Traveling in the 21st century is unprecedented. We have options to fly anywhere in the world for a fraction of the price previous generations had to pay. And with sites like AirBnb, Couch Surfing, and VRBO, there’s always somewhere to crash with virtually any budget ranging from free to 5 Stars. However, everyone seems to have a travel tip to share. But what ones are actually the most helpful when you hit the road? Here are 10 Little Known Travel Tips You Won’t Find on TripAdvisor from someone who has flown over a million miles to over 40 countries.
- Purchase some anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking undergarments and take them on any trips that may involve high temps, a lot of walking, excessive physical activity, or prolonged wear/re-use of said undergarments.
- Carry the travel-size packets of laundry detergent (Tide makes good ones) so you can wash clothes in your bathroom sink. This works surprisingly well, particularly for undergarments and socks. And hotel laundry fees are insane. Avoid at all costs, unless your employer is footing the bill and won’t reject the expense
- AVOID CHECKING BAGS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! I have flown A LOT, many times for several weeks at a time, and I’ve very rarely had to check a bag. I can fit two weeks worth of clothes into one 26″ carry-on roller. Just pack smart. If you check bags you run the ridiculously high risk of them getting lost (I’ve experienced about a 10-15% loss rate, later to be recovered, while checking). You have to wait much longer at the airport while your bags make their way to the conveyor belt, and you run the risk of pissing off all of the other colleagues in your party who were smart and carried on, and now have to wait for your stupid ass to get his bags.
- Don’t buy trendy four-wheel, polycarbonate luggage. This is a huge trend right now and these are the worst bags for travel. They’re terribly on non-smooth, flat surface, the dent and scratch VERY easily (just look at the floor models in your local luggage shop), they’re slow, and they have easy-to-break wheels. A durable two-wheeled roller is superior. Get one with nice, big rollerblade wheels. And spend money for a good one. It will last longer. I have a Tumi that has lasted me six years of heavy travel and is still going strong. Before it I went through about one bag a year. And Tumi will replace broken parts for free. Great service.
- Pack up a small first aid kit that includes pain meds, anti-diahhrial, laxatives, Benedryl, cold meds, Tums, sore throat treatment, bandages, disinfectant, and other things you’d want if you we’re sick and didn’t have easy access to them. Always keep this in your bag.
- Buy a $20 phone calling card in case you get stuck somewhere and don’t have money or phone. Keep this away from your wallet and somewhere that it’s least likely to disappear.
- Similar to above, buy a Visa gift card with $100-200 on it and keep in a similar safe, hidden location. This is only to be used for emergencies. Losing your wallet and having no ID nor money while traveling abroad can be a nightmare.
- Store copies of critical info, including IDs, in an Evernote note or Dropbox folder so you can access it from any browser if needed.
- Store your credit card numbers in an encrypted Evernote note, assuming you trust Evernote and its encryption. This can come in very handy.
- Carry a ten foot length of brightly colored string/para cord in your suitcase. If you use the hotel safe, tie one end to the handle and the other end to something you can’t possibly forget, like a suitcase. Otherwise there’s a good chance that you’ll forget that you put things in the safe and will have to get the hotel to ship it to you. Not that I learned this lesson the hard way…
Now that you have a good base on how to travel efficiently, check out this video on where some top destinations for travel. Thanks to the Vagabrothers for the video:
Now that you know 10 Little Known Travel Tips, you’ll want to book some flights to get to your desired destination. For this, you’ll want to dive into our article “Fly Anywhere In The World For Next To Nothing? YES!”