Traveling, whether it’s across the state or to another country, is an exciting way to form memories and experience other cultures. But it’s important to remember that traveling can also be stressful if things go awry. Fortunately, there are many travel tips you can use to keep your trip running smoothly, from the planning stages to your arrival at your destination.
1. Be flexible.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of racing around to check off bucket list items at every stop, but it can take away from the magic of your destination. Having some key experiences in mind is fine, but be prepared to change your plans if you see something that really makes your heart sing.
2. Research your destination.
It sounds simple, but it can save you from getting to the Louvre on a Monday and finding that it’s closed or showing up in Italy during the Ferragosto festival when everything is shut down. Do some basic research on what to expect, from food and dress to language and customs. This will help you blend in better, avoid any embarrassing mistakes, and make sure you’re not missing out on any must-see attractions.
3. Ask locals for recommendations.
Locals can give you some of the best travel tips — particularly about hidden gems or special activities that aren’t in guidebooks. Talk to bartenders, taxi drivers, and other people with their ear to the ground about what’s going on in their city or region. They may be able to point you toward free things to do, hidden gems that tourists don’t know about, or even just things they like to do on their days off.
4. Be mindful of tipping customs.
Tipping is an essential part of many countries’ culture, so it’s important to be aware of how much you should leave when you’re out and about. Be sure to research the area you’re visiting ahead of time to learn about any customs or expectations for giving a tip. This will ensure that you don’t end up leaving more than you should or putting yourself in debt with a local.
5. Consider using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees or ATM fees.
Those pesky foreign transaction and ATM fees can add up over the course of a long trip, so try to find a credit or debit card that doesn’t charge these fees. You can usually find these cards by searching for “travel rewards credit cards.”
6. Be respectful of local culture and wildlife.
Whether you’re taking a tour or simply out on your own, be sure to respect the local culture and wildlife. If you’re in a place where it’s common for guides to harass wildlife or engage in unethical practices to get tips, speak up. It’s not your job to save the turtles or dolphins, but you are responsible for how you behave as a visitor.
By following these travel tips, you’ll have an unforgettable trip, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a month-long adventure. Be sure to let family and friends back home know where you’re going, and check in regularly so they can be alerted if anything goes wrong. And, above all, remember to have fun..