10 Tips for Smarter Travel

by Anevay Darlington / Sep 15, 2017 / 0 comments

I see it all the time. People plan incredible journeys and then come home not having had a good time. The problem? They don’t travel smart. If you’d like to get more out of your travels, follow these tested (by me) guidelines. You’ll thank me later.

10 Tips for Smarter Travel


10 Tips for Smarter Travel

1.  Talk to the locals!

Some think that locals want nothing to do with you, that you’re a tourist who just gets in the way; I think this is true sometimes. I believe locals enjoy your company if you’re friendly, interesting, and listen to what they have to say. You’ll also make many friends this way, that’s what I’ve found.

2. Try to take every opportunity given to you

You’ll gain lots of fun experiences (the keyword is try). It’s hard to take all of them. I’ve experienced so many wonderful things from opportunities handed to my mom and I. While we were in Italy, we had an opportunity to go to Tuscany for a couple days, thanks to an amazing woman named Laurel. If we hadn’t taken that opportunity, my life would be much duller.

The Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Tuscany

The Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Tuscany

3. Learn about a place’s history before you go

I guarantee you will have more fun, and will appreciate the area more because you will be much more interested in and knowledgeable about what you’re seeing. When you go to a museum and you look at a piece of art and you have no idea what it’s about, you tend not to look deeply at it, or even care about it in the slightest. But when you learn about it, you become very interested and you want to look at it for hours.

4. Try not to be late for transportation, you will definitely feel stressed

If you’re always late (like me) here’s a trick: try to be early. It might work (and relieve some stress).

5. If you’re staying in a region for a short period of time, try not to do everything

I know it’s hard. When you overbook your journey, you will have a lot less fun, and will most likely not hold that area as one of your favorite places. That’s how it is with me and Paris, I don’t really like the place because my mom and I packed so much in.

Paris from the Eiffel Tower

Paris from the Eiffel Tower

6. It’s OK not to have an exact timeline of your trip

This offers freedom to stay in a place longer when you love it, and take your leave when you don’t. That might just be me, though.


Make time for it, trust me. Need I really explain?

8. Don’t bring too much luggage

From personal experience try not to bring a suitcase; going over bridges in Venice with a huge suitcase… saying it was difficult would be an understatement.

Exploring Venice

9. Eat local food

Be adventurous with your eating, it will most likely taste amazing… and if the dish is exotic enough, it will earn you some bragging rights.

A meal of Cuy (Guinea Pig), stuffed pepper, and potatoes in Cusco, Peru.

A meal of Cuy (Guinea Pig), stuffed pepper, and potatoes in Cusco, Peru.

10.  Keep exploring and having fun even when a problem arises

You might think that travel is all fun. While fun does make up (almost) the entire trip, sometimes there are also problems, exhaustion, and jet lag. If a complication does arrive, fix it, but also continue to have fun and explore!

10 Tips for Smarter Travel

Gain amazing experiences! Have fun! Eat good food! Meet awesome people! If you’re into it, document your travels, take pictures/videos; you might even want to consider writing a blog...




Anevay Darlington is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Anevay Darlington except first photo, creative commons. 

Note: this article was originally published in 2013, updated in 2017