I have spent countless hours upon hours researching for my upcoming trips this year, including a three-week trip to Europe. These are a few travel tips I have found very helpful along the way, whether you’re traveling near or far.
Have only a carry-on when traveling.
I personally use this rolling backpack by Rick Steves. This fits in the overhead bins even on European flights (which have smaller size restrictions). Having all your luggage with you for the whole trip saves the endless waiting at baggage claim and ensures it can’t get lost. Many people may think this is impossible to only bring one bag, but most people end up bringing items or clothes that they don’t wear or only wear once.
Use packing cubes to stay organized.
I personally like to stay very organized, and this is a simple way to do that for trips. I got this 3-piece set off Amazon.com. I like to use the smaller one for items like socks and underwear, the medium one for shirts and tank tops, and the larger one for jeans and dresses. The cubes prevent your clothes from getting wrinkled and shifting around your luggage during your traveling. They’re also convenient if you’re going to several different hotels on your trip, as you know which size cube holds what you’re looking for and can easily grab it when you reach your next destination.
Book flights and hotels directly through their website.
Expedia or other hotel and flight search engines are great tools to see what all is out there, but take this information and go directly to the hotel or airline’s website to compare prices. Usually there will be a difference in the price, as the hotel doesn’t have to go through a middleman website to advertise their rooms. This has saved me anywhere from $10-$50 a night using this method, which really adds up for longer trips.For flights, do the same. See which flights you’re interested in through Expedia, and then go directly to that airline’s website to see if there’s a difference in prices. I did this for a flight with Condor Airlines (a German airline company) which had me stopping in Frankfurt for a layover before going to Milan, and the price difference was cheaper by almost $300 a ticket!
Utilize travel advice sites such as TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor has reviews for almost every hotel, restaurant, and attractions in even the smallest of cities. You can use this to look up a specific hotel before you book it, or click on the map and see what restaurants are around the area you are thinking of staying in. They also have a feature where you can hit “save” for each place you’re looking at, which then puts all your saves on a map so you can visually see how close together the places you want to go to are. There is also a travel forum where it’s almost certain someone has already asked a question you have for planning your trip and you can read the feedback they got, or post your own new question.
Have a backup plan.
As much as you may have planned your whole trip down to every hour, life happens. Flights will get delayed, or a restaurant you had planned on going to might be closed. Have other options in mind should you need to change your plans. This happened to me before, and I ended up finding a cute family-owned restaurant down the street that turned out to be even better than the well-known restaurant I had in mind! Be open to new things; you might be surprised where it takes you.
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