As a young woman who has an extreme wanderlust, I have learned quite a few travel tips during my adventures that just make life so much easier. Traveling can get very stressful and expensive at times, but by utilizing these travel tips, you can make the whole travel process a LOT easier!
1. Contact Your Banks
If you plan on traveling overseas for a trip, be sure to contact your banks and let them in on your upcoming vacation. Especially if you plan on using your debit and credit cards on an overseas trip it is EXTREMELY important to let them know at least 3 weeks prior. They will ask for the dates you will be traveling and some banks will have you come to your local branch and get it squared away. if you don’t, you risk the chances of the bank thinking your card was stolen and freezing your cards and accounts. Also you will more than likely be paying fees to call them internationally and that’s money you could be spending shopping!
2. Pack Light!
Depending on how long you will be traveling, packing light is key. Buying helpful products like Space bags really adds loads of space to your suitcase. if you want to save that money for shopping on your trip, try rolling you try rolling you clothes and placing it in your suitcase. Doing this will help you avoid overweight bag fees from airlines.
3. Research Flights and Airlines
One of the most important aspects of a trip is actually getting to the destination. If you’re flying, it is important to research different airlines and how they operate. Look into their accommodations, traveler ratings, baggage fees, carry on policies, etc. One of the best travel tips I learned is to book two one way flights instead of a round trip, to get better deals. I highly recommend Southwest.com because of their comfortability and $0 bag fees, whereas most airlines have between $25-50 bag fees. Utilize price comparison sites (like expedia.com) and play around with days/times to find what works for you.
4. Buy a Portable Charger
Having not one, but two portable chargers have saved my life while traveling! They are so useful, especially on flights or when you are on the go during your trip, with no access to outlets. You simply plug your charger cord into the device and it gives it immediate juice. In my experience, I like to have the portable chargers charged a week in advance before my trip (so I don’t forget) and I keep one in my suitcase and the other in my carry on. They are decently priced as well.
5. Stay Hydrated and Healthy
This is one of those travel tips that is often overlooked, but it is SO important to drink plenty of water at all times. Drinking carbonated sodas and beverages and eating heavy foods will make you tired, more susceptible to illness and jet lag. Start drinking water a few days before your trip to ensure you’re properly hydrated. You can even purchase Vitamin C tablets and hand sanitizer to help fend off any looming sickness!
6. Safety is Key
No matter how idyllic your vacation spot is, crime is everywhere, so do not lower your guard, especially in public places. Keep your wallet, purse or backpack close to you at all times, and keep them closed. Another one of the best travel tips I’ve learned on my own is to have emergency cash on you. I got creative and hid mine in an empty chap stick tube. Just remember to be weary of your surroundings. Pickpocketing is still high, especially overseas.
7. Learn about the Culture
This is necessary when traveling to a new place. It is always fun to learn new things and it makes you look less like a tourist. But do not be afraid to speak to the locals about their culture and the history of their home. It will impress them that you already know so much but still want to learn more. Dress the part as well. NO FANNY PACKS! NO CLOTHING WITH HUGE LOGOS! They scream tourist and also puts you high at risk for theft.
8. Get a Suitcase as Bright as your Personality
When buying a new suitcase, if possible, buy one with a design or a bright color. Have fun with it and buy something cute! It will make it easier for you to spot your luggage at the baggage claim. One time I had a black suitcase and I accidentally grabbed the wrong one. Luckily, I put my name on a slip and tied it to mine so I was able to avoid disaster. Now I have a Star wars themed suitcase… it definitely stands out in the crowd!
9. Have an Itinerary
There is nothing wrong with getting to your destination and winging it with the spots you want to visit. However, doing so will leave you less likely to see everything you truly want to see. So be sure to make a list of the places you absolutely must see while you’re there. Look up the days and times that they are open, how much it costs, and reviews to see if it’s worth the visit.
10. Contact your Family and Friends
If you have a Grandma like mine, she worries quite a bit about your safety. Save your family the worry and call them! I make sure I call before I leave, when I arrive and at least once during the trip. Even send them a postcard! Keep everyone up to date with photos on your Facebook or Instagram – just as long as they know you are safe and having fun!
Consider these travel tips EVERY time you’re about to head off on a new adventure, I promise they will come in handy!
featured image source: dailyurbanista.com
Victoria is a student at Strayer University.