80+ Travel Tips Only The Pros Know

by SharonKurheg

Reddit.com is a social network where registered members can discuss and vote on content. It’s made up of millions of collective niche forums or groups called Subreddits. In other words, Reddit is a social platform comprised of subreddits.

I like Reddit because it’s a cross section of anyone in the world who has access to the internet. Male, female, rich, poor, LGBTQ+, straight, and every religion and color of skin under the sun, all discussing life without the prejudices that might happen if they were together in person.

r/AskReddit is a subreddit to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. It could be something as serious as “Are you still wearing a mask? Why or why not?” “What would you do if your partner decided to change their gender?” or “Death penalty – what are your thought about it?” to more lighthearted questions such as, “You get $100 if you can name something that no one has a fetish for. What’s your answer?” (that one is labeled NSFW), “If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?” and “What food looks utterly disgusting but tastes incredible?”

Not long ago, someone in r/AskReddit brought up a travel-related question:

What travel tips do only the pros know?

Of course, what constitutes being a “pro” will vary for everyone…as will their thinking of whether they’re a pro or not, LOLOL!

Some of the answers were brilliant, some were OK, some even less so. Here are some of all of them (Spelling/grammar errors are original to the respondents. I’ve only edited for adult language):

  • No one cares about you wearing the same thing more than once. Pack light and wash your stuff every few days. – CptSmarty
  • Clean or at least leave your home in some state of clean prior to leaving on your trip. It feels terrible to come home to a mess when you’re likely exhausted from a plane or long road trip. Especially if you have to work the next day. – Racthoh
  • Never keep your wallet on your back pocket. – ofsquire
  • To dry your clothes faster after washing them (assuming you’re handwashing and don’t have access to a dryer), lay them on a towel, roll up the towel, and squeeze as hard as you can. This is much more effective than just wringing out the wet clothes and doesn’t leave ugly wrinkle marks. Then, hang to dry in your hotel room. – SirMontego
  • If you are traveling in a group, give yourself breaks from others. Some people want to do everything together, and that can lead to a lot of fighting. – Hobbitfoot (Note from Sharon – anytime I’ve traveled with someone, the rule has ALWAYS been “We’re not attached at the hip. If I want to do something by myself it’s fine. If you want to go out on your own, that’s fine too)
  • in your carry on, 1 days clothes, med, essentials,,, if your luggage is lost or delayed. – 2lovesFL
  • Don’t sign street petitions in Paris. It’s a scam. – WhatWhoNoShe
  • Navigate before going into a massive crowd. A simple mind map of ‘right in three blocks, left in two’ usually suffices for the walk, and makes you look like you’re walking with purpose, instead of standing out immediately as a target. – UnoriginalUse
  • Keep a Dropbox folder with a snapshot of your travel documents. Then you may use any PC with an Internet connection to access them. – Cindy0955
  • Seriously, never put prescription or any medication you cannot live without in your checked baggage. – batkc
  • (In reply to the previous advice) My Dad learned this the hard way and ended up spending his first couple of hours vacation in the ER because the airline insisted on calling an ambulance as he started to go into withdrawals from his pain medications on a transatlantic flight. ER Doc asked him if he skipped a dose of painkillers, he said yes now can I take them? ER Doc goes “Well, nope I can’t tell you to do that, but I also have to go see the next patient for a few minutes and won’t be able to see you do so if you catch my drift”.
    One hour later, Dad’s feeling great and the Doc walks back in, asks how he’s doing and discharges him. Says next time put your meds in your carry on. $2000 in ER fees. Keep your meds in a clear plastic bag, and if you are on prescription opiates have your doctor write a letter explaining why just in case as some countries are funny about that. – zerbey
  • Put a heavy elastic band around your wallet too. Pickpockets can’t pull it out without you noticing. – vanislephotog
  • Use Google Maps (or any other app that has the following functionality) to download the map of the city directly to your phone, so in the event you lose cell reception or wireless signal, you can still access the map of the city. – Midnatone
  • Book trips to arrive immediately AFTER major holidays and long weekends, not during them. ReeG
  • Don’t have kids – ReeG
  • Dress like you would at home, adjusted for temperature. – ipakookapi
  • Don’t eat the street food in India – Sirjohnington
  • It’s worth it to pay more for accommodations in the city center close to all the action rather than a cheaper place far away. It’s less stress and you have to pay for transport back and forth anyway. – lakersforever21
  • Heavily research and plan your transport. From airport to hotel, hotel to activity, or city to city. It will save time, stress and money. – lakersforever21
  • If you’re shy about inconveniencing a stranger to take your photos, start off by finding a couple/family taking photos of each other and then ask if they’d like you to take a photo with everone in the shot. Then when you’re handing the camera/phone back to them you can ask them to return the favor and get a photo of you. – Clemario
  • Ignore the popular advice to not pack things like headache remedies, toothpaste and instead buy them at your destination. You arrive at midnight and have to navigate the baggage collection in a strange airport, find where it is the transport leaves from, transport to your accomm in a strange city, strange money, etc. and on top of all that, now you also need to go find the pharmacy that sells the thing you need and buy the thing you did not pack. What if the pharmacy is closed? What if wasting time searching for the pharmacy means you miss your transport? Why waste time when you could be doing fun things, buying toothpaste? – ZanyDelaney
  • Tomato juice tastes better at high altitudes – fakezzzfake
  • You will NOT make it in the 1 hour layover at JFK – fakezzzfake
  • If you have the money to travel, don’t haggle with the people selling $1 trinkets… you just bought a $7 Frappacino, you really going to fight over a dollar with a low-income-earning local? – fakezzzfake
  • I would never say “only the pros” know this, but…
    Most common interactions follow the same or very similar patterns no matter where you are in the world (within reason).
    Checking out at the grocery store? They’re probably going to say “hello” when you get to the register. They might ask “did you find everything okay / need anything else?” while scanning your items. They might ask if you need any bags. When they’re finished scanning they’ll hit a few buttons, then tell you the amount.
    In a vast majority of cases, you don’t need to understand the language to figure out which questions are being asked / which statements are being made. If you look for context clues and listen carefully to the way things are said, you can get through most common interactions with little to no knowledge of the local language.
    The more experience you have with this, the better you’ll get at it, and the less nervousness you’ll feel heading into a new place where there’s a language barrier. – glitterlok
  • Take twice as much money as you think you’ll need. – Drunken306
  • Hostels aren’t scary like they’re made out to be. In fact, they’re pretty great. most even have a single room with an ensuite that’s still half the price of your average hotel room. Usually comes with perks like breakfast, bar on the first floor, activities like walking tours, karaoke nights, the works. I love hostels. – The_Late_Gatsby
  • Carry cigarettes. Even if you don’t smoke, offering someone a cig is an immediate way of defusing a sketchy situation. – jaydoubleuw
  • Put some duct tape on it if it’s pricey equipment or anything else. Nobody wants to steal something that appears to be broken. – willianfvirgil
  • Open a rewards credit card with a bonus spend option to pay for a trip then use the bonus points for deep discounts on your next trip.. repeat (Note from Sharon: Gee, ya don’t say…LOLOL!) – fleewiththelottery
  • Don’t use large bills to buy anything. I did this once as a teenager and was not given change, claimed it was a different (small) bill – gallopingwalloper
  • Know about national entry fees as well as what can get you into trouble at customs – ForTheBirds12
  • Plug availability in airports are scarce I take a power strip with me so if I find one being used I can offer to make a few more available so we all can get something charged. – Durandal1979
  • Make a photocopy of your passport – ForTheBirds12
  • I carry two wallets. Emergency cash and credit cards in a travel wallet that I keep in the inside pocket of my jacket, or in a suitcase. – PM_ME_YOUR_ATM_PIN
  • Sleep naked, or in the clothes you wore that day. “Night clothes” take up unnecessary room. – 3green1inthemirror
  • know what a grocery store is called by locals. I must have spent an hour wandering around Copenhagen looking for somewhere to buy laundry detergent because I was using the wrong word. – NoAlternative2913
  • If I’m in a country that I wouldn’t drink the tap water in I will do the following: stay away from dairy, only eat cooked vegetables, only eat fruit that I can peel, avoid anything with ice blended in it (remember we are not drinking the water), look for vendors with long lines (your food will be more likely to be fresh), only eat well cooked meat, you want to eat things that are fresh & hot, if you can see it being prepared that’s a good thing, breads are typically safe etc… – eleanorsays
  • Also, if you see a sticker that says “be aware of pickpockets” don’t pat your pants/shirt to confirm you still have it. They put those up there so you basically point to your wallet and say, “here it is”. – Dicethrower
  • Packing cubes have changed my life. Rolling my clothes and using packing cubes makes it so easy. – labratcat
  • Give yourself breaks when traveling. A lot of people try to pack everything in and all it causes is stress. – HobbitFoot
  • Know the rules/laws/currency exchange rates for the country you are going to. Ignorance is not a get out of jail free card. – CptSmarty
  • There’s a secret garden in Rome you’ll only get into if you’re able to talk German. Teutonic cemetary. It’s really not that exciting, but it’s a neat piece of trivia that in the middle of Italy there’s a place you’ll only get in if you approach a Swiss guardsman and talk to him in German. – WilhelmWrobel
  • I will say to check your phone plan’s international coverage. My US plan has free texting, cheap calling, and free slow data all over Europe and I can get a week of high-speed data for cheap, BUT I had to go online and activate it manually beforehand. – thevictor930
  • Book flights in the morning to make your life easier.
    I know it’s tempting to try and make the most of the last day but morning flights are less likely to get canceled as the majority of severe weather occurs in the afternoon/evening. If your morning flight experiences weather related delays they are still more likely to get your flight out the same day.
    It’s also nice to be home or where you’re going with enough time to decompress before the next day. – NuthinToHoldBack
  • Wherever you are going google about tourist scams in that place beforehand, most common is taxi or tuk tuk overcharge. – SuvenPan
  • That breakfast life hack served me well on multiple work trips where the hotel including breakfast was paid for by the company. I’d make several lovely sandwiches right at the breakfast, pack them into napkins and then eat them later for lunch at work. – rawberryfields
  • Imodium is a key one for the bag. Has been a life-saver a time or two… – AgoraiosBum
  • My two-week jaunt up the country of Italy was planned a year in advance. Weeks prior to departure, I bought all new panties. I packed all my old panties, which were discarded each morning when I dressed for the day. Yes, I left a trail of panties across Italy. – MomCat23
  • Leave space in your itinerary for spontaneity, and when you get where you’re going, ask the locals where their favorite spots are and how to get there safely. – Gardengoddess83
  • Always have some money sewn into your clothing (usually the waistband of your trousers/skirts). So if you get mugged you have enough cash to get back home or to your hotel. – Bedlamcitylimit
  • Always pull at parts of credit card readers and cash machines/ATM’s, even when at home, to see if there are skimmers attached to them. – Bedlamcitylimit
  • Always take note of where your countries embassy is located and if possible add their number to your phone. You never know when you might need it. – Bedlamcitylimit
  • If you want cold, clean water without having to pay for it, use the hotel gym to full your water bottle with their water bottle filler. – Gingerbretman3
  • Tsa pre check = life – Starjupiter93
  • ^^ If Canadian, get Nexus. It makes border crossings so easy and you get to skip security lines in Canada and USA, even for domestic flights. – captain_redballs
  • ^^ global entry. Seriously, it’s an extra 15 bucks and does so much more. – PA2SK
  • In “developing” countries, kids are usually the ones he “pester” you to give money, buy rubbish items & other annoying or scam activities. I would usually pick an older boy who was as big as I could find on the spot, and someone I could talk with, and offer to pay them at the end of my walk, shopping trip or what every I was doing. They knew their way around & it was quicker to let them take me to where I wanted, they could also carry parcels or delegate a younger kid to do it and they tended to keep other kids & scammers away from me, as they hoped for a bigger payout. I wouldn’t pay until I was either in a cab or back at my hotel if I walked. It costs little, helps keep undesirables away, carried parcels so I could take photos or keep my hands on my money/valuables. Some “guides” were very good and tell me a price being asked was too high or the goods were poor quality or when I needed a taxi, they seemed to be able to find one easily whereas at times I couldn’t get one to stop. Local knowledge is a great thing to have at hand. – Tasqfphil
  • No matter where you are in the world, if you see a long line of people waiting to get food, get in that line. – pizzaboy7269
  • Always put items at the same spot in your backpack. This is the trick to never leaving anything behind, you’ll know right away if you forgot something. – Xiaozhu
  • Do what locals do. If regular people are using their phones in the street, it’s usually safe to do so. If people are hiding their bags and belongings, you probably shouldn’t be here. If you see XYZ food a lot in supermarkets or on the menu, it’s probably worth trying it. Follow local commonsense. – XIAOzhu
  • Pee when you can. Not when you need to. 😉 – Argonzoyd
  • when it’s busy season, book your airplane ticket through an agent. When there’s delays or cancellations, your agent is your best friend. I’ve had a last minute cancellation out of O’hare. And while hundreds of tired, angry fellow passengers were waiting at the ticket counter, on hour long holds with customer service – i called my agent, and he told me not to worry, and to get coffee while he sorts things out. Sure enough, 5 minutes later he calls back, put me in a local hotel, and booked me for the first flight next morning. Had i booked through expedia or whatnot, i’d still be on the phone. – reverze1901
  • Compression shorts to help prevent chub rub, aloe vera to help treat your friend who made fun of you for bringing compression shorts. – Dictator4Hire
  • you can get Southwest airline gift cards at Costco for 10% less than their value. – MikeTythonChicken
  • If you are lost and can’t find anyone speaking English, find an Irish pub. You can almost always find one and there’s always someone that can speak English – Mhester2232
  • Carry a spare card (old bank card, library card etc) for the electric switch slot thing in hotel room, can keep AC running when you’re not in the room, charge devices etc and keep the room key in your wallet/pocket – tommyredbeard
  • Keep a small stash of otc medicine. Aspirin, tums or pepto tablets, Imodium, etc. Local cuisine may not agree with you, and if you have something to get you by until you can find the local pharmacy. – 79superglide
  • on airplanes, over the ear headphones send the social cue “don’t talk to me”. All other varieties invite (unwanted) conversation – wendell_gee70
  • You are an ambassador for your home country. If you’re an American visiting Japan (for example) and you go around acting like an a-hole you’re making ALL Americans look like a-holes. You might be the first American someone there has ever met. And you’re making a life long impact on how that person views all Americans (or wherever you’re from) for the rest of their lives. – Vanpotheosis
  • Accept and prepare for the fact that there are going to be massive cultural differences between where you are from and where you are going. I’ve seen people go crazy over this in country and end up having a terrible time because their cultural identity is fossilized and they’re unable to adapt. – Vanpotheosis
  • Take the card of ur hotel with u so when ur out on the town and mite have a few to many bevvies or forget the name of the place ur staying at u can simply show the taxi driver the card and they should get back to the place ur staying at – cheeseburgerparty100
  • Being self aware and maybe not standing in the middle of walk ways while you read signs or look at your phone. – stokeszdude
  • When booking bus tours find a company with the smallest busses possible (10-12 passenger vans if possible). Small vans or busses can pull over on the shoulder of some roads to see really cool off the beaten track sights whereas large busses really only go to the regular tourist attractions in the area meaning ruins of other tourists. – DebbieAdams
  • When you’re leaving a country, book an overnight stay in that city the night before you leave, just in case your previous flights are delayed. – HappyTimesHollis
  • Before you put on your socks and shoes for the day, use hand sanitizer on your feet and between your toes. Helps cut back on the bacteria that caused odor especially since you may get far more steps in than you would at home. – burntoutcheckedout
  • Order the kosher meal on a flight. Same cost, far better food. – JohnRandolph
  • Ask about late checkout – many hotels give it for free , I’m currently writing this during a late checkout period of 4 hours at no cost – slimkid504
  • Look up the taxi/transit situation before you arrive. Know if taxis are safe, metered, or whether a fare should be agreed upon beforehand. Almost 100% of the time you should ignore anyone at an airport saying they’ll take you to a taxi (no matter how many badges they have). – hihihiheyyy
  • Don’t get out of a taxi until the driver has got out. Otherwise they can and do drive off with your luggage. – CatFunt
  • If you’re American turn down the volume, reign in the ego and don’t act overly familiar. – Jaeker
  • A cotton T shirt can double as a towel. – MarilynMonheaux
  • If you have a long drive, start your trip at night around 8 pm. There is no traffic most nights – Arra13375

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