So here’s the thing. I used to be a travel agent. I still love to travel. I have been to over 40 countries and have written for multiple travel blogs. Traveling can be a great way to relax and recharge, but it can also be an opportunity to learn about new cultures and expand your horizons.
In today’s increasingly connected world, it’s more important than ever to have a global perspective, and travel is one of the best ways to get it.
By immersing yourself in a new culture, you can learn about different customs and beliefs, and gain a better understanding of the world around you. You may also find that your vacation gives you a new appreciation for your own culture and way of life.
So whether you’re planning a trip around the world or a romantic weekend getaway, remember that travel can be an opportunity to learn and grow.
I have learned a few things along the way and I am going to share some of my best tips and tricks of the trade with you.
How to Make the Most of Your Next Travel Adventure
Here are a few of my favorite tips for making the most out of your next vacation:
There is a “best” and a “worst” time to fly
Despite the fact that the holiday season is associated with higher airfare costs, you could be better off avoiding the summer months when it comes to value and customer service.
Most Americans take their holidays in July or August, boosting airfare costs (the period between June 22 and August 27 has some of the highest fares ) Of course, all of those rambunctious children, party-bound collegiates, and surly families who have been on vacation for too long add to the flight crew’s stress levels, making for more flight delays and cancellations.
So when is the best time to book a flight? You should book your flights as early as possible (especially if you are traveling during peak season). Typically, airfare prices begin dropping around 8 weeks out from your intended departure date – so try booking your flight at least 8 weeks in advance.
Another good way to save money and get the best flights is to use a travel booking site like Expedia, Skyscanner or Kayak – these sites aggregate all of the available flights and fares for your route, making it easy to compare different airlines and find the best deal.
But also cross check against the airline site as well. Sometimes depending on the time and route – it may be cheaper to book direct with the airline.
Additionally, you should try signing up for an airline’s frequent flier program – many airlines offer loyalty rewards programs that can save you money (or even get you a free flight!)
Incognito Browsing – Yes its a thing
Did you know that the prices of airline tickets are also determined by where you’re searching from? Our browsers keep track of our location and, depending on where we are, airfares may be more expensive.
Using an incognito browser and a VPN may let you shift your location on your computer to somewhere that is less well-off in order to obtain cheaper rates.
Live Like a Local
For example, midtown Manhattan is highly visited by tourists, but I suggest looking for restaurants and attractions that are popular among New Yorkers.
New York’s finest dining and cultural experiences can be found in the areas where people live their everyday lives. Local restaurants and bars make New York City unique, with so much to learn about. So avoid being captive at an expensive chain restaurant. Take a risk by trying something new.
Also, plan to walk and use public transportation whenever you can. If the distance is less than 20 blocks, travel on foot; otherwise, take a taxi or Uber. This is an excellent method to not only cut back on your spending, but also to explore parts of the city you would have missed out on had you not done this.
More on Local Living – Opt for Homes over Hotels
Airbnb and HomeAway have made opting out of a more traditional hotel room easier than ever before, making it easier than ever to travel while abstaining. And renting an entire home can be a wonderful way to save money in several ways for those traveling with a group.
Splitting the cost of a three- or four-bedroom house, where you aren’t compelled to eat out for three meals each day, can save you a significant amount of money.
For even more bang for your buck, staying outside of big cities, you’ll discover more premium hotels and rentals for half the price, as well as cheaper parking.
Why You Need to Love Mondays
I know, nobody likes Mondays – but if you are going to do a 3 day romantic getaway, opt for the Monday instead of the Friday to make it a long weekend. Why? Well it turns out that Sunday hotel rates and way cheaper than Friday.
If the hotel caters to business guests, this is particularly true. Sunday room rates are typically a bargain, even in popular vacation destinations like Las Vegas, which also offers mid-week discounts.
For example, rates at the MGM Grand Las Vegas begin at $59 for Sundays in April, as opposed to $229 for Friday night stays in the same month. That means more ching ching in your wallet.
Get Through the Airport Lines Quicker
If you want to enhance your travel experience, signing up for TSA PreCheck (which costs $85) is one of the simplest and most beneficial methods. You may keep your shoes, belt, and jacket on while using this benefit at participating airports in the United States for five years.
All that is needed is some paperwork and a brief in-person interview. Global Entry (which costs $100 and is only for international travel) affords you comparable access, such as an accelerated customs procedure. In Canada, the program is known as NEXUS.
There’s no better feeling than cruising by all those people, trust me on it – it’s well worth it.
Compromise and Be Flexible
This is my top travel advice if you are going as a couple. Traveling can’t be about one person deciding where to go and what to do. My husband and I enjoy spending time together, but we have different tastes. But we make concessions.
We give a little, and we try things that the other person enjoys. And what’s more, we frequently discover that we enjoy it! Because everyone is unique, we strive to tolerate one another’s viewpoints and boundaries.
He likes science fiction and history and cars – if there is something in our destination along those lines – we go. And you know what – it ends up being fun for me too even though it is not something I would not have picked.
So don’t be rigid and try to see the world from your partner’s point of view. You might just find you like it too!
In general you need to be flexible while traveling
Things won’t always go as planned. For example, your travel plans may be disrupted by bad weather or a cancelled flight. If you’re not flexible, you may end up wasting your vacation time trying to stick to a rigid schedule. Instead, it’s important to be prepared for changes and go with the flow.
This doesn’t mean that you should abandon all of your plans, but it does mean that you should be open to making adjustments as needed. By being flexible, you can make the most of your vacation time and create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
And that’s just a start! I hope you found these tips helpful and that you’ll be able to use them on your next family vacation, romantic getaway or solo adventure. Safe travels!