I have compiled a list of 10 short travel tips that I discovered either through personal experience or learned it from other experienced travelers.
I am going to skip through the basics, like don’t forget your passport/id or flight ticket and instead focus on things that are easily overlooked.
10. Check the distance from the airport to the city
This is aimed at Europeans especially. Ultra lowcost airlines in Europe (especially Ryanair) often fly to smaller airports as far as 100km away from the destination. Transit to the city often costs 2-3x more as the ticket, so in the end, it’s often better to fly with a classic airline.
One good example of this is Luxembourg-Hahn (the airlines call it Frankfurt-Hahn, but its closer to Luxembourg than to Frankfurt).
9. Don’t buy trendy four-wheel, poly-carbonate luggage
The title says it all. Stay away from four-wheel, poly-carbonate 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 roller-blade wheels. And spend money for a good one. It will last longer.
8. Pack a first aid kit
Pack up a small first aid kit that includes pain meds, anti-diarrheal, 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.
7. Know how to book
If you’re under 26, book via statravel.com for cheaper fares. In general, vayama.com has some cheaper international fares other sites don’t. And don’t forget about Google Flights which is in our opinion, a life saver!
6. Better safe than sorry
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.
5. Better safe than sorry part II
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. Also, 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.
4. Don’t forget your sunglasses
Assuming you are traveling during the summer. I myself, travel a lot so I dedicate a spare pair to my suitcase. It sucks to leave an overcast Seattle, not thinking about sun, then show up in a sunny place without the shades.
3. Bring some entertainment with you
Buy a tablet and load it up with videos and eBooks. This is my most essential travel companion. Not only does it help pass the time on long flights but it helps entertain you when CNN International is the only English speaking channel in your hotel room.
2. Know how to choose the security line
Avoid the security line with families, kids, elderly, or people who look like they never travel. They will take longer and if there bag gets flagged it will slow you down. (George Clooney’s character nailed this bit in that one movie he was in where he was hired to fire people).
1. Choose the right camera
One of the most important things that you do on your vacations is taking pictures. If you do enjoy photography, consider avoiding the hefty DSLR unless you’re going somewhere really amazing and instead carry your smartphone and a Sony RX100 (get the new version ). The Sony fits in your pocket and takes AMAZING photos that rival DSLRs in quality. And unless you’re a pro, you’re not going to see much of a difference. Shoot in Camera RAW format so you have more flexibility when editing in Lightroon later. DSLRs and the obligatory collection of lenses are VERY heavy. And they’re thief bait.