Life Hacks for the Modern Traveler
Traveling is awesome, you get to explore new places, try new foods and see beautiful things. Modern travel is a spectacular thing, but are you making the most of all modern travel has to offer? Learn which apps to use, how to get the cheapest flight, the best way to pack your suitcase and gain some insight on things you should consider before you book your flight.
Airbnb/VRBO: One of the most exciting things about traveling is immersing yourself in the local culture, opt for an Airbnb or VRBO to experience everything up close and personal, plus you could save some money!
Hopper: Finding flights can be a nightmare, use Hopper to track flights for places you are considering visiting and book when the time is right!
Uber/Lyft: Getting around a new city on foot can be hard, and depending on where you are heading, getting a rental car may not be an option. Check out car services like Uber or Lyft for quick and cheap travel right at your finger tips. Traveling outside the United States? Check Beebom's article on Apps Like Uber.
CityMaps2Go: You have a plan for your vacation, and you don't want to waste precious time by getting lost. Use CityMaps2Go to find your way around easily, plus you can avoid roaming charges by downloading the maps straight to your phone.
iTranslate/Google Translate: Traveling outside the United States means you're very likely to run into a situation where you may not be able to communicate due to a language barrier. When this situation arises, communicate with ease by using iTranslate or Google Translate.
Keep it Private: It seems like airline prices are never the same, and that's because they aren't. Airline prices change daily, but did you know that they also can change from one moment to the next? Your computer (and your phone) track the fact that you've visited before and prices will go up every time you return. Use an incognito browser and always clear your cache when looking for flights.
Find the Best Day: Using a site like Skyscanner can help you determine which day of the week is best to fly. Weekends are always more expensive, as are national holidays and popular vacation times. Opting for a midweek flight can save you big bucks, and the airport will most likely be less crowded. Check out this U.S. News article for even more tips on when you book your flight for the best deal.
Use Air Miles: Chances are you have a credit card (or two) and you use them often. If your current credit card doesn’t allow you to gain air miles, check with your bank to see if you qualify for one that does. You could be flying for cheap (or free) before you know it!
Plan Ahead: It’s easy to throw everything you think you need into your suitcase and go on your merry way, but how often do you get to your destination and realize that you forgot something and don’t really need 3 pairs of black boots. Plan ahead by picking items that can be worn multiple times and can be dressed up or down.
Pack Smart: Some people like to fold their clothes, others like to roll them. It doesn’t really matter what you pick, just make sure you maximize your space. Check out this article from Packsmith to help you decide which method is right for you.
Use a Packing List: Packing your carry on can be the most difficult part. What do you need on the plane? What happens if your luggage gets lost? The Ultimate Carry On Packing List is going to be your lifesaver. Print it out, pack your bag and head off on your adventure worry free! This packing list will help you remember the important things like chargers, an eye mask, a neck pillow, your passport and hand lotion!
Budget: When you’re deciding where to take your next vacation, a big factor should be budget. Just because you plan your trip on a budget doesn't mean you can't leave the country, but it will determine where you can go. Some people may opt for a domestic flight when on a budget, but if you want to go international and not spend a fortune check out this article from Forbes.
Time: How long do you have for your vacation? If you can only get a few days off work or simply want a weekend trip, opt for something closer to home. You don’t want to spend your entire trip traveling and have no time to enjoy the destination. Consider things like time changes and layovers when planning your trip. Also consider how many days you will need to see everything you want. Don't forget to give yourself plenty of time to adjust to jet lag both once you arrive and once you return home.
Season: Consider the season in which you are traveling. Some destinations will be packed during tourist months and you may have to wait in extremely long lines. Consider visiting in the off season, or if you’re determined to visit during peak time, consider planning non-tourist activities. Another thing to consider is the weather. Most people like to travel during the warmer months, but consider planning your vacation during the fall or spring, you may find locations less crowded. On the flip side, some things you are interested in doing or seeing may only be an option during certain months. Look these things up before you book your flight.
Food: If you have a picky eater or someone with dietary restrictions in your group, consider the local food of the place you plan to travel. An entire trip could be ruined because you can’t find food that will suffice. Research the local cuisine and what options are available prior to nailing down your travel plans.
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