Whether you are a beginner or a pro, some travel tips along the way never hurt!
1. Always, when looking where to stay choose location vs. Price.
It doesn’t matter if you end up paying a couple of euros more, lodging in the heart of the city will always be worth it because you will be able to go out at night (find your way back half drunk) and save on transportation.
2. Before you go to a new city, study the underground map!
And if you must take a cab, learn before how to say the name of the street fluently. That way they won’t charge you 40 euros for 10km… (Seriously, never take a cab in Paris, specially if it’s your first time!) It also helps a lot when you memorize the line and stop from your hostel.
3. It should be number one since it’s the most important to me, but learn how to say a few words in the language from the country you are visiting!
Things like Hello, Where is, How much does it cost, Where are the bathrooms, I’m lost, can you help me, Thank you & Cheers are always useful!
4. Download language apps.
On your free time you can learn a new language and make sure to Print Screen the important stuff, so you can always show the picture if the locals don’t understand you.
5. How to take more clothes with the same space.
Roll them! I saw a video a couple of years ago about a guy who traveled the world for a month and rolled all his clothes. It really works, they are a bit wrinkly but whatever, at least you have more clothes (it also helps if you put them on a plastic bag and suck the air out).
6. Don’t go fancy.
If you are going on a long vacation, forget about bringing those high heels and tiny dresses. Just bring two pairs of shoes and you are good to go. Also nobody minds if you go clubbing on leggings and flats, so find a way to chic your outfit up, but don’t over do it.
7. Go on ‘free’ walking tours.
At the end they turn up being so good that you will give the guy a couple of euros, but it will be cheaper and cooler than a regular tourist tour, for example I tried this in Berlin for the first time and absolutely loved it! You will meet young people, it will not be full of elderly couples and after the tour you will end up making friends and spending the rest of the vacations together.
8. Ditch the group.
When you travel with a small group (2, 3 persons max) you can drop everything for whatever unique experience you discover once you get there, you can be in touch with what is truly edifying and not just follow the plans you made based on Google & Tripadvisor searches, this way you get to relax and enjoy what the city has to offer and you do not end up being behind all those Asian tourists.
9. Try the local specialty.
It might look weird, smell weird and it will sound weird, but it will be delicious. At the end the escargots and frog legsdon’t taste as bad as it sounds, blue cheese is not as stinky as you thought and those weird looking Asian soups will be actually very tasty.
10. Don’t forget the pictures!
Whenever looking for a hostel, please for the love of God look at the freaking bathroom pictures and check how much they will charge you for a towel!
11. Bag on the front. Always.
Or preferably keep your stuff inside a bra, since you will eventually get robbed (when you most need the money, thanks Murphy’s law…)
12. Now this is actually true.
Always clear your cache and cookies when you’re searching for airfare, because the sites will keep your IP on file and change the prices you see. You have to trick the websites!
13. Maps, maps & maps!
If you’re traveling with a smartphone (who doesn’t now days) but can only use WiFi, load up maps while you’re in a cafe or hostel (or stand in front of starbucks if you are desperate, he he) then screenshot them so you can refer to them later, also on the maps app type in the direction you want to go before you leave, since most of the time it keeps it on hold for you.
14. Eat and save at the same time.
Try to find some hostels with kitchens in the common areas, it’ll save you money, and it’s a good way to meet other people in the hostel, like this one time in Paris, I sat down to eat and I started talking to this guy from Argentina, then one from Austria joined, so we decided to go see the Eiffel Tower light up, so I just turned around and asked the table behind me if they would like to join. To this days, we still talk and goof around and remeber this crazy night we met.
15. Put it back on your purse.
You don’t need your phone as much as you think you do. Stop posting on facebook saying you are having a great time and actually have a great time.
16. Become a member.
You will save a couple of bucks buying a plane ticket by just becoming a member of one (or all of the airlines)
17. Scan your passport, identification card, and itinerary and email them to yourself.
This provides an extra copy of each in the event of loss or theft. As an iPhone user, once I email the documents to myself, I usually open the email on my iPhone and save them onto iBooks, that way you can have an extra copy in case something happens.
18. Be at the airport 3 hours before.
Seriously, you never know if there will be a problem, and it’s better to be a few hours earlier than to miss your flight.
19. Cash is always better.
I’m always a bit afraid when using my card someplace new because one, they could charge more or save your data, two, you can loose it, three, you don’t realize how much money you spend until it’s too late. That way, if you carry cash around you will keep a much better track of your expenses.
20. Bring your own water bottle.
Depending on the airline’s own policies regarding drink costs, the amount of times water is offered will not be enough(Especially during summer). Having your own water bottle ensures that you have water whenever you want, and make sure to refill it in the bathroom (just make sure it’s ok to drink from the tap! Or just fill it up in those tiny fountains in Italy)
21. Ensure that you have a pen before leaving.
That way you can complete customs forms immediately and won’t have to wait for the flight attendant to come with one.
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