Our top 20 travel tips for New Travellers

They always ask us for our best travel advice and when we tell people that we are travel bloggers, the inevitable questions that follow (in this exact order) are:

  1. Which is your favorite place?
  2. What is your best travel tip?
  3. How do you earn money?

So, it’s time to answer the questions on this list and we’ll take the easy one: what are our best travel tips.

If you have a top travel tip, please add it to the comments below. We love hearing tips and advice from other people!

Are 2 hours before

Talking once you are at your destination.

Depending on the time difference between your destination and your home, this can be very easy or really difficult to accomplish. But if you manage to stick to it, it will make a huge difference to your trip. Forget what time your watch says, just make sure you have a 2 hour lead over the others.

Most tourists do this:

  1. They have breakfast around 9 am
  2. they leave the hotel at 10 am
  3. arrive at the main attractions at 11:00 am
  4. They have lunch at 1:00 pm
  5. they go to dinner at 8 pm, etc.

This might be natural, but it means that you will be constantly stuck in queues and surrounded by crowds.

But if you have 2 hours of advantage over the others, you will have everything just for you and your partner (of course). 😎

So our first advice is:

  1. Be the first at the breakfast buffet and you will have the freshest food and the best service.
  2. Be the first in line for the main attraction and you won’t have to wait for hours.

You’ll see everything without crowds of tourists, which is especially good if you like taking photos like we do. You won’t have to wait to get a table in restaurants and you can get the best table in the place.

The only time this advice doesn’t work is if you’re going to a disco – no one wants to be the first person in a nightclub!

We discovered this travel advice when we went to Washington and confirmed it in New York.

We know it is difficult to get up early but it is worth it when you are the first to enjoy everything at your destination and you still have time in the afternoon to relax.

Eat where the locals eat

Among the best travel tips that they can give you, this is a key one.

Go to the markets, ask people where to eat delicious and cheap, and believe us when we say that no one knows better about this than a local.

There is an app called Spotted By Locals, which shows you the city guides created by locals. The only bad thing is that it is paid.

Seen by the locals offers suggestions of things to do and places to eat and drink based on local recommendations. The restaurant and bar recommendations are the best, recommending places you would never have found otherwise.  They often include new openings and hidden gems not normally found as a tourist.

Sites like TripAdvisor can often recommend expensive and touristy restaurants, and if it’s listed anywhere on Lonely Planet it quickly becomes expensive and touristy with increasing customers.  

Find your flights with Skyscanner

We always find our flights using Skyscanner, as it offers so many options on one screen.

We like the way you can search for flights for a whole month so that you can find the cheapest days very easily.

You can also include nearby airports, as it is often cheaper to fly into an airport on the outskirts of the city.

You can never take enough photos

Did we tell you we love photos? So this tip had to be among our top travel tips.

We know that many people feel that travelers miss out on special moments because they are busy taking photos, but we really disagree. Obviously, if you have the camera stuck to your face during a full trip, you might miss it!

But the truth is, there is nothing better than looking back at photos a few years later and reliving all those precious memories. Photos help you remember every moment and we believe that the more photos there are, the better, just don’t forget to lower your camera and enjoy the moment too.

 

For us, taking photos to be able to enjoy a moment and photograph it at the same time is a double blow of pleasure.

This is not only for photos it also counts for videos!

 Wear what you would wear at home

Many people worry about what to wear and what to pack for certain destinations, but the truth is that you can usually wear exactly what you would wear at home. In my case (Gabriela) I’m jeans and T-shirt girl: this is what I wear at home, so this is what I wear when I’m out and about.

Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you need to dress like a traveler. You don’t need to wear quick-drying pants or hiking boots or clothing made from sweat-wicking materials, just wear whatever makes you comfortable.

It is true that clothing suitable for travel is ideal but in case you have a tight budget, use what you have and go. Enjoy the trip! and rate this tip as one of the best travel tips.

Invest in quality travel equipment

This is something that we did from the beginning and for which we saved a lot before starting our journey without a return date.

By “travel gear” we mean anything from your suitcase or backpack to your 100 ml toilet bottles to your camera.

Even if you are not a frequent traveler, it is better to buy a suitcase that will last you 10 years than to buy a new suitcase every year. It can be difficult to deliver the cash, but it will save you money in the long run.

Don’t be afraid to do tours

In these years making all kinds of trips one of our best travel tips is not to be afraid to do tours.

Many people avoid tours while traveling as they don’t want to get stuck with a huge group following a giant umbrella. These visits are boring, time-consuming, expensive, and generally feel like a school trip.

But not all tours are like this!

We almost always try to do a free walking tour as we travel as it is a quick way to get acquainted with a new destination, learn a lot about it, and discover some hidden gems.

Free walking tours are a great way to get your bearings in a new city, and if you’re traveling alone it’s great to meet new people.

In our case, they have been our allies throughout our trip through Europe  to get to know the cities much more and locate ourselves as locals.

There are many types of tours that you can take from shopping tours to food tours where you try a small plate of the best restaurants in the city. Tours can also be an inexpensive and easy way to explore the area around a city since you don’t need to rent a car or worry about getting lost.

Many short trips are better than 1 or 2 long

This advice goes to all those who do not see themselves giving up their job to travel the world like us , and it is something that we also do in their time.

If you are missing an annual vacation but still want to travel a lot, it is much better to take a lot of weekends and holidays rather than the traditional “big vacations”.

We all love big vacations, but when you only have one a year, it’s a long wait until the next one comes back. (We know from our own experience)

Fill your year with lots of short trips so that you always have something to look forward to and constant breaks from daily stresses.

We found this study in the Daily Mail (it’s in English but worth a read) showing that frequent weekend breaks are more relaxing than a big vacation.

If it says so in the Daily Mail, then it must be true!

Paying extra for little luxuries is worth it

You couldn’t miss the little luxuries among our best travel tips.

When we travel, we like affordable luxuries, and for us that means dabbling in some areas and saving in others, such as budget flights but luxury hotels.

But there are a few little luxuries that are worth paying for.

The little luxuries will be different for everyone, but for us they are things like a good couple’s massage at a famous spa, a show in Las Vegas or staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in Panama. 

 

Don’t discount what’s around the corner

We all want to travel to distant lands and exotic destinations, but don’t discount what’s in your backyard. Once you start researching, you’ll likely find that there are hundreds of incredible options close to home.

You’ll save money on transportation, you’ll save time, you’ll have so much fun, and it’ll be easier to book spontaneous trips when you’re not far away.

Do not rule out traveling within your own country either, we highly value our Bolivia and that is why before our trip we make sure to get to know the heart of the south as much as possible.

 

Stay close to business people

Whether you’re at the airport, taking a train, or having a coffee, stick with business travelers rather than vacationers.

Business travelers know what they’re doing:

  • go quickly through security
  • order quickly
  • they board a plane quickly and are generally very quiet.

Families and tourists are loud, indecisive, slow, and often do not know what to do or where to go.

This tip applies especially to airport security!

You will appreciate having this advice among your best travel tips 😉

Pack light

We are always talking about the importance of packing light as it makes traveling so much simpler.

You will save money on checked luggage, you will save time at the airport since you don’t need to arrive so early or wait for your luggage on the carousel, it is easier to get around and you are less likely to lose something.

You also realize that you don’t need as many things as you think!

It took us a long time to learn the art of packing lightly, but once we learn we will never travel with so much again.

Remember that there are more good people than bad

As you travel, you will meet people from all walks of life with different:

  • background
  • cultures
  • religions.

We are all very different, but we are all human and share the same essential values.

We help people in danger (even if we do not speak the same language), we take care of children, we are kind to the elderly and respectful to everyone.

Never be afraid to ask for help , as someone will help you. Don’t be afraid to smile and greet or chat with random people. There are bad people in the world, but there are more millions of good people than bad.

Keep track of your trips

Whether it’s a thick journal, hundreds of photos, a quick line in a notepad, or an Instagram feed full of photos and captions, keep track of your travels.

When you’re doing amazing things, you think you’re going to remember it for a lifetime, but it’s amazing how quickly you forget it. You will appreciate it in 10 years.

Remember that traveling is tiring

We have no idea why going to the airport and sitting on a plane for 4 hours is exhausting, but it is.

Whether you are sitting in a:

  • car
  • train
  • bus
  • plane
  • boat

reaching your destination is exhausting.

 

Keep this in mind when planning your trip and take some downtime to relax when you arrive.

For us the first tour of Europe exhausted us a lot due to the amount of transport taken.

Make an itinerary

When you’re on vacation you don’t want to stick to a schedule so we’re not talking about a minute-by-minute itinerary here.

But make a rough itinerary of the main things you want to do each day to make sure you see all the highlights. There is nothing worse than going home and feeling like you lost yourself and didn’t do everything you wanted to do.

Don’t spend money on souvenirs

This is something that took us a lot to learn since we were fans of collecting pictures and key chains of the places we visit, but trust us, your pocketbook will appreciate it.

This learning had to be among our best travel tips because if you are like us, you will buy a souvenir that will sit on your desk or shelf for about a year and you will be bothered having to clean it.

It looked cute in that authentic market, but once you got home you realized it had a “made in China” sticker on it (and you were in America) and it doesn’t match anything else in your house.

You could give the souvenir to someone as a gift but, let’s be honest, it will only go through the same process and it will surely be stored and forgotten in a drawer.

If you want to decorate your house with memories of your travels, take pictures and put them on the walls – they look much better than snow globes and Russian dolls.

Hide cash in different places

Cash is king all over the world. To cover your ass in an emergency, make sure to hide a few bills in different places.

We recommend at least a couple hundred dollars in value. If you lose your wallet, your card stops working, or ATMs run out of money, you’ll be glad you did.

These places can be:

  • socks
  • shoe inserts
  • a toiletry bag
  • around the frame of a backpack
  • even sewn behind a patch on your bag.

Trust your instinct

This applies to everything from feeling like you’re in the wrong row at the airport to not feeling comfortable sitting next to that creepy guy on the train.

Always trust your instincts and rank this among the best travel tips you’ve ever received.

Sometimes your instincts are wrong, but it’s not worth the risk, especially when it comes to ordering food from a menu where you can’t read a word.

There is always a way

Nothing is impossible. If you have trouble going somewhere or doing something, don’t give up. You just haven’t found the best solution or you haven’t found the right person. Don’t listen to those who say it can’t be done.

Perseverance pays off. We cannot tell you how many times we have been told that what we want to do is not possible and yet here we are traveling without a return date and with more than 22 countries already traveled. 😉

Only to prove later that it is possible and we are succeeding.

Conclusions on the best travel tips

Take note of our best travel tips and discover yours, never forget to say the magic words that open the doors to any destination: hello, please and thank you.

Enjoy the trip and don’t stress too much, let things flow.

We could make this list of tips infinite but tell us in the comments: What travel advice would you add to this article?

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