Because we are in the thick of the busiest travel season on the planet, it helps to have a few travel hacks at your disposal to make your journey simpler, keep you safe, and to have the best experience possible. Here are 21 travel tips we’ve found useful over the years.
1. Ensure that someone at home has a copy of your itinerary and a scanned copy of your passport. Leave important passwords with a trusted family member or friend so they can help out if needed.
2. Take front and back pictures of your credit cards, driver’s license and passport. Email them to yourself and keep a copy on your phone.
3. Take photos of any receipts – to keep track of expenses if you are on a business trip. This will help you in submitting expense reports, should that be an issue, when you return.
4. Email travel bloggers in the cities you will be visiting for tips on where to go. Most bloggers are easy to contact and great about answering questions.
5. Local university and college students who live in the city you are visiting are a great resource for tour guides and translators as they are often looking for opportunities to make a little extra money.
6. If you’re travelling to a country and you don’t speak the language, take a picture of the hotel to show to a cab driver at the airport. Many hotels also have business cards at the front desk with a map to the hotel. This saved my but in China on multiple occasions!
7. If you don’t have E-Tickets, take photos of airline tickets so you have a copy on your phone.
8. Ensure you’ve got out-of-country travel insurance. Read the fine print and ask questions. Something as simple as changing the dosage of a drug will negate some aspects of the insurance and often pre-existing conditions may not be covered.
9. Check well in advance of a planned trip to see if you have all the required shots. Make sure you keep your tetanus shot up to date especially if you’re an outdoor adventurer heading somewhere remote.
10. Getting up at the crack of dawn can give you a unique look at a city. Attractions are usually less crowded very early in the day as well.
11. Make sure you have small denomination bills so you can easily tip without having to ask for change. Ensure your bills are clean and crisp. Some countries won’t accept well-used, dirty bills.
12. Energy bars, nuts and seeds make great snacks on the go, stay with you longer, and are a far more healthier/cheaper alternative to airport food.
13. Read up on etiquette and tipping customs before you arrive in the countries you are planning on visiting.
14. If you must eat fresh produce in Asia, India, Africa or other countries with risky food standards, choose fruits and vegetables that you can peel.
15. If you’re allergic to certain foods, take photos and learn to say “I am allergic” in the language of the country you’re visiting.
16. Social media is a great place to ask for recommendations. Millions of travellers post to social media and are happy to share advice.
17. Eat where the locals eat. If a place looks busy, there is a very good reason.
18. Never leave the sign on your door saying “Make up room”, it tells thiefs you are absent. When you leave the room, use the “Do Not Disturb” sign.
19. Get a good workout, jog or brisk walk in on the morning after arrival to combat jetlag. This will keep your energy up and you’ll avoid missing any travel days.
20. Take a picture of your baggage tag along with your luggage as a backup.
21. Back up your vacation photos on a cloud like Google or Dropbox.