Going on business trips can be stressful enough, but holiday travel can actually become an even bigger headache. After all, you probably want to relax during your time off work which is why you might not focus on your traveling arrangements properly.
Most issues can be avoided with the right planning. However, even during the trip itself, you should avoid making common tourist mistakes. Here’s what fifteen travel writers have to say about traveling during holidays and their best tips to follow.
#1 Jilian Dara, Writer for DuJour, Travel & Leisure, and Hemispheres
Jillian Dara says, “I hate creating expectations, but I like to be educated on a destination before a trip, so I do a certain level of pre-trip research.” She aims to find popular tourist sites and attractions and places to get food and drink. She also makes sure to research the local customs and culture.
Jillian also likes to schedule some free time into her plans so that she can explore the place without having to worry about being late somewhere. It’s one of the best ways to discover unexpected local spots and maybe even get lost a bit.
#2 Brian Kelly, Writer and Airline Expert at ThePointsGuy.com
Brian Kelly says, “Have a plan B at all times.” He stresses the importance of being prepared and sharing your plans with your travel buddies, whether it’s family, friends, or someone else. You need to be ready for any situation.
In addition to that, Brian recommends joining group tours. This way, you can meet other tourists and travelers while also getting to know some locals who could tell you about the most exciting place to visit in the region. You can even consider meeting people virtually via dating apps or forums like Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree.
#3 Johnny Jet, Writer at JohnnyJet.com
Johnny Jet says, “Be genuinely nice to everyone and it will open all kinds of doors.” Indeed, being polite and friendly during your trip will help you avoid conflicts while also helping you find people who could make your trip more enjoyable. Johnny also recommends hanging out in the lobby of a popular hostel if you are a solo traveler and want to meet others like you.
George Brodie, an expert from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online, adds to this, “Traveling alone doesn’t necessarily mean that your entire trip has to be in complete solitude. It’s a good idea to meet locals but also establish connections with other tourists you meet along the way.”
#4 Gemma Price, Writer for Departures, Wall Street Journal, and Condé Nast Traveller
Gemma Price says, “Ok, the thing I can't live without is my plane pack. Flying long haul in economy every other week isn't the most comfortable, so I have a selection of little pouches that contain everything I need for the journey.”
Her plane pack contains all kinds of useful goodies such as sanitizing wipes to keep the armrests and the table clean, medications for headaches or diarrhea, a small pillow for more comfort during the flight or ride, and other valuable items.
#5 Matt Kepnes, Travel Blogger at NomadicMatt.com
Matt Kepnes says, “Don’t rush your trip.” Instead of trying to do everything and anything you can in a limited period of time, take things a bit slower. You can even take one day simply to do nothing but relax in the local park or café. When you aren’t rushing things, you can truly feel the atmosphere of the place you are visiting.
Matt also highlights the importance of traveling safely. If you have to walk somewhere at night, try to do it with other people. When you are in a group with others, even deserted areas won’t seem as scary and won’t be as dangerous.
#6 Jack Maxwell, Host of Booze Traveller on the Travel Channel
Jack Maxwell says, “Don’t make too many plans.” His approach is different from what most bloggers recommend. While planning is necessary, it can be an obstacle. This is why Jack recommends that you avoid planning too much and instead go ahead and try to meet people.
Moreover, Jack also stresses that it’s important to understand the current political climate of the place you are visiting. The economic climate too. Do some research if you want to, but mostly try to keep an eye out on what is going on around you to read the room and figure out the best choice for your actions and words.
#7 Chelsea Davis, Writer for Forbes, Insider, and Travel Pulse
Chelsea Davis says, “Some of the things that have helped me on my travels are writing out five or so common phrases that I may need to know.” Doing this will help you better communicate with locals.
One more tip Chelsea recommends is going on a free walking tour once you arrive. The best tours of this kind are the ones done by locals. Make sure to pack all the emergency things you might need on your trip such as medicine, bug repellents, and the like.
#8 Jacklyn Shields, Photographer and Blogger at GetLostWithJackie.com
Jacklyn Shields says, “Don’t get too comfortable.” You might be used to using such services as Airbnb and Uber, but they aren’t entirely safe. Always lock your Airbnb room at night as well as ask your Uber driver to drop you off on the corner of the street if you are staying at a hotel (instead of dropping you off right in front of it).
Such precautions might seem over-the-top, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Jacklyn also recommends being prepared by using your bags in a smart way. Whether you are an experienced travel blogger who works with content intelligence or you are a first-time tourist, it’s a great idea to have several options for the bags or purses you carry around. To get several different bags with you, you can simply make your things in them.
#9 Leila Najafi, Writer for USA Today, Thrillist, and Eater
Leila Najafi says, “Time is your currency when you’re traveling, so you want to be as efficient as possible.” This is why she doesn’t check in her suitcase and instead gets a carry-on when she travels to Europe or Australia.
Even if you only get a carry-on, you can still get by for quite some time – Leila did that with three weeks! With such limitations, you become better at packing and faster while traveling because you simply have fewer things with you that you need to take care of.
#10 Zach Honig, Editor-in-Chief at ThePointsGuy.com
Zach Honig says, “Do your best to avoid standing out.” Don’t wear flashy clothes and leave your jewelry at home. In fact, don’t try to bring too much cash either. You can use credit cards instead.
Miriam Ramsey, an expert from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge, adds to this, “As a tourist, you will already attract some attention to yourself. However, it’s still worth making the effort to stand out less as it will prevent you from getting into potentially dangerous situations.”
#11 Jeremy Scott Foster, Writer for TravelFreak.com
Jeremy Scott Foster says, “Before going abroad, make sure you have a method in place to send money overseas.” Once he got stranded in Tasmania without any access to his bank accounts or the ability to send or receive cash.
Being stranded like that is by far one of the worst things that can happen to you, so it’s crucial that you check these things beforehand and make sure that you are prepared.
#12 Merissa Principe, Writer for CBS Local and Hello Giggles
Merissa Principe says, “If you want to travel like a travel writer, you need to have the right apps!” She downloads the app of the airline she is traveling with to get all the necessary travel updates. It’s also a good idea to get a mobile passport app. Using this app, you can fill out the customs form beforehand.
Merissa also recommends having a pre-packed in-flight bag or getting a carry-on. And by the way, if you are traveling with a carry-on, you can roll your clothes to save space. Try to choose items you can mix and match as well as layer.
#13 Nicola Easterby, Photographer and Blogger at PolkadotPassport.com
Nicola Easterby says, “Make sure you have someone who knows where you are all the time.” This is especially important if you are traveling solo. You need to have a family member or a friend who knows where you are and what you are doing.
Nicola also shares a helpful map hack. Instead of opening your map app every time you are lost, download the area where you will be traveling to so that you can view it offline.
#14 Gloria Atanmo, Writer at TheBlogAround.com
Gloria Atanmo says, “As cliche as it sounds, you've gotta hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” She stresses the importance of being prepared for all kinds of disasters, whether they are big or small.
From bad weather to lost electronics, there are so many things that could go wrong. Likewise, you should be savvy at packing if you want your trip to go well.
#15 Alexandra Baackes, Writer at AlexInWanderland.com
Alexandra Baackes says, “Scheduled days with nothing on the itinerary are important.” Vacation is about relaxing and recharging, so you need to take a breather once in a while, especially if you are on a longer trip.
If you travel often, Alexandra also recommends that you take advantage of the credit cards points or the flyer miles most airlines offer.
At the end of the day, the planning is arguably the most important part of any traveling arrangement you make. If you dedicate enough time to set everything up, and if you do it correctly, you can avoid many issues that could potentially spoil your holiday trip. Use the tips in this article to help you prepare your own travel plans and get the