Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to make you worry that you have surely forgotten something important each time you leave your home.
And yes, it is entirely possible to keep your loved ones from worrying whenever you’re away as well (or at least make them worry a little less).
Sounds like a pipe dream? Well, prepare yourself to be amazed because it is not!
From thinking carefully about transportation (to go there and back as well as how to move around while you’re there), converting money BEFORE you leave, and packing smartly to downloading maps, researching everything thoroughly, and booking in advance — there are many things you can do to make traveling a safer and cheaper experience.
Of course, a lot will always depend on your chosen destination — the customs and the current situation — but there are some universal guidelines that you can apply to virtually any trip. And below, you will find seven valuable tips that will help you to just that — travel smartly!
Figure Out Public Transportation at Your Destination
This is an essential aspect of getting around, especially if you are new to the area and don’t know your way around at all. Be it public buses or trains, taking a taxi, or carpooling with someone — figure out how, where, and when you will be traveling.
It can also be used to your advantage when it comes to saving money on transportation. For example, if you decide to buy a weekly pass for the local public transport or read more about Lyft multiple stops, you will benefit from a much lower price.
Look Out for Promotions on Flights
In other words, don’t just assume that the best price on a flight is the one you see on the first page of the search results. You need to track those prices and see what else is available on the same day and for the next few days.
And if you have some flexibility in terms of when you are traveling — even better! You can often save quite a bit of money by traveling at less popular times of the year or even at a different time of day. An additional tip is to set up a price alert for your flights. Doing this will allow you to get notified as soon as any changes are made to your flight price, ensuring that you won’t miss out on any discounts.
Research, Research, Research!
You should always know what you’re getting into. A little research goes a long way, especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory. You will not only be prepared for the unexpected and know how to deal with it, but also learn how to make your trip more efficient and enjoyable by learning about the country’s customs, popular attractions, and most importantly — its weather.
Sounds like a no-brainer? It is! But you’d be surprised by how many people leave for their trips without doing any research. They don’t know the language, they don’t know the culture, and many of them don’t know what to expect from the place they are visiting. And it is not just about getting around — you need to know the customs, the laws, and what to do in case of emergency.
Check Out Couchsurfing and Other Free Accommodation Options
If you are on a tight budget, this is definitely the way to go — free accommodation! However, you need to accept the fact that you will probably have to share a room with other people (if not the host) or even sleep on a couch.
Even so, if you are traveling at a slow pace and don’t feel comfortable spending too much money on staying in hotels, hostels, or other types of accommodation — this is the way to go. You will also be able to experience the local culture much better as you will be staying with locals who can tell you all about their traditions, customs and even give you a few tips on where to go and what to see.
Pack Light and Smart
Packing light is crucial if you plan on traveling by foot or by public transport since it can become extremely annoying and uncomfortable if you have to carry a heavy backpack around all day. Remember, though, that carrying only a small handbag or a backpack with only the bare essentials also means that you will have to stop every now and then to purchase new supplies — it might be wise to leave some room for this in your luggage.
Still, try to pack as lightly as possible. Remember, everything in your bag should be helpful and absolutely vital for your trip.
There are many ways to minimise the used space, starting with using vacuum bags to get rid of air entirely so that you save both space and weight. And while it may seem that only bulky items need to be avoided — even small things can get quite heavy when you have too many of them.
That is why it is vital to keep a list of everything you want to bring with you. It will allow you to pick only those things that are truly needed and nothing extra.
Check Your Insurance
It’s a good idea to know what your insurance covers, if anything at all. It is a critical aspect of traveling. Whether going to the beach for just a weekend or spending several months abroad — always make sure that you have appropriate insurance. It may not cover everything, but it will give you peace of mind and the necessary protection in case of an emergency. If you are planning on driving, you might want to check with your car insurance policy as well.
Download Maps to Access Them Offline
You’re probably already aware of the importance of maps and always having them around. However, you may not have considered that you can actually download maps to access them when you need them. They don’t take up much space, are available offline, and can be used even without an internet connection. This way, if you run into any issues with data or GPS, you will still be able to access maps and not starve to death while trying to get around.
To sum it all up, traveling is a fun and exciting experience, and you should definitely take advantage of every opportunity to expand your horizons and discover new things. If done correctly, it can provide you with numerous fantastic experiences, help you make new friends, and even grow as a person.
The tips described above will help you travel smartly, safely, and cheaply — whether you are planning a weekend trip or a longer vacation, they will prove invaluable. Remember to figure out your transportation options at the place of your choice, pack lightly, and check your insurance before going on a new adventure. Stay safe and enjoy your trip!