We have all made various mistakes during our travels. How to Be a Savvy Traveler from overpaying for a hotel to losing our important personal documents – these are things that can happen to any of us. Today we are sharing our top 10 tips on how to be a savvy traveler, which will hopefully help you not to make the same mistakes,or at least if they happen you will be better prepared and easily find a way to resolve them.
Back-up Your Important Documents
Hopefully, you will never have to use the backed-up version of your important documents, but in case you lose your passport, having a copy straight to your email can be extremely helpful.
Keep a copy of your passport with you in a separate place just in case you have to contact the American Embassy to replace it. Recommend leaving a copy with friends or family back home.
Take an extra Bank Card
Unfortunately, we have to be honest and admit that losing or having your bank card stolen has happened to all of us. In case you are visiting a country, which does not have a branch of your own bank, having an extra bank card with you can be a total lifesaver. (If you are wondering, which are the best travel credit cards check our article)
Recommend taking pictures of all credit cards/bank cards front and back just in case they are lost or stolen. This speeds up the process of getting replacements and canceling any bogus charges. Also, you will need to provide a hotel or other address for the replacements to be sent to you.
“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.” Dalai Lama
Travel with just a Backpack
If you have been an over-packer for most of your life, traveling with just a backpack might be difficult for you. You can start small by getting a smaller size suitcase first. You need to be savage when thinking about how many pieces of clothing and shoes you will need. Once you get used to traveling with just a small suitcase, you can go forward and try packing all your luggage in just a backpack. You will quickly realize how much easier traveling is when you are packing light!
There are lots of Youtube videos on packing light like this one for the savvy traveler. I would look at several to see what others are doing. Most countries in the world and cruise ships have laundries, so you don’t need several items, just the basics. Remember, you will probably never see any of these people again. Pack in a color palette so you can mix and match. Beiges and greys are great because they tend to be background colors.
Bring a first-aid K
We hope that accidents never happen to you, but on the rare occasion that they do, you better be prepared than sorry. Have a small first-aid kit with just the basics such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and some medications for pain relief, sore throat, and flu.
Do not Forget Travel Insurance
As we are talking about how important it is to have a first-aid kit, we definitely have to mention another way to become a more savvy traveler is to get travel insurance. There are so many different types of travel insurance, but it would be best to look out for the following things when choosing – coverage on canceled flights, coverage on lost items, coverage when being injured or being robbed, etc.
As a traveler in the time of covid, it is important to look and see if it is covered in cancellations. Also, in case you have to cancel for any reason find out how close to departure you can cancel. Also, important what form your reimbursement takes. It might be in the form of vouchers with a time frame. If you want your cash back, you might have to pay a little more for insurance, but in the long run, it might be better if you don’t think you will take this service, tour company, or cruise line again.
Book your Travel in Advance
Booking your travel in advance is common sense, but even still we get surprised when we realize how many people are waiting for the last moment to book their flights or hotels. Do not make the same mistake if you want to be a more savvy traveler. It is best to start researching and booking your flights 2 – 3 months beforehand to get the best prices. Once you have the dates confirmed, go ahead and proceed with choosing your hotel and getting your tickets for various attractions.
Hotels have some really attractive low rates, but they are usually non-refundable for any reason. You might think you are absolutely going on this trip, but things happen. This is also where cancel for any reason insurance is important. Airlines have also started using this pricing strategy, even with frequent flyer mile tickets. Make sure you don’t get these fares as you will never recoup your loss.
Take a Solo Trip
Taking a solo trip can be stressful at first, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Not only will you become a lot more independent, but you will also learn a lot about yourself, you will become more flexible and adaptable to unfamiliar situations and you will definitely look at traveling from a much different perspective than before.
If you want to be a savvy traveler, you need to get off-the-beaten-path. Each country and city has so much more to offer than the most popular tourist attractions. It is the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-paths, that will help you experience and explore the destination better. Sometimes you need to allow yourself to get lost to find something extraordinary! Always be aware and stay safe.
One of the most important things to remember when heading on your next trip is to be respectful. Keep in mind that you are visiting a new place with new culture and different traditions than yours. Most locals are extremely friendly, and they will be more than happy to help you. One of the ways to show your respect is to learn just a few basic phrases in the relevant language. Even if you are not good at languages, it is not so difficult to learn how to say “Hello”, “Goodbye”, “Please”, etc.
You have to go on your trip realizing that something along the way will go wrong. You can’t anticipate it, but you have to have the attitude that it isn’t going to ruin your trip. Things happen-strikes, bad weather, sites you wanted to see are closed, etc. Make up your mind that you will find alternatives and that in itself is an adventure.
Enjoy and Relax
Last but not least in our list of ways how to be a savvy traveler we will talk about the importance of relaxing and enjoying yourself. Often times we are stressing so much over our travels and we are being so anxious about what might happen that we do not allow ourselves to fully immerse ourselves in travel mode. Do not make this mistake. Just relax and enjoy and create fantastic memories, which you will cherish long after you have gone back home!
Now that you know how to be a savvy traveler, are you ready to head on your next trip and try some of our tips listed above?
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Now that you are perusing river cruises to make a perfect choice, here is a must-read article on avoiding river cruise booking mistakes. For the best river cruise experience, you will want to contact expert Nancy at Unique Journeys. She will assist you in finding the perfect cruise experience where you will create memories for a lifetime. You are welcome to find additional information at AMA Waterways regarding the luxury river cruise experience.
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