Since literally the first week my husband and I have been together we have been avid travelers. Over the years we have done multiple cruises, long distance Amtrak rides, traveled international and to multiple states and countries. We have traveled in unique ways and learned so much along the way.
Last week I shared with you all How To Afford To Travel On Any Budget. and today I am sharing with you 15 Travel Tips Everyone Needs To Know!
1) Research Where You’re Going
Even if you like to be spontaneous and not plan too much of your trip before you get there, still make time to research where you’re going. You might find some activities off the beaten path and it will make your trip more unique. When we went to Seattle I found a navy ship ghost tour which was the coolest thing we have EVER done. There was a group of 8 of us who took a ferry from Seattle to Bremerton and got to do a 2 hour ghost tour on this WW2 Navy Ship. It was creepy, fun, and something we will never forget.
2) Find Out The Weather
To avoid overpacking always check the weather for the dates you’re going to be there. I also check the forecast for the same dates of our trip for the year prior. Just to see if they had a random rain or heat wave and I could be prepared!
3) Buy Tickets Ahead Of Time
If you are going to popular tourist destinations, BUY TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME. Like when we went to Rome we had the Rome pass and didn’t buy Colosseum tickets since it was included in our pass. WELL JOKE WAS ON US. The line to get in with a Rome Pass was a 4 hour wait time and tickets were sold out for the day if we were just to purchase online. So we got to go to the outside of the Colosseum, but didn’t get to go inside. We always get tickets for the big things we are going to do before we leave. Also check Groupon before! You will find discounts and more unique things to do in the city you’re visiting.
4) Pack Only One Bag When Traveling International
Everyone told us to pack just one bag and a small carry on when traveling international. But because we were gone for over two weeks and weren’t staying in places with a washer, we both packed two huge bags, two carry ons, and two backpacks. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. In Italy (and most international places) room is limited. The hotel rooms are extremely small meaning we tripped over our luggage constantly. We also had to travel by train which in Italy, they give you about 5 seconds to board and WILL leave without you. Also if you were to rent a car, they could barely fit two medium size bags so there was no way they would fit everything we brought. What I would suggest is using space saver bags and if you aren’t staying in an Airbnb, research nearby laundromats. It is worth the hour of hanging out in a laundromat to get clean clothes then it is the hassle of packing too much.
5) Ship Back Souvenirs
We have done this a few times. When we took our three week honeymoon, we had 10 days in Vancouver/Cruise and then a week in Portland. We needed cold outfits for the cruise to Alaska as well as formalwear and then needed warm clothes for Portland. So we packed A LOT. It wasn’t a big deal while on the cruise since you’re not moving rooms at all. But we didn’t want the hassle of checking in our bags to Portland or going over the weight with all the things we bought in Alaska. So we shipped our luggage we didn’t need (4) bags via Fedex. It only cost $150 and took two days to get home. Also, most places you are shopping either international or in popular tourist destinations, offer to ship the items you bought for you. All you have to do is ask. So in Alaska we had bird houses, beer, and more shipped to our home and in Italy we did the same. We had 6 big shipments when we got home from Italy from everything we bought since there was no possible way we could fit anymore in our bags. Shipping in Italy was about $30 each time and when we were in Alaska shipping was only $15. So prices weren’t bad and allowed us to get things we really wanted without compromising bag space or risk paying overage fees when flying back.
6) Yelp Restaurants Prior To Your Trip
I am ALL for being spontaneous but you will miss out on SO much if you don’t do a little research before you go. We are huge foodies and love eating at local places. If you spend some time on Yelp looking at restaurants in the area, you will find some unique local favs you might have missed out on. One thing we found out about on Yelp the Dark Restaurant in Vancouver. It is SO cool. You eat in the pitch black. They hire blind servers and the experience helps heightened your taste senses by taking away your sight. It was the coolest experience EVER. Yelp also saved us when we were in Denver where we almost went to a Morton’s Steakhouse. We thought it was local to the area but quickly found out it is a chain. When we travel we try to avoid chains that are in California (there is a Morton’s in Anaheim) and experience places we don’t have available to us.
7) Watch YouTube Videos On Your Destination Prior To Your Trip
When we are traveling state to state we typically don’t watch videos but will browse the internet and Instagram. But when we take cruises and travel international, we ALWAYS watch YouTube videos. It’s fun on cruises watching videos on the exact ship and destination you are going on. You can see the layout of the ship, things to do, and learn things you might not have known and missed out on (like our Disney Cruise had an adult only Irish Pub tucked away we would have totally missed if we didn’t know to look for it!). And when you’re traveling international, you learn SO much. We will watch tourist videos and videos by locals. I like watching the local videos the most because they know the secrets and all the fun things to do that most tourist don’t know about.
8) Use Space Savor Bags
How many times do I have to say to use space savor bags before you guys get the hint?! I linked my favorite ones below. THEY ARE A GAME CHANGER. I can fit 10x more clothes (I am an over packer) in our suitcase. The clothes don’t wrinkle and it’s easy to organize each bag. We do a bag of shirts, a bag of sweaters, a bag of pants, etc. So you know exactly where everything is at and there is SO much room!
9) Pack All Shoes (And One Outfit) In Your Carry On
If you are an over packer and want to avoid overage fees, pack your shoes in your carry on! This will allow you to fit more clothes/souvenirs in your checked bag and not have to worry about weight. We always pack all our shoes in our carry on and one change of clothes (just incase our bags get lost!)
10) Label Your Bags
I have to admit, I get SO stressed at baggage claim. I am afraid our bag either won’t make it or someone else will grab it. All bags look so much alike it’s an easy mistake. Or if they miss your luggage and your tag comes off in the flight how will they get it back to you?! I love using STICKER labels to tag our bag. Bag tags can fall off or be taken off by someone trying to steal your bag. So we use Mabel’s Labels that are big, colorful and have our name and phone number on them. You would notice if someone was trying to peel it off in baggage claim and the bright colors catch your eyes. Plus if the airlines lose your luggage, you have a backup tag that can’t fall off and they will be able to return it promptly to you!
COOLIFE Luggage Expandable(only 28″) Suitcase PC+ABS Spinner Built-in TSA Lock 20in 24in 28in Carry on
If you have any travel tips or essentials, I would LOVE to know! Drop a comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram!
Happy and safe travels everyone!