There is no “correct” way to travel. Everyone wants to see and experience different things, has different travel preferences, as well as extremely different budgets. As a 22 year old who has traveled to over 17 different countries, been on more than 50 international flights, countless domestic flights, dozens upon dozens of trains, buses, ferries, and taxis, as well as stayed in all different types of accommodation, I like to think I have a fairly decent grasp on how to travel efficiently and do so on a pretty tight budget. I decided to compile a list of my top travel tips and tools to help you plan the perfect getaway.
Transportation is obviously one of the first things to consider when thinking about going on a trip. My two favorite resources when booking travel are Skyscanner (for flights) and Rome2Rio (for everything else). Uber is also my go-to for shorter drives. Hopper is also a great flight-tracking app that helps you find and track the lowest fares.
This can vary greatly depending on your budget, where you are going and what you are looking to do. Although all-inclusive trips are not my personal cup-of-tea, Groupon can be a great resource to find good deals on packages to locations all over the world.
Airbnb has been one of my absolute favorite resources for accommodations – no matter where in the world I am. You can filter your search results based on a number of different preferences (private room, entire home/apartment, specific amenities included, etc.) and adjust the results based on your preferred budget. It also allows you a glance into how the locals live.
For the traveler on a serious budget, I have two words for you: hostels and Couchsurfing. Both of these tend to have a negative stigma around them (especially with travelers from the US), but I assure you – both options can be just as safe as staying at a fancy, 5-star hotel. Hostels are a great way to meet other travelers and not have to spend a ton. Hostelworld.com is a great resource for finding the best one for you.
Now, while this option may seem insane to some people, there is an app called Couchsurfing that connects you with a community of over 14 million locals and travelers. It can be used to find free/cheap accommodation, meet up with nearby locals, and host travelers from all over the world. It’s the perfect option for budget travelers looking for a local experience where they can meet people.
One of my favorite travel apps is Triposo. It is the all-in-one app that allows you to download maps of cities in order to access them offline, provides you with recommendations of things to do, see and eat, gives you “practical information” about everything you may need to know relating to the place you are visiting. This includeshighlights, history, culture, events, transportation, etc., as well as the current exchange rate, the weather forecast and so much more!
Always read reviews before booking, if something feels off, it probably is.
Check visa requirements for each country you are visiting (do this well before your departure date).
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
Check to see if there are any required vaccines.
Be sure to print copies of your travel itinerary, passport, visa and any other necessary documentation. It is also a good idea to email yourself a copy of your passport in the off chance you misplace it and need to get a new one.
Compile a list of the nearest embassies and phone numbers for each place you will be visiting (just in case).
If you are traveling for an extended period of time or just like to have that extra peace-of-mind, look into getting travel insurance (or contact your current insurance company to see if you’re covered internationally).
Have your wits about you. You’re in a new and unfamiliar place – be smart, respect local culture, and always remain aware of your surroundings.
Traveling is supposed to be enjoyable, but there are also unplanned situations that arise – remain open-minded and flexible and it will all work out.
Finally, always remember to have fun and take lots of pictures!