When it comes to travel tips or tricks of the trade, people are never short on opinions. Everyone has a travel tip to share with you when you tell them you’re planning a big European adventure, but how often do you actually listen to what they’re telling you?
Every travel blog tells you that Tuesdays are the best day to book a flight, but then Friday at 5 p.m. hits and you find yourself booking that flight to Puerto Vallarta. You’ll listen to the experts when planning your next trip, right?
Leave An Itinerary With Someone At Home
You always intend to leave your parents an itinerary of where you’re going on your trip, but then you don’t end up planning the details until the last minute, so you have nothing to leave with them.
Don’t Rely On Your Phone As Entertainment While Traveling
Pull out your phone to take some pictures, use your maps to figure out where you’re going, then do your best to keep your phone in your pocket.
You tell yourself not to spend every moment of downtime on your phone when you could be experiencing the new city or place you’re in, but sometimes it just happens.
Bypass All The Over-Populated Tourist Sites
You want to be the person who skips over all of the over-hyped tourist destinations and only visits the coolest, unknown locations, but how can you go to Paris without at least going to see the Eiffel Tower? There’s a reason tourist destinations are so popular.
Know What The Local Equivalent of 9-1-1 Is
It’s the 21st century. We rely on our phones for just about everything, including looking up important things like the local equivalent of 9-1-1. In the moment when you need it, though, you might wish you’d planned ahead and had it ready so you aren’t frantically googling.
Book Your Flights Early Or On Certain Days
There are so many blog posts from influencers and travel experts who will tell you the best time of day or the best site to use to book a flight, but realistically, you’re going to buy that flight either when it’s the cheapest or when the trip is getting too close.
Register With The State Department
No one plans for a natural disaster to happen while they’re traveling the world, but if something were to happen, registering before a trip means you have a better chance of being contacted or found by the nearest embassy.
Most people probably don’t even realize that’s a thing you’re supposed to do, right?
Plan All Your Outfits So You Don’t Overpack
Who isn’t guilty of overpacking for a trip at least once in their life? You start off planning your outfits so you don’t bring too much, but then suddenly you’re tossing in extra shoes or jackets or pants because “who knows what the weather will be like?!”
Don’t Waste Your Money On Souvenirs
You know that you don’t actually need that overpriced fridge magnet or cheap keychain from whatever city you’re currently in, but you still wander into the souvenir shops anyways and end up buying three shot glasses.
Make A Copy Of Your Passport
Having a copy of your passport, driver’s license, health card, or any other important document comes in handy if you leave your passport in some hotel safe and need proof of ID.
Realistically, though, if you’re a person who forgets their passport somewhere, you’re probably not a person who remembers to photocopy it beforehand…
Wake Up Before The Sun To Beat The Crowds
Every influencer or travel photographer will tell you that to get the best pictures and beat the crowds you should get up at the crack of dawn. Once that jetlag hits, though, you’re not waking up at 5 a.m. to see the Spanish Steps when you could go at 9 a.m. with everyone else.
Choose Your Transportation Carefully
When it comes to visiting other countries, tourists have a tendency to throw caution to the wind when picking a mode of transportation. You want to rent a motorbike to ride around Chiang Mai or try driving a car on the opposite side of the road in the U.K., but that’s also how people get hurt.
Did you know one of the most common causes of death for Americans abroad is traffic accidents?
Always Buy Travel Insurance
You never plan to get hurt while on a trip with your friends, and you never expect your flight to get canceled, so you tell yourself that you don’t need to waste your money on travel insurance, but the moment you need it, you’ll realize your mistake.
Save Your Boarding Pass
It’s pretty common to ditch your boarding pass pretty much as soon as your flight touches down in your destination because why would you need it?
The reason it’s recommended that you save it, though, is because it can be used as proof of travel if you get stuck in a tricky situation.
A Fanny Pack Will Make You Look Like A Tourist
Fanny packs and cargo shorts used to be the sign of a tourist, thus making you an easy target for pickpocketers when traveling, but they come in such cute, fun colors now that you can’t resist taking a fanny pack on your trip.
Don’t Eat At Chain Or Fast-Food Restaurants
You’re in a new place, you want to immerse yourself in the local cuisine and try something completely different, but then suddenly it’s 8 p.m., you can’t decide on where to eat, and you end up wandering into a McDonald’s in Tokyo.
Always Track Your Spending
It’s easy to get caught up when traveling and end up spending way more than you planned to, yet you still don’t ever actually track what you’re spending your money on until the credit card bill comes next month.
Tell Your Bank That You’re Going On A Trip
There are mixed reviews about whether or not telling your bank you’re going abroad is actually necessary, but it could’ve saved you from all your cards getting canceled on your last trip after the bank thought someone had run away to Mexico with your debit card.
Beware Of Public Wi-Fi Networks
You’ve heard the horror stories of people connecting to free public Wi-Fi networks only to have their banking information or passwords stolen off their phones, but that doesn’t stop you from using the first local network you can find so you can post a few photos for your friends at home.
Divide Your Clothes Or Personal Items Into Two Bags
You’re supposed to divide your belongings into two different bags so that if one of your suitcases gets lost, you’re not stuck without any underwear or your toothbrush, but what if you’re only bringing one bag with you?
Pack A First Aid Kit
If you’re not going to purchase travel insurance and you’re going to scooter your way through Southeast Asia, you should at least take a first aid kit with you for emergencies—but we know you’re not going to do that either.