No matter if you’re an expert or a beginner, these are the key travel tips that you should know.
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The Points Guy’s team of writers and industry professionals travels the world to find news and trends. They also take time for relaxation and some rest. We have shared many travel tips and tricks over the years.
We have some tips for newbies to international cruising, as well as business-class travel. Some of our tips are for more experienced travellers.
Beginner travel tips
TPG offers expert advice and tips on how to maximize mileage and get the most out of travel planning. Also, we want to provide information to new travellers so they know what to expect and can prepare for any unexpected situations.
Here are some key insights for less-experienced tourists:
- You can make both digital and hard copies for important documents. TPG editor Kristy tolley suggests keeping the hard copy of important documents separate from your passport. If I’m traveling alone, I also leave a duplicate of it at home.
- Double-check the validity of your passport to ensure it doesn’t expire too soon. For entry into certain countries, six months of future passport validity is required. It is important to check the dates before you travel and make sure that you have enough time to renew your passport if necessary. There has been some delay in getting passports renewed.
- You can purchase travel insurance even if you have credit card protections. This is to make sure you are covered in any situation.
- Tanner Saunders, a senior writer at TPG advises: “If you check luggage, make sure that you have extra medicine or supplies in your bag in case your baggage is lost or delayed.” “As someone with diabetes, I carry a small kit of supplies in my backpack that can keep me going during an emergency.”
- Ryan Smith, TPG credit-card writer, says that baggage is the most important thing to consider. By making sure the items you will use the most are easy to reach, you can avoid having to search through (or partially unpack!) your bag in order to get what you need.
- Becca Manheimer (TPG senior director for marketing and communications) suggests you carry Apple AirTags or the Android equivalent in your luggage after a summer filled with baggage delays and luggage disasters. This will allow you to track lost items and keep them safe.
- Becca recommends that you use Google Flights or another flight search engine to manage price fluctuation. She says, “I recommend that you turn on notifications to these engines so that your can jump on any price drop and a good deal — they move quickly.”
- It is better to choose a nonstop flight than one with connections, even though it may be more expensive. You will reduce the chance of missing connections and decrease the chances of losing your luggage on a transfer.
- TPG principal cruise author Gene Sloan advises beginning cruisers to arrive at port at least a few days in advance, if not more than that, in order to minimize the chance of your ship leaving. This will allow you to get used to the local time zone.
Expert travel tips
Do you know the basics but want to travel smarter? Get these travel hacks from TPG that have been approved by experts:
- People who often travel internationally may consider buying an annual travel policy, rather than purchasing one trip-by-trip. Ryan Smith from TPG says he has an annual policy due to the cost savings for multiple trips. He finds it easier to have an annual policy than having separate policies and different credit card coverage terms.
- Taylor Jenkins, TPG senior director for audience development and Taylor Jenkins says that “just because something has less stars on Google (or Yelp) or Tripadvisor doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid them.” The criteria you use to determine if a five-star experience is worth your time may be different from the general public. Read reviews carefully and make sure you take comments with a grain. A travel agent may be a good option to help you get the insider tips and information that review-based sites can’t offer.
- Bring paper maps when you travel to faraway places. Taylor also suggests downloading offline Google maps. A paper map or an offline map will allow you to navigate to the destination you choose, even if your cellular service is interrupted.
- Erica recommends that you bring extra storage with you on your cruise. These magnetic hooks or hangers can help you with storage problems in your cabins because cruise ship walls have magnetic magnets. She says that it’s a great way to impress your first-time cruise buddies.
- No matter how well you think you are knowledgeable about redeeming mileage for flights, there are always new and improved tips and tricks that can help you convert those earnings into dream travels. TPG offers guidance on redeeming domestic flight miles and ExpertFlyer, a Red Ventures property (like TPG), provides additional redemption opportunities and steals.
Safety travel tips
Travellers are very concerned about safety. You could be robbed or have your home destroyed by natural disasters, and you don’t know what might happen. These are the risks you need to avoid.
Here are some ideas:
- You should pay close attention to any travel advice you receive about a particular destination. Also, make sure to check the local news sources for current information from that region.
- Your hotel’s travel safe can be used to keep valuables in your room. Becky Blaine, TPG newsletter editor shares her belief that one credit card is sufficient to keep me safe from losing the others or being stolen. Make sure to empty your safe before you leave your hotel. Becky suggests leaving a backup tip to empty the safe, such a shoe or another item that you aren’t likely to forget.
- Make sure to let people back home know what your itinerary is and keep in touch with them all the way. Someone will be able to tell you where you are supposed to be and the last place you visited if anything goes wrong.
- Ryan Smith from TPG says, “If you’re arriving late at night, get in touch with your hotel and ask for the best way to get there. Also, be specific about whether safe or cheap (transportation options).” This will help you avoid getting locked out of a hostel or being delayed on your flight.
- Make sure you are strategic in how you check in to a hotel. Kristy tolley from TPG says, “When I travel alone I always request two keyscards so people think that I’m traveling with someone.” To stop anyone from trying to take her credit card out, she places a towel over the security swingbar of her room’s doors.
Holiday travel tips
It can be difficult to travel during holidays. High travel costs, limited hotel and tour availability, frequent weather events, and everyone racing to return home to their loved ones can make it difficult.
You can make holiday travel less expensive and more enjoyable by doing a few simple things. Here are some of these:
- Flexibleness is the key to cheap holiday airfare. Airfare can be saved hundreds by changing your departure and arrival dates by one day. If your family is willing to change their plans, you might consider booking holiday travel directly for Christmas or Easter. This will allow you to get lower prices and fewer people at the airport.
- You shouldn’t bring wrapped gifts in your checked luggage or carry-on. If an agent requests more information, security may request to inspect the gifts. It is worth considering shipping gifts to your destination before you leave.
- Airport parking can be reserved in advance during peak holiday travel periods. You can save time searching for parking spots at airports during peak holiday travel times by reserving your spot early.
- You can download your airline’s mobile application to track flight delays and other information in real time. You should also have alternative plans in case your flight is cancelled.
- You can find quiet places in your airport to escape the chaos of travel if you’re stuck at the airport for long periods during the holidays, or anytime of the year.