Some call them road warriors. Others, travel gurus. But these frequent travelers have customized their travel experiences in their own unique ways. And they share their best tips, for novice and experience travelers alike, to make the road (or the skies) an easier place to stop and enjoy the view.
Have some of your own travel tips? Leave a comment and maybe we will reach out to you!
Alisha Johnson, Public Affairs, Federal Government
Favorite Travel Destination: Toyko, Japan
“Guided tours with travel companies can be a great option if you are new to traveling, or are concerned about visiting an unfamiliar place, but I prefer to map my own course when I travel. There are plenty of travel guides and online resources available for most destinations to help you choose which cities and sites to visit, and the best ways to get there. This allows you the flexibility to make changes to your itinerary and, often times, see sights that many tourists miss.
I also recommend learning a few phrases of the language of your travel destination. Knowing how to say, ‘Hello,’ ‘Thank you,’ and ‘Where is…?’ can make a major difference in communicating with people from the area. Last, but not least, try to get to know people living in the location you are visiting. I’ve found that the best views of most destinations are from the local perspective!”
Adam Winterrowd, Regional Manager, Strayer Education
Favorite Destination: Domestic – San Diego; International – Barcelona
“I recommend utilizing your airline’s mobile app. Checking in online or on the app and utilizing mobile boarding passes speeds the check-in and security screening processes (and eliminates the potential for losing the document!). I also recommend enrolling in the TSA’s Pre Check program. The expedited security lanes at most airports allow for light jackets, shoes and belts to remain on and laptops to remain in carryon bags. More information can be found at http://www.tsa.gov/pre-check. I also recommend removing all jewelry and “pocket” items and placing them in your carryon before entering the security checkpoint. The largest delay here is due to passengers removing these items too close to the front of the line. I recommend booking seats in the over-wing exit rows for extra legroom and only in the front half of the airplane, if possible, for quicker boarding and deplaning.”
Yasmine Khonsari, Attorney, Photographer & Traveler-at-Heart
Favorite Travel Destinations: Cuba, India
“Tip.1 : You may get a deal on a hotel on the outskirts of town, but choose to be central! Stay in the heart of the town and walk around to discover the streets and the people rather than being cooped up in (and spending on) a taxi.
Tip 2: If you dislike packing as much as I do, I have a method to make things easier. About a week before my trip, I start a pile in the corner of my room with all the essentials such as travel size toothpaste, deodorant, band-aids, mosquito repellant, my plane outfit, neck pillow, iPod, camera, universal adapter plug, passport, etc. Then, every day that I remember something else or a favorite outfit, I toss it into the pile. By the day of travel, you pack with a process of elimination, and you’re set to go!”
Leslie Cole, Support Manager, Infusionsoft
Favorite Destination: The Seychelles
“Preparation is key…Do the research! Find out if you need a visa (certain countries require one for entrance) and look up any other restrictions. If you’re traveling “off the beaten path,” find out if vaccines are required. Look up the popular tours for your destination, then check to see if they offer coupons or discounts; AAA offers some great deals. In case things get lost or stolen, I make copies of all credits cards and travel documents, including my passport, and stash these copies in my luggage separate from the originals. When in the hotel I will lock them in the hotel safe.
In addition I will call my cell phone provider to set up a data package before I leave. I typically use my phone while I’m abroad for things like Maps, Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp, so I always purchase an international data package before I travel. I also recommend downloading a couple apps before departure. I like to download a currency converter (it does the tricky math for you!) as well as apps like “Things to do in [insert city/county here].” And Yelp has yet to let me down!
When I stay at a hotel that offers concierge I will ask them if they offer coupons or discounts for popular tourist activities. Great example, my husband and I scored some free wine tasting in Oregon last weekend all because the concierge personally knew the vineyard managers… Not a bad connection to have at the hotel! And whenever I’m in a destination where I don’t speak the language I will grab a business card from the hotel that lists their address because it’s easy to hand over the business card when you need to catch a cab or ask for directions. I also hate getting lost so I always carry a map… like the paper kind.”