Top 10 Travel tips

Don’t think the “drink of the day” is a deal

Each day the bar will have a different drink of the day special. But just because they highlight it doesn’t mean it’s a deal. Often the cruise lines just call it the “drink of the day” to draw attention to an option to get you to buy it, but don’t cut the price.

Check into your flight as soon as it opens to get seats together

It’s really annoying when you book flights with your friends or partners and the airline wants to charge you $30 a seat each so that you can sit together. I don’t think it’s justifiable. But there is a way around it. All airlines will tell you the exact time their check-in will open for a flight. I suggest you set an alarm and check it right at that moment, and you’ll likely get to sit next together. This has always worked for us, especially on long haul flights. Some airlines, like Ryanair, purposely seat you away from each other because you didn’t pay for extra seats, but they’re a short haul airline, so it’s fine!

Use Facebook groups for local experiences

A great way to discover local experiences that are low-cost, or free is via Facebook groups. Most popular destinations will have a Facebook group that’s dedicated to sharing information about travelling around that destination. We found this group super useful when planning our visit to Sri Lanka. At the time, drone laws were incredibly vague in Sri Lanka and this group was vital in helping us to find out if we could take our drone and also to providing unique spots to film. Here’s 2 other groups we’ve used regularly over the years:

  • Travel Around the World - Backpackers
  • Backpacking Europe

Google translate can be useful when you’re struggling to communicate

Google translate has saved us quite a few times! It’s all well and good knowing little bits of the local language, but if you need to ask something specific, you’ll run into problems. A great way to overcome this is simply by using Google translate. It’s also a good way to learn new phrases too!

Don’t try to do too much

We all have one – an epic bucket list of places to go and things to do that we will stop at nothing to complete. We’ll ride buses for 30+ hours just to get to the mountains. Some will pay hand over fist to travel into the wilderness, all to see an oversized cat. Others will take four connections and a fuckin ferry to reach some abandoned island in the middle of the East Indies. As much as love seeing that lost civilization or unnamed peak, seeing everything is exhausting. By the end of some journeys, you look and feel more like a refugee than an adventurer. Do yourself a favor and take a break every once in a while. Trying to knock out every single point of interest in a given place is going to wear you out. Then, you probably won’t enjoy them much either. That’s a top international travel tip from your humble Broke Backpacker. Don’t burn out.

Consider Car Rental

If you plan on moving around a lot during your stay in Vegas, you could save money by renting a car rather than taking taxis everywhere.

If traveling fewer than three floors, take the stairs. It’s much faster

Who wants to take the stairs on vacation? That sounds like work! Well, the stairs can often be much faster. Realize that with thousands of people on a cruise ship, the elevators can get overwhelmed, making stops on every deck going both up and down. That means it can take a while for the elevator to reach your floor. Instead, if you are only going up or down a few decks it’s definitely easier and faster to just hoof it with the stairs. Plus you get to work off a few of those extra “cruise calories” from eating so much.

Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards

You earn Rapid Rewards based on the type of fare your purchased. You’ll 6X the points per dollar for Wanna Get Away fares, 10X for Anytime, and 12X for Business Select. As you climb into A-List and A-List Preferred your earning rates go up. Here are the earnings for an A-List and A-List Preferred member.

Wear good shoes

Apart from your backpack, your shoes might just be the most useful piece of gear you own. Ideally, you should travel with versatile, lightweight shoes good for both urban walking and hiking. This doesn’t mean you need to travel with a heavy hiking boot if you are primarily visiting cities. That said, save yourself from packing multiple pairs of shoes. Just pack one pair that covers all of your needs. Personally, I’ve been wearing North Face Hedgehogs for ten years and I doubt I’ll ever change. In my experience, it is better to have shoes that can easily transition from the mountains to the city with more emphasis on the mountains. That way, you will never find yourself saying “Oh, I can’t do that hike because I don’t have the right shoes.“ For all of your travel shoe needs, check out these articles:

  • Best waterproof boots for men
  • The ultimate guide to travel shoes
  • Best hiking shoes to take traveling

Be Like Kenny Rogers

This tip may seem fairly obvious; however, many visitors find they wish they had heeded the advice. You really have to know when to fold ’em and know when to walk away. After you’ve had a lucky run at the gambling table, know when to pack it in. If you’re down money, it’s safe to give it a couple more hands, but after that, you start treading on a slippery slope.