Here’s a simple truth: Every aspect of your travels now requires hypervigilance and savvy navigation.
Every activity, booking, and every bit of the travel process (from wanderlust to touring), now has a step added to it.
There’s a world of wisdom out there – articles full of tidbits about hygiene, cruises, airport navigation, insurance insights for claims etc. And they are useful and detailed, but you likely know much of what they mention.
My 12 fresh Travel Tips may seem random, but they sure are informative keepers for travel even beyond the pandemic.
1. Round trip flight fares may not always be the cheapest option!
It sometimes seems like roundtrip fares consolidate all expenses and problems, and give you peace of mind with one estimated price.
Sometimes you fair quite well with roundtrip deals, I won’t lie – from local, and even international, airlines.
But thrifty and savvy travellers know to always check estimates for both.
Whether I’m flying local or international, I gauge my energy level and prepare to deep dive into logging prices one-way to my destination, and both ways.
This too, is a strategy that can help with being flexible with your itinerary – letting you choose far more convenient departure and arrival times and locations much more in line with your travel plans.
Always check one-way trips to and back from your destination, along with roundtrip airfares.
2. How to Secure an extra Complimentary Breakfast/Snack for Later…
Note: Some hotels and accommodations put a restriction on the complimentary breakfast menu guests can order from, as well as how much they can choose.
However, if you’re lucky enough to have the cookie-cutter hospitality establishment when you go down for breakfast:
Enjoy your breakie, and when you are done, load up another plate of what you want to eat later and either ask that the team bring it to your room, or to please just keep it aside for you until you call up for it via Room Service.
If I’m not leaving my suite for the day, I honestly take my Hobbity second breakfast up to my suite, and munch on it within the hours that follow.
3. Locate the most Instagrammable Locations at your Destination using Instagram’s locations tag.
There are many websites to find eateries with ratings and reviews, but one of the most efficient ways to find picturesque stop-ins, is via Instagram itself.
The geotag location tag we all have available to check-in our shots on the app, works as a means to hone in on places you may not know exist, but have the vibe you want for a great shot – whether its rooftop sunsets, romantic nooks, streetstyle street sides and more.
PRO TIP: I also figured out how to take the right photo angles using Instagram’s geotagged photos. Everyone is already out there snapping away, seeking the ideal shot. You just need to learn from them by observing and bookmarking their pictures.
4. Neck pillows are a Must-Have!
I never really bought into the travel pillow hype.
I thought it was another ultimately useless item peddled by the travel industry.
NOPE! Get you the travel neck pillows – cheap or otherwise!
Beyond the comfort it gives you to fall asleep in nearly any kind of chair, these travel pillows can be used in multiple ways, including to balance things on, keep your legs, feet, elbows, or even butt, more comfortable while travelling.
5. Get your booster shot!
It’s the responsible thing to do.
And make sure you ideally get it at least 2 weeks before you’re to travel out, as:
“the data show that the optimal immune response comes about two weeks after the booster”Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York.
6. Packing for a trip is different to Packing for the Airport.
I kid you not!
The airport is an entirely different trip to your actual destination and needs to also be carefully considered.
Factor in the comforts you need, to survive:
- Possible Delays
- Change in your ideal plane seating
- Airport air conditioning Vs. Outside weather Vs. Airplane conditions
- Personal health challenges
- Security protocols
- Loss of pertinent travel documentation
- flight cancellation etc.
Too much can happen at the airport, and your plan to rush through at the last minute may wind up being your undoing.
Make sure your carry-on luggage is equipped to keep you safe, secure, comfortable, and entertained anywhere from 1 hour to 36 hours.
- If I have time before a flight or during a layover, my devices are always charging up in a nearby airport port.
- Keep yourself from feeling gross and uncomfortable, by making use of the refresher hygiene packs the airlines offer, or that you’ve packed. Brush your teeth, wipe down your pits and pieces, and wash your face.
- Double check airline and airport destination rules on what food can cross through their security checkpoints, and pack yourself some budget-friendly snacks from your favourite stores, so you dont fall into the high-priced airport shopping trap.
7. Ask what the Hotel & Airline Policies currently are, concerning travel restriction changes.
Flexible travel cancellation policies have now been necessitated!
Too many trips for people around the world have been ruined due to sudden travel restrictions.
Some people also don’t check the travel recommendations for the places they’re bound for, and some don’t heed the fine print from airlines and hotels. When you don’t check important details like that, you could face penalty fees for cancelling or rebooking.
Either way, the best way to protect your wallet and pleasure, is to ask in advance AND keep checking in with the company right up until you are to travel to/with them.
Ask, and news you shall receive!
8. Dont Cancel your bookings – Push it real good!
You already set aside the funds for the trip.
So, rather than throwing away hours of your trip planning, just check for another slot in your life schedule when a holiday maybe (hopefully) feasible, and adjust your bookings accordingly.
It helps the businesses and yourself – trust me!
9. Citymapper is a fantastic Navigation App.
Yes, Google Maps will always be my default go-to maps App.
However, in my time travelling around the world, I have found that Citymapper is an incredibly up-to-date and informative app that consolidates everything from Uber estimates to transit schedules and prices, as well as station and platforms, into one single platform that offers you choices of travel simply and easily.
This app considers traffic, tourist hot spots, and so much more. And any time I’m travelling beyond Africa, I redownload it.
It is incredible – though right now, limited to other major tourist destinations like all of Europe, the USA, and parts of Asia and Australia.
10. Bored at the airport?
Document, Work, or Play your way through the exhaustion, frustration, and even adventures.
Delays and cancellations are THEE WORST, I know!
You get disheartened and overwhelmingly tired; Griping about it actually helps.
- Vent to your Whatsapp groups.
- Make sad faces on your Instagram Stories, with a cute selfie filter
- Or even stretch your legs with a walk around the terminal, wondering into stores and perplexingly wondering about who buys some of the stuff out there.
- Then hit up a charging port for all your devices, and check on your flight details.
- Naturally, cute and hilarious animal and baby videos on TikTok and Youtube are part of the prescribed regiment!
PRO TIP: Ask the store teams, cleaning staff, or any of the other airport personnel (when the crowds have thinned) if they have any tips for how you can better survive your remaining time in the airport. THEY KNOW ALL!
It’s how I discovered Charles de Gaulle Airports one smoking section has a pretty cool setup for a quick photoshoot, and which bench at Heathrow Airport was comfier for sleeping (long story!).
11. Travel Insurance is king!
The devil is, of course, in the details.
However, any kind of basic Travel insurance can really save you from legitimate tears, unplanned debts, and more.
Often, your Credit Card bank will offer up a free bit of travel insurance that comes as a card perk. I suggest you also shop around for airline ones, as well as independent but reputable travel insurance providers, who give you insurance that cover more than just medical and luggage coverage.
I realised the importance of far more comprehensive travel insurance coverage needed though, when I got locked out of my Parisian Airbnb. My travel insurance for that trip informed me they could not help with the estimated expense, which would have decimated my entire travel budget.
Luckily, my host’s family eventually found a way to get me back into the apartment, and the expense was averted.
Never skirt getting decent travel insurance – not with the apocalypse-like conditions the pandemic has shown us we are vulnerable to around the globe.
12. Motion Sickness meds do more than you think!
I always knew that while I loved yachts, I always got motion sickness on them.
I didn’t realize I actually had motion sickness beyond the sea until my mother pointed out how slightly nauseous I’d always mention I am if I sat anywhere other than the front seat of the car.
Motion Sickness tablets really help for road trips and airplane rides too, in addition to some of them making you sleepy so you can snooze through a bit of your trip.
Maybe don’t read while in motion, by the way!
I realized that’s a factor too, in how nauseous I get while travelling.