Ten Travel Top Tens


Ten Travel Top Tens

10 Travel Top Tens

Ten Top Ways to Experience Your Destination Like a Native

1.    Plan your trip around volunteering for a local cause.
2.    Learn a few local phrases in the language of the place you are visiting.
3.    Avoid local tourist traps.
4.    Ask a cab driver to tell you what his favorite restaurant is and what time locals generally eat, and then go and eat there.
5.    Go to the local grocery store and buy food that is typical in that country/town, and bring it to a park for a picnic.
6.    Take a risk and get your hair cut on your trip.
7.    Work out at a local gym.
8.    Ask people on the street where the local hangouts are, and strike up conversations with local patrons.
9.    Visit a local place of worship during a mass or service.
10.    Check the local newspapers to see if there is a small performing arts production of some sort you can see at a school, church or community center.



Ten Top Questions to Ask Before Booking Accommodations

1.    What will the total cost per night be including all taxes and fees?
2.    Are there any special packages or promotions?
3.    Is the hotel close to the main attractions?
4.    Is it located in a safe neighborhood?
5.    Is the room situated on a quiet street, or will there be a lot of noise?
6.    What are the hotel’s amenities?
7.    Is transportation available to and from the airport?
8.    When was the hotel last renovated?
9.    Are there restaurants and shops convenient to the hotel?
10.    Is late check out available?



Ten Top Suitcase Essentials

1.    Copies of documents including passport, tickets, reservation confirmation numbers, etc.
2.    Money belt to keep your passport and cash safe.
3.    Over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including a round of antibiotics in case you get sick.
4.    Power adaptor and voltage converter.
5.    Comprehensive guidebook for your destination(s).
6.    Comfortable walking shoes.
7.    Clothing ideal for layering.
8.    Rain gear.
9.    Camera and charger.
10.    Extra batteries for any equipment you are bringing that use batteries.



Ten Top Tasks to Do at Home Before You Leave

1.    Put your jewelry and other small valuables in a safe at home or at the bank.
2.    Set timers for both indoor and outdoor lights at your home.
3.    Take out all the garbage and run the disposal.
4.    Unplug major appliances.
5.    Find a way to have your plants taken care of or use a self-watering device in your absence.
6.    Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers (or temporarily stop delivery) and any door-hangers that are left in your absence.
7.    Leave a house key with a neighbor or family member.
8.    Leave your itinerary and contact info with a family member or neighbor.
9.    Lock all windows and doors.
10.    Leave a car in your driveway to make it appear as though someone is home.



Ten Top Travel Photo Tips

1.    Make sure your camera works before leaving home.
2.    Find a case for your camera that will make it easy, safe and comfortable to carry around.
3.    If you don’t have a lot of experience, learn how to fully use your camera before leaving home.
4.    Purchase an extra battery so you can change it should it run out in the middle of the day.
5.    Purchase extra memory for your digital camera so you can store more photos.
6.    If you are the main photographer, be sure to have someone else get plenty of shots of you too, so you don’t come home with zero photos of yourself.
7.    Be respectful, and do not take photos when signs are posted prohibiting photographs in religious buildings, museums and historical sites.
8.    Beware of where you put your camera down in restaurants, theaters and other public places so it is not stolen.
9.    Each night, delete the bad photos from your drive to free up memory from your drive.
10.    Don’t let excessive picture taking take away from experiencing all there is to experience at your destination.



Ten Top Tips for Staying Healthy When Traveling

1.    Get the recommended inoculations before your trip.
2.    Stay well hydrated before the trip, on the flight and while there.
3.    Don’t assume other countries have the same over the counter and prescription drugs; bring your own.
4.    Keep washing your hands.
5.    Give into your jet lag and rest when you arrive.
6.    Get enough sleep.
7.    Do your homework to make sure you eat at only reputable restaurants.
8.    Do not consume raw meats or fish.
9.    Do not drink the water or use ice in countries where it is unsafe to do so.
10.    If you do get sick, have the hotel help you find a reputable doctor or hospital as soon as possible.



Ten Top Useful Phrases to Learn in Languages Abroad

1.    Where is the bathroom?
2.    I’m sorry, I don’t speak your language.
3.    A table for two please.
4.    May I have the bill please?
5.    How much does this cost?
6.    Could you help me please?
7.    Can you give me directions please?
8.    I would like to buy a round trip ticket.
9.    Where is the currency exchange/bank?
10.    Can you please repeat that?



Ten Top Tips for Stretching Your Travel Dollar

1.    Travel off-season to save significantly on airfare and hotels.
2.    Utilize frequent flier miles to your advantage to save on airfare.
3.    Find out how your AAA or other memberships can save you money on reservations.
4.    Check out travel forums and other websites for recommendations on budget friendly accommodations, restaurants and attractions.
5.    Travel with a friend to save on hotel costs and meals.
6.    Consider bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels.
7.    Avoid touristy destinations and attractions.
8.    Pack lightly to save on baggage checking and handling fees.
9.    Take advantage of complimentary breakfasts at your hotel.
10.    Plan on having one big meal each day, such as dinner and a much lighter, more casual meal for lunch.



Ten Top Tips for Traveling with a Friend (to NOT Become Enemies)

1.    Only travel with a friend you know well.
2.    Do not travel with a person you know is struggling financially.
3.    Know what your travel partner’s sleeping, hygiene, spending and eating habits are to ensure you are compatible enough to be together 24 hours per day.
4.    Discuss and agree on your travel plans in detail before leaving home.
5.    Set boundaries on a budget.
6.    Decide exactly how costs will be split and money will be spent before you go.
7.    Agree to each have independent time to sightsee on your own.
8.    If you disagree or something bothers you while on the trip, talk it out or it could easily escalate into a bigger problem and ruin your vacation.
9.    Be flexible and open-minded and follow your partner’s lead when it comes to some of the activities, but don’t do anything you will later resent.  
10.    Go with the flow and have fun, even if your trip did not turn out exactly as planned.



Ten Top Items to Collect on Your Journey

1.    Local stamps
2.    Coins
3.    Magnets
4.    Postcards
5.    Pens and pencils
6.    Hats
7.    Sew-on patches
8.    Mugs or tea cups
9.    Jewelry charms
10.  Match boxes




Debbie Glade is the Geography Awareness Editor for Wandering Educators.


This article was originally published in 2011 and updated in 2017


Comments (2)

  • Angela Corrias

    10 years 2 months ago

    Traveling is great, but we always need to keep in mind that we are in a foreign country, and if things go wrong, the whole experience is spoilt and we risk to go back with bad memories.

    I confess, I don't always follow all the tips mentioned, although I know I should. Particularly interesting are the tips for traveling with friends. It's so true that you need to make everything clear since the beginning, when traveling we spend all the time together, and we really need to get along! 

    Most of the tips I follow, it's because of mistakes I have made, so now I just avoid making them again. Great list, I might need to print it off and tick all points when planning a trip ;)

    Angela Corrias


  • Peter Reid

    9 years 8 months ago

    I couldn't help but admiring the Tips above, brilliant.... 

    Especially those about experiencing your destination like a Native, think I'll have to implement some.


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