“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.”
Travel is like everything else in life, the more you do it the more you learn.
But we’re all looking for a helping hand along the way, so here are 31 travel tips from some of the best travel writers and bloggers in the world.
Gary is an award-winning travel photographer who has visited over 180 countries. You can find him at Everything Everywhere.
1) “The abilty to adapt is more important than the ability to plan. When you start off traveling, it is easy to get carried away planning because you aren’t on the road yet and you have nothing else to do. However, once you start, your plans will change. It is better to have a flexible schedule and adapt to your circumstances than it is to have a rigid schedule.”
Founder & travel blogger at The Lost and Found Traveler.
2) “Keep a travel journal. This is one piece of advice I HIGHLY recommend. I started one a while back and it’s so fun to be able to look back on your adventures. You remember things from the trip that you’ve since forgotten and it gives you a little smile. Whether you keep little souvenirs like ticket stubs or postcards in it, incorporate doodles, or just write in it, they are so fun to look back on and read! Keep it for just yourself, or let other people live through your adventures. My dream is to fill tons and keep them for my children or grandchildren to inspire them to travel!”
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Solo traveler at Travel With Trang.
3) “Learn to trust others. Develop a sixth sense, it’ll become useful! Don’t let others tell you what to do. Don’t be scared of the unknown. Some of the best things in life comes from doing what scares us the most. When traveling, or in your daily life, open up all your senses, take a moment to look around and admire the place you’re in.”
4) “When you get off a plane, people may bombard you and the other passengers with cheap taxis or rides to get into the city which can be overwhelming. It helps to sit down at a simple cafe in the airport and breathe for just 15 minutes or grab a snack. Not only are you able to prevent yourself from being possibly ripped off in a taxi scam, but those people will most likely disappear in that time.”
5) “I use the phone app Maps.Me, since I can use if offline without wifi or data (just make sure to download the map beforehand!). It’s great for when you’re lost or are trying to get somewhere. This saved me a lot when I entered a new country, hopped off the train, and had to figure out at night how to walk in the right direction. Also, when I took a motorcycle or taxi ride back to my hostel, I could tell immediately if the driver was taking me in the wrong direction.
Founder of one of the funniest and unique travel blogs on the internet at Swedish Nerd vs The World.
6) “Never have a preconceived idea about a country that you haven’t visited yet, or at least don’t let that idea stop you from going there. I have experienced some of my best moments, in countries I would never have thought of going to, if it wasn’t for my idea to travel to all countries in the world. So stay curious and explore!”
7) “If you are new to be going on adventures, make the trip 50% planned beforehand and 50% improvisation. That way you will both feel safe in knowing where you’re going, but also how to reach your final stop. At the same time you have room for things to go wrong, or change your plans along the way.”
8) “The most important thing is to enjoy the trip, so don’t plan to see too much in too little time. Never rush from one experience to another, give yourself time to relax and enjoy your travel at the same time as you experience new stuff. Try to embrace the culture wherever you will go and open up your mind for new ideas of what life is all about.”
Travel Blogger at Taylored Adventures.
9) “Pack Light! The first time I traveled, I had a giant backpack that weighed at least fifty pounds AND a smaller pack I was carrying on my front. By week two, I had thrown away half of my belongings. Now I pack in a small backpack no matter how long the trip or no matter where I am going.”
Delisa and Marcin Zak
Travel bloggers at Destination: Overlooked.
10) “Pack hand sanitiser. Airplanes are one of the most germ-y places on Earth, and you definitely don’t want to get sick on your vacation! Make sure you have hand sanitiser and/or disinfecting wipes in your carry-on to wipe everything down when you get on board and to use before you eat and after you visit the lavatory.”
11) “Pack at least one (small) thing from home to stay comfortable while in a new place. For us it is mandatory to bring freshly roasted coffee beans, and a manual coffee grinder. For you, it might be your favourite tea or a pair of comfy slippers to keep your feet warm. This helps you keep a tiny bit of your at-home routine so you aren’t completely out of your element.”
Traveler and blogger at Travel in 35mm.
12) “Don’t panic. Every experienced traveler knows that with your passport and some money or a credit card you can go anywhere. If you find yourself in a bad situation keep calm and ask for help. Most people will be willing to help you.”
13) “If you have a phone, download now an offline maps app and a translator. Maps.me and Google Translate are the ones I use. They have saved me more times that I can count, and both make travel way easier.”
Helping people realise their sabbatical dreams at TheSabbaticalGuide.com.
14) “If you don’t know a city, then book accommodation near the university if it has one. Here you will tend to find some of the safest areas of town, with a thriving nightlife and clean/cheap restaurants.”
15) “Get up early! If you want to avoid the crowds and pickpockets then setting your alarm a bit earlier can be a great way to see a city. You’ll get the best light for photography, and will find alot of the most iconic landmarks all to yourself. Sure not everything will be open, but have a wander, take some great photos and then treat yourself to a coffee before heading inside.”
Backpacker and blogger from Top Travel Sights.
16) “Don’t be afraid to travel alone. It is far less scary than you think. You will always meet like-minded people along the way, especially if you are a single traveller. I have had some of my best experiences while travelling on my own.”
17) “Read travel blogs when researching your trip. Guidebooks are great for giving you practical information, but travel blogs are where you will find recommendations from people who have travelled to the same places as you. Find a few travel bloggers you like and read up on their experiences to have an idea of what a place is going to be like.
Travel blogger at explorewithlora.com.
18) “Make sure you are up to date with the vaccines you need for each country that you are visiting. The last thing you want is to get sick while in paradise when you could have avoided it, or even worse be denied entry into a country because you don’t have the proper vaccinations. Research what vaccines you need online or visit a local travel clinic where they will review each country in detail and provide you with all the information and vaccines you need.”
19) “Don’t be afraid to travel alone. You may think that travelling alone you will be lonely, but what you will actually find is the complete opposite. Solo travellers are more common then not on the road, and you will inevitably end up travelling together and forming amazing friendships. In my experience, I’ve met more people travelling solo then I have with friends.”
Michelle Della Giovanna
Full time explorer and travel blogger at FullTimeExplorer.com.
20) “A local SIM card can be a lifesaver. It’s one of the first things I buy when I get to a country. Having access to a map, emergency phone numbers, and a translation app is so reassuring. Now, I can relax when I travel without worrying about getting lost or racking up a giant phone bill.”
21) “I used to be guilty of over researching a place. Look up the basics about where you’re going and get ideas of what you want to do, but don’t spend hours poring over photos. Seeing something in real life, that you haven’t seen a million times in filtered photos, will make your trip really special.”
22) “Always, and I mean ALWAYS, smile at people helping you. The tourism industry is full of angry customers, and being the nice person in line pays off. I’ve been upgraded at the check in counter of the airport more times than I can count just for being a decent human being.”
World traveler, calculated risk-taker and blogger at NoRiskNoRewardBlog.
23) “When traveling by plane, getting to and from your destination can be fairly comfortable or absolutely miserable depending on the cabin temperature and your preferences. Dress in layers so you can remove layers on flights that are warm or stuffy or add layers on flights that are freezing. In my experience, I have found ski socks to be invaluable because they take up a small amount of space in a carry-on, but keep your feet nice and warm.”
24) “When traveling internationally, use a credit card that does not have foreign transaction fees, and use a credit union or bank that offers no or low foreign ATM withdrawal fees. Fees can add up so research and compare options before your trip.”
25) “Airlines don’t frequently lose luggage, but if you want to make sure you have your luggage during your trip, pack light and carry all of your luggage on the plane with you. Some airlines charge fees for checked luggage so using carry-on luggage can also save you money. Check the airline’s carry-on luggage policy to make sure your bags are compliant.”
26) “Skyscanner and Viber are two of my go-to apps. Use Skyscanner to search for the best and cheapest flight options across multiple airlines. Use Viber to make cheap calls to while abroad. Viber is great because the person being called does not have to have the app, and calls can be as cheap as pennies on the dollar per minute.”
Travel Blogger at HorizonUnknown.com.
27) “A travel journal is my favorite way of recording my journey. It can be a chore some days writing after a long day sightseeing, but reliving your adventures down the road is well worth it!”
28) “Quick drying underwear! Once I discovered just how valuable they were, I never leave for travel without at least one pair! Light, easy to wash as they dry so quick, meaning they are able to reuse them more often without doing a full load of laundry.”
30) “Shoelaces may be slightly weird suggestion, but they are just too versatile not to pack! Primarily used as a clothesline, I have also used laces to tie up a broken train window and secure wet clothes to the outside of my bag, I took three with me to Asia last year!”
Debra Corbeil & Dave Bouskill
Travel bloggers at one of the most popular travel blogs in the world ThePlanetD.com.
31) “Our best tip for travel is to have a plan but leave room for flexibility. Some of the best travel memories come from spontaneous moments. We suggest booking a hotel for the first night or two of a trip so you have a place to go and relax once you land at the airport but we then like to keep our plans up in the air. We may find a better place to stay or find a better area to visit. By having a loose schedule we are open to trying new things a taking in the locals suggestions.”