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Most people aren’t born professional travelers. It’s something that comes only with on-the-road experience. As a virgin traveler, you will make a lot of mistakes. Travel savviness is a process born of missed flights, ludacris behavior, cultural unawareness and countless minute slipups. Then, one day, you begin to effortlessly move through airports and assimilate yourself into new cultures like a fish to water.

My goal with this blog is to help speed up the process and help you avoid MY mistakes (and I often make them). Here are 5 tips that I have learned through my years of travel:

 

1. A REASONABLE PRICED HOTEL ROOM

Don’t jump at the first appealing room with a decent price that you find. First, research location—how close will you be to the attractions? The best travelers call the hotel, ask for the best price, the most appropriate room options and how suitable the location is to the cities best sights. And in a pinch, they turn to Budget Travel for the best deals and most unique places to stay.

 

2. THE “BEST” DAY FOR AIRLINE TICKETS

The simple answer to the best time to buy your airline tickets are about two months before you fly. If you book early in the week, you’ll likely get the best price because that’s when airlines often adjust fares. The more practical answer is, of course, it honestly depends. There are so many factors, such as the time of year, where you plan on traveling to, etc. Your best option is to arm yourself with an array of information to make a knowledgeable choice. I also advocate that you follow all the major airlines on social media and register for their rewards programs.

 

3. PACK LIKE A PRO

The best travelers know that a light suitcase is not just easier to travel with but can also save you a ton of money on baggage fees. The best strategy is to pack early so you’re not in freak mode. Try to put some thought into packing, such as matching tops and bottoms (rolled, not folded). It will be difficult, but the fewer the shoes, the better. Also, wearing your heaviest layers on the plane will alleviate space in your bag. When in doubt, leave it at home. You never regret the things you don’t pack. Plus, it leaves room for more souvenirs.

 

4. KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE

After doing research on my own, I’ve learned that most companies such as, Budget Travel, do not recommend travel insurance. Instead, before you leave, it’s better to check all your current insurance policies to ensure that you will be covered wherever you will be traveling—health, auto, and any possessions (which are sometimes covered by home insurance). With that being said, understand the cancellation policy whether you’re traveling through a tour or a cruise. Finally, contemplate paying a small premium if you think there’s a chance you will have to cancel.

 

5. LEARN CULTURAL ETIQUETTE

Don’t be that person. You know, the one hitting McDonald’s in Rome. Or wearing an “I’m With Stupid” T-shirt to a museum. Learn the basics–how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank-you in a foreign language. This will produce more benevolence than you can imagine. Try learning the ins and outs of a different culture’s body language, hand gestures, food customs and restaurant etiquette, this will help you fit in. These hacks will help avoid embarrassment, and could possibly score you a good deal at local market where finessing is expected and even encouraged.

 

For more insight on traveling, check out my blog!! https://thetworddot.wordpress.com/

Taylor is a Junior studying journalism with a Spanish minor at Auburn University, and after graduation plans to attend law school to pursue a career in fim focusing on legal affairs. In addition, Taylor is also a member of the Kappa Upsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. When she isn't doing school work, she enjoys binge watching Grey's Anatomy, working out, and shopping. Some of her favorite things include traveling, going to concerts, and going out with her line sisters.
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