Every travel column tells people how to score cheaper flights and where to go for the best experiences.
But there are so many small nuances about traveling that we don’t consider. Travel pros know all the tricks and tips, but novices may not know the little tricks that make traveling infinitely better.
While scrolling through the popular Travel community on Reddit, I found a thread asking users to share their top obscure yet vital travel tips to help others have the best travel experience possible.
Here are some tips for traveling you may not have considered.
Bug Spray and Sunscreen
If you’re traveling somewhere known for bugs or sun, come prepared. You may not be able to find what you need once you’re there.
“For some reason, it’s often difficult to find sunblock and mosquito repellent in countries with lots of sun and mosquitoes. Take them with you!” advised one seasoned traveler.
Carry On Essentials
Long-haul flights make us feel grungy, but a few essential items in your carry-on can freshen you up instantly.
“Brushing your teeth is the quickest way to feel human again after long flights,” replied one user. They recommend having toothpaste and a toothbrush in your carry-on so you can brush immediately after getting off the flight.
Another keeps facewash and eyedrops in their carry-on, saying a refreshing wash in the airport restroom makes them feel like a new person.
Wet wipes are also essential, allowing you to clean your hot spots en route.
Never Pass Up a Bathroom
If you see a bathroom, you should at least try to go because you don’t always know when you’ll get another opportunity.
“My travel mantra is, “Drink water when you can, pee when you can,” said one user.
Where to Use Bathrooms
US citizens are spoiled with the abundance of free restrooms. Other parts of the world don’t have free bathrooms, making it challenging for tourists to find places to relieve themselves.
One user advised using toilets in big hotels. “Just walk in confidently like you belong there,” they said.
You can also use restrooms for free in most museums and restaurants, as long as you’re a paying customer.
Quiet Day/Spare Day
Jet lag is real, and one user advised scheduling in quiet time to recover. They also said you should add an extra day to account for the unexpected. You may experience inclement weather, which closes an attraction you wanted to see or get too tired to do everything you planned. Scheduling a bonus day ensures you can see everything you want.
Another way to combat jet lag is to plan your flights for an evening arrival. Arrive at 5 PM, check-in, sleep, then wake up the next day refreshed and ready to see the world!
Don’t Talk to Street Sellers
Street performers in many countries pray on Americans’ niceness and naivety. Americans are generally happy to initiate conversations with strangers and often feel rude ignoring someone who talks to them.
Many scammers use this to their advantage.
“Try to not stop to talk with street sellers or fund collectors. They will always find a way to trick you into giving them money,” advised one user.
Ignore them and keep walking.
Separate Pockets for Money
Petty theft is common in many parts of the world.
One user said to keep your money in separate places while traveling in areas known for street crime. If accosted, you can give someone your wallet and still have enough cash to return to the hotel.
“Have a decoy wallet and CCs/cash/ID in a separate pocket,” advised another.
You should also keep an emergency credit card locked up in the hotel safe if you can. I also like to hide extra money in books, dirty laundry, and other places potential thieves wouldn’t think to look.
Don’t Look Lost
If you’re a first-time traveler, chances are you will get lost. That’s okay; we often find some of the best experiences while lost off the beaten path!
However, it’s essential not to look lost. Don’t stand mouth agape in the middle of the road with the map open, staring at street signs. You’ll make yourself an easy target.
Instead, pop in a nearby restaurant to refresh and get your bearings.
Americans may be shocked that many attractions outside the States rely on timed entry to minimize overcrowding. Those who don’t make an advance reservation may find themselves waiting in line for hours.
This happened to me when I visited Florence to see the Statue of David. It was my first international trip, and I assumed European museums worked like the United States. I ended up waiting in line for four hours to get in.
Many countries don’t offer toilet paper in public restrooms. Bring an extra toilet paper roll with you and carry a wad wherever you go.
It’s minorly inconvenient to stuff your bag with extra TP, but you’ll be thankful for it when you really have to go.
Enjoy Your Trip!
These small travel tips inspired by Reddit will help ensure you have the best experience possible. Enjoy the world of opportunity that awaits!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.