69 travel tips and growing:

69 travel tips and growing:

69 travel tips and growing:

I am tired of the click bait constantly being posted online with the same travel tips over and over and over again. To help you, I scoured the internet for hours and found all the best ones that I could, condensed them, and included some of my personal travel tips.

If you have tips you want to add, that I missed, please leave them in the comments and I’ll review them and add them to the list!

 

Airports & Flying:


1.    Locks on zippers are useless--it's easy to pop open the zipper and reseal it without you knowing.
2.    Bring your headphones--just because they come packaged on the plane does not mean they are new.
3.    Remove old flight tags and the stickers they put on your bag--it can delay or cause lost luggage if you don't.
4.    Be kind to the employees in the airport and on the plane! I've had full flights entirely canceled and because I spoke kindly to the clerk at the front desk, I was able to get onto the next plane instead of stuck in the airport for 24 hours.
5.    Buy and fly on a Tuesday--Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly.
6.    Skip the coffee and tea on planes--no one ever cleans the containers.
7.    Don’t get ice--bacteria wise; it's worse than the coffee.
8.    Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. You are exposed to thousands of people and touching any of those areas leads you to a greater risk of getting sick.
9.    Bring bottled water onto the plane. Being on a plane dehydrates you because of how dry it is. 
10.     If you aren’t sleeping get up and walk around once an hour to get the blood moving. On really long flights you can do push-ups in the back of the plane as well.
11.    When searching online, make sure to clear your cookies after you search. If you view a flight and check it a couple of days later, many booking agencies will up the price to scare you into purchasing whatever you were looking at. The fear is that the price will go up again.
12.    Sign up for TSA PreCheck. It’s worth the fee if you travel at all.
13.    Check in before you get to the airport.
14.    Keep your credit card, ID, and boarding pass in an easy place to access. Make sure everything else is stowed away before you get to security.
15.    Weigh your bag before you fly. It can be a real hassle trying to stuff your carry on with extra weight to avoid the overage fee.
16.    If you have connecting flights, do not schedule them close together; I would leave at least an hour in-between flights. The airlines will sell you a 30-minute connection, but the last time I tried to do that, they had to drive me to my next flight.
17.    http://www.airportterminalmaps.com/ and the App Gate Guru can help you navigate through airports.

Packing:


1.    Bring ear plugs for the trip and the plane. The can make all the difference when trying to sleep.
2.    Bring a power strip for the airport. You’ll be a hero, and you’ll always be fully charged. 
3.    Pack as light as possible. If you’re going on an extended trip, you can always do laundry while you are there. No one cares if you wore the same thing two days in a row while traveling. 
4.    Bring a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer.
5.    Make sure you have the right adapters for international travel.
6.    If you didn’t bring plastic bags with you and are in need of one, empty garbage can bags in hotel rooms work pretty well.
7.    You can place shower caps over your second pair of shoes to minimize dirt and grime in your bag.
8.    Rolling your clothes can save storage room.
9.    Don’t bring jewelry on a trip.
10.    Make sure you bring anything essential to your health with you in a carry-on bag.

 

Bookings & Rentals:


1.    Use mega sites like Kayak.com to compare fares instead of Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity. Mobissimo.com and DoHop.com are useful for locating flights overseas.
2.    If your dates are flexible, use the flexible date searches for flights (the feature is available on most airline websites). It can save you a couple hundred dollars.
3.    Once you have an ideal flight price in mind, track airfares with a service like Yapta.com or Hotwire.com's Trip Watcher. Simply register your route and dates, and when the fare drops to a price you've chosen, you'll be alerted via e-mail.
4.    Booking directly with the airline or hotel can lead to better services and prices. Hilton, for example, gives you a discount for booking directly with them.
5.    Hotels and car rental companies will discount drastically to use up inventory, so keep shopping — even after you buy. Just make sure to review the cancellation policy.
6.    Always reserve a seat. I used seatguru.com on my last excursion to South Africa and was rewarded with an extra 4-6 inches of leg room because of it. Not all seats are made the same; sites like SeatGuru.com, SeatExpert.com, and FlyerTalk.com will help you figure out which one is the best for you.
7.    Best time to book for Airlines:

 Best Time to Book Domestic Flights

Best Time to Book Domestic Flights

 Best Time to Book International Flights

Best Time to Book International Flights


8.    Program airline 800 numbers into your phone. If your flight is delayed be proactive as the counters and staff are going to be under siege.
9.    If you are flying on local airlines overseas, your flight is going to be delayed. I once waited 6 hours in Argentina for a flight to take off. Plan accordingly.

 

Booking Cars:


1.    Don’t prepay for gasoline. It is expensive and not worth it.
2.    When you leave the rental place, actively look for a place to refill the tank. This can save a lot of time and stress when arriving at the airport.
3.    Don’t buy the insurance. Either your credit card or your auto insurance will cover it. Do make sure to check both policies before renting.
4.    Reserve a low-priced car and then inquire about upgrades at the rental desk. This works best at busy times when the garage is running low on lower-priced cars, and may offer you free or very affordable upgrades to a larger car class due to inventory management issues.
5.    Check for AAA or AARP reward programs and other discounts. Always ask!
6.    Do not leave the final inspection to chance. Stay and wait for the agent to finish before you leave or you might have a large bill when you get home.
7.    If you’re crossing international borders, check with the agency that you can. Most U.S. car rental agreements do not let you do this.

Hotels:

1.    If you're on a long trip, you may not want to lug three suitcases full of clothes around (who has money for all those baggage fees?). Instead, pack a universal sink stopper to plug the sink, a travel-size bottle of laundry detergent and a clothesline. Voila! You can wash your clothes yourself instead of paying through the nose for your hotel to do it for you or feeding coins into the machines at a dingy laundromat.
2.    Hotel star ratings mean nothing at this point. Read reviews online about them and make sure to check the pictures of the room you are going to reserve.
3.    If you are booking early and have ever agonized whether to book now or wait for a couple of days, you can use a site called tingo.com, and you’ll automatically get refunded if the price drops between when you book and when you stay. Most hotels also do not charge you for canceling hotel rooms if not within 72 hours of arrival.
4.    Booking late? Use Hotel Tonight or Booking Now.
5.    If your plans change unexpectedly, and you're left with a nonrefundable hotel booking that you can't use, you can resell it to someone else using RoomerTravel.com or Cancelon.com. You won't get the full price back (each site charges a fee, and your room won't sell if you don't offer a bit of a discount), but it's better than losing everything you've already paid.
6.    For quiet hotel rooms, book midway along the hallway, avoid views with the pool (late night gatherings can occur, and they are loud), book at least three levels above a banquet hall, and if you're in a low rise hotel book at the back away from the parking lot.
7.    If you’re looking for better sleep, inquire if the guestrooms have blackout shades, bring a spray scent such as lavender that you can put on your pillow, bring a small noise canceling machine, or download the myNoise on your phone and play it through the night.
8.    AirBnB and VRBO are great options if you’re looking at getting a more local experience.

Loyalty Programs:


1.    Stick to one airline and one rental car service. If you are traveling, a lot of the perks for following a brand are worth it.
2.    Sign up for one of their credit cards. I stay with Hilton and get free upgrades, wifi, and snacks with their Hilton Honors Credit Card.
3.    Having status with an airline or hotel helps a lot with customer service. Recently I was going to miss a connecting flight with Delta, and they picked me up at the gate and drove me on the tarmac to the next flight. You can’t get that type of service anywhere else!


Tourist Areas:


1.    Wake up early--most tourists sleep in, and the areas do not get crowded until an hour or two after they open!
2.    Don’t go off the path. I’ve seen ridiculous articles recently where someone tried to rescue a wild bison (which ended any chance of its survival) and where people have broken ancient artifacts.
3.    Don’t touch anything. Your hands have oils that could destroy everything. Let’s keep these places beautiful and stunning for as long as possible.
4.    Leave no trace. Whatever you take in, take out.
5.    One-up that mentality by leaving the place you are going better than you found it. If you’re in a national park and see trash, pick it up!

General:


1.    Bring cash and store the total amount in three different places. You never know what is going to happen when you travel!
2.    Talk with locals. I have found some of the best spots to photograph by simply having conversations and getting suggestions from locals.
3.    Make a copy of your passport: You never know if you will need one, and it will help expedite the process if you lose yours.
4.    Tip generously when you start, especially on cruise ships. You’ll probably still have a fee to pay at the end, but the better service is usually worth it.
5.    When you're asking around for sightseeing or dining advice, avoid hotel staffers. They're often on the take. Instead, find establishments — shops, cafés, restaurants, galleries — that match your taste, and ask the folks there. 
6.    For maps, you have the ability to download areas you are going to on Google Maps, but I love the Citymaps2Go app. It is $7 on the app store, but it is worth it to be able to see anywhere and everywhere you are going!
7.    AllTrails.com is a great resource for finding trails in areas that you are going!
8.    TheOutbound.com is a spectacular resource for finding things to do around you. Without them, I would have missed a special ice beach in Iceland!
9.    If you’re in the US and visiting national parks, do yourself a favor and camp instead of getting a hotel. You’ll be able to unplug fully and connect with nature the way you were meant to.

 

Non-Profit Highlight:

The non-profit highlight is going to one of my favorite organizations, Leave No Trace.

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a member-driven organization teaching people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. They and are the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands.

Through relevant and targeted education, research and outreach, the Center ensures the long-term health of our natural world. In its simplest form, Leave No Trace is about making good decisions to protect the world around you--the world we all enjoy.

Leave no Trace’s Goals:

1.    Leave No Trace in Every Park.

2.    Leave No Trace integrated into every youth and school program that take kids outdoors.

3.    Every person who ventures outside puts leave no trace practices into action.

Photography workflow of slot canyons

Photography workflow of slot canyons

Travel Quotes

Travel Quotes

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