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    75 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.

    If Emily in Paris also inspired you to take a spontaneous trip to France, we feel you. But traveling on a whim isn't so simple. As easy as it is to dream about sipping coffee with a view of the Eiffel Tower, the reality of getting there can be stressful and overwhelming.

    With these smart travel tips and tricks — taken from frequent fliers from the BuzzFeed Community, Reddit, and YouTube — you'll be able to say 'au revoir!' to any previous stressors. Keep scrolling to learn how to make your trip easier. Bon voyage!

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

    Putting a coin in a piggy bank.

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

    a meal at an outdoor table of a restaurant

    3. "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

    4. Keep a spreadsheet or list to stay organized.

    "Whenever I begin planning a trip, I make an Excel sheet or Google Doc that lays everything out. I list everything that I need to book (hotels, flights, rental car, restaurant reservations, or any ticketed activities). Then, as I go about my planning, I'll check off exactly what's booked, complete with confirmation numbers, cancellation dates, and total cost. Having a list of all necessary bookings and expenses in one single place not only helps me stay organized but also helps me manage and stick to my budget." —Hannah Loewentheil

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

    a marked calendar

    6. 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.

    7. "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."


    8. "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

    9. "Download 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

    10. "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."

    11. Familiarize yourself with your destination ahead of time.

    a person looking at a map on their device

    12. "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."


    13. "Plan ahead of time how you're going to get from the airport to your accommodation."

    "When you land is when you're most vulnerable: tired, not thinking clearly, and desperate to get to your room. Do some research ahead of time and figure out your transportation plan."—u/gotthelowdown

    14. When in doubt, rent a car.

    one person handing car keys to another person

    15. "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."


    16. "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

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

    beds in a hostel

    18. "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

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

    a couple hiking

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

    a hotel balcony

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

    friends looking at the ocean

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

    a person signing up for travel insurance

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

    a person sitting on a suitcase in a hotel

    24. Pack a lightweight scarf for chilly planes.

    a traveler wearing a scarf

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


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

    straws on a necklace

    27. Use a button to keep your earrings together.

    28. Contact containers are great for storing travel-size amounts of cosmetics.

    29. Stash extra cash in an empty lip balm tube.

    You've already filled your contact case with lip balm. So keeping money in the empty lip balm only makes sense.

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

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

    Someone holding a passport

    32. "For photo equipment or all kind of expensive stuff: put some duct tape on it. If it looks broken, nobody wants to steal it."


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

    clipped headphones

    34. "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."

    35. "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

    36. The right way to pack for long trips:

    a person using a vacuum on a bag

    37. "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."

    38. Bring a mini bag of medicine, like Tums or aspirin, so in case you get sick, you won't feel too bad.

    39. Bring laundry detergent so you can rewear clothes and pack lighter.

    "Carry the travel-size packets of laundry detergent (Tide makes good ones) so you can wash clothes in your bathroom sink. This works surprisingly well, particularly for undergarments and socks. And hotel laundry fees are insane. Avoid at all costs, unless your employer is footing the bill and won't reject the expense." —u/mdowney

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

    a woman packing rolled clothing

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

    a suitcase

    42. Carry a tote bag or laundry bag to separate your dirty clothes in your suitcase.

    43. "Slip-on shoes...Comfort is key because you'll walk way more when traveling. These make it way easier to fly through security...And make sure you wear socks if you'll be going through an airport. You don't want to walk barefoot through security!"

    person rolling suitcase through airport

    44. "Ear plugs. If you're traveling on a budget, you will probably be staying in some noisy located places. They really help."

    45. Transport wine in your shoes.

    Obviously for checked bags. But, you never really know when you'll need a bottle of wine, right?

    46. Pack your dirty shoes in a shower cap.

    shoes in a showercap

    47. "Get a credit card that includes airport lounge access. Flying will never be the same."


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

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

    a woman stretching

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

    a person sitting in an exit row

    51. 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

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

    a power strip

    53. "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."

    54. Pack your plane snacks creatively.

    a rubber container holding snacks

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

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

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

    A boarding pass

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

    a woman sleeping with a neck pillow

    59. "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

    60. Walk, walk, walk as much as possible.

    a person walking down a trail

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

    Someone taking money out from an ATM

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

    63. "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

    64. "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

    65. "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."


    66. "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

    67. "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

    68. Keep your toothbrush head from resting on the hotel bathroom counter (like a monster) with this simple travel hack:

    a clothespin on a toothbrush

    69. "Buy a $20 phone calling card in case you get stuck somewhere and don't have money or phone. Keep this away from your wallet and somewhere that it's least likely to disappear."

    70. "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

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

    72. "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

    73. Picnic, picnic, picnic.

    A picnic in Paris by the Eiffel Tower.

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

    75. 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

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