10 Uncommon Travel Tips That Most People Don’t Know

1. Search for flights in their original language

Did you know that if you search for flights in their original language, you can find them for much cheaper? It’s true – sometimes. Just like someone might upcharge a wealthy customer for a service, flights are also sometimes upcharged for other countries, especially the United States.

2. Enroll with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a government-funded service that, according to their website, “is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate”. This essentially ensures that the U.S. government knows where you will be on your trip in case of an emergency. With that being said, this leads to:

3. Let loved ones know about your travel itinerary

In addition letting the government be able to help in case of emergency, letting your friends and family know where you are going at what times is also extremely important for your safety. Just like if you were on a date with a stranger, let someone know your whereabouts! Orbt makes it extremely easy to share your itineraries: simply generate your itinerary and share the link with your friends and family. Orbt marks the dates, times, locations, and much more, so your loved ones have nothing to fear.

4. Roll any clothing item that you are fine with getting creased

Those pajamas? Roll ‘em. Socks? Roll ‘em. Undies? Well, what did you think I was going to say? Roll ‘em! Rolling clothing actually saves room – check out this article that gets into the nitty gritty of it. Just make sure you aren’t rolling anything you don’t want to be creased! Better yet, if you know your hotel will have an ironing board, go crazy with the rolling.

5. Download the city’s map on Google Maps

As far as I know, this only works if you have the mobile app, so make sure you’re doing it on there! Simply type in the city’s name and look for “download offline map”. This will save the map to your phone (this may take a good chunk of space, so make sure your phone has storage first!) Once downloaded, simply use the app like normal, and it will “guide you to your destination as long as the entire route is within the offline map”. Now, you can ensure you can find your way around in case of spotty internet!

6. If you want a great photo at a popular attraction, get up super early

Most people go on vacations to relax and sight-see. Sometimes the latter gets in the way of the former. We’ve all wanted to snap a picture of the beautiful landscape, only to have a million other tourists crowding your photo. If you’re really itching for that shot, get up very early to go to your desired location. There will be virtually no one else there – AND you can probably get a gorgeous sunrise in your shot!

7. The best suite at a cheaper hotel is likely cheaper than a standard room in a luxury hotel

You will likely find that a standard room at a luxury room is still very expensive. You can get around this by looking for a cheaper hotel and getting one of their best rooms instead. The rooms will likely be similar at a fraction of the price.

8. If you need to cancel a hotel reservation, reschedule your reservation first

If you reschedule your reservation, some hotels will only look at the “new” date and let you cancel with a refund. The mileage on this one varies, so try at your own risk!

9. Bring old clothing so you can throw them away to make room for souvenirs

This mostly applies to underwear, socks, and other clothing you are okay with wearing out (hey, if you are fine wearing that ripped shirt one last time in Bali – by all means). The idea is that your suitcase is full when you arrive, but you can empty a chunk of it to make room for anything new. Don’t buy a new suitcase if you don’t have to!

10. Use an ATM to withdraw money when you arrive instead of converting your cash

Converting your cash comes with fees and sometimes a worse conversion rate. Using an ATM when you arrive at your destination has the bank do all the work for you at a small ATM fee. Just make sure you research your bank withdrawal limits and anything else you might need!