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.
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.
When I hear friends tell horror stories about travel, I find myself wondering why some good people seem to frequently have bad experiences when traveling. Perhaps it is because they have not yet learned how to be a good traveler?read more
Saving money is the ultimate prize for any traveler. Certainly transportation in most any country can be one of the largest expenses of travel, and Germany is no exception. That’s why it’s important to know a few never-fail, simple tips to save money on train travel...read more
If you are traveling to Europe, you need to know about the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may still (at the time of this writing, see below) enter Schengen countries without the need for a special visa for short-term tourism, business or if in transit to non-Schengen countries. But…read more
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.read more
Travel surprises can be fun unless it means forgotten passports or gear. Use our essential travel planning checklist to be sure travel surprises are good ones.read more
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.read more
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.
What bike touring essentials will you need to pack for the day in your bag? Start here and you’ll be good to go for your day on any bike tour.read more
When a daily activity like cycling is part of your travels, determining how to pack for a the tour and what goes in your suitcase and carry-on can get complicated.read more
When your travels involve moving daily, unpacking and repacking can be a grind. Unless you have figured out key travel tips for daily packing and unpacking on tours…which we have and share with you.read more
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.read more
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.read more
Aside from a few selective travel accessories, the really useful travel must-haves will come from the junk drawer, sewing cabinet or garage shelves at home.read more
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.
Travel doesn’t have to be overly expensive if you plan properly. There are simple ways to avoid all the added fees and charges that less experienced travelers may incur. Here are 7 travel tips to save money the next time you are traveling internationally: Use only...read more
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.read more
It is the little things that often can add up when you are flying for vacation or business. From a bottle of water to change fees, here are a few tips on how to save money when flying.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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!read more
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.
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...read more
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...read more
Trying to stay healthy during travel can be a challenge. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to maintain a fitness routine or simply focusing on staying healthy by eating well and staying moderately active. A lack of a regular routine combined with new food options...read more
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!read more
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.read more
While most travelers will never encounter a bed bug in their lives, it is still wise to know how to avoid bed bugs when traveling. This article provides the best and most practical tips for any traveler.read more
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.
It would be nice to travel without a thought to safety and security, but these days, safety and the travel security gear you use to stay safe should be top of mind.read more
(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.read more
Knowing how to keep your valuables safe when traveling should be top of mind for every tourist, traveler and adventurer. Our 9 travel tips will guide you.read more
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.read more
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?”read more
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.read more
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.
You dutifully purchased travel insurance for your upcoming adventure and are feeling protected against possible travel nightmares. That is, until you read a story about travel insurance not covering missing a connecting flight because of missing the first leg of the...read more
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.read more
It is a question we often hear – do I really need additional medical evacuation insurance coverage when I already have travel insurance? There is no simple answer, like with many insurance types. One must instead weigh risks and expense, and consider your own philosophy and tolerance.read more
Recently, travel news sites and blogs have been abuzz about the latest airfare hack – buying a non-refundable ticket and adding travel insurance instead of opting for the vastly more expensive fully refundable airline ticket. This little maneuver could save you significant sums of money if you want or need a refund.read more
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.
Ever wonder how to add amazing sunburst photos to your travel images? Most of us have been taught to keep the sun behind us or to our sides when shooting photographs. This technique is a tried-and-true style for capturing beautiful images with great lighting of your...read more
For a photographer, fall is the best time to be traveling back roads, paths and wooded areas in pursuit of color. After all, fall color photography is all about capturing autumn’s dramatic landscapes in images that leave the viewer in awe. To get the best images --...read more
Following a few simple tips for packing photo gear for travel will help you arrive ready to shoot and help prevent photo loss due to theft or damage.read more
Traveling and taking photos along the way is quite expected – in particular these days with everyone carrying a smartphone in their pocket, pack or bag. However, too many smartphone travel videos are hard to watch with various problems – changing focus or simply out...read more
As a journalism major in college, I rounded out my writing studies with numerous photography classes. Street photography always seemed to draw me in – people, places and scenes that tell a story and are key for improving your travel photography. What I learned then...read more
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...read more
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.
Learning a bit of the language of your travel destination can be truly helpful – gaining you respect and perhaps even a few favors from delighted locals. Learning a language quickly, however, is the challenge. Obviously, the less time you spend somewhere, the less of...read more
Eating and shopping – either for food, toiletries or other essentials – are part of a traveler’s life. This can become a little bewildering when you are trying to decipher unknown word and customs, especially at meals or in stores. Our traveler’s guide to dining and...read more
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...read more
While English is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, if you really want to be comfortable traveling in a country where English is not the native tongue, it pays to know how to best communicate when traveling.read more
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.
A bike tour, like other kinds of adventure travel and active travel trips, demands slightly different fitness preparation than other types of vacations or holidays.read more
Staying with a fitness regimen while on vacation can be a challenge. Many hotel fitness centers are uninviting caves with no windows or full of old equipment, and you are not familiar with the city you are traveling to or have any idea where to walk or run. But there are exceptions as we point out here.read more
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!read more
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.read more
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.read more
The key to taking workouts on the road successfully is, one, not letting the travel control you and, two, learning to be flexible. A little planning before you pack your briefcase or travel duffel goes a long way toward avoiding frustration plus setbacks in your hard-earned fitness.read more
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.
International family travel provides a great opportunity to create lasting memories that span generations. Yet despite the allure of visiting magical places with centuries-old history, discovering new foods, or playing in the waves on a tropical beach, we remain...read more
As a family, we initially struggled to find our activity, that thing we could all enjoy and learn together, and go back to on vacations time and time again. We may just have found our thing thanks to Family Dive Adventures.read more
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.read more
Here are a few of my favorite backyard activities to help teach children to be observant and to hone their senses and awareness.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.
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...read more
What makes the best travel underwear? Yeah, we’re talking skivvies, such as bras, briefs, panties, boxers and socks — the foundation for any comfy travel outfit.read more
The best travel technology will not become a burden or a distraction to your travel experience. Our guide shows you what we use and why with buying recommendations.read more
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.read more
Travel doesn't have to be overly uncomfortable, as long as you assemble a packable travel comfort gear kit. Being frequent flyers and in airplanes and trains way too often, we have explored many ways to stay comfortable. Because airlines in particular continue to cut...read more
Luggage is so personal, particularly for travel. It is frankly impossible to name one suitcase that is THE best travel luggage. Not to mention since the companies change them nearly every year so what may be the best luggage this year for airplane travel may not be...read more