The habits of savvy travelers differ significantly from the habits of tourists. The well-traveled tend to have diverse views of the world and are profoundly affected by the challenges and realities of different worlds due to having seen and observed many cultures.
This article focuses on such habits and gives you 5 travel tips to become a savvy traveler. Read on:
1) Always remember “Cash is king”!
One of the first among these travel tips should be taken as a golden rule. A popular quote goes ‘Save Money, and money will save you’, and this is relevant to nothing more so than travel. Being well-traveled largely involves spending money but wisely, especially since travel is expensive and one ends up spending on food, stay and flight tickets anyway. Over and above that, one also needs to have the extra stash for other expenses, entertainment, shopping (if any), as well as for emergencies.
Being well-traveled also means prioritizing what to spend money on depending on your personal choices – whether the fancy hotel room with the infinity pool or adding an extra day to the trip. Either way, people who save make for good travelers, especially since living on a shoestring budget allows one to go over the budget occasionally. So, if one has to curb spending power at home, one gets to spend money to see the world.
2) Becoming familiar with deals on flights and hotels
It is no secret that a huge chunk of the travel budget goes to flight tickets and hotels. One of the best habits of the well-traveled is joining the airlines’ loyalty programmes which enables them to get free upgrades and rack up and redeem frequent flyer miles.
Similarly, travelers should try and book hotels via travel sites where one can get deals on hotel rooms. Also, staying in hotels isn’t the only option anymore – the well-traveled also explore the possibility of staying in homestays, apartments, hostels and dorms, and vacation rentals. Seasoned travelers also do a lot of research online allowing them a true glimpse of how locals really live.
3) Get out of the comfort zone
Amongst all the travel tips, this one might be overused and hackneyed, but it makes the most sense. The well-traveled tend to learn the local language and have the courage to use them, which results in the locals warming up to them and them having a memorable experience. Getting up at the crack of dawn and sacrificing some sleep will ensure that one has all the attractions to himself/herself, far before the crowds swarm the place.
One of the most important habits of the well-traveled is going beyond the guidebooks and the ‘must-do’ lists, and going off-the-road. A longer trip duration also allows people to experience the country and the culture better, rather than cramming six countries in six weeks. This also gives them the time to challenge themselves to try out those activities and experiences which would normally make them anxious, thus making them truly well-traveled. This works well while traveling because everything is already very different, so what’s one more experience?
4) Find the right travel job
This is easier said than done, but those who wish to be well-traveled begin out by making travel a priority. They search for jobs that are more accepting of travel or look for employers who are looking for ‘travel’ on their employees’ resumes, thus giving them the time to see the world. Many of the well-traveled have accumulated enough money from well-paying jobs and then have quit jobs to travel. Others are self-employed people, travel bloggers, culinary experts, teachers, or freelancers who can work online from anywhere in the world. Yet there are others in perfectly ordinary jobs such as nursing, but look for travel in the job description. This allows them to work and travel at the same time, thus investing in travel rather than simply spending on it.
5) Just go with the flow!
Sometimes, a lot of planning gets people nowhere. The best way is to have a few things on the itinerary, and just go along with the rest as one comes along it. Feel the pulse of everyday life in the town by sitting in the corner of a street or a park. Keeping a travelogue to record what one feels and sees is a great way to relive memories and even dig into the details at a later point in time. It is also a great way to record your travel experiences that may end up inspiring others to plan a trip.
Hope these travel tips prove useful in your journey towards becoming a savvy traveler. The savvy travelers keep an open mind, are empathetic and not judgemental – they listen to opinions and embrace other possibilities, people, and cultures. It is the best way to have rich, surprising and worthwhile experiences.