Category: Travel Tips

Our Travel Tips section has the best advice for travelers, by travelers. Whether you are a casual tourist or a frequent globetrotter, you will find tips on planning, packing, choosing the best gear and what we use, staying healthy and traveling fit, saving money, shopping and communicating, capturing the best photo, and much more. If you can't find what you need by using the jump links, above, the search bar also above, or by scrolling through the page, below, simply contact us. We love hearing from our readers and are here to help whenever possible.

PLANNING

From choosing a destination to booking flights to knowing what not to forget (visas, passports, immunizations, travel insurance, etc.), you’ll find all the planning travel tips you need right here. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Planning section here.

Airline acts of kindness do happen – more frequently than you imagine

Because we do fly a lot, and talk with so many other passengers and frequent travelers, we think it is worth pointing out there is another side to the story: Despite the avalanche of news regarding despicable behavior by some airline employees and by some passengers, there are always two sides. We would like to humbly point out that airline acts of kindness can and do happen, on an almost daily yet too often unreported manner.

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Choosing the best flight for your next trip

How do you go about choosing the best flight for your next trip? Allegiance to an airline simply on the grounds of earning status is losing its luster. Prices are going up, benefits are getting harder to earn, miles are becoming harder to redeem, and even once revered higher status may get you little more than advance boarding and a free checked bag these days. Forget airline loyalty.

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PACKING

Look here for tips and suggestions to guide your luggage choices and packing decisions (how and what), whether your holiday, vacation or business trip is for a few days, a week or longer. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Packing section here.

Packing tips for the eco-conscious traveler

For the eco-conscious traveler, sustainability is a lifestyle that drives all day-to-day choices. And packing for a holiday is no exception. Here are some suggestions for what to pack, and what not to pack, to ensure that you’re traveling with environmental and cultural sensitivity in mind.

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Business Trip Packing Tips: Fight wrinkles & worry

Ease your travel stress with our business trip packing tips. Traveling for business is challenging enough, even for frequent flyers. Trudging on and off planes, trains and automobiles while schlepping clothes and gear is hard. Mix in being forced to mingle with coworkers in hotels, restaurants and airport lounges – people you may hardly know outside of the office — and even the best of us can feel discombobulated. There are ways to fight the stress, however. It starts with packing light, as we detailed in our recent article, Packing light: smart load-trimming tips.

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MONEY

Who doesn’t want to save money on travel? In this section, you will find loads of insider travel tips that will help you save money and stretch your budget on travel today. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Money section here.

Start saving money on travel today with these 7 easy tips

Growing up, my parents were keen on getting the family traveling to see as many places across the Western states (and beyond) they could afford – from national parks, to amazing cities, to monuments, coasts and caves. And they were also experts at saving money on travel…they had to be. I learned from them, and now, can share what they taught me plus a few more tips of my own to help you save money while traveling right now.

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Spending Money in China: How to shop, bargain and tip

When it comes to spending money in China as a traveler, there are any number of strategies, insights and challenges. Do you tip? How much should you bargain and where? How much is too much to spend for something? As we noted in our article about getting money in China (“Travel Guide to Managing Money in China”), dealing with the necessity of using and spending money in a foreign country is always a challenge. But it’s not a challenge that cannot be mastered smartly with a little thought and preparation.

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Travel Guide to Managing Money in China

When traveling to China, figuring out how to deal with money (exchanging foreign currency and buying things) can be equal parts mystery and frustration. We’ve traveled to Mainland China multiple times over the past decade, most recently in Spring 2016, and learn something new about getting and managing money in China each time.

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EU tax-free shopping tips – It’s worth it

With the amount of VAT taxes in countries outside the United States, it can make a heckuva lot of financial sense to do some EU tax-free shopping. The European Union countries have been raising their VAT (Value-added Tax) in recent years, with most countries now 20%…or higher!

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HEALTH

We’ve assembled some of the best travel tips for staying healthy. Learn how to fly comfortably, prevent travel sickness, avoid bed bugs, reduce travel stress, protect yourself from Zika, and so much more. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Health section here.

10 top tips to help you sleep better in hotels

If there is one thing I am keen on, it is a good night’s sleep. I want to enjoy traveling, don’t you? So rest is mandatory! Over the years I’ve figured out a few tips to help you sleep better in hotels. They work for me, so I’d like to share them. When making a hotel...

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How to relieve travel stress when flying

No matter if you are traveling for business, to visit friends or family, or on a dream holiday, travel stress can take a physical and mental toll. Simply finding the time to pack, make sure you have the right toiletries, tie down things at work or home prior to...

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Travel hacks for fighting germs in public places

Staying healthy and ready for whatever travel adventure beckons is vital. Who wants to be sick in a hotel bed when the Roman Coliseum or the Great Wall are nearby begging to be seen? That makes fighting germs No. 1 on your to-do list when traveling since you can’t avoid public places!

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Avoiding jet lag: tips from travel experts

Jet lag is nearly inevitable, really, when you travel at today’s pace across multiple time zones. Man was meant to saunter thousands of miles, not jet between continents to suddenly find himself propelled into tomorrow or reliving this morning. Avoiding jet lag is really all about minimizing jet lag’s effects. That is indeed possible, but some of what you need to do may seem counter-intuitive.

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SAFETY

Not to be forgotten in all the travel enthusiasm is safety and security when traveling. No matter where you go in the world, this section’s travel tips will help keep you and your gear safe and secure. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Safety & Security section here.

We flew Turkish Airlines to experience the electronics ban – updated 7-13-17

(This story was updated on July 13, 2017) When we first heard about the electronics ban the week of March 21, 2017, we were already confirmed to fly Turkish Airlines. Although there would be no problem flying to our destination via Istanbul, coming home in mid-April was shaping up to be a bit more complicated. As travel journalists, we typically carry a number of electronics that were not now going to be allowed in our carryons – computers, tablets, cameras, video equipment, and other electronic camera gear. Of course, this was a perfect opportunity to test the process and learn first-hand how this electronics ban would be affecting travelers.

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Stay safe when traveling in trying political times, but please travel!

No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, 2017 and beyond may mean U.S. citizens will need to take a few added precautions abroad to stay safe when traveling. But this advice doesn’t mean you should rethink traveling. Just the opposite in fact. Now, perhaps more than ever before, travel is essential to demonstrate to the world that American citizens as a whole are good people.

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Fear of Flying: The cockpit is no place for loud bangs

Then …BOOM!!!… The unmistakable sound of an explosion or other impact came from the cockpit. Immediately the plane began to shake and, within seconds, we were executing a very tight turn and initiating a steep descent heading back toward Salt Lake City … and, I hoped, for the airport. She looked at me with very wide eyes. “You have an explanation for that, right?”

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Digital security when traveling: 10 must-do tips

When traveling, protecting your digital world becomes even more challenging. Public Wi-Fi networks, crowded hotel and airport lobbies, popular shopping areas, favorite eateries and bank ATMs are some spots viewed as target-rich environments for criminals seeking to abscond with your personal data – important passwords, bank accounts, and even your identity.

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INSURANCE

Learn what travel insurance is right for you, what you need and don’t, and what to ask about policy coverage, benefits and prices. We have the best travel tips when it comes to travel insurance from industry experts. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Travel Insurance section here.

Choosing the best travel insurance for your trip

You’ve booked your trip for a dream vacation, but you’re just not sure about buying travel insurance. After all, it seems like an added expense and how do you know which is the best travel insurance for your trip anyway? Let’s stop right there. You need travel insurance when you travel, unless you are so wealthy you can afford your own medical expenses and possibly the expense of medical transport back home.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Photos and videos from your travels will help your memories live on. This section gives you the best travel photography tips so you can bring home awe-inspiring images – even if you’re shooting with a smartphone. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Travel Photography section here.

9 top tips for taking amazing landscape photos

Who hasn’t pointed a camera at a jaw-dropping scene outdoors, only to be disappointed later at how little the photo resembles the soaring mountains, translucent skies, and luxuriant green hills? Landscape photographer and instructor Rick Saez has a few tips for those...

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LANGUAGE

Knowing how to communicate, even if it is simply with smiles and gestures, is essential for any traveler. Our language tips and downloadable cheat sheets will help you get around better. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Language section here.

A German language cheat sheet for travelers

Going to another country means you are a guest of that nation. Learning a few basic phrases – more if possible, especially if you are there longer or just love languages like I do– is the ticket to getting around better. People will just be nicer too! In this German...

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FITNESS

We have all the travel fitness tips you need to be able to stay fit and heathy while traveling. Look for program tips, how to pack for fitness when traveling, and creative ways to work out no matter where in the world you are. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Fitness section here.

Hotel room workout: Stay fit with what you have

Can’t get to a real workout room to strengthen and tone? No worries. You can do a pretty good job maintaining fitness with a hotel room workout that uses what you have in the room and in your luggage. A room workout just takes a little imagination. Think about each exercise you may normally do and then get creative with your own hotel room exercise routine mimicking its motions, using everything from your luggage to water bottles filled with water to chairs to even toilets!

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Travel fitness advice: Packing, clothes and gear

What you pack along will have a huge impact on whether you workout or how comfortable you are when you do. A friend of mine used to always have a just-in-case workout bag in his trunk “just in case a workout broke out,” he’d say. And that’s our travel fitness advice too. If you aren’t prepared, you won’t get your healthy fix in.

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Travel fitness tips: Plan ahead to stay on track

Once your trip is planned and you’re thinking about how you can cut back wisely (per the advice in our article “Travel fitness tips: You can stay fit if you adapt”), it’s time to start plotting. Should we say planning? Nah, plotting. It’s time to “plot” hotels, tours, sightseeing, travel departure times and all that other stuff so it doesn’t make fitting in even a short workout totally impossible.

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FAMILY

Look for gift guides for traveling kids and their parents, planning for stress-free family travel, learning how to share nature and travel with your children, star gazing with kids, and more. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Family Travel section here.

Gift guide for traveling kids (and their parents)

Kids are travelers – as are their parents – and sometimes a little safety, education, or entertainment for little ones on the road can be a great choice when you are looking for holiday gifts. Here are a few picks of gifts for traveling kids from HI Travel Tales and our traveling friends.

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Natural Learning: Seeing nature through a child’s eyes

There is no need to be an entomologist, botanist, or ecologist to appreciate what nature has to offer through natural learning – or to teach your kids appreciation for the natural world. It starts with learning to see nature through a child’s eyes. Here are a few suggestions to make your next family backyard wander or park romp that much more meaningful, thanks to the senses.

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Star Gazing With Children When Traveling

Star gazing with children is a wonderful experience, made even more special by being able to discover stars and constellations together. For many youngsters seeing a million pinpricks of light twinkling against the inky-black backdrop of a night sky is a new experience.

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GEAR

What you wear or use can make or break travel. So we offer you advice on all that travel gear – from choosing the best travel luggage or apparel, to the travel security gear and small items we won’t travel without. If we use it, we’ll recommend it and tell you why. Our most recent posts are below. To see all of our articles, go to the Gear section here.

Five tips for staying warm in Antarctica

Antarctica brings up a stark vision of snow, icebergs, glaciers, wind, and barren landscapes. With a high sensitivity to cold climes, it was not a place I was begging to go. The key to staying warm in Antarctica is to combine the right fabrics and fit for apparel and...

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Flying in comfort: What to pack and wear

Your ticket is booked, your seat is selected, and you’re packing your bags for upcoming travels. But will you be flying in comfort? That doesn’t mean a premium class. Here are a few things we do and pack to help make flying and arriving more comfortable.

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