9 Tips to Follow for an Incredible 2019 Travel Experience! Shannon Durso January 8, 2019 Travel Tips The best way to ring in the new year is with new travel plans! Whether you decide to venture to Paris, Bali, or hop around the States this year, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Once you come across cheap flights, odds are you’ll be so excited that you won’t stop to think of the what-ifs like, ‘what if my passport is almost expired?’ Or, ‘what if I were to get pickpocketed?’ These instances may seem a bit dramatic but anything is possible. In order to avoid a crisis or tragic event from happening while you’re away, the best thing to do is to be aware. With that said, enjoy your newest adventures and follow these travel tips for the ultimate 2019 travel experience! Book flights in advance Plan your trip in advance if you’d like to score cheap flights with plenty of flight options to choose from. If you’ve ever come across alternate travel dates, that’s because there are lower fares available on dates near the ones you’ve selected. Usually, when you search for flights, alternate travel dates for the dates you entered will appear at the top of the results page. Being flexible with travel dates and times will land you with the best options to spend less on airfare. Searching for flights at least 3 months ahead of time will also save you money. Booking in advance will allow you to choose your favorite seats, get the travel times you want, and not have to worry about seats selling out on the flight you’ve been watching for fares to drop. Looking for low fares for your next trip? Find cheap flights right here! Stay flexible with your travel plans and itinerary When traveling often, it’s always best to be flexible with travel dates and times. Don’t look past that redeye flight that’ll get you to your destination super early or late, you may save money and gain an extra day of your trip. By shifting your travel dates a bit you’ll have more flight options and will probably spend less on airfare and maybe even your hotel stay. Before you go, don’t pack your itinerary with tours and activities leaving you no time for other things. Once you arrive at your destination you may find something you’d like to do, but you won’t have that option if you purchased tickets and made arrangements already for your entire trip. Be prepared for travel Besides packing your clothing and essentials in your suitcase, bring along a carry-on bag with a few extra items. If you’re taking a long-haul flight, bring a sleep kit and prepare to snooze! Your sleep kit should include a small blanket and a pair of earplugs to cancel out any background noise to rest before you arrive at your destination. In the case of an injury or sickness you’re going to be searching for a first aid kit, so bring one yourself! Pack a small kit with bandages, healing ointment cream, and upset stomach, and headache medication. And don’t forget your antibacterial wipes to give your seat a quick germ-free cleaning before you cozy up for the duration of your flight! Bring it all: Credit/debit cards AND cash Take multiple credit cards, debit cards, and cash with you. Before you head out the door, call your banks to inform them of your travel plans. Usually, when a traveler leaves his or her country to venture off and swipe away at an unfamiliar area, the bank will close the credit or debit account in the protection of fraud. Also, when traveling to a foreign or unfamiliar place it’s best to keep one card and cash scattered in a different place on your person. In the unfortunate event of getting pickpocketed this will save you from being left with no source of money. Be knowledgeable about the country you’re visiting Get to know the city or country’s customs before you go to avoid saying or doing something rude or inappropriate. If possible, learn how to say important phrases of the native language such as ‘where is the restroom?’ or something as simple as ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, and ‘how are you?’ Do some research on the area you’re staying in and traveling to. Read up on the country’s customs so you know what is considered inappropriate or disrespectful. In some places, a gesture such as a hug may not be appropriate for a friendly greeting. Other small things to be aware of are the currency, which side of the road to drive on, and how to get around via transportation. It’s okay to be a tourist Don’t let your ego get to you: make your itinerary and include the tourist hotspots. Going to Paris? Head to the Eiffel Tower. Join free tours (if available) around the city you’re visiting; you can learn a lot from knowledgeable local guides. In reality, it doesn’t matter if you’re being a tourist and visiting the basic spots that everyone else back at home has checked off on their itineraries. End your trip with no regrets. Don’t skip the most popular attraction because the line was too long, or you wanted to avoid crowds. Be a tourist and explore it all! Ask a local, not your app Want to know where to find the best food in town? Ask a local rather than searching the internet. Most of the time, locals will have great recommendations that you’d never think to go to if you found it online. Also, searching the web will typically suggest the hottest spots in town with pricey menus or no reservations available. Put down your phone, keep your head up, and chat with someone new! Write everything down After a long day of touring, relaxing, or maybe even partying, we’re sure you’ll want to snooze. Before you hit the sheets, jot down the best parts of your day, your experiences, and thoughts. Keep a journal including the places you visited, the things you learned, and the local cuisine you tasted. This way when you get home you won’t forget all the cool things you’ve experienced on your adventure. Be aware of your surroundings So you’ve scored cheap flights and you’re on your way to your dream destination, but that shouldn’t stop you from paying attention to your surroundings. Regardless of where you’re headed, it’s easy for thieves to notice tourists who are not paying attention to what’s going on. In some places, pickpocketing is very common and losing something as important as your passport can be nothing short of a nightmare. If you’re planning on getting around in local taxis, look for a meter to clock your time and fare. Taxi drivers and typically any business abroad can take advantage and overcharge or even scam a tourist especially since they’re unaware of standard fees and pricing. And before you step into any vehicle, confirm that it is indeed a taxi! Have any other helpful tips to make 2019 your best travel year yet? Tell us in the comments below!