The Ultimate Travel Tips From The Experts

23. August 2016 Travel Tips 0
The Ultimate Travel Tips From The Experts

Sometimes travelling can be tough, whether you're on your own or with family and friends. You're in a new environment surrounded by people you don't know and places you've never visited before. It's always a great idea to research the place you plan to visit before travelling but if that isn't an option, getting some tips from expert travelers will do you just as much good! So we found the experts and asked them for 'One Top Travel Tip' & their 'Favourite Travel App' and they didn't disappoint.

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A Luxury Travel Blog

www.aluxurytravelblog.com


Top Tip

Don't over-plan things and keep your options open. If your itinerary is too rigid, it can mean you miss out on unforeseen opportunities. Sure, you will have certain things you want to do and places you want to see, but by leaving some leeway in your travel plans, it gives you the freedom to embrace opportunities that you might not have anticipated.

Favourite App

Google Maps (Android/IOS). It's invaluable for helping you to get around and the ability to download maps so you can use them offline is an added bonus. Whether it be helping with directions or finding a good restaurant close to your current location, Google Maps is enormously useful.

One Step 4Ward

www.onestep4ward.com


Top Tip

Always have back up cash and cards. I recommend 1 visa card, 1 mastercard and 1 backup (either another mastercard, visa or amex), as well as $200USD in $20bill stashed away in your bag incase you're stuck.

Favourite App

Without doubt Google Maps (Android/IOS). Download the map of where you're going when you have WiFi, then track yourself with GPS even if you don't have credit or international roaming, Lifesaver.

Jones Around The World

www.jonesaroundtheworld.com


Top Tip

Well my top tips will always vary depending on the type of travel someone is doing. For backpacking -- the best thing I could ever tell someone is to pack light and move slow. When you're backpacking, you honestly don't need too much. No one is going to judge you for wearing the same clothes a few days in a row, and doing laundry will be a hell of a lot easier. It's also important to travel slow, because then you can really get to know the destination well. It's always nice to try different restaurants, and even stay at different hostels / hotels in each place.

Favourite App

This may seem kind of boring, but I just love the XE currency converter app (Android/IOS). I'm actually pretty great at math, but sometimes making those complications when you're hopping around different countries can be confusing. Especially since I'm from the United States, but live in Australia, and travel through all different corners of the world. It's so quick, easy to use, and will definitely help you from making poor decisions when it comes to purchases abroad.

Travels of Adam

www.travelsofadam.com


Top Tip

I guess my 'top travel tip' would be to simply be flexible! That's how you really open up to new experiences and new places.

Favourite App

My favorite (new) travel app is one called Cool Cousin (IOS) which links travelers up with cool locals based on similar interests. The locals on board are usually pretty 'hipster' - sometimes they teach yoga classes or work in vegan groceries - so it's just a fun and new way to experience a city plus the chance to meet a local.

Solo Traveler Blog

www.solotravelerblog.com


Top Tip

Carry a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and save up to 3% on all credit card purchases. That adds up quickly on a trip. - Given the option at checkout, always pay in the local currency for a better exchange rate - Choose a bank that is part of the Global ATM Alliance and save up to $5 per withdrawal overseas - Never get foreign currency at an exchange booth. The rates at a bank ATM are better, especially if you have a Global ATM Alliance card. - Save on roaming charges on your phone by using free public WiFi but when you do always use a VPN.

Favourite App

My favorite app is LastPass (Android/IOS) as I only have to remember one password to get to all my passwords stored in a secure place.

Travelling Buzz

www.travellingbuzz.com


Top Tip

Be ready to change your plan! When you go to a new place you will most definitely meet new people. You never know what might happen, what adventure you might take and what crazy idea may come up. Be open to new experiences and don't stick to a plan too much.

Plan Your Escape®

www.UnhookNow.com


Top Tip

Follow the Disaster' - look for places with recent bad news. People hold back from traveling there long after it is safe again and bargains can be great. See more below about this very powerful travel bargain-finding strategy by visiting their award-winning travel blog (see above).

Roar Loud

www.roarloud.net


Top Tip

Our top tip - ask the locals. Whether it is great places to eat or sites off the beaten path, don’t be afraid to ask. We have found that being friendly and asking people who live and work in the place you are visiting for recommendations have led us to amazing restaurants and hidden gems we would never have found on our own.

A Brit and A Broad

www.abritandabroad.com


Top Tip

Well, I have two; one is practical and one is not. Practical tip: Pack less! It's really freeing to carry everything you need in a backpack, and even more freeing if that backpack isn't 50 kilos! Even the most experienced travelers tend to over pack so I always do an initial pack with everything I think I'll need, and then go over it two more times and get rid of things: only the bare minimum. The less practical tip (but just as important) is know that any plan you have is a loose plan. Try changing your perspective when travel plans "go wrong". What if it hasn't "gone wrong" it's just changing? If your bus is delayed for 4 hours, instead of being frustrated that you'll be late getting into your hotel in the next town, why not see it as an opportunity to explore a small town or to chat with other travelers or locals while you wait. Perspective is so important when you travel.

Favourite App

We use Hopper (Android/IOS) all the time for booking flights. It watches your flights for you and lets you know when to book, or if you should wait. We also really love Facet (IOS), which is kind of like Pintrest but for travel porn. It allows you to pin clips of your travels in short videos and explore other peoples boards. It's awesome to get inspired for an upcoming trip or to explore where you want to go next!

Follow Me Away

www.followmeaway.com


Top Tip

Don't spend money on pricey smoothies/milkshakes/drinks from coffee shops or fast food places. Instead, head to your local grocery store and pick up a chilled beverage from the refrigerated section. Options include water bottles, various tea options, yogurt drinks, bottled smoothies, soda, juice and more and you will spend a fraction of the cost! Instead of $3-$5 you will only end up spending $1-$2 and you will receive more!

Favourite App

Instagram (Android/IOS) as a travel app? You bet! Obviously, the popular photo sharing app is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but it is also a valuable travel resource. If we are heading to Paris and we want to see what the weather looks like first hand, we search various hashtags related to Paris such as #Paris, #EffielTower etc and scroll through the photos we find. In more popular destinations, people are posting thousands of photos a day at a location so we are able to get a first-hand look at the weather, crowds, etc. before we arrive.

Travel Dudes

www.traveldudes.org


Top Tip

My background is being a travel agent. So I pretty much know how to find cheap flights. My best tip is to compare prices! You can't say where you get them in general, as this is such a huge and complicated market! There are online sites which help you to find very cheap flights and with routes you would have never have thought of. But often those are not up to date and when you try to book these, they are not available anymore. If you go to a travel agent, you have to be lucky to find one who knows how to use his booking system. If he does, he will find you a really good flight and quickly. Sometimes they can help you with consolidator tickets, which you wouldn't find on the internet. But most of the time I found the best rates on the airlines' website itself. So compare them all! Insider tip: Delete your browser's cookies, as they might save important data, which might increase the ticket prices with the next search.

Favourite App

So you got your flight and arrived in your next travel destination. Now it's about to explore it... my favorite travel app to do so would be Google Maps (Android/IOS). I do love to get lost when I explore a new destination. Sometimes I just get into the next bus or tram and drive around and get out where it looks cool. Sooner or later I might want to head back again and then it's good to know where you are.

Gypsy Nester

www.gypsynester.com


Top Tip

Relax. Take the time to really absorb a new destination. That took us a while, especially David, to embrace. It was hard to adjust our mindset from the scheduled got to be here at such and such a time of our work lives to the vagabond lifestyle, but once we did we are much happier in our travels. This doesn’t only have to apply to full time travel either; even on a weekend getaway this attitude can make a big difference.

Favourite App

Google Maps (Android/IOS) has definitely saved us a few times, otherwise we don't use a ton of apps. One thing we don't leave home without, even though it is not an app, is our Tep wireless. This provides WiFi in dozens of countries all over the world from cell phone signals. Works great and we love it!

Pommie Travels

www.pommietravels.com


Favourite App

My phone is loaded with travel apps so it's hard to pick one but I love to use WorldMate (Android/IOS) since it includes a currency converter that helps me easily compare costs in different currencies. It also features a tip calculator for each country and allows me to forward my trip plans and keep them all in one place. In London I also use Citymapper (Android/IOS) quite a lot, since it shows me how to get from A to B via tube or bus, as well as displaying the accurate time to get there. For driving, Waze (Android/IOS) has changed my life. It's much more accurate than Google Maps, since users can send real-time info about any traffic jams or road information.

Where's Sharon

www.WheresSharon.com


Top Tip

My top tip for travelling is to JUST DO IT! Stop putting it off. It's easy to make excuses or wait to a perfect time, but usually the best time is as soon as you can. My next biggest tip is to travel light. You really don't need many things and if we can travel carry on only with young kids and the equipment we need to work as we travel, there's no reason other people can't too. More fits in a carry on backpack than what you might expect!

Favourite App

My favourite travel app is called "TripCase" (Android/IOS). It's a free app for storing travel bookings. When I make a booking, I forward the confirmation to a certain email address and it all ends up in the app. It's very handy especially as you can also share the information with anyone you chose. In my case, this means my husband can always check what I've got planned.

The Poor Traveler

www.thepoortraveler.net


Top Tip

Take your time. One of the biggest mistakes that I did in my early years of traveling is rushing things. I tried to go everywhere and do everything in a short time, and ended up not enjoying it as much as I probably would if I just enjoyed every minute. Relax. Breathe. Take your time.

Favourite App

Google Translator (Android/IOS). Traveling is extra special when the place I’m in is speaking a different language. But it’s also more challenging. Not all restaurants have an English menu, not all signs have English translations, and not all locals could understand what you’re saying. I especially love that I could take a photo of any foreign word using my phone and Google Translator simply displays it in a language that I am more used to.

Converter Plus (IOS). Hopping from one country to another means dealing with changing currencies and units of measurement. And numbers are not the easiest to remember. I always forget how many cms is an inch and how many pounds is a kilo. And temperatures displayed in Fahrenheit are meaningless to me so I would always need to know its equivalent in Celsius. And don’t get me started with currencies. Converter+ just makes things a lot easier for me.

Vicky FlipFlop Travels

www.VickyFlipFlopTravels.com


Top Tip

My top tip would be to relax and go with the flow. Sometimes it can be tempting to overplan or to stick to a 'favourite restaurant' or 'favourite destination' for example, but travelling is your time to explore so try new things as much as possible.

Favourite App

My favourite app is Google Maps (Android/IOS). There's no way I'd be able to find my way and do as much travelling as I have if it wasn't for that. I use it for directions, for restaurant recommendations and to send pins to people so they know exactly where I am around the world.

Indie Traveller

www.indietraveller.co


Top Tip

My main travel tip is not so much a practical one but more about travel attitude: it’s good to slow down. I see too many tourists trying to see far too many things on a single trip. When you’re rushing through sights and locations, you will only have time to look but not to truly see. Focus on fewer things but do them fully and with your mind in the present moment.

Favourite App

My favorite travel app is called MAPS.ME (Android/IOS). I don’t always have mobile data available when I’m abroad, either because of roaming charges or because there's no mobile coverage. Maps.me lets you download maps to your phone so you can view them even when you don’t have a data connection or even GPS. I like to use this app in a pinch if I find myself lost anywhere, but it's also just fun to be able track where you are and follow along with your journey.

Two Scots Abroad

www.twoscotsabroad.com


Top Tip

After 17 months travelling around the Americas and Europe, I have a toolkit of long term travel tips! It's tough to pick the most important but I'll go with a dull yet vital one - always have evidence of an outbound ticket. Gone are the days that you can travel footloose and fancy free (unless you are travelling in the E.U)! Border control want to see how and when you are leaving their country, whether that be by bus, air, or train. Oh and I never travel without a capacitor to recharge my iPhone - it's my music device, book, and connection to the world back 'home'.

Favourite App

Skyscanner (Android/IOS) is Craig's favourite travel app. We use the 'go anywhere' function for cheap getaways often. This helped stretch our tight travel budget over the past year and half, and squeezed in a trip to Colombia, which we fell in love with!

Johnny Jet

www.johnnyjet.com


Top Tip

Always be genuinely nice to everyone. Being a jerk will get you nowhere.

Favourite App

Twitter (Android/IOS) since I can get and share important travel info/deals as soon as it happens.

Will Fly For Food

www.willflyforfood.net


Top Tip

Always be respectful when you travel. Remember that you're like a guest in someone else's home so be mindful of their customs, don't leave a mess, and never be entitled. You wouldn't want someone else acting that way in your home right?

Favourite App

Sygic Travel (Android/IOS), formerly known as Tripomatic, is our go-to travel planning app. It's easy to find a new destination's most popular attractions, but knowing where each one is in relation to the other is a different matter. With Sygic Travel, we can see exactly where each attraction is on a map to help us create a detailed and efficient itinerary for our trip. We never leave home without it!

Travel With Bender

www.travelwithbender.com


Top Tip

One Top tip the is often overlooked is the timing of the flights. While it can be possible to save a couple dollars by choosing a cheaper flight with multiple stopovers, the extra time on planes sometimes isn’t worth the saving, and a quicker direct flight will save a whole lot of sanity.

Along that line of thought, consider the arrival time of a flight. When flying between more than 3-hours of timezone changes, we find it’s best to aim at a flight arriving around 5pm. This gives us enough time to pick up luggage, catch a ride to the hotel, unpack (and possibly eat), before getting to bed. This is the single easiest drug-free way to avoid jet lag.

Favourite App

XE (Android/IOS) - long gone are the days where you have to keep a piece of paper with exchange rates on it. We love this app and use it regularly. But it would be tied with Google Maps. We would be lost without that!

Going Awesome Places

www.goingawesomeplaces.com


Top Tip

My biggest tips for travelling revolve around packing. When packing for any trip, you want to be super critical about everything that you're bringing with you. You'll be tempted to bring everything but what is true in travel that less is more. The less you bring, the lighter you are and that means you won't have to lug around as much and strain your hands or back. Alongside packing the essentials, you want to pack versatile gear that can be used for multiple purposes. You probably won't be winning any fashion awards but convertible clothes and layers will serve you well.

Favourite App

Uber (Android/IOS) - A much better experience than taking local cabs and get bonus SPG points as well!
TripAdvisor (Android/IOS) - Offline city guides are so helpful.
Yelp (Android/IOS) - primarily useful in North America but great for finding top restaurants.

Nomadasaurus

www.nomadasaurus.com


Favourite App

Our favourite travel app is Google Translate (Android/IOS). This app has saved us countless times when we've been in destinations where we can't communicate with the locals. The cool thing about Google Translate is that it lets you save a lot of languages offline, so you don't always need internet to use it. But if you do have internet, you can simply speak into the app and it will translate and speak out the words in the local language. Can't tell you how useful (and fun) this has been when talking to taxi drivers and hotel workers! And a recent update means you can point the camera at a sign, menu, etc and it will translate the words right there on the screen! Incredible.

Bucketlist Journey

www.bucketlistjourney.net


Top Tip

Slip-on shoes will save time at security checkpoints, creating loose itineraries will leave room for unexpected opportunities and try booking flights mid-week for better deals.

Favourite App

Though there are about a dozen different apps I use while traveling, the three that have been the most helpful are XE Currency Convertor, VSCO and Compass. The XE Currency Convertor app (Android/IOS) makes it easy to find out how much my dollar is worth wherever I am in the world. VSCO (Android/IOS) helps to edit and enhance my iPhone photos when there is limited time for more advance editing. And the simple Compass app (Android/IOS) has saved me from complete disorientation on many occasions. It’s amazing how helpful it can be to just know which direction you are headed!