12 Important Travel Tips: Learn From the Experts
When planning a trip, it’s essential to get important travel tips. That’s why we reached out to professional travelers all over the world for their No. 1 tips and valuable advice. From bloggers to entrepreneurs to photographers, these experts have one thing in common: wanderlust.
Make the most of your trip! We’ve gathered 12 important travel tips to help you plan:
Always Pack Your Sense of Humor
A sense of humor is key to enjoying travel. Things can (and sometimes will) go wrong during your travels. Learn to embrace the hiccups and turn them into positives. If rain puts a damper on your beach vacation, use it as an opportunity to explore the island’s local culture. If your flight is delayed, download an audiobook about your destination and learn something new about where you are going. A positive attitude about the unexpected twists to your travel plans can often result in more interesting and sometimes unforgettable experiences.
Jen Pollack Bianco, multimedia travel blogger
Go With Your Gut
Before you travel, and when traveling, you will inevitably come across a whole host of people willing to offer you advice. Travel solo. Don’t travel solo. Go here, don’t go there. Stay here, not there, etc. If I listened to my dad, I wouldn’t have left my hometown. According to him, the world is a dangerous place, full of people that are out to get you. Fortunately, I didn’t listen to my dad, and I have and still do travel. My most valuable travel tip actually is: don’t listen to others. Listen to yourself. Go, do and be whatever you want to be. You only get one shot at life. Make it what you want it to be, and not what others want it to be.
Abigail Morrison, travel entrepreneur
Plan for Spontaneity
Our best tip is to give yourself the gift of unscheduled time! While this might be easier said than done on a tight itinerary, we observed ourselves and others trying to pack way too much into a limited span at a destination. In order to experience a place, you need time to be, as well as time to do. Leave a day or two in your week with no plans; spend three nights at a location instead of two. Linger over coffee or champagne at a sidewalk cafe, wander the side streets, and strike up a conversation with the locals. Save room for serendipity.
Betsy and Pete Wuebker, travel entrepreneurs
Over the many years I’ve been traveling the world, I’ve gathered lots of hints and travel tips, but if I’m asked to give just one piece of advice it would be: Always be early. Aside from having less stress, there are some very practical benefits. Booking early increases your chance for a better price and a better seat. Arriving early at the counter will ensure your luggage is properly tagged and increase your chance of negotiating an exit row seat. Boarding early will guarantee your seat in case of double-booking and enough room in the overhead bin for your carry-on.
Anda Galffy, travel writer
Did you know it could take a month to see everything that Walt Disney World Resort has to offer? Most of us don’t have that much time, so planning ahead will help, whether you’re working with a travel professional or going it alone. First, create a free My Disney Experience account at startyourdisneyexperience.com. From here, you can explore the parks, make dining reservations, get FastPass+ reservations at popular attractions, view your Disney PhotoPass pictures and more. Inside the parks, use the free mobile app to find character meet-and-greets, change or make new dining and FastPass+ reservations, and locate nearby restrooms.
Sid Gray, travel blogger
Talk to Locals
Whether I travel to domestic or international locations, there are ways to get off the beaten path without having to travel to some remote out-of-the-way location. One of the ways I do this, as radical as it may be, is to talk to people. I talk to the people working at the hotel and driving the taxis. They can tell you interesting places to eat, shop and places to visit that most tourists never find. In doing this, I have found interesting nearby towns, historical sites and been able to learn about places from the people who live there.
Bob Bales, travel blogger/writer
Immerse Yourself in the Culture
When you’re in a new place, make your travels about more than just visiting famous tourist spots and doing the must-do activities. There is so much more to every city, town and village than what the guidebooks tell you, and seeking out these details is a very rewarding experience. Sit down and have a real conversation with locals, not just fellow tourists. Ask questions (always respectfully) about the culture, traditions, lifestyle, values, livelihood, economy and politics. When you can’t ask, observe the micro-stories that are found everywhere. How people live, interact with one another, and work through the various aspects that constitute ‘life’ in different cultures tells you a lot about what life is like on the other side of the planet. This can often blow your mind in unimaginable ways, and that, to me, is the point of travel.
Natasha Amar, travel blogger/writer
Ask the Experts
The most important tip I give to travelers is to always ask the locals about the best recommendations of where to eat authentic cuisine in their city. You’ll be surprised to discover some of the best culinary spots of the city! I still cannot forget the taste of that fantastic Vietnamese pho!
Raphael Alexander Zoren, travel entrepreneur
Find Your Favorite Foods
Pick your favorite cuisine you like to eat at home, and travel to see where it is made. Then, we like to tell people to use the rule “Walk Three Blocks More.” We often see tourists going to the heart of the most touristy part of town, eating mediocre food at high prices. If they would just walk three blocks away from that location, they are more likely to find amazing meals at better prices. Your first food travel trip will be a success wherever you choose to go!
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer
Check Maps, Take the Back Roads
When taking a road trip by car, especially in the U.S. and Canada, hit the back roads. Check your maps before you leave and avoid the freeways. You will be delighted by what you see and experience on the lesser driven roadways. Some of the most interesting places, best eateries, and unusual quirky and offbeat attractions await you, your family, and your camera!
David Kravetz, travel photographer
Decide What’s Important
I know this may sound the opposite of what most people suggest, but I really think that when you travel there is an important difference between “saving” and “give up on experiences”. Sometimes you have only one chance in a whole lifetime to enter that volcano, to buy that first-row ticket, or see that musical. So even if it’s expensive, I think you should do it. In just a few months, the money spent will be forgotten, but you will obtain a beautiful memory for life. Take me as an example: Years ago, I spent a few months in New York City and my bank account was of course drained. I therefore decided not to go for an exhibit I really liked, as I thought $50 was outrageous. Seven years later, I am still regretting that – the only thing I didn’t do! What difference would $50 possibly make in a trip worth thousands?
Giulia Cimarosti, travel writer/photographer
Look for Deals
Get the best accommodation deals: One of the best deals in many cities is staying in private rooms in hostels. Though simple, these rooms are clean and functional, and hostels are very good places to meet people. Bigger hostels also offer family rooms, which will be a big hit with kids.
Dominique Lessard, travel entrepreneur