Traveling, is like an adventure, in which we explore new countries, cultures and people all over the world. This is something that all of us will experience at least once in our life. And like any activities, we want our next travel to be better, less stressful, and more enjoyable.
The truth is, we can always get better, by learning from others experience. So, we reached out to the top travel bloggers with the following question: “Please list 2 of your favorite travel hacks”. By "travel hacks", we mean everything that makes you trip better (planning, how to use packing cubes, booking hotels, etc.)
Then, we compiled this awesome list of travel hacks from the top travel experts to make your next trip better and easier.
Hope you enjoy reading this article as much as we do.
Esther and Jacob
Pack light! We believe in always being prepared, but never overpacking. Traveling light makes it easier to be mobile when you travel, and you quickly realize how little you need. Even on month long trips, we usually only pack a carry on and backpack.
Give yourself flexibility. We do our best to leave our days relatively flexible. We know where we want to be at sunrise and sunset for photos, but otherwise, we keep a list of things we want to do/see/eat and fill in the blanks as we go. You never know what local secret you might learn about or if weather will change your plans.
You never know what local secret you might learn about or if weather will change your plans.
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.
My favorite travel hacks are to use Wikitravel for sights or special activities that are not written in guidebooks or somewhere else. It's always very useful and much more up to date than guidebooks.
And of course for packaging to use compression sacks. With that, you have much more space in your backpack and your clothes are always dry. Especially great for regions with a lot of rain or humidity.
Use Wikitravel for sights or activities that are not written in guidebooks or somewhere else
Tobias Holzleitner is a proud owner of WorldTrip-Blog. When he travelled around the world he felt in love with it. In a way travel can be the key to open your mind and that wisdom is invaluable. Go travel and explore our wonders. Safe travels.
To get off the beaten track you'll need to buy the most detailed map of your destination area. Your typical map of Thailand will show all major cities, but a detailed map of the northern province of Chiang Mai will reveal hundreds of hidden waterfalls and lookouts waiting to be explored. Before you go, be sure to download the entire route to your destination. Offline maps have proven to be a huge help more than once.
To get off the beaten track you'll need to buy the most detailed map of your destination area.
I prefer to travel light and find that packing cubes are invaluable to keep all my clothes and smaller items in one compact bundle. They take up less space in my case making it easier to be organised, especially when moving from place to place. Once I've arrived somewhere and unpacked, I also frequently use the packing cubes as storage in my day bag to keep bits and pieces together.
Packing cubes are invaluable to keep all my clothes and smaller items in one compact bundle.
Heather Cowper is a leading UK travel blogger at http://www.heatheronhertravels.com/, covering "Authentic travel with a little luxury" for the 40+ traveller. You can also follow her travels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
David & Veronica
Our number one travel hack is what we call the One Trip Rule. http://gypsynester.com/lugging-luggage-and-our-one-trip-rule/ Everything we have must be able to be carried simultaneously. There are two big reasons we do this. It saves a lot of time and provides an added safety factor. Our belongings never get left unattended while moving between airports, taxis, trains, shuttle buses, and hotels. When no bags are feeling lonely and neglected, no bags mysteriously disappear.
Our other is to travel in the off season. Hit winter getaway locations in the summer and vise versa. We once traveled across Norway above the Arctic Circle in the dead of December. http://gypsynester.com/dispatch-two-north-to-the-arctic-circle-by-train-in-norway-a-live-blog/ Can't tell you how many times we were asked "What are you doing here this time of year?" but we also had no trouble finding rooms or tickets, once we were literally the only guests in our hotel, and it can save a lot of money.
One Trip Rule: Everything we have must be able to be carried simultaneously
David & Veronica are experiencing the collision of Baby Boomer and Empty Nester. When their youngest headed off to college they decided to grab life by the horns, sell the nest, hit the road and become GypsyNesters! They've been full time travelers and have been breaking the empty nest rules since 2008. Read more about their adventures at http://www.GypsyNester.com
Most of us feel so excited on our trip that we often splurge a lot of money without thinking much. We should however understand that the plastic ATM cards we carry may not help us arrange money immediately. So, it’s better to always take some spare cash with you for emergency and avoid ATM queue.
In some cases, ATMs even charge extra money for withdrawal of your own money.
Similarly, we often forget to carry our ID proof on the trip. We must never do this as the ID is very important and will work as a proof our citizenship and identity. Some venues might even reject you if your ID photo doesn’t match with you. So, prefer to carry your recent updated ID proof.
Always take some spare cash with you for emergency and avoid ATM queue.
My favorite travel hack is using packing cubes, especially if you need to have many things but use only one luggage, I wrote a review about cubes recently so you can get some ideas here www.pretravels.com/best-travel-packing-cubes/
Another advice would be to study really well the public transportation system of your destination (especially if you visit a European city) since it can be a very handy and cheap way of transportation.
Study really well the public transportation system of your destination
PreTravels is all about destination guides and tips to help you learn everything you need to know before you go to your next travel destination.We are a team of bloggers who love travelling and share our experiences & insides with readers and travellers all over the world. Follow us on Twitter
Money Hack - Before you leave ensure that you have informed your card company about your travel plans. Companies can block cards when they see suspicious activity in a foreign country. But that suspicious activity could be you trying to make a regular purchase and find yourself stranded for an important one. Using ATMs to withdraw cash is much simpler way to get local currency rather than visiting currency exchangers.
Staying Hack - Staying options such as traditional bed and breakfasts or even AirBnB are great ways to save money that you would splurge on a fancy hotel. If your trip involves multiple stops avoid unpacking everything you have to save yourself precious time packing again. It also reduces chances of forgetting something at a stop over and gives you more time to look around that you would spend on packing for the upcoming trip.
Before you leave ensure that you have informed your card company about your travel plans.
Karan Chopra, the Chief Executive Officer of G2OneNetwork, the conglomerate that has a number of products under its banner ranging from self-help blogs to online marketing sites, publications, line of designer shoes and T-Shirts and many more.
I never travel during peak season, it's usually a giant rip-off. It's great to choose a flight with free stop overs - that way you get one destination free! An eco-friendly way to travel is to research and choose lesser known destinations where your money goes far and it helps local communities - this is particularly helpful to UNESCO heritage sites that suffer from overcrowding.
I also almost always choose public transport when I travel, it's a fabulous way to get to know the city, easy on the wallet and it's guilt-free travel without worrying about your carbon footprint.
Finally, always eat local! Try smaller places where locals eat and you'll never go wrong!
Always eat local! Try smaller places where locals eat and you'll never go wrong!
JB & Renée
We don't really have a lot of travel hacks but one thing that has worked for us is buying our airline tickets around 47 days prior to our date of departure. I read an article that claimed airfare is typically cheapest around that time so I've been trying it ever since. We once saved over USD 1,500 on a flight by following that method!
Another way we save money, though this is only for people with a blog, is to add AirBnB referral links on your website. I didn't expect much from it at first but you'd be surprised by how many people sign up. In fact, we've accrued so much AirBnB referral credit that we haven't paid for accommodations in two years!
One thing that has worked for us is buying our airline tickets around 47 days prior to our date of departure
JB and Renee are the Traveleaters behind Will Fly for Food, a travel blog for the gastronomically inclined. Apart from seeking out a destination's best local cuisine, they've made it their mission to try every country's national dish.
I've acquired many travel hacks over the years, but there are a couple that I use most often. The first is to bring an empty water bottle in my carryon. I used to buy expensive bottled water after every security check point, but now I can fill my bottle at a water station (many airports have them!).
The next one is instead of bringing multiple adapters on an international trip, just bring one and a power cord. Simply plug your power cord into the adapter and, voila, you will have multiple outlets!
Instead of bringing multiple adapters on an international trip, just bring one and a power cord.
Laura & Chris
Travel Hack #1 - Travel credit cards have allowed us to book thousands of dollars’ worth of travel over the last few years. We both signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and received $625 worth of travel points. We then applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and received $1,500 worth of points as a bonus. Including bonuses and points earned from regular spending, these cards have allowed us to book over $5,000 worth of travel.
Travel Hack #2 - We try to travel during the second to last week in January. Flights are always very cheap during that week.
We try to travel during the second to last week in January. Flights are always very cheap during that week.
Locked in - The hardest thing about finding time to travel is... finding time to travel. People always tell me about their travel dreams, but the large majority will never make it happen. More often than not, this isn't an issue of budget or vacation days, but rather, the ability to make a decision and just go! For this, I tell everyone to just book a ticket. Once you have a ticket, you can work backwards and figure out all the (seemingly) overwhelming details. Just lock it in and go from there.
Baby Powder - Keep the undercarriage comfortable and dry on those long travel days with a little baby powder around the boys. This is the greatest advice I could give to male travelers in warm locations.
Baby Powder keeps the undercarriage comfortable and dry on those long travel days
Gareth Leonard is a Marketing Director turned Travel Blogger/Videographer with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. He has spent the last eight years traveling and living around the world with a different concept than most – Travel Deeper. Gareth sets out to truly understand foreign communities through the people and cultures that define them - one specific mission at a time. Watch his awesome “Travel Deeper Japan” series on YouTube now!
Skyscanner's "Everywhere" search feature - Sometimes you just want to find the best deals for flights around the world from where you are. In the past there wasn't an easy way to do this. You just needed to know where you wanted to go to and then you had to search each destination one at a time. Skyscanner makes it incredibly easy with their "Everywhere" destination feature which gives you a list of all the cheapest flights.
Credit cards are the fast track to rewards - Building up loyalty points for airlines and hotels is a pretty painful process. It's a real grind because if you do the math, you practically have to travel each week to build up enough for an international flight. The best way to skip that process and get straight to the reward is to sign up for certain credit cards, leverage bonuses, and then churn and repeat. If you're in Canada, I lay out all the best credit cards.
Credit cards are the fast track to rewards
Will Tang is the Chief of Awesome over at Going Awesome Places which is focused on his off-the-beaten-path and experiential travel. His true passion lies in telling stories, inspiring others to travel, writing detailed trip itineraries to help others plan their own trips, and providing helpful tips and tricks to travel better.
Silicone Earplugs - Getting a good night's sleep while traveling is golden, yet not all earplugs are created equal in terms of comfort and ability to block out the sounds of cars, chickens, dorm-mates who are snoring, etc. We discovered the benefits of silicone earplugs when we walked the Camino de Santiago last year and have never turned back as they are really effective at blocking out noise and are comfortable to use.
Tea Tree Oil - This is a sort of magical natural remedy with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used on cuts, bites or other types of skin ailments. It can also be used to help with colds or congestion, as well as so many other things. We always have a small bottle of tea tree oil with us on our travels.
Silicon Earplugs are really effective at blocking out noise and are comfortable to use
Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott are the husband and wife storytelling team behind the award winning travel blog, Uncornered Market. More than 10 years and 90 countries later, they are still going...and still married.
Check out travel agents in ethnic neighborhoods - If you live in a big city like New York or Chicago, there is most likely many ethic neighborhoods. When I am planning a trip somewhere, I first check the flights on all the search engines to get an idea of the cost. Then I will visit the neighborhood that has a high proportion of people from that country. For instance, when I go to Thailand, I go to the Argyle neighborhood and visit a travel agent there. Since they deal with many people who live in that country, they often have access to good deals since they sell a lot of tickets to that destination for people who are returning home or visiting family.
Use Hotels.com app - When booking hotels, I use the hotels.com app. After every ten bookings, you get a free room or at least a free portion off your next booking as it averages your last ten bookings and gives you that amount off your 11th room. When booking a room, I sometimes go directly to the hotel and see if the hotels.com rate is cheaper. It usually is either the same or less. If it is more, then I book directly with the hotel.
Check out travel agents in ethnic neighborhoods
Ted Nelson is an outdoor adventure travel blogger based in Chicago, Illinois. He specializes in hiking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing. He loves to share his adventures in the USA and around the world on his blog - Traveling Ted https://travelingted.com and on his social media channels.
My favourite travel hack is to look at apartment rental sites like Airbnb. These can be a lot cheaper than booking hotels. Not only this but having a kitchen and a washing machine can also save extra money and make like easier.
My second travel hack is to sign up for newsletters for relevant budget airlines. They can have great specials on flights but only if you are ready to book them the second they come out.
Look at apartment rental sites like Airbnb. These can be a lot cheaper than booking hotels.
Don’t pay for luggage cart when traveling in the United States. Instead go outside of arrivals (when traveling domestically) and near the baggage claim, the taxi stand/pickup area or the parking lot you will find abandoned free carts.
Always bring two bags of chocolates—one for the gate agents and one for the flight attendants because both can make or break your trip. When you hand the chocolates over, do it with a big smile, be genuine and don’t look for anything in return. If there is a chance they can give you a better seat or service, they will.
Always bring two bags of chocolates—one for the gate agents and one for the flight attendants
Johnny Jet has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited close to 100 countries. On his website, he writes about travel deals and travel tips, everything from how to find cheap flights to how to maximize your credit card points. He has hosted a television special on The Travel Channel and was recently named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers for 2017. He now appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show talking about travel and technology and travels the world with his wife Natalie DiScala, who writes the travel + style blog Oh! Travelissima and their son Jack.
I always carry a scarf it has so many different uses from being a cover up going into temples to keeping me warm on a well air conditioned bus. It is even a great accessory for drying yourself after a little paddle in the sea.
My next hack is about booking flights. I never buy at a weekend as they seem more expensive. Also if you are flexible play around with dates and times I have saved £100s just by flying the next day.
I always carry a scarf it has so many different uses.
Now you’ve read through all the travel hacks, it’s your turn now. Have a great travel hack you want to share? Which one do you like the best? Let us know in the comment below.