10 TRAVEL TIPS AFTER 10 YEARS OF TRAVELING

Find out why you should avoid public Wi-Fi on vacation.

By Ben Young

AAA World Article
In 10 years of travel, I’ve definitely learned my fair share of lessons. Like that time my bag got lost on its way to Japan, or the time I showed up to a hotel in Orlando only to find out I didn’t have a room.

Some of these travel challenges can be avoided—others just come with the adventure of traveling. However, after numerous trips over the past ten years, I’ve put together a collection of 10 travel tips that I believe can help make your travels much easier:

  1. BE FLEXIBLE- I always plan for delays and avoid getting upset when things go wrong. Patience is a must when traveling, and being calm and understanding will help you resolve your travel issues faster.

     

  2. LISTS ARE EVERYTHING- Whether you’re in the booking phase or packing phase, mental notes won’t cut it. Write down lists of things you need to do, pack, or book so that you don’t overlook anything. When in doubt, write it down.

     

  3. LEARN COMMON PHRASES IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE- Locals in a foreign country will look kindlier on you if you can demonstrate that you've tried to learn about their culture. Learning simple phrases like "please," "thank you," "I'm sorry," and "bathroom" is a great start.

     

  4. TRAVEL INSURANCE IS WORTH IT- A medical emergency or one missed connection can wipe out your savings or cause you to miss a chunk of your trip. I highly recommend travel insurance that is inclusive of the entire amount of the trip.

     

  5. MAKE PHOTOCOPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS- I'm sure you've heard the horror stories from a friend that lost their passport while traveling across Europe. Having a copy of your passport (and even some extra passport photos) will save you a lot of headaches if your passport gets stolen. Better yet, leave copies of your important documents (passport, itinerary, etc.) with someone at home, and keep digital copies that you can print while you're traveling.

     

  6. PUT EFFORT INTO PACKING- You’ll find that if you put some planning into your packing, you will carry less baggage. Plus, you’ll probably be happier with the clothes that show up in your vacation photos.

     

  7. PACK YOUR CARRY-ON CAREFULLY- Always include electronics, chargers, medications, a toothbrush, and a change of clothes in your carry-on in the event your checked bag gets lost or delayed. If you’re going on a beach vacation, throw in a swimsuit.

     

  8. ASK THE LOCALS- Sure, you can do all the reading in the world to plan the perfect vacation—but you’ll never find that off-the-beaten-path Italian café you really wanted to discover unless you ask the locals for advice. You’ll find some of your new favorite places just by asking the locals for their opinion.

     

  9. BEWARE OF FREE PUBLIC WIFI- Free public WIFI is an easy way for an identity thief to get access to your information. Avoid logging into bank accounts or anything that requires a secure password until you’re on a secure internet connection.

     

  10. ALERT YOUR BANK AND CREDIT CARDS TO YOUR TRAVEL PLANS- Call your credit card companies and bank and let them know you're traveling. While some care more than others, there is nothing worse than having your credit or debit card put on a security hold while you're traveling.