Do you want to go somewhere for a trip? The travel planner tips help you to get ready easily for your tour. I propose you some advice to improve your experience. Traveling in the years helped me to learn how to avoid bad surprises, at least the majority of them. I just want to share my knowledge with you.
Travel planner tips: the suitcase
A traveler has to deal with the airline company policy about the luggage. You need to respect the rules about the size and the weight. This means to have the proper bag and of course to check carefully what to put inside. The travel planner tips give you the chance to bring all what you really need and do not pay for the exceeded weight.
A small bag
Buy a light suitcase, because at the airport they weigh the luggage, including the tare. So you have to search for a strong and light item, ready to protect your personal objects, without to make them exceed the quota admitted. Then purchase a small backpack or bag, around 35/40 liters. This is useful to not carry too much but to have the most important items with you. Especially in case, they will lose your luggage.
It is not mandatory to change clothes every day or more times in a day, but after some time you need to do it. The travel planner tips include a part about what to put in the luggage. The best advice is to prepare a list, according to your agenda and to the type of trip. If you go for business maybe you have to consider suites, ties and so on. On holiday you can be freer. Count how many days you will stay there and calculate the clothes you need.
A towel in the suitcase
Are you going to walk a lot under the sun or to go hiking in nature? Well, you will sweat a lot. For this reason, you need a towel. Also if you find a good place close to the sea or to a river, a towel is perfect to stand on the beach or to dry off. Also for a picnic, a towel help you. You can use it in many situations and it doesn’t weigh much.
Don’t forget extra socks
You will walk a lot during your trip and you won’t have the chance to do laundry. So for taking care of your feet and feel fresh, you should have more socks than the ones you normally need. They don’t use much space in the suitcase and they are not heavy, so carry the socks. You will be glad to follow this particular step among the travel planner tips.
If you like the adventure or you like to walk in nature during the night, maybe to see the stars, the flashlight is highly suggested. There is the risk to fall down, so this item becomes essential. In the case of a blackout in your room, you will be ready. Are you traveling with friends? In the evening you can tell them some ghosts stories and the flashlight will help you to be more realistic.
When you go around the world you are exposed to climate changes and also to accidents. Something bad can happen, so be prepared. You never know what you may need, so be sure to have some band-aids, some antibacterical cream or liquid to wash and protect your hands and skin and the basic medicines for you. It is a good idea, as I suggest with my travel planner tips, to include ointments for minor cuts and scrapes.
Take a picture of your luggage
It is always risky to travel with the suitcase. Due to the high traffic in the airports, your luggage can be lost during the traveling process. So for the loss report is really useful to attach a picture of your suitcase. It will help them to find it. Anyway, I suggest you keep track of it. How? Easy, today there are different GPS systems created to monitor the luggage position. There is a chip inside the label with your name. You can use an app on your smartphone and insert a code to know where it is.
Clothes and accessories
The travel planner tips concern also the clothes and accessories because these are the main elements to be comfortable while you go around. First of all, put in your luggage good shoes to walk with comfort. In case you need also something more elegant for a special occasion, you can put in the suitcase one more pair of shoes.
Get a jacket with you because during the night the temperature goes down and it can happen a cold day during your trip. Take with you some earplugs, because you might find snorers, also on the plane. You need to sleep to recover energy for your visits, with this simple item you will save your rest.
The last advice concern sunscreen. It depends on your destination, but consider that sunscreen gives you long-term benefits. Scientists said that and they are right. It is so nice to stay under the sun, but it is dangerous for your skin and your health. You always need protection.
Travel planner tips: the flight
I suggest you follow the website that offers deals on plane tickets. There are different platform ready to send you some newsletters and especially updates regarding the airline companies proposals. You can subscribe just using your e-mail and also insert some data regarding your destination so you will get the news about the prices.
Book your tickets in advance
As you know very well, if you book a flight ticket at the last moment, you will pay a huge amount of money. That is why to find the best rate, I suggest you book 2 or 3 months in advance. Also because of a few days before your departure, you will just spend hours to try to save 10 USD, without any good result. You can really save more money following my tip.
Miles for discounts and free tickets
If you have a fidelity card issued by an airline company or by a hotel chain, you collected some miles. Maybe the amount of the points that you have is enough for a discount or for a free ticket. Don’t forget also to check the airline or hotel’s partners, because they can have good offers. You can redeem the miles not only for a plane ticket but also for a room, a transfer and much more. You save money with this step.
Find the cheap connections
Among the best travel planner tips, this is one of the most important, if you don’t like to spend a lot of money. Never book a direct flight. Why? It costs much more. Search for the planes that go to smaller airports and then use buses and trains in combination with the plane. You will reach your destination for a better rate. In order to find your flight, use the search engines. They are a lot. Momondo, Google Flights, and Skyscanner.
At the airport
Once you purchased the ticket you completed the first step of your plan. Before to write the other tips, I give you an advice that you should use at the airport. When you go to the security control follow the business travelers. Why? Because they are used to take planes and they are fast and well organized. Never go behind families because they need time to manage the stuff and the kids. You will stay blocked for a long time.
Travel planner tips: the accommodation
When the flight is booked you have to go forward in organizing your trip. So it’s time to think about the hotel. Hotel, hostel or apartment? It depends on what you like and on what you want. The hotel offers comfort and tailor-made services, of course, according to the ranking. Its cost is generally the highest. The apartment gives you the freedom to move, but it is your duty to manage it, to keep it clean. In this case, you can prepare the meals by yourself and save money. In the end the hostel: cheap, without specific services and with good chances to meet new people and make friends.
If you want to find the best accommodation for you, you have to make a bit of exploration. In my travel planner tips I suggest you check on a complete search engine, then you can also book through the official website of the hotel. Anyway if you go on Booking.com and then you check the various options using filters, you will get a list of possibilities. So you compare prices and features and you choose. The website proposes to you also some advice on your destination so you can get inspiration for your tour. If you want to move efficiently on Booking, read my previous guide.
Travel planner tips: tickets for the attractions
Surely before to leave you to decide what to see do your research online. I suggest you plan your activities and book them online. It is not valid for all the world and all the types of tour, but checking the offers of the local tour operators you find discounts. It is useful to book online for other reasons. Paying by credit card you have more protection on your purchase and you can collect some point as cashback to spend them on other services.
Pre-book your visit
In Italy to enter to Uffizi in Florence or Vatican Museum in Rome takes a lot of time. This situation is common in many countries with important attractions. The queue is so long and this reduces the time for the visit. That is why it is better to spend a very little amount of money more to skip the line. Consider that online the museums’ websites are going to offer directly the ticket you need to enter immediately, as a fast track to the airport.
Don’t forget that there are some free tours offered by some local associations or also by some agencies. They are generally walking tours and the guide is a volunteer who explains to you the main attractions and some curiosities. You can learn so much, flood questions the guide and meet other travelers. It is a good experience and it doesn’t cost anything. The world is full of walking tour companies, you can easily find them online and get in touch with them already before the departure.
How can I exclude the museum card from the travel planner tips? I can’t definitely. Most of the cities in the world give the chance to get discounted rates for access to the main attractions. It costs less than the sum of the different tickets’ rates. Sometimes the price includes also the public transportation so you can move around the city for a very cheap rate or free.
Many times happens to discover something particular in a place and to change idea on the tour. At least it happens to me. That is why I suggest you do not plan too many visits during your travel. Leave space in your day. You can rest, do shopping or dedicate more time to an attraction that you like a lot.
Travel planner tips: money
You already spent money to purchase your flight ticket, to book the hotel and so on, but you need them to manage your stay also. So let me give you some advice on how you can be safe and get all the benefits. My travel planner tips concern credit cards and also the cash that you will put into your wallet.
Your extra credit card
You never know what can happen during your trip, that’s why you need an extra credit card. If you lose or if someone steals your bank card, you are not totally lost and without access to your money. Keep it in a different wallet and use it when you need it. You will not ask anyone some money because you can’t withdraw and spend any more. If you are far from your country it is difficult to solve the problem with your bank.
Some banks are asking you commissions when you withdraw or when you spend your money in a certain type of way. It can happen to pay a fee for fuel, for example. Your credit or debit card must have no fees. Check the conditions offered by your bank or from financial institutions. Imagine paying fees all the time during your trip. The sum of the costs will be like a luxury dinner but offered to the others.
Don’t put money in the belt
In my travel planner tips, there are also some things to avoid, like to buy a money belt. Thieves already know about them and to wear them it is like to say “hey, do you see my belt full of money?”. You have to act like a local, so don’t show the tourists stereotypes on you. It will be easy for a thief to find you and to rip you off.
Traveling to certain countries it can be difficult to use bank cards, so have some emergency cash ready for the use. Carry them, you will be safe in case you can’t found an ATM or a shop without any card payment system. The amount of money depends on the country or on your trip, but I suggest to keep 200 or 300 USD.
Travel planner tips: before to leave
There are few things to do more before the departure, in order to be prepared. You need to be sure to have all documents and to get ready to face the country with its beauties and its risks. Follow carefully my next travel planner tips.
Read a history book
The place where you go has its history and its culture. As a traveler, you should know in advance what to see, but also to be aware of the past of the country. In this way, you will get some advice about the culture. This will help you to get in touch with locals and also to focus on what you like most.
Do a copy of your passport
Scan your passport and send a copy via email to yourself. Why? Because you can lose it or someone can steal it. It will be easier with a copy to go to the police for the report and also to ask your Embassy a new provisional one. Also, you can use the copy when it is not necessarily the original and you don’t want to carry it to go out.
Purchase a travel insurance
To enter in some countries it is mandatory to have insurance. It supports you in case of accidents of any type. Especially if you need to go to the local hospital the cost can be very high and you need to spend thousands of dollars in bills. If you get sick or injured the insurance cover all your expenses and helps you also to go back home. In case you are EU citizen and you move to EU countries, you don’t need the health insurance because you are already covered by your national system. In other cases, it is better to sign a contract. It costs even less than 50 USD and it guarantees you. Online you can easily find good offers.
Find a lock to carry on
Safety, when you travel, it’s a must, a priority. For that reason among the travel planner tips, I include this one. I suggest you take with you a lock so you can ensure your luggage all the time, especially if you sleep in a hostel or you leave it in a deposit. It is better a lock with a combination because if you use the keys, you can lose them.
An illness can ruin you the holiday or worst the life. So get vaccinated before to leave. Check the foreign affairs ministry website of your country and search for the datasheet of your destination country. It doesn’t matter your opinion, follow the experts’ tips, especially to keep safe your health.
Take an empty metal water bottle with you through airport security. You will fill it up at your gate. Why? Because you will need it and if you can drink the tap in the country, you will save money. To be safe, use a water bottle with a filter.
Travel planner tips: during your trip
The advice regards also your stay because when you reach your destination you deserve to enjoy all the travel. That is why it’s important to follow some steps I did before. The travel planner tips will make you able to benefit more of each experience.
Learn basic phrases in the local language
Not all the people know English so you will take advantage in learning some words and sentences. They will be useful to ask directions or just to be kind and get easily help and answers. Among the most important things to learn there are: “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank you”, “where is the restaurant/hotel/toilet?”, “how much does it cost?”. In the place, you can find some guide with these sentences translated in English or in some popular language.
Upgrade your room
When you check-in at the hotel you ask for an upgrade. In many cases, they will be flexible and they can also offer good conditions. Don’t be scared or shy, just try. You can have a better room for a small amount of money. I suggest you do it because there are some good chances. If the hotel is full or if it is too expensive, you didn’t lose anything. Be kind and ask.
Use the hotel staff knowledge
The staff of your hotel is there to help you by giving you some advice to find what you need in the city. They can recommend you a restaurant, explain where to go or purchase tickets. If you are in a hostel they staff is the best one to give you advice about cheap restaurants. Anyway, they are there to support you. Do you think their recommendation comes from an earning commission? Maybe, but they gain treating well the guests. Especially in internet reviews era.
Enter to the tourism office
Do you want to save money and time? Are you searching for updated information? The right place is the local tourism office. Visit it and you will get the best travel planner tips about the city you are visiting. They have the entire view of attractions, events, and services for travelers. So they are the proper people to answer all your questions. They give precious advice for free.
Use a map and get lost
Two travel planner tips together. The first one concern the map. Sometimes people are shy to use it because they look like a tourist. It is exactly what you are. Why get lost if you have a map that can clearly help you to reach your destination? About get lost, anyway, I suggest you do it by purpose. Why? Sometimes it is funny to do, also it gives you the chance to explore some hidden pearls of the city.
Have with you the necessary
When you go out of the hotel take the only what you really need. First of all, it is more comfortable, then you limit the risk to lose something. You also reduce the risks to be robbed by a thief. You don’t need a lot of cash and it is enough one ATM or credit card.
Be open and pay attention
Be open to strangers, not all of them are dangerous. You can learn a lot in getting in touch with local people. That is why I suggest you talk with people. They are like you, with their life and their dreams. They can give you some hints about the city or just share a pleasant conversation. Anyway, pay attention to keeping a healthy level of suspicion. Someone can take advantage of you and do a scam.
Be patient and respectful
You are on holiday, so there is no reason to be all the time in a hurry. If you are in the line, just wait your turn with patience. Never forget to be respectful with the people and especially for locals. There are obviously language and cultural barriers, but to overcome them will be a benefit for you. So try to understand and be kind all the time.
Be careful to taxis
If you want to travel with cheap prices, to move in the city and especially to reach places outside the city you are visiting, avoid taxis. If you want comfort transfers you can use the taxis, but be careful, especially in airports and train stations. It is full of fake drivers ready to cheat you. In case of a luxury trip, check the limousine services. When you book the car with a driver you already deal on the track and on the price. In this case, you will avoid bad surprises.
WiFi and local sim cards
If you need to use the internet it is a good idea to go to a bar whit WiFi connection. So you can share your pictures on social networks and also be in touch with your relative. It is quite easy to find places with WiFi and you find also toilets. I do not suggest to use McDonald’s or Starbucks as places where to eat because it is better to taste the local food. Anyway, those brands give you a toilet and WiFi when you need, so you can drink a coffee or a Coke. As an alternative to using internet SMS and call, my travel planner tips include the purchase of a local sim card. It is cheaper than yours. Remember if you are EU citizen traveling into EU that roaming is free, so it is like to be at home in all 28 EU countries.
Travel planner tips: where to eat
You have your accommodation, your tour planned, but you need to eat. Chose a restaurant is sometimes hard, especially if you don’t know the place and the local food. I want to share with you some advice to find the proper place that can combine budget and quality. As a traveler, I needed to learn how to manage this part of the journey.
Eat or visit?
When I go around sometimes I skip lunch. Why? Am I on diet? No, because lunchtime is the best moment to see the attractions. People go to eat and places are empty. If you don’t want to take this advantage to visit historical places, I have other tips for you.
Avoid restaurants for tourists
Don’t go to the restaurants close to the attractions, because they are opened only for tourists. This means that they will apply very high prices, more than the country rates, and they will serve bad quality food. They are obviously focused on money. Do you need help to find a good restaurant? Use the internet. Yelp, Foursquare, Open Rice and Google Maps can help you. Are you scared by the restaurants for tourists? One more hint: if you see outside a menu translated into many languages, don’t enter.
Shops and expensive restaurants
Would you like to have an idea about local food and the locals’ habits? Go in a grocery and check what they have and what people buy. You will learn what to search for in restaurants. Then you can also purchase something and eat it in your room or on the street. Keep in mind, as travel planner tips, that the most expensive restaurants offer a fixed price for lunch. You eat the same food they serve for dinner but you will spend the half. Never be scared anyway to try new food. If you search a restaurant who serve food of your country, you will never find good quality.
Now it became trendy, but I always suggest street food, because you can easily find traditional recipes and specialties. It can be dangerous for health but go where you see kids eating. Those places are safe. If you come to Italy, for example, in Rome and Sicily street food is a must. You will be happy to try it.
Travel planner tips: last advice
A solo trip
Travel by yourself at least once in your life. Because it will help you to learn more about yourself and to become independent. What do you learn exactly? To talk with people, to fend yourself, to handle all type of situations. You put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone and don’t be scared or shy.
Use the sharing economy
Thanks to the internet you can use some platforms that allow you to save your money in sharing. You can find locals ready to host you, to eat with you or to give you a ride. If you want cheap opportunities to travel, check these websites:
Airbnb connects you to homeowners and you can find rooms or apartments for a lower price than a hotel
EathWith asks a little fee (upon member’s request) to allow you to find a local to eat with
BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing platform. You can choose among the offers present on the website to get a ride by car sharing the cost
In certain countries is a normal way to act. Learn to haggle to reduce the price charged to foreigners by sellers. You have to negotiate because they expect it. You will have a better price, at least the correct one. It will be also funny. Of course, do not exaggerate and do it with respect. Don’t waste money and neither time in searching something a bit cheaper far from where you are.
Don’t forget to take an extra USB charger with you to store the pictures and to overcome the batteries death. When you take pictures of people or with them, ask before. Anyway, do it, because a great memory of your trip will remain.
My travel planner tips are almost finished, I have only a last one: avoid TripAdvisor. On the website, you can find maybe opening hours and the address of the places you want to go. But the reviews are written freely. So most of them are fake. You can’t even be sure that who posted the opinion has been there.
Originally posted 2018-12-24 14:59:41.