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16 Tricks Only Real-Deal Travelers Know

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1. Clear space on your phone before you leave.

That moment when the sun is rising over the city and the sky explodes with color... but you can't take any photos because you don't have enough memory? Avoid it.
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That moment when the sun is rising over the city and the sky explodes with color... but you can't take any photos because you don't have enough memory? Avoid it.

2. Have a go-to packing list document.

There are key items you'll need to bring wherever you go, and you can create different categories for seasons and various trip types. That's right... packing can actually be EASY!
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There are key items you'll need to bring wherever you go, and you can create different categories for seasons and various trip types. That's right... packing can actually be EASY!

3. Don't forget a mini first aid kit.

Headache medicine and bandages at the airport? Hello, small fortune. And trying to decipher pill bottles in a foreign language may not end well...
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Headache medicine and bandages at the airport? Hello, small fortune. And trying to decipher pill bottles in a foreign language may not end well...

4. Don't rely entirely on travel search engines.

Budget-friendly airlines may not always come up for certain countries. Find individual regional airlines and then locate flights directly through them to see if you can find a better deal.
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Budget-friendly airlines may not always come up for certain countries. Find individual regional airlines and then locate flights directly through them to see if you can find a better deal.

5. Roll your clothes army-style in your suitcase.

Over-packers, rejoice! This method optimizes space and prevents wrinkles.
iStockphoto lzf / Getty Images

Over-packers, rejoice! This method optimizes space and prevents wrinkles.

6. And fold some scented dryer sheets in with them.

Musty suitcase smell isn't cute.
iStockphoto AnthonyRosenberg / Getty Images

Musty suitcase smell isn't cute.

7. Have your ride pick you up at airport departures rather than arrivals.

Via tatermo.tumblr.com

It is typically less hectic traffic-wise — and if there are crowds, you're dealing with happy people excited for their travels, not grumpy, jet-lagged people annoyed their trip is over...

8. Take pictures of where you park your rental car.

Leaving a vehicle you are not accustomed to in a strange parking lot and then setting off for a full day of activity doesn't bode well for your memory.
Quinn Lemmers / Via facebook.com

Leaving a vehicle you are not accustomed to in a strange parking lot and then setting off for a full day of activity doesn't bode well for your memory.

9. Water, water, and more water.

Banish dehydration one water bottle at a time at the airport, on the plane, and while sightseeing. You'll boost your energy and avoid headaches that will have you in bed rather than out on the town.
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Banish dehydration one water bottle at a time at the airport, on the plane, and while sightseeing. You'll boost your energy and avoid headaches that will have you in bed rather than out on the town.

10. And on that note, use the bathroom WHENEVER you have an opportunity.

Even if you're not totally desperate now, you could be soon... and there might not be a WC accessible where you are going next.
Getty Images Benjamin Rondel

Even if you're not totally desperate now, you could be soon... and there might not be a WC accessible where you are going next.

11. Leather backpacks are the jam.

Super comfy, secure, and oh-so fashionable. Sorry boutcha, nylon.
BuzzFeed / Via facebook.com

Super comfy, secure, and oh-so fashionable. Sorry boutcha, nylon.

12. Hit up public pay-per-use airport lounges.

Via cineraria.tumblr.com

Yes, they exist! It's worth it to shell out a little extra cash so you can stretch out and relax away from the airport mayhem during a painfully long layover.

13. When you first arrive in a city, climb to the highest point possible.

No better way to get a full layout of neighborhoods and landmarks! Plus, you obviously want the first picture you share on social media to be a scenic shot. Duh.
BuzzFeed

No better way to get a full layout of neighborhoods and landmarks! Plus, you obviously want the first picture you share on social media to be a scenic shot. Duh.

14. Confirm the tipping culture of where you are visiting.

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Knowing when and when not to tip and how much is key to not being THAT tourist.

15. All booze is not created equal — do your research.

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"I've only had three beers, why do I feel like I've had six??" Because you're in a different part of the world, and alcohol-content wise, you have. Actually, more like eight...

16. And if all else fails: just cut your luggage in half, double your budget, and enjoy!

Via Thinkstock.com

No sweat!

OK, maybe a little sweat. Enter the #SayHiToWiFi sweepstakes for a chance to win home Wi-Fi for year…and you could end up feeling much better about splurging when you travel!