42 Ways To Improve Your Travel Experience

Young kids backpackers

1. Ziploc bags are great for packing

2. Embrace the corny! Places are usually popular for a reason.

3. Talk to as many locals as possible.

4. Learn how to haggle with respect.

5. Go on a cruise, whether small or large ship there’s bound to be one out there for you.

6. Consult Airfarewatchdog.com for the best airfare deals out there.

7. Smart phones are great, but learn about international billing before leaving home.

Virgin Atlantic upper class

8. Don’t drink too much while flying, you’ll feel much worse than on land.

9. For great photos learn everything you can about whatever camera you have.

10. Book hotels that include complimentary breakfast.

11. Invest in travel insurance, it’s a smart precaution to protect your travel investment.

12. No matter how bad things get at times, always try to keep a positive attitude.

13. Use ATMs overseas for the best exchange rates.

14. Simple budget cuts at home can amount to enough money for an amazing trip.

Liege Waffle

15. If offered Nutella, the answer is always yes.

16. Talk a great walking tour, they’re well worth the expense.

17. Buy a travel power strip and use it to easily charge all your devices.

18. If a hotel has a club level, buy up into it. The perks are usually well worth the fees.

19. Bring a portable battery for your phone, you’ll need it during a long day of sightseeing.

20. Use public transportation, it’s cheaper, more fun and you learn more about the destination.

Khaosan Road in Bangkok

21. Be humble and don’t turn into a stereotype. No matter where you go, you’re a guest and you should act like it.

22. Spend a little more for amazing experiences; it may be your one chance to do them!

23. Don’t over pack; try to use carryon only if you can.

24. Stay curious; it’s the best arrow in your travel quiver.

25. Get lost at least once on every trip.

26. Ask locals for the best places to eat.

Ritz Carlton Tokyo

27. Visit grocery stores overseas, cheaper snacks and a great lesson in the culture.

28. I love hotels, but short term apartment rentals are fun too for a more ‘local’ experience.

29. Learn a few phrases in a foreign language, it’ll help you more than you know.

30. Always pack a bathing suit, you just never know.

31. Never eat anywhere with a ‘tourist’ menu.

32. Take time to learn how to drive stick shift. Some places in the world it will be your only option.

33. Don’t overdo the food when you travel, healthy choices will keep you going longer.

34. Disconnect if you can and learn to enjoy the experience firsthand and not through a phone or camera lens.

Seven Dials Covent Garden

35. Plan ahead, but don’t go crazy. Spontaneous travel moments are usually the best.

36. Don’t put off traveling with kids; they’re more adept than you think and traveling is great for them.

37. Travel more, even if it’s a couple of hours away.

38. Stay loyal to one airline and hotel brand if you can in order to maximize miles accrual

39. To beat jetlag align yourself to the new time zone right away, even if it means staying up all day.

40. Make copies of your passport and either email them to yourself or store in Dropbox in case the worst happens.

41. Never bring more than two pairs of shoes. Instead pack multi-use footwear.

42. Don’t only listen to travel ‘experts’ – always follow your gut and your heart.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

13 Responses

  1. Monica

    Great tips. I think no.15 is my favourite!

    Reply
  2. Brian

    #15 – If offered Nutella, the answer is always yes. I couldn’t agree more!!

    Reply
  3. Adina | Gluten Free Travelette

    Great tips! Love the get lost one.

    While public transportation is a great way to get local in cities – having a rental car in the countryside is a great way to get way off the beaten path to make unexpected discoveries and memories too!

    Reply
  4. Alana - Paper Planes

    ‘Haggle with respect’ is a great way to put it…

    Reply
  5. Brian

    Wow, these are great tips. I shared this on Twitter, and I’m definitely going to bookmark it.

    Reply
  6. Tyler Muse

    Love #29. Learning the language can make a big difference in your experience while traveling. Knowing how to communicate even standard phrases not only makes you feel more connected, but adds a sense of confidence and safety as you travel.

    Reply
    • Zoe

      Also, more often than not, it endears you a lot faster with the locals when they see you making an effort to speak to them in their own language.

      Reply
  7. Barry

    Absolutely no arguments with your list, though I’d take #s 18,20,28 and wrap them up and go one step further: if you really enjoy the place you are visiting, many times there are opportunities to buy equity in the resorts or similar venues. As you rightly suggest, sometimes the perks can be VERY substantial.

    Reply
  8. Erik

    These are awesome, Matt!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    25. Get lost at least once on every trip.-
    As an overplanner, I actually have to force myself to get lost once a trip. Almost always, it’s the best part of the trip…

    Reply
  9. ChinaMatt

    Still working on #9 and #35. Really need to focus more on those.

    Reply
  10. Nussaibah

    #35 GUILTY

    I tend to overplan so much it’s to the point of just being ridiculous now. And when I try not to, I end up NOT planning anything. Need to find a balance!

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      It’s not easy and has taken me a long time to manage

      Reply

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