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JustFly’s 101 Best Travel Tips (2019)

Travel Advice
We travel for different reasons—leisure, business, personal growth and more. Travel should also be simple and enjoyable if you’re well-prepared. It’s good to learn from your mistakes but preventing them is better. To make things easier for you, We’ve created the ultimate travel advice list: 101 of the best travel tips you can find on the Internet. They’re separated into 5 categories: traveler’s mindset, money, must-haves, planning, and finally health and safety. Let’s get started!

TRAVELER’S MINDSET

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1. Be Patient

If things can go wrong, they probably will. Flights get delayed, hotel rooms aren’t always ready on time, restaurants have lineups. These things can’t be changed. The way you respond to them can. Practice patience.

2. Be a Morning Person

Travel tips like this one are low risk, high reward. Start your day at or before sunrise. You get more genuine interactions with locals and more vitamin D. There are smaller crowds. You take nicer pictures. You literally get more out of your day and trip. Set your alarm. Wake up early.

3. Don’t Take Yourself Seriously

Funny, awkward and weird things happen, when they do, don’t get upset. You’ll probably never see these people again. Find the silver lining and laugh. Embarrassing moments make great travel stories.

4. Speak with Locals

You wouldn’t like it if someone walked into your house, ate your food, slept in your bed and didn’t say hello. Don’t be that person. Leave your comfort zone. Smile, wave and be friendly. Communicate however you can. It opens doors to new experiences.

5. People Watch

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of traveling. Find a coffee shop, public park, or anywhere else with a good flow of people. Take a seat, a few deep breaths and let your senses take over. You learn a lot about a place from its people. Pay attention. This is one of my favorite travel tips on this list.

6. Be a Photographer

Memories fade. Digital photography doesn’t. Pictures are also a great way to inspire others to travel. Take pictures of locations, food and people, then put your camera down. Enjoy the moment. Also, practice photo etiquette. Sometimes cameras aren’t allowed. Some people don’t want their picture taken. Be respectful.

7. Be Determined

Traveling makes us resourceful. Face challenges and be creative to find solutions. Ran out of money? Ask friends, family, or work somewhere for cash. Missed a connection? Find an alternate route. When faced with obstacles, never quit.

8. Be Your Best Self

This is one of the easier travel tips on this list. Make your encounter with people memorable. Be kind when they’re unpleasant. Remain calm when they’re irritable. Try to be empathetic whenever possible, especially when things go wrong. This is what travel is about. Keep an open mind. Leave your stereotypes at home.

9. Give Back

You probably already believe in a worthy cause. Do some research and find a way to help. It may be the most rewarding part of your trip. It’s affordable, may not take much time, and it’s a great way to meet people and get cultural insight. Pay it forward.

Here are some excellent volunteer sites:

10. Be Fearless

Millions of people travel the world every year. They return home unscathed. The world isn’t as dangerous as it’s made out to be. Be aware of your surroundings, make sensible decisions and trust in your fellow humans. You’ll be fine.

11. Leave Your Comfort Zone

Don’t stick to what you know. If you wanted to do the same thing every day you would stay at home. Afraid of heights? Go parasailing or bungee jumping. Anti-social? Force yourself to speak with strangers. Break away from patterns. Push your limits.

12. Experiment with Travel

The only way to truly become a better traveler is trial and error. Try traveling alone, with a significant other or in a large group. Travel on a budget or luxuriously. Try whatever you need to find what’s right for you.

Here’s a list of blogs with excellent travel tips for different types of travel:

13. Speak the Language

This is a sign of humility and respect. It’s easy to learn a few common expressions in a foreign language. It breaks down barriers, makes people more willing to help you, and almost always gets a good response. Suck at languages? Use an app.

Here are 3 of the best language apps:

14. Follow the Right Crowd

Business travelers spend a lot of time in airports. They have tight schedules and are efficient. Whenever possible stand behind them in line. The opposite is true for families, tourist groups, sports teams and more. Avoid them like the plague.

15. Try New Things

One of the more important travel tips in this post. Don’t say no before trying something. You learn about yourself through new experiences. Certain activities, foods, and drinks are a right of passage in some parts of the world. Keep an open mind.

16. Improvise

Plan accommodation and some activities for the first few days of your trip but leave room to maneuver. You may make friends who want you to tag along. You may find better accommodation. Keep your options open.

17. Take Reviews with a Grain of Salt

Reviews tell one side of the story, often from disgruntled clients. It’s important to check them, but don’t live by them. Ownership, management and employees change; procedures do too. Try things for yourself. Don’t miss out on what could be a great experience because of someone else. I’ve seen other blogs mention this in their own travel tips, and with good reason.

18. Expect the Worst

Mental preparation is a big part of successful travel. Culture shock happens. Language barriers happen. Discrimination happens. Don’t let them ruin your trip.

19. Take Notes

Write down the names of people you meet, places you go, and things you do. You think you won’t, but forgetting is inevitable. Preserve your memories. Years from now you’ll be glad you did.

20. Do What You Love

Cheesy, but true. Traveling isn’t a competition. It’s not about who visits the most countries. Nobody cares about who sees the most tourist attractions. Travel is personal and subjective. Do what you love, even if it’s atypical.

21. Use Your Hands

Eating with your hands is a sign of care and respect in some countries. Hand gestures are also a great workaround for language barriers. However, be aware of offensive hand gestures. The same gesture may mean something different abroad.

22. Say Yes Often

Come out of your shell. Try something new. Get in the habit of saying yes to new things more often (be aware of untrustworthy people and situations).

23. Learn Something New

You may never have another chance to learn how to make handmade pasta in Italy or scuba dive in Malaysia. Take a 1-hour or half-day class. Learn new things wherever you go.

24. Make Playlists

Science proves music is strongly connected to personal memories. Create a playlist of the music you listen to during your trip. Make your memories last longer. Use the Shazam app to find music on the go.

25. Travel Slow

Take your time. See as much of a place as you need before heading to another destination. This also helps save money as you spend less on transportation.

26. Travel Where You’re From

This is one of the most underutilized travel tips ever. Small budget? Low on time? Travel around your country. It’s affordable, requires less preparation and can be eye-opening.

27. Be Ethical

Be conscious of activities that harm animals, the economy or culture. IE: Reserves and sanctuaries are generally good. Zoos are bad. If you don’t get to interact with people, animals or the environment in a natural and welcoming way, avoid it.

28. Spend Time Alone

Spending every moment of every day with someone is tough. Let your travel partners know your plans, then head off on a solo adventure. It’s a useful way to diffuse a tense situation too.

29. Bring Back Souvenirs

Don’t let travel snobs shame you out of buying souvenirs. They’re good for the local economy and your memories. Look for small, light, wearable souvenirs like bracelets, necklaces and shirts.

30. Talk Less, Listen More

Work on your listening skills. Ask questions. Let people tell you their story. Resist the urge to make yourself the center of attention. People will be more open to you, and you’ll be more likable.

MONEY

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31. Hide Money

Outside of North America, cash rules. Wallets get lost and stolen. Cards get blocked, defrauded and damaged. Keep anywhere from $50 to $500 cash on you whenever you can. Carry an extra Interac and credit card too. Be creative with where you hide them.

32. Pamper Yourself

Budget travel is great. It helps you travel longer and have more memorable experiences. It’s also mentally draining. Treat yourself to a nice restaurant or a few nights in a luxury hotel from time to time. Get the full range of a travel experience.

33. Save on Accommodations

Accommodations can get expensive. Luckily there are loads of affordable options: couch surfing, dorm rooms in budget hostels, apartment rentals and more. For more savings, stay just outside of city centers or touristy areas.

Find cheap accommodation with these sites:

34. Use No Fee Cards

Flights, accommodations, food, activities, souvenirs and more–travel can be expensive. Use no fee debit cards and credit cards. Avoid being double-charged and stretch your budget further.

35. Don’t Fly Direct

Flying direct is faster. It’s also more expensive. Want to save money? Consider taking a layover or two. You’ll preserve your budget and chances are you’ll only lose a few hours at your destination.

Find cheap flights on these sites:

36. Always Ask for More

Arrive at the airport early, ask for an earlier flight or an upgrade to a better seat. Ask for a nicer room with a better view. More lotion, shampoo and a free toothbrush? Go for it. The point is, ask for more. You have nothing to lose.

37. Book Where There’s Free Wi-Fi

Your spending money on flights, accommodation, food, activities and everything else. There’s no reason to pay for Wi-Fi too. If the Wi-Fi isn’t free, find a better option.

38. Book Where Breakfast is Free

Let’s say you spend $10 per day on breakfast for 10 days straight. That’s $100 you didn’t have to spend. Free breakfast at your hostel or hotel means saving time and money. Follow the free food.

39. Leave Tourist Areas to Eat

Restaurants modify their menus and increase prices due to the volume of foreign clients they receive. Get an authentic culinary experience and save a few dollars by eating outside of touristy areas.

40. Don’t Skip Lunch

In some countries, restaurants close for a few hours after lunch. Don’t get stuck on an empty stomach. Bonus: if you have champagne taste on a beer budget, fancy (read: expensive) restaurants often cut their prices at lunch. Similar food options but less crowds and better pricing.

41. Avoid Taxis

Taxis are available just about everywhere, take them if necessary. However, keep in mind they’re rarely the cheapest option. Before hopping in, make sure they accept a form of payment you can provide.

42. Take Advantage of Freebies

There are free activities everywhere. Find them. Look into free museum days, walking tours, and street performances. Make a list of public beaches, hiking trails and free festivals. It’s a great way to meet people too.

43. Bargain Whenever Possible

Haggling is normal in many countries. Many merchants do this playfully. Be friendly, firm and unafraid to shop around. The goal is to get a fair price, not to bankrupt the local economy. Play nicely and everyone wins.

44. Use Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Call your bank or credit card provider. Ask about rewards cards. Do online research. This is important if you travel often. It’s an excellent way to save big on flights.

Learn how to use points for travel on the following sites:

45. Join mailing lists

Flight deals are everywhere. Have them sent to you. Your inbox may have more clutter, but your bank account will have more money too. Mailing lists and fare alerts help you save on flights. Get signed up.

46. Protect Your Financial Information

Cover your pin number when making ATM withdrawals. Don’t connect to personal banking or credit card accounts in exchange for free public Wi-Fi. Don’t let fraudsters ruin your vacation.

47. Travel at the Right Time

If you want to save, travel against the grain in low season. Avoid traveling when everyone else does. Places are less crowded. Flights, accommodations and activities are cheaper as well.

48. Exchange Currency in Advance

Exchange currency at your bank before leaving. Avoid airport exchange counters as their fees are high. ATMs typically have current rates. If you have a no-fee card, you’ll save as much as possible.

49. Bring More Money

If you can afford it, bring more money than you need.

50. Monitor Your Spending

Money goes fast. There are dozens of great money management apps. Find the best one for you!

MUST-HAVES

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51. Scarf or Sarong

Possibly the most versatile item in your luggage. They can be used as masks, pouches, bandages, to mark luggage and a lot more. They’re cheap and easy to find. Don’t travel without one.

52. Ear Plugs

Sometimes you need to drown out the noise. IE: construction, horns, babies, obnoxious people and any other form of noise pollution. Ear plugs are always a good idea.

53. Extra Undergarments

You’re more active when you travel. You go sightseeing, swimming, hiking and more. You spend more time exposed to the elements. Fresh socks and underwear are a must for any trip.

54. Lock

They’re cheap and practical. Lock your things at a bus or train station to lighten your load for the day. Keep your belongings safe in your hostel dorm room. A lock is never a bad idea. Combination locks are best.

55. Water Bottle

Stay hydrated and healthy (especially in hot locations). They’re affordable, good for hot and cold drinks, and save you money in the long term. What’s the best travel water bottle?

56. Extra Chargers and Batteries

Whether for a camera, smartphone, tablet or e-reader, stay charged up. Don’t miss out on memories, lose access to information or entertainment. Extra chargers and batteries go a long way.

57. Sunblock or Sunscreen

Sunblock and sunscreen are not the same, but when traveling to a hot destination, have one of them with you. Your skin and dermatologist will thank you for it.

58. Sleep Mask

You may not know your sleeping arrangements. Large windows and see-through curtains can be problematic. A sleep mask helps get a good night of rest.

59. Carry Extra Passport Photos

Never underestimate the power of thinking ahead. If your passport is lost, damaged or stolen, you’ll be glad you have extras. They’re also good for travel visas and may come in handy for other things.

60. Mobile Hotspot

Have a deadline to meet? Can’t miss the big game? Carry a mobile hotspot wherever you go. If you’re stuck on a slow network or have no network, these are life-savers.

61. Flip-Flops

They’re light and inexpensive. They’ll protect your feet in bathroom showers and are great in hot countries.

62. Apps

There are millions of apps. Find the ones that help you travel better. Here are some of my favorites: Google Translate Camera, Google Maps and Citymapper.

63. Wet Wipes and Tissues

Spills happen often. You may need to use the washroom in an inconvenient location. Maybe you’ll need to blow your nose. Bring travel size wipes and tissue everywhere.

64. Waterproof Bag

Beach days, lagoons and waterfalls are great parts of any trip. Keep your valuables safe and dry with a waterproof backpack.

65. Protective Cases

Protect your devices from daily coffee spills, slips and unforeseen events. Get the right sleeve or case for your gadgets.

66. Universal Adapter

Different countries have different electrical outlets types. Universal adapters are an easy solution to a common problem.

67. Space Saver Bags

Create space in your luggage. Protect your clothes from smells, dirt, spills or worse. They can be reused and are perfect for the person who always over packs. See the best ones here.

68. Neck Pillow

They’re ugly, but useful. Don’t start your trip with pain and stiffness from an uncomfortable flight.

PLANNING

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69. Backup Your Data

Devices get damaged, lost and compromised too often. Save your videos, photos, documents and other important information in several places. Email, removable hard drives and cloud storage are the best options.

70. Pack Light

Travel with as little as possible. Make sure your outfits can be mixed and matched. Leave room for electronics. Pack solid, travel size toiletries and extra underwear in your carry-on. Unsure about packing something? Forget it. Pack in advance. Especially if you’re leaving early.

71. Check Local Tourism Boards

Visit a tourism office when you arrive at your destination. Check their website beforehand. It’s a great way to plan preemptively. Find information on free activities, addresses, schedules and more.

72. Ask for Information

At airports, hotels, restaurants, gas stations—ask for directions or other forms of help. Most locals are thrilled to be of assistance. Ask and you shall receive.

73. Do Your Homework

Research. Read articles and books to learn about customs and culture. Ask for prices before doing things. IE: boarding a bus, eating street food etc. Be in the know.

74. Know When to Book Flights

Book 2-3 months before your departure date. Keep in mind, prices may vary based on seasonality and major events (holidays, sports, festivals etc).

75. Know How to get Around

Know your transportation options in advance and plan a more seamless trip. Buses, subways, ride shares, ferries and more.

Here’s a list of the best Uber alternatives around the world

76. Take Pictures of Your Luggage

Tag your luggage in an easily recognizable way. Take pictures of your luggage and its contents. If it gets lost, it’s easier to help airport workers find it, especially with language barriers. It’s good for insurance purposes as well. Travel tips like this one can save you from a lot of stress during your time overseas.

77. Dress the Part

Different climates and customs call for different clothes. Hiking boots, rain coats, mittens, religious dress, you name it. Unless you’re traveling for a formal event, keep your clothes cheap, plain, and functional.

78. Consider a City Pass

If you’re staying in one city for more than a few days, city passes are great. Save on transportation, attractions and sometimes shopping. Many major cities have 1-day, 3-day and week-long passes. This is one of the most budget friendly travel tips on this list.

79. Book Online and Save

Once you’ve chosen activities, book online if possible. It’s a simple way to sometimes skip lines, get credit card rewards, and get online only discounts. You may get insurance coverage from your credit card too.

80. Make a Packing List

Packing lists help you organize what to bring or not. They can be reused, reduce chances of forgetting items and give you an idea of your luggage weight.

81. Make a Vision Board

Forget the logistics for now. Get creative. Have fun. Write and find images for everything you’ve imagined for your trip. It’s all fair game—what you’ll wear, eat, do. Go wild. Who says arts and crafts are for kids?

82. Write Down Addresses

Whether you’re staying at a hotel or campsite, this is key. Save it in your phone. Email it to yourself. Text it to a friend. Write in the palm of your hand if you need to. This makes it easier to ask for directions, plan activities, and avoid getting lost.

83. Notify Your Bank

Do it in person, by phone, or online. Financial institutions have sophisticated technology to detect changes in your spending habits. Skip the hassle and embarrassment of having your cards suspended. Let them know in advance.

84. Share Luggage

If you’re traveling as a couple or group, leave some clothing and other items in your partner’s or someone else’s luggage in exchange for some of theirs. If either of your luggage is lost or stuck in transit, all hope won’t be lost.

85. Unlock Your Phone

There are a few travel tips that everyone should know. This is one of them: service providers typically unlock smartphones upon purchase, but not all. Make sure yours is. To use your phone outside of Wi-Fi networks overseas, you’ll need a local sim card. International sim cards only work in unlocked phones.

86. Know When Your Passport Expires

This is important for long-term travelers. Know your passport expiry date. Don’t waste time looking for an embassy and money on extra fees. Get this done at home.

87. Double-Check Before Leaving

Do a final check: between sheets, in drawers, beneath beds—anywhere you can forget valuable belongings. Make a habit of this.

88. Know How to Find Free Wi-Fi

Rule of thumb: International fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, and hotels typically have free Wi-Fi. If you’re in a jam, these are good starting points.

HEALTH & SAFETY

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89. Travel Light

This reduces chances of injury and fatigue. You’ll be more mobile and less of a potential target for sketchy people. Only keep necessities with you. This depends on the traveler, location and planned activities, but the fact remains; less is more.

90. Buy Groceries

Eating out is fun, but costly and sometimes unhealthy. Book somewhere with a kitchen and do groceries. At the very least, buy fruit snacks for long days on the road, especially when traveling with kids or if hunger ruins your mood.

91. Make a First Aid Kit

You never know what will happen, or when. Assemble a mini first aid kit. Contents to consider: plasters, bandages, safety pins, gloves, tweezers, scissors etc. If you get hurt, you’ll be prepared.

92. Know Where to Stay

Plan your stay carefully. Consider price and location. You don’t go to unsafe locations in your hometown. Don’t do it abroad. Research. Use Google Street View to get an idea of what the area looks like.

93. Be Sensible

Use the caution and logic you use at home. Don’t leave valuables unattended. Steer clear of danger, especially after dark. Know what to do or who to call in emergency situations.

94. Get Travel Insurance

Have insurance if you get hurt, lose baggage, damage your equipment or more. Read your credit card insurance policy. This is one of the most important travel tips on this list.

95. Share Your Itinerary

Let someone know where you are. It takes a few seconds and is crucial during emergencies. Bad things happen. Take the best precautions.

96. Get a Checkup

Get a general checkup before leaving. Do your research. Get your travel vaccines if need be. Better safe than sorry.

97. Use a VPN

VPNs are Virtual Private Networks. They’re safe connections to other networks on the Internet. Access blocked sites, mask your browsing, avoid an information compromise and more.

98. Rest

You’ll want to do a lot in a limited amount of time. Don’t. Traveling is hard work. Rest will help you fight jet lag and make the best of your travels.

99. Exercise

People often gain weight while traveling. Try this 20-minute hotel room workout each morning before heading out.

100. Use Your Front Pockets

Pickpockets are fast. Keep your money and IDs safe by keeping your wallet in your front pocket.

101. Birth Control

Know what’s cheaper than raising a child? Birth control. Also, the Morning-After Pill (Plan-B) is sold over the counter in many countries; of all the souvenirs you bring home, infections and parenthood shouldn’t be one of them.

That’s all folks—the 101 best travel tips in the world. Use them on your next trip. Share them with your loved ones. Read them again and again if you need a refresher. Safe travels!

Need some more help? Visit our travel advice page!