Most often than not, when doing research for travel destinations and googling for travel inspirations, travellers are bombarded with listicles of things to do, where to stay and loads of itinerary ideas. However informative a listicle travel article is, most travellers are hungry for smart travel hacks that they can practice anywhere in the world.
To be honest, I roll my eyes if I am emailed or privately messaged by budget backpacker if she can skip buying a travel insurance for a certain destination or if she can use this or that credit card or booking too far in advance for a cheap flight.
I am like, hello!, we don’t book flights way in advance anymore, or there are better travel credit cards now that offers money-saving incentives and also doubles as a debit card so you can check if you go overboard with your expenses.
I have written some articles on mistakes that a traveller usually does when in a certain destination, but this time, this post about smart travel hacks that anyone can use or share. Something that all travellers need to know and to practice!
Don’t skip buying travel insurance
Never ever leave your house without buying one! Travel insurance is very important and I have written these many times here on my blog.
Again, your personal health insurance does not cover your travels abroad. Travel insurance are actually cost-effective if you calculate the cost on a daily basis. For one of my trips in Europe, I came down to a cost of spending only $8.00 a day. $8 for a peace of mind. $8 that covers me in any kind of emergency. $8 that covers my travel luggage and gears too!
If you need help on understanding how a travel insurance works and what you need to look for in buying one, check out my link here.
Don’t skip the local tourism office
Although you may have diligently researched your destination, the local tourism office offers more insider tips and guide so you can make an informed decision about your itinerary changes. Local tourism offices at times offer free walking tours for half a day promoting new local tourist spots. This is a good chance to get to know your destination too. And for free!
The local tourism office can also inform you if there are events or festivities going on that you might be interested. This is a good thing so you don’t missed out on colorful festivals or new openings in your area.
Don’t skip the eco-tourism spots
Skip the main stream and instead head out to the tourist spots that support the local industry. Don’t skip hiring the local tour guide just because you feel you are fit to go spelunking or snorkeling out in the open sea. This is also for your safety and security. Remember the golden rule: Never Trek Alone (NTA)
Hiring local tour guides gives you a perfect opportunity to give to the community. Remember that these locals are dependent on the local tourism industry and your precious dollars can go a looooong way for them and their families.
Don’t skip the water bottle
Water bottle expenses do add up along the way. Say a water bottle cost only $1.00 where you are right now. If you add up all the $1 that you shell out and it totals $10.00 for the duration of your trip, that could have been spent on a train commute or added to your souvenir shopping budget.
It also important to keep in mind that bringing your own water bottle also help saves the environment.
Don’t skip packing lightly
I already lost count of how many times I’ve shared this one important tip, always, always pack light! Not only packing light lets you move freely when commuting and when moving from one destination to another, it also saves you a lot on extra baggage charges. You can save a lot when booking your flights if you exclude baggage fees.
Practice packing light, I’m sharing this video link to teach you how.
Don’t skip the alternative accommodations
Forget about hotels and try out the local alternative accommodations. Check out local community homestays, Couchsurfing, AirBnb and local listings at the local tourism office. These options can save you a lot of money plus they offer authentic travel experiences.
Where else can you get in-depth travel guides complete with stories and anecdotes than from a local? This is what alternative accommodations can give you that you cannot get out of a hotel. Most hotel staff’s services are executed by the book and by the number.
Don’t skip eating local
Nepal’s Dhal bat and momo, Thailand’s Pad Thai, Helsinki’s coffee culture, Singapore’s Lau Pa Sat culture, any idea what I’m talking about? These are some of the authentic food experiences that I can share with you when I travelled to these amazing destinations.
I skipped the international brands and fast food chains. Instead, I took to the local market, to the streets and ordered the local best sellers. Food tripping should be a part of your itinerary. Where else, can you smell and taste the colorful history and traditions of the destination than in a bowl of hot noodles infused with flavors of Asia on a local dining table.
Don’t skip the local public commute
Commuting your way around is not only cheap, it is also the best way to embrace the city’s characteristic. It is fun to decode bus stop maps and find your way around like local. It is also fun to make new friends on the metro train, you can learn more about the city this way.
Forget the taxis. Taxis are no fun and really an expensive way to go around. One way taxi ride can be a good thing is when you’re sharing the ride with other travellers.
But you can skip the airport money changer
Totally skip the airport money changer. They have insanely high exorbitant rates! On cases when you don’t have the local currency on you yet, you can exchange for a small amount. Just enough to buy a ticket to get you to the city center.
My strategy in changing money is to exchange only for a small amount. I do some rough calculations in my head of how much will I need for the next 2 or 3 days and change only for what I will need within those days. Why I do this is that because I keep thinking that the rate may go higher in the few days, giving me a better deal the next time I buy the local currency.
And skip travel bank cards with high fees
Do your best to research and compare travel bank cards in your country. Subscribe to the company’s email alerts so you get first hand info on promotions.
For Filipinos still searching for that best travel bank card in The Philippines, here is a link I read. I personally own the Unionbank travel bank card. It is an auto debit card and really convenient to use for online transactions.
Knowing what to skip will help you stop wasting money and experience a more rewarding journey. Skip the popular travel trends and get off the beaten path. You can be a smart savvy traveller if you follow some of the tips here.life begins at the end of your comfort zone. - Neale Donald Walsch Click To Tweet
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