8 Travel Hacks to Make Your Holiday Experience Great
Holidays can be a massive undertaking, we know this well. Managing lodging, activities, the travel itself, parking, navigating the airport, exchange rates, etc., it is a mountain of a task. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first time flier, there are plenty of great travel hacks to really make the most of your next journey. Read on for eight of our favorite travel tips and how to make your holiday experience great.
Make/consult a local friend
At the very top of our list is one of the best things you can do, especially if it is a faraway or very unknown destination—have a local on your journey! Nobody knows the best sights, best bites, attractions, experiences and secrets like a local, and this is a great way for travelers to get to know and meet a side of your destination usually missed out on by travelers. Whether you’ve got diverse circles and a local in your midst or you’re open to reaching out and making friends with a local, this is a sure way to not only really see all the insider secrets, but also add a human touch to your holiday.
Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path
This more so applies for safer locations, as unfortunately, it is best to stick to the tourist areas in some destinations. But, for those safer locations, wandering, exploring and really seeing what’s out there and outside the travel guide is another great way to experience your trip. This is better for slightly longer journeys where you’ll have time to recharge and commit to exploration, and especially for those who don’t prefer a detailed itinerary. Plenty of hidden sights, flavors and experiences are around the corner from the largest tourist attractions in many destinations, and are a great and memorable way to take the holiday on your own terms.
Prioritize new experiences
If you’ll be traveling somewhere similar to home, it might be tempting to actually end up doing many of the same things you do at home. It could be going out eating delicious food, shopping for clothes, going out clubbing, it’s your vacation in the end, but the really unique experiences are going to be those things you really can’t see or do at home. For this reason, we recommend really prioritizing those sights and experiences, whether it’s an ornate, ancient palace, a lively live market and performances with rare foods, trekking along a river with endemic and exotic wildlife or a dying art form.
Ranked choice voting when with a group/a picky bunch
Indeed, whether you’re just traveling with one other incredibly picky person, or in a large group, it can be hard to plan an itinerary that everyone will be happy with! Our neat solution to this is ranked choice voting. The concept is simple, you’ve got however many attractions on your holiday—each person in your group picks their top 5–10 items, and you rank the items. Higher votes count more, and the inverse is true. The result is you are left with a good idea of what people want to see the most, want to see only some and don’t care at all. An incredibly useful tool when planning with a group. (A massive task in itself). You can also modify the method by allowing for one guaranteed pick if you are concerned that one person’s number one pick might be not interesting to anyone else.
Go for a themed vacation
A novel strategy, maybe your holiday can center around a specific interest you have. Whether this is local gastronomy, a local sport, art form, material, animal, or phenomenon, this can be an easy way to completely change the layout of your vacation, and allow you to really dive deep into a certain topic of interest in limited time. This might be preferred for locations where you’re fairly confident you’ll return in the future, or for locations so dense in activities/attractions that you’ll not miss out.
Challenge yourself with the language
If you’ll be traveling somewhere where you do not know the language, another good and highly rewarding item is challenging yourself with learning the language! This is an especially good thing to do in advance of those trips far in the future, as you’ll have more time to learn more of the language. This can equip you to navigate independently during your holiday, really satisfying and memorable for the solo traveler, or for those travelers who enjoy being “behind the wheel.” Aside from this, learning the language can also open a world of possibilities for your trip, whether it’s inevitably learning cultural nuances and customs, making local friends or discovering other attractions/aspects of the culture that you can explore/better understand during your trip. For those travelers up for the challenge and have a dream destination they’re very invested in, learning the language is very much worth the work.
Location, location, location
Unless you have a specific destination in mind or really prefer long walks/quiet, making sure you’ve booked a location with prime distance to restaurants, attractions, nightlife, and transportation is a very important item to have checked prior to your vacation. An out of the way and very lifeless area for your lodging can make all the difference during your next vacation, and extra paid to stay closer to the action can be well worth it.
Have transportation accounted for
Some destinations have incredibly poor public transport and thus a car will be an important item to have on your vacation. Failing to book one or forgoing one can eat up a lot of time in a place with no public transport, either spending lots of time waiting on underfunded bus systems, or spending lots of money on taxis, uber, and lyft! Before you head out, be sure you know which method of transport you’ll be using to get around—it can save so much time on your next vacation.