Skip To Content

    68 Travel Tips That Are Genuinely Useful, From People Who Use Them Constantly

    Flyin' first class up in the sky and poppin' champagne are not required.

    Traveling can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming, but with these smart tips and tricks — taken from frequent fliers from the BuzzFeed Community, Reddit, and YouTube — it can be more enjoyable.

    1. "Always check the expiration date of your passport well before traveling. Many countries require six months of validity to grant entry, so the effective deadline might be sooner than the actual expiration date written on your passport."

    photo of passports

    2. Research your destination before you pack, so you know what you really need.

    a person sitting on a suitcase in a hotel

    3. "Pack a change of underwear, a toothbrush, some cash, and a charger in whatever bag will be on your body the entire time you're traveling."

    4. Start a travel savings system that works for you.

    Putting a coin in a piggy bank.

    5. Contact containers are great for storing cosmetics.

    a person pulling makeup from a drawer

    6. "Buy a diaper bag to pack photography equipment. They're cheap, waterproof, and nobody steals a diaper bag."

    a camera, phone, sunglasses, and a hat on a table

    7. Pay attention to airline rules and know what you're signing up for.

    8. "Never delete from your phone or throw away your boarding pass before you've actually entered your destination."

    A boarding pass

    9. A travel pillow, earplugs, and an eye mask can really change your flight experience.

    a woman sleeping with a neck pillow

    10. Scams are easily avoidable if you don’t put yourself in vulnerable positions.

    11. "Instead of buying expensive international roaming and data from your cell provider, just buy a cheap prepaid rechargeable SIM card in whatever country you need service."

    Someone holding a SIM card for a cellphone

    12. Mixing up your types of accommodation can be cheaper and make for different experiences.

    beds in a hostel

    13. When in doubt, rent a car.

    one person handing car keys to another person

    14. "Instead of renting a car from a company like Hertz or Enterprise, try using the app Turo. It's like Airbnb for cars and usually saves money."

    a car driving past a field

    15. "Street food can be amazing, but do your research about where it's safe to eat first. There have been times when we were warned against eating the street food, and those who ate it anyway got pretty ill."

    A crepe on the street

    16. You don’t need to fly business class to fly comfortably. Exit row seats will suffice.

    a person sitting in an exit row

    17. "Don't exchange money. Rather, use an ATM for the best exchange rate."

    Someone taking money out from an ATM

    18. To avoid tangling, thread a straw with your delicate necklaces.

    straws on a necklace

    19. "Hostels are filled with friendly, well-traveled, and knowledgeable people. Staying at them is a great way to see the world. Just bring a lock for your stuff at night."

    Bunkbeds in a hostel

    20. "You only need to pack one power adapter and a powerboard. It's much cheaper than buying multiple adapters, and you end up with more sockets for all your electronics."

    A powerboard with several chargers

    21. You actually don’t need to have that much money saved to go on a trip.

    22. Here's how to watch movies on the plane:

    23. Working in a hostel is an easy way to make money and meet people.

    a couple hiking

    24. And the absolute best way to save money while travelling is by getting friends together and sharing costs.

    friends looking at the ocean

    25. "Keep copies of important travel documents on your phone and in the cloud so you can always access them."

    Someone holding a passport

    26. And being flexible and ready to adapt is one of the most important parts of travelling.

    27. "When you can, book directly through airline and hotel websites rather than through third-party travel websites. This will reduce the chances of your reservation getting lost, and it also allows more flexibility to make changes to your booking. Hotel or airline staff can't change reservations that were not made on their own system."

    28. The best time to book any holiday is off-season, not only in your own country but also in the place you're travelling to.

    29. "Research how the locals dress. I’m a woman, and I have traveled alone many times. Every time I travel solo (especially when traveling to Europe), I look into how the locals dress so that I look like a local and don't stand out. If you look like you fit in and pay attention to your surroundings, no one will bother you."

    30. Familiarize yourself with your destination ahead of time.

    a person looking at a map on their device

    31. "When booking hotels or airline, use a private (or incognito) browser. Travel sites often track your visits and your search history to other similar sites, so turning on private browsing may save some money."

    Carri Bradshaw on her laptop

    32. "If you're taking long flights, carry a travel-size pack of baby wipes. After you reach your destination, go into the restroom and wipe down. It's not a shower, but you'll be amazed how refreshed it makes you feel."

    33. And most importantly, travel insurance is something you’re going to want to get.

    a person signing up for travel insurance

    34. Immerse yourself in the culture by hiring a guide, signing up for a local experience, or even doing a free walking tour.

    a city at night

    35. Transport wine in your shoes.

    wine being poured into a glass

    36. To avoid jet lag, get plenty of exercise the day before you travel.

    a woman stretching

    37. "If your plans change and you need to cancel your hotel reservation against the hotel's cancellation policy, don't call and cancel. Instead, call the hotel and move your reservation to the following week — because many hotels will allow you to change a reservation without issue. Then, call a few hours later and cancel your 'new' reservation."

    38. Here's a foolproof way to fix that pesky gap between the hotel curtains.

    39. Keep a spreadsheet or list to stay organized.

    A woman typing on a laptop

    40. "Travel with a a microfiber towel. It dries sooo much faster than a regular towel, and it folds up into nothing."

    41. "Do the research and plan your meal times according to local customs. Many European restaurants close at 2 p.m. for a break and begin serving dinner later than when you might be used to in the States."

    A quaint Italian restaurant

    42. Walk, walk, walk as much as possible.

    a person walking down a trail

    43. Rolled clothing takes up less space than folded clothing.

    a woman packing rolled clothing

    44. "Download Maps.me. Forget Google Maps. This app lets you download a map of the country you're visiting for free while you're using Wi-Fi, and later it can function as GPS and even recalculate without cell signal."

    Someone looking at a map on her phone

    45. Pack your dirty shoes in a shower cap.

    shoes in a showercap

    46. Whenever possible, be flexible about your travel dates.

    a marked calendar

    47. "Thanksgiving can be a great time to travel internationally. Since it's an American holiday and people are traveling between states, ticket prices abroad go way down."

    48. If you're traveling throughout Europe, buy an Interrail Pass. It's basically a continent-wide train ticket. Not only is it the best way to travel, but you also meet all sorts of people."

    A train going through a station

    49. Pack a lightweight scarf for chilly planes.

    a traveler wearing a scarf

    50. "For US travel, pick up a National Park Service map and guide along with an annual pass. Just about anywhere you go, you'll be near a park system area, and so many are amazing. I wasted a lot of years driving past these places, and I wish I knew to stop and explore."

    A car driving to a National Park

    51. To keep your clothes smelling fresh, pop a dryer sheet in your suitcase.

    a suitcase

    52. "If you plan on sightseeing, try to walk from place to place. You'll learn much more about a city and the people by walking. You'll see small neighborhoods and the off-the-beaten-path shops and restaurants that aren't located next to major attractions."

    A street with a railroad in Asia

    53. Stash extra cash in an empty lip balm.

    a person opening up lip balm

    54. Use a button to keep your earrings together.

    a button

    55. "Hotel lobbies have great bathrooms. Find a luxury hotel and go to the bar, order an iced tea or a Coke, and then you can use a nice bathroom. Plus, most also have free Wi-Fi these days as well."

    A nice hotel bathroom

    56. The right way to pack for long trips:

    a person using a vacuum on a bag

    57. And when it comes to booking accommodations, always read the reviews!

    a hotel balcony

    58. The better way to use airport outlets? A power strip:

    a power strip

    59. Buying bottled water at the airport could not be more wrong. Take an empty bottle through security and get that H2O the right way:

    a person filling a water bottle

    60. Consider your priorities when deciding where to splurge and where to save.

    a meal at an outdoor table of a restaurant

    61. Pack your plane snacks creatively.

    a rubber container holding snacks

    62. Fashion a water bottle holder out of the inflight mag.

    63. "Travel doesn't need to be as expensive as you think, and you can make it affordable by doing a home swap, staying in hostels, or camping if you're really on a budget. Travel after the busy season too: July and August can be very busy, so try booking a trip in May or September."

    A tent in the desert

    64. Surely you already know that leaving your headphones loose in your bag is wrong — a paper clip is the way to go:

    clipped headphones

    65. "Don't just choose a restaurant based on a nice appearance. Eat where the locals eat or where you see people forming long lines."

    a crowded restaurant with outdoor seating

    66. "Map out some activities, but leave the majority of your trip unplanned. Whenever I travel, I choose two must-do activities beforehand, then leave the rest of the trip unplanned. I just walk around and see what I discover."

    The outside of the Louvre in Paris

    67. How to store your toothbrush wrong: Leave the head resting on the hotel bathroom counter like a monster.

    a clothespin on a toothbrush

    68. Picnic, picnic, picnic.

    A picnic in Paris by the Eiffel Tower.

    This article contains content from Hannah Loewentheil, Michelle Rennex, and Louise Khong. It was compiled by Kelly Rissman.