount code.
The only time this isn’t recommended is if you’re going to a country where you can get better deals for cheaper on the ground by haggling with different vendors trying to sell you their offering. For example, finding a boat cruise to the Blue Lagoon in Malta or a tour of the Phi Phi Islands.
8. Join local Facebook Groups
Most places, especially ones that are popular with many travellers, will have their own Facebook communities dedicated to people who are travelling through and looking for advice, accommodation and things to do that are more local and off the beaten track.
This is an amazing way to connect with fellow travellers and get really authentic advice. You will find things and experiences that you never would have otherwise. This may also help you better support small local businesses that share their offerings in Facebook groups such as these.
To find these groups all you need to do is search the name of the destination in groups inside of Facebook.
9. Only bring 2 pairs of shoes
Ones for walking and ones that are opened toed. This way you will be covered for long walks, cooler weather and adventures as well as hot weather and casual wearing.
All of the other shoes you carry will just take up space and you probably will hardly wear them. If you need special shoes for a specific activity such as hiking then perhaps you could take them if you have room or alternatively you could look at options to hire gear when you are there.
10. Bring enough clothes to last for a week
And no more! This way you will have plenty of outfits to choose from, you won’t run out of underwear and you won’t overpack and you will only need to do laundry once a week!
A bonus tip is to carry a pouch of laundry powder or laundry bar with you so you can wash essentials yourself to save money and time on getting someone else to wash your clothes for you!
11. Don’t forget earplugs!
This is especially true if you are planning on doing long haul flights, buses, train rides, staying in noisy cities or hostels.
You will find a huge difference in your ability to sleep through all sorts of noises.
These are essential if you want to avoid sleep deprivation which could ruin your trip.
It’s also nice to have Bluetooth airbus or noise-cancelling headphones for all of these scenarios as well.
12. Always pack a towel or sarong
You may think that you will always be provided with a towel at your accommodation but not all places offer towels! And this is one very essential item. It is also really handy to have for day trips to beaches, waterfalls, lakes and rivers or simply just to sit on at a park.
A sarong or a Turkish towel can also fit this purpose and they take up very little room! Plus you can actually wear them too. They also come in handy if you need to cover up when going into a religious site.
A true multipurpose item that you should definitely take.
13. Use packing cubes
Packing cubes are a game-changer when it comes to amazing packing hacks. They help you organise your stuff into neat categories and also help you to cram more into a smaller space.
We simply can’t travel without them! It is just too difficult and hectic otherwise. You can find them easily online at places like Amazon.
14. Pack your bag then remove a third
It is way too easy to overpack, chances are you have brought things you want but don’t need. So be really ruthless and take out all the things that aren’t completely essential.
Not only will this make your bag lighter for you to carry, especially if its a backpack, but you will also have room to buy cool things that you’ll come across along the way.
15. Pack a small laundry bag
It is essential to carry a laundry bag so that you can keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes. This is the bag that you will also give to whoever is doing your laundry for you (bonus tip, weigh your bag before you give it to the laundry and after to be sure they haven’t forgotten any items!).
A small fabric bag takes up no extra space or weight so this is a no brainer! You can reuse fabric bags that many businesses give you when you buy clothes from them (especially in places like India) so it doesn’t have to cost you anything at all.
16. Use a packing list
We love lists! They are so handy when it comes to packing so that you ensure you don’t forget anything. It’s a great idea to start a list weeks before you travel and every time you think of something you know you need to take you can add it to the list.
This can also serve as a shopping list for any things you need to go and buy before your trip!
When it comes to packing, it's always good to be a bit organised.
17. Be flexible
Don’t over plan every single detail of your trip. You may come to regret it!
Overplanning can make you feel restricted, pressured and actually stressed, especially if something unexpected happens or goes wrong.
Always leave room in your travel plans for unexpected events or spontaneous adventures and people. You will have a much more enjoyable and fulfilling experience travelling in this way.
18. Get lost!
Don’t be afraid to get lost! You know what they say, “sometimes the only way to be found is to get lost”. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to travel.
By allowing yourself to veer off the path and explore a different area, even if you have no idea where you are (keep your guard up to make sure it is a safe place though), you may find some local gems that no other tourists know about.
You may meet epic locals that show you a unique side to where they live or stumble across a hidden waterfall or beach.We guarantee that you will have some of the most amazing memories from getting lost.
Especially if there is a challenge or adventure to finding your way back to where you need to be! You will gather amazing stories to tell.
19. Bring a power bank
This might be your saving grace if you get lost for too long! It is always a good idea to have a fully charged power bank with you at all times.
This way, even if your phone dies you can still charge it and access Google Maps, messages and calling so that you can find out where you're going and search places you want to find.
It is really annoying to have a dead phone these days when you travel, although it can still be a bit of an adventure going phoneless we’d recommend being on the safe side by having a power bank.
It is also a good idea to always get a local SIM card as soon s you arrive. It will most likely be cheaper than your roaming rates (make sure your phone is unlocked too!) and you will have access to data without having to rely on wifi!
20. Practice your haggling skills
Many countries around the world operate on haggling so don’t be afraid to do it! A lot of hotels and shops will offer you a price that is very inflated so you can usually negotiate to get it down.
Just don’t be too cheap, do some research so you know the general worth of things so that everyone ends up with a fair price.
One negotiation tactic is to ask for half of what they offer and work your way from there to a middle ground.
There you have 20 travel-savvy tips to make the most out of your next trip with less stress and more moo-lah!
This post has barely scratched the surface on amazing travel tips we can share, so expect another post with more amazing tips in the coming weeks!