The idea that travel should be spontaneous and impulsive does not translate into carelessness. If you think that booking plane tickets and accommodation in advance is all you can do to travel effectively, then think again. Ask any seasoned traveler and he will tell you that travelling often and for longer takes more than just spending time on booking sites; it’s a meticulous system of tips and tricks to get the most bang out of your buck and your time. As a starter, consider these tips followed by the veterans to travel smarter.
Get Travel Insurance
No matter how frugal a traveler you are, never forego getting the right kind of travel insurance to save a few bucks. Bear in mind that the type of insurance you need varies greatly depending upon your situation and the kind of trip planned. Do you research thoroughly and pick what’s right for you instead of a generic type cover as there’s even travel insurance covering pre-existing medical conditions for those who need it. Being adequately insured keeps your mind stress free and enjoy your travels even when things don’t always go as expected.
photo credit: maveric2003
Collect Air Miles
Don’t underestimate the value of air miles and enroll in a frequent flyer program even if you feel you don’t travel enough. Sign up for a credit card that rewards you with a handsome signing bonus and earns you miles on your purchases. Don’t forget that shopping online on the retail portal of airline websites can bring you significant earnings. Even booking hotels through certain booking websites such as Agoda earns you additional air miles. Air miles help you get free upgrades to Business Class or free flights and that’s not a bad reward for loyalty. So instead of always booking the cheapest flight to your destination, pay slightly more and fly with the airline you’ve signed up with.
photo credit: Mark Morgan Trinidad B
Buy Versatile Luggage Pieces
I’m a big fan of versatile luggage pieces; duffel bags that can be folded and zipped into a small pouch when not in use, backpacks with wheels to roll over when they’re too heavy for your back and foldable totes that double up as day packs, beach bags or luggage to bring home shopping in and can fit into your pocket when not in use. Buy luggage pieces that are light, waterproof and become one-fourth their original size when you don’t need to use them. You’ll never have to worry about buying new expensive bags at your destination even if you’re guilty of indulging in a bit of retail therapy.
Pack Smart, Pack Light
Just like versatile luggage, it pays to carry versatile clothing; a knitted shawl that can be draped in different ways to become a top to wear over your bikini, or used to cover your head in religious places, and a dress that goes from day to night and can be worn as a maxi skirt. These pieces help you to effortlessly wear different looks while keeping your bag light. It’s also helpful to roll rather than fold your clothes to occupy less space and keep clothes crease free. Of course, it helps if your travel wardrobe is made of wrinkle free materials as you don’t have to worry about ironing them to prevent looking like a hobo. Remember, packing like a pro helps you to carry the weight around without hating every minute of it.
photo credit: penelope waits
These are just some tips to get you started with making travel more effective. The more you travel, the more tips, tricks and hacks you’ll discover that you will gradually add to your own ‘travel smart’ list.