Best Travel Tips and Tricks by World Travelers To Save Money, Be Safe and Traveling with Kids (+ Mistakes to Avoid)
Best Travel Tips and Tricks | By Sherry Trautman of Traveling Michigan
Several travel bloggers and I discussed the lessons, tips and tricks we have learned (sometimes the hard way!) after dozens of collective years of traveling the world.
What did I discover? We've definitely learned our fair share of lessons.
Some travel mishaps can be avoided with planning but some are just a part of traveling. Chalk it up to experience, right? We hope our best travel tips will make your travels much easier.
I’ve gathered the best travel tips and tricks to help you save money, avoid mistakes, how to plan, travel as a student and have fun while traveling with kids so you can travel like a pro! Short travel tips and long, we have you covered. Lots of best travel tips for beginners and travel packing lists.
Table of Contents:
How to Save Money When Traveling
Christina | Live A Wilder Life
As a family of three that traveled for a year, we know a thing or two about making your money last while traveling.
- One of our favorite ways to cut costs is to research what grocery delivery services are available in the city we will be visiting. Since we road trip with a toddler, having groceries delivered to the hotel or rental home we are staying at allows us to save money and time.
Grocery delivery services are a lifesaver when you’re arriving late to a destination and need dinner that night or breakfast for the next day.
No need to head to the grocery store when you’re already tired from travel or spend fifty dollars on takeout; instead, you can spend fifty dollars on groceries and make several meals out of one delivery.
If you have Amazon Prime, you can order Whole Foods Delivery, a free service if you spend over thirty-five dollars.
You can also use Instacart or see if the local grocery store offers its own delivery.
If you’ve never used a grocery delivery service, there are often promotions where your first delivery is free.
These best travel tips may require a little extra preparation, but the savings and comfort of a well-stocked kitchen are worth the extra time.
Best Travel Tips For Making Travel With Kids Fun
Karen | Big Adventures for Little Feet
Tips for Making Travel with Kids Fun
Without doubt, the number one comment I receive from fellow parents when I talk about how much we love to travel with our kids is, "how do you manage it all and make it fun!"
Having kids definitely shouldn't mean shelving your travel dreams, so I love to help people out by providing some common-sense advice to ensure travel with kids is fun.
There are two really imperative tips:
- Take your time
- Find the right balance between parent and kid friendly activities.
Too often as parents we sacrifice our own interests and fun to cater to the needs of our kids. Whilst this is somewhat a necessity and part of the role, when you travel as a family you really need to structure your trip so both get something out of it.
- Perhaps this means going out in the morning to do some extensive exploring of a new city or place with a nice lunch but then catering to the kids as well by scheduling some time at the beach or a playground in the afternoon.
Another great thing to remember is that you don't always have to do everything as a whole family activity. Give each other a break from the kids and go do some activities on your own or join a small group so that you can still enjoy some solo time or more intrepid activities.
The absolute number one tip for fun travel with kids is to SLOW down. It is going to take way longer to do everything when travelling with young kids so you can opt to get stressed out and exhausted by it, or choose the more relaxed, chill approach.
If it takes another half an hour to get through the airport but everyone does it with a smile on their face you will enjoy the trip so much more for it.
My third tip, particularly for travelling with toddlers and babies is to ensure that you still stick to some kind of routine and factor in enough rest time. Every parent understands the slippery downward spiral that happens when infants become over-tired.
Factor in jetlag, climate changes and long haul travel and this can be a tricky thing to manage.
Try not to stress too much about the plane travel and adjusting sleeps to this. If your baby sleeps it's a bonus but otherwise know that you can always reset and rest when you arrive.
Factor in some adequate sleep times for your travelling infants and you are sure to savour the moments when you are out and about.
- Bonus tip: If your child is a great pram sleeper just plan your day a little strategically to include some walking and sightseeing through nap times so that you don't have to squirrel yourself back in the hotel room every day.
Planning For Your Trip
James Ian | Travel Collecting
Planning your trip is one of the most important – and fun – parts of your trip.
- If you have lots of time available for your trip, then it is possible to just get a general sense of where you want to go and what you want to do, and then arrange things when you get there.
- If you only have a short period of time for your vacation – as most of us do – then in order to get the most out of your trip, you will need to plan and book some things in advance.
This is a balancing act, as you want to leave room for spontaneity and to have time in your schedule to embrace the random moments and opportunities that help make travel so rewarding, but you also don’t want to miss out on highlights because something was booked out or to spend hours of your precious time waiting in line.
As more people travel and popular sights get more crowded, booking some things in advance takes on greater importance. For example, you can book a timed entry at the Vatican Museum online in advance and buy entrance to the Louvre museum in Paris online.
This will save potentially hours otherwise spent waiting in line to buy tickets when you get there.
This works very well for indoor locations. However, it is trickier for outdoor activities such a sailing trip around the Stockholm Archipelago I took, because it is also always possible for the weather to be terrible on the day of your planned and pre-booked activity, which may not be a whole lot of fun.
There are a couple of options here.
- Check the cancellation period before you book.
- If can cancel or change a reservation a few days in advance, then book now and see what the weather is predicted to be just before the cancellation period expires and move or cancel it if the weather looks bad.
- I also recommend checking with the provider before booking to see if you really need to book in advance. If it is isn’t likely to book out, then wait and book it a couple of days in advance when you know what the weather is doing.
Use these planning, booking, and best travel trips to have a wonderful vacation!
How to Use Airbnb as a Solo Traveler
By Or | My Path in the World
Solo travel has become extremely popular, and it really is a must-have experience everyone should try at least once in their life.
But one of the issues a solo traveler faces is budget vs. accommodation. I can tell you that I'm not necessarily a budget traveler, and I'm definitely not a backpacker, but at the same time, I prefer spending my money on good food and experiences rather than on fancy hotels.
This means that I don't want to stay at a hostel in a shared room yet I don't want to pay for a single hotel room (or double if that's only what the hotel offers).
- That's where Airbnb comes into the picture. When you filter your search results, you can choose to stay in a private room at a local's home.
You can often find central rooms at hostel prices yet with the comfort of having your own private space. Many hosts also offer a weekly or monthly discount (that's how I was able to stay in Madrid for an entire week in a great apartment and only pay about $100), and if you're really lucky, you might even find ensuite rooms.
I personally also enjoyed the fact that I was staying at a local's house, seeing how the locals live, having conversations with my hosts, getting the best recommendations, and absorbing the culture, so it wasn't just about saving money.
Try Lifestraw Water Bottles While Traveling, Hiking or Exploring
Campbell and Alya | stingynomads.com
My Lifestraw filter bottle is one of the
first things I pack for any backpacking trip.
often not drinkable in many countries and the Lifestraw water bottle contains a
powerful filter that results in drinkable water by:
removing more than 99% of
waterborne bacteria, protozoan parasites, by filtering to 0.2 microns.
this bottle is very easy, no preparation is necessary, you just fill the bottle
and drink through the attached straw, sucking the water through the sterilizing
When not sure about water quality in a country we just fill our
Life straw bottles from the tap.
A Lifestraw packed with deactivated carbon is also available to remove chlorine taste together with contaminating microorganisms.
We do a lot of hiking and camping all over the world, and the water available during these excursions is often not drinkable without purification.
Chlorine or iodine tablets can be used for purification but leave an unpleasant taste and some filtration devices are complicated and take time to filter water.
The Lifestraw is easy to use, leaves no tastes and is very effective to purify water from almost any source.
Using the Lifestraw bottle is a very eco-friendly practice, buying drinking water results in a lot of empty bottles. We have experienced this in the Himalayas on multiple long day treks, where other hikers bought 2 plastic bottles of drinking water per day, we did not need to buy a single bottle during our trek.
Definitely one of our best travel tips!
Photo Tip: Get Up Early
Want to get awesome Instagram travel shots without people ruining the shoot?
- Get there early.
- Also, sketchy areas are less dangerous in the morning.
You will get close parking and quiet. Plus, there will be less people milling around so it's safer. I found this to be true when shooting in Detroit this past year.
Tried and True Tips for Traveling With Babies or Young Children
Tori | tori-leigh.com
Traveling with young children can seem overwhelming and even prohibitive. But flying, taking road trips, or even cruising with a baby or young child is doable, even fun, with proper planning and advice.
First, aim to book your travels around your child's schedule. Flying or driving during naptime can make for a much smoother trip.
- Always pack enough snacks and meals, as well, to pass the time and maintain your little ones eating schedule. A well rested and fed baby or toddler is a much more amiable travel companion.
For accommodations, choose a hotel room, Airbnb, or stateroom cabin that has a separate space for your child to sleep. Parents, you'll want to enjoy the post bedtime hours (and an adult beverage!) in a sitting room or balcony.
When it comes to activities, consider your child's interest, attention span, and energetic needs. Mix attractions like museums with outside time at parks and gardens.
Babywearing is a great way to move through activities or from place to place. Choose restaurants that accommodate children with kids' menus, highchairs, and casual environments.
Lastly, make sure to pack what your baby or toddler needs to be comfortable and on or close to schedule. This can mean a nursing pillow for your newborn, portable potty for your training toddler, or much loved studded animal!
With proper planning and prep, family traveling can be accessible and fun, even with young children! So grab these best travel tips and have a great vacation!
Best Travel Tips: How to Travel as a Full Time Student with a Student-Sized Budget
Alanna Koritzke (full time PhD student and part-time travel blogger at PeriodicAdventures.com)
When I first started college, travel felt out of reach. Yet despite the obvious time and budget constraints, I still visited 6 countries and 20 US states (and counting)!
I have detailed recommendations on how to travel as a student, but generally here are my top tips.
Starting with your schedule, you'll want to maximize your time off by arranging your classes to be as clustered as possible. To do this, look for classes that fit on Monday through Thursday, only Tuesday/Thursday, or even online classes only.
- If you can bunch up your classes, you'll be able to extend your weekends and make some trips out of it!
This works really well when you first start college, because you likely don't have specialized classes you have to take!
When you can't change your schedule, you'll have to start with small travel. Explore your local area, city, state, and neighboring ones if you can!
Remember, you likely don't have to go far to have a travel experience and when in doubt you have spring, winter, and summer breaks!
As for the budget...this is every student's major hurdle. The first step of course is to have an income. You can't save without any money coming in.
- Look for part-time jobs and if you have financial aid, look for a work study job on campus – where the job opportunities are exclusively for students on work study.
Now that you're ready to start saving, set a goal and prioritize it whenever you can! Make every purchase a real financial decision.
- Do you need this?
- Would you rather tour Paris?
- Can you hold out for that epic açai bowl in Bali?
Do proper research about how to travel cheaply. Look into travel credit cards, cashback offers, and student travel programs! Travel is possible as a student, you just have to prioritize it and do some research!
Hopefully these best travel tips for traveling as a student will help inspire your next trip!
How to Use Credit Card Reward Points For Cheaper Travel
Ale Leon | Sea Salt & Fog
Everyone wants to travel more, but the costs of booking flights, hotels, and activities can quickly add up. While traveling is expensive, there are ways to significantly reduce the cost! Keep reading for our best travel tips!
One of the easiest ways to save money while traveling is to use credit card reward points to pay for flights and hotels. Several major credit cards come with large sign-up bonuses.
- For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 80,000 points as a sign-up bonus that you can use to book hotel nights or flights. You can use those points to easily book five nights at a Hyatt hotel in Hawaii, significantly slashing the cost of your vacation.
The cool thing about points and rewards is that you can combine a couple of credit card rewards to have an almost free vacation! I've traveled to Hawaii almost entirely on points before, and it was incredible!
Once you've reduced the cost of hotels and flights, you can still save a ton more on your vacation by packing smart.
Similarly, look for free activities, like hiking, to take advantage of the natural beauty and save money!
With a little bit of work and planning, you can start saving more money on your travels. I hope these best travel tips will leave you with opportunities to travel more!
Best Travel Tips: Use This Easy Technology While Hiking and Exploring!
By Paulina On the Road
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you plan to go hiking?
Many people rely on mobile hiking apps to plan their hiking adventures properly. Using the right hiking apps help you with having a perfect plan, tracking your hikes, and finding great local spots. Many such apps have worked as a hiking partner for people.
Among all those, the best one is Komoot. The app works well for hikers, cyclists, and mountain bikers.
Many spots you visit while hiking may not catch data service.
To help you with that, Komoot features an offline map. Access your scheduled hike and track your location with GPS, all without a data connection.
Even if you are looking for nearby shops for gifts for outdoorsy women, Komoot can help you with that too.
You can also add photos, tips, and highlights of a particular place.
You can save those for private use or even share it with the Komoot community to help others discover new things. You can also follow like-minded travelers and hikers to keep up with the outdoor adventures they go on.
2 Tips to Save Money While Traveling
Kerrie & Woody | Just Go Travelling
Most people would love to travel the world but there’s always a barrier and one of those common barriers is money. Discover our best travel tips!
We have travelled the world for 3 years and along the way have accumulated some nice tips on how to save the that hard-earned money.
The first tip we would tell anyone before travelling is to:
- Invest in a good travel card. This card needs to be adaptable to each country and flexible.
For instance, we purchased a travel card from the UK which did not charge us for any transactions made by card.
Also, they gave us free cash withdrawals up to a certain amount. All this is crucial as your normal debit or credit card fees for drawing out money at an ATM and using your card abroad would be ridiculously big.
It never failed us and we travelled to places like India, China, South East Asia and Australia.
The second useful tip would be to:
- Exchange money within the designated country.
It’s always handy to have some cash on you for when you arrive at the destination so exchanging a small amount in your home country/previous destination is still a good idea.
However, we have found that the rates for exchanging currency such as AUD, GBP, EUR and USD are far better if you exchange within the country you are travelling in, rather than exchanging within your native country such as Australia, Britain, Europe or America.
Best Ways to Stay Safe When Traveling Solo
Veronika Primm | Travel Geekery
When travelling solo, especially as a woman, it's necessary to take into account basic safety precautions so that you can discover the wonderful world we live in and minimize the risk of anything happening to you at the same time.
Travelling is safe, but, in some destinations more than others, it's highly advisable to err on the safe side and follow the most basic rules.
- It's never good to wander the streets alone at night, and that applies all over the globe.
- Drinking alone doesn't set you up for success either, and joining lively parties by yourself can spin out of control, depending on how well you handle alcohol.
In situations like these, if you still need to experience the nightlife, it's good to have a buddy join you, ideally a lady in the same situation.
Friendships can be built quickly in shared hostel dorms, with a host when renting a room on Airbnb or through Couchsurfing (after a careful selection of a host).
When eating out, it's good to stick to lunches and cook or have simpler meals by yourself at your accommodation.
- When travelling anywhere, you should always have someone close to you know your whereabouts. Tell a friend the address you're going to be at and keep in touch often. Call mum that you've landed and are all safe.
Of course, the most important is to use common sense and keep your senses on alert. When something seems dodgy or you don't feel safe for some reason, don't push it and stay careful. I hope these best travel tips are helpful on your next solo vacation!
How to Save Money on Hotel Stays While Traveling with Hotwire
Sydney Richardson | aworldinreach.com
One of my favorite ways to save money on hotel stays is by booking Hotwire Hot Rate deals.
These deals allow you to save up to 60% off the hotel's nightly rate, but there is a slight catch: you don't know the name of the hotel you'll be staying at until you book, and all Hot Rate bookings are non-refundable.
Before trying Hotwire Hot Rate hotels out for myself, this seemed a little scary.
- What if the hotel was in a bad location?
- What if the hotel wasn't clean?
My fears quickly went away after trying the deals out a couple of times, and learning that I could score 4 or 5 star hotels at 2 to 3 star prices.
Additionally, Hotwire allows you to see a little bit of info about the hotel before booking.
You can't see the name, but you can see:
- The area of the city it's in
- The star rating of the hotel
- The Expedia review score.
- In most cases, you're also able to see a list of 3-4 hotels (one of which you're guaranteed to get) as well as a photo of the hotel.
When you get a photo, you're in luck, because you might be able to try some tricks to reveal the name of your Hotwire Hot Rate Hotel.
I've found that these deals are best for last-minute trip planning. While road tripping across the USA, I used these deals to find my hotels on the day-of, and I had wonderful experiences the entire time!
When booking out ahead of time, the deals will still be great, but the best deals tend to be last-minute. Utilize these best travel tips to save money while traveling!
(Photo is a room Sydney scored on Hotwire)
How Can I Travel The World With No Money?
One of the best ways is to join your church's mission groups that travel to different countries helping citizens build schools, churches and homes. They raise money to travel and you will have to pay some expenses, but it is a great chance to see another country safely with other people. Plus it is a great way to volunteer and see if you enjoy this type of travel while making new friends.
Need Travel Tips for Packing?
Grab our Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist so you don't forget anything for your next vacation!
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