We all love to travel but don't love stress, inconvenience, and wasting money. According to an online forum, these are some at least every day but handy travel tips to make your next trip smoother.
1. Eat What the Locals Tell You To
A thousand people agree with this experienced traveler who argues you shouldn't eat your go-to cravings. Instead, they say you should ask the locals where to eat and where to go. This way, you'll avoid tourist traps that tend to be low-quality and overpriced food. Eating the cultural staples of the place you're visiting will help you to immerse yourself in their culture.
2. Rent a Car Outside of the Airport
If you are traveling for far stretches, you might need a car. However, you should never rent a car from the airport, one user insists. They charge you a fortune. Instead, take a short cab to the nearest car rental service and rent one from there. It can save you hundreds of dollars.
3. Register With Smart Traveler
One commenter suggests that if you're a U.S. citizen visiting another country known for being less safe, you can register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. You can register on your government's website if you're not American.
By providing your passport and flight itinerary, your government will have access to important information about you in case of a serious emergency so they can help you get out of the country. You may think you'll never need to use this, but when I left the country for the first time, a pandemic happened, shutting down all international flights. This program has helped so many stranded citizens stuck abroad.
4. Ask the Hotel What the Local Rate for a Taxi Is
One user offered up what I think is the most clever travel tip. They suggest you ask your hotel staff what's a typical local taxi rate to get to and back from your destination. That way, you can spot a rip-off from a mile away.
They add another essential tip: learn the phrase "I know the rate" in the local language if you're in a country that speaks a different language. Then, you can say this phrase to your taxi driver so they know they can't rip you off even if you don't speak the language.
5. Take Advantage of Google Maps Offline
Did you know you can use Google Maps to your advantage even without wifi if you plan ahead? While you still have wifi access, plug your trip details into Google Maps. If you turn your wifi off, the app continues to track your location, so the map will still provide you with a valuable visual of where to go, one person notes. A second user adds that the app offers you the option to download areas of the map to use offline.
6. Ask Concierge For Help & Advice
A woman named Luna insists that more people should remember that hotel concierges are your best friend, so don't just ignore them. Ask them questions. Are you looking for the best food in the area, a secret hideout in town, or wondering how to get somewhere? They will help you.
She shares that when she has asked the concierge one question, they usually provided her with much more valuable information than she had sought. However, others warn that you should treat this advice with a grain of salt, as some concierges will recommend places that benefit them financially. A solid tell for this is when they tell you to be sure to mention that they're the one who sent you.
7. Enroll In TSA Precheck
An experienced flyer argues that TSA Precheck is worth it even if you only fly once a year. I wasn't even sure what this was, so I looked it up, and now I'm mad that I never knew about it until now. TSA Precheck is a program for U.S. citizens who are considered low-risk by the TSA and can pass through expedited security screening without removing shoes, liquids, laptops, belts, or outerwear.
This makes the security process at airports so much easier and faster. In addition, you can get TSA Precheck for five years for just $78. However, some other commenters warn that the process is starting to become sullied by people who mistakenly waste time by still removing items that they aren't required to.
8. Carry Hand Sanitizer & Handkerchiefs
A traveler visiting Japan insists that carrying hand sanitizer and handkerchiefs saved them in public restrooms because they were never stocked with paper towels or hand dryers. Some, they insist, didn't even have soap. This advice applies to many other countries as well. So if you don't know what the public restroom situation is like where you're going, carry these necessities in your bag in case.
9. Keep a Portable Charger With You
Multiple travelers swear by carrying an external battery pack and inCharge cable. You never know when you'll need to charge your phone, laptop, or other devices. However, a few others warn that you need to check the airport rules regarding these charging devices.
One jet setter claims you can't take anything larger than 100 watts/hr or 20.000mAh, while another adds that airports in certain countries don't allow them and could confiscate them. That may be because people packed them in their checked luggage. Portable batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
10. Exchange Foreign Currency At an ATM
Finally, travelers in this thread unanimously agree you are getting a terrible rate if you exchange your currency at the airport. Instead, they insist it's much cheaper to go to an ATM at your destination and select to do it in the local currency. The ATM fee is much cheaper than the exchange fees you would have paid, and some bank accounts even waive ATM fees.
This thread inspired this post.
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