What travel tips do you know that many other travelers do not? It could be how to book a great hotel or flying experience, save money, or avoid and navigate troubles that often come up while traveling.
A Reddit user asked people working in the travel industry what many tourists miss out on because it’s not common knowledge.
People stepped in, giving some great insider traveling secrets, and here are some of the best responses that could come in handy on your next trip.
1. Fly in Through One City, Out Through Another: The Magic of Open Jaw Tickets!
Planning to get a round-trip ticket? Your return ticket can be from somewhere other than where you arrived.
Looking to go globetrotting? Open-jaw tickets can help you save some money as they would be cheaper than booking different one-way tickets.
Revealing a vital travel tip unknown to many travelers, one user said, “Open jaw tickets. So many people I speak to think that they have to fly in and out of the same city and are amazed when I tell them they can fly into Paris and out of Rome if they want; they don’t have to go back to Paris.”
2. The Hotel Pillow Menu You Never Knew Existed
We all have different pillow preferences. Many hotels and resorts have pillow menus that allow them to give their guests a personalized sleeping experience.
Not comfortable with the pillow you have in your room? You could get your best option by requesting a pillow menu, as one commenter revealed: “If you go to a higher-end hotel (and some chains), I can almost guarantee they have a pillow menu. Sick of the crummy floppy pillow? Call the concierge/front desk and ask if you can get a pillow menu sent to your room.”
3. Seize the Moment: Score Last-Minute Tickets With a Little Help From the Concierge
Cannot seem to get a booking to an attraction site, to a restaurant, or city tour? Requesting help from the property’s concierge could solve your problem.
Just be courteous and kind to them, and they could be kind enough to help you get last-minute tickets, “If you’re staying at a nice / luxury property, the concierge can often get you bookings, including last-minute or hard-to-get bookings. It helps to be nice and courteous, and if possible, to do it well in advance, because they often have connections, speak the language, and more clout given they aren’t just a single person trying to make a reservation.”
Here’s a perfect example. Rodney Blunt says, “We couldn’t get tickets online to tour the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and were disappointed to not be able to go inside. When we checked into our hotel in town, the front desk clerk asked what time our tour was, and when we told him we didn’t have one, he was able to get us two tickets without any problem. Totally saved the day!”
4. Reschedule First and Sidestep Cancellation Costs
Looking to cancel a stay at a hotel without getting hit with cancellation charges? You may want to check how much rescheduling costs before canceling.
Canceling a stay at a hotel just a few days before your arrival date often costs a lot. Instead of canceling, reschedule it for some weeks later and then cancel it for free.
“Got this tip from someone who arranges travel for a sports team. If you must cancel a hotel booking but want to avoid paying a cancellation fee, change the date to the following week. Then a day later, cancel the reservation,” revealed a comment.
5. See the Local Beat for Free: Swap Bus Tours for Charming Local Walks
City tours can be costly. Besides, they may not give you the best experience, mainly because the guides and the buses are typically in a rush to take another trip.
But did you know you can get free city tours from locals? Want to know how? A commenter disclosed what you could do: “For many cities, check out “Free Walking Tours.” There are usually a couple of local firms in each major city advertising “free walking tours,” and they have many local guides. The tours are 1-3 hours, extremely informative, and very entertaining.
“If you start on the tour and it’s no good, you can just walk away. If it is good and you stick it out to the end, a tip is customary (they are usually not pushy but will ask the group), and I’d recommend it. Something like $10-20 for a 2-hour walking tour is dirt cheap, especially if you can just walk away if it is low quality. They usually advertise with something like a yellow or red umbrella.”
6. Double-Check Your Passport Before You Book Your Next Adventure
While traveling out of the country, you want to ensure you get all your passport details correct. You do not want to go through stressful border control trying to prove things as simple as the correct order of your name.
One commenter said, “Name as it appears on passport is how you should book your airline ticket. Pull out your passport and follow it; at the same time, check to see that it doesn’t expire soon. Some countries require 3-6 months after an intended stay. Check the rules.”
7. More Than a Layover: How to Turn Short Stopovers Into City Adventures
Ever been in a position where your short layover was in a city you wanted to tour? It stinks to know that what you want to see is just a few miles outside the airport, yet you cannot leave because all you have is a 1-hour layover.
There could be a way around short layovers for people who want to tour the cities.
“Airlines allow you a free stopover in their home base. For instance, Finnair allows a free stop in Helsinki; Emirates allows a free stop in Dubai, and Singapore Airlines allows a free stop in Singapore. Therefore, you can visit a free country that is on your route anyway,” said one comment.
With many people inquiring how exactly this works, another commenter took it upon themselves to elaborate: “You book it on the airline website while booking your ticket. For the record, it’s not totally *Free* but it’s heavily discounted. For example Qatar, you can extend your layover up to 48 hours during booking and have a 4-star hotel for $9/night or a 5-star hotel for $11 a night with airport pickup included… it’s paid for by the local DOT, which assumes that you will go shopping or hire a tour guide or something to make up for the lost revenue on the hotel.”
8. Jetset Like a VIP: Say Goodbye to Long Security Lines!
The extended security and boarding lines can be tiring and time-wasting. The good thing is that some airports can allow you to skip them as long as you are precise with your timing.
“Many airports offer the option to reserve a time slot for security (sometimes for free, sometimes for a small fee). If you show up at the time you reserved, you skip the security line altogether and go straight to the security checkpoint,” disclosed a comment.
With many people inquiring about examples of airports that offered this, another user revealed the airports that have this service: “I’ve used it in Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Rome, and Barcelona. But they also offer it in Amsterdam and Frankfurt all for a small cost. You, however, can find a list of airports that offer it for free at clearme.com/reserve.”
9. Savvy Souvenir Shopping and Local Tours
While a lot of people pay for local tours to get a perspective from a local guide, one user revealed that the information and history they give could be fabricated.
It does not stop there; the souvenirs you come home with from Europe and other parts of the world are easily not from that destination. They are often just any product you could have shipped from China to your address for less money.
“A lot of tourist traps are just made up or embellished histories. That fountain? “for just 2 Euros, see the fountain that Da Vinci drank from!” That wooden trinket you find in a cute little shop in France? Probably had a “made in China” sticker on the bottom at one point. I have a friend who used to be a tour guide in Edinburgh. She used to complain about how many tour guides just made up stories to sell their “unique” or “untold stories of…” tours.”
The advice continues, “Skip anything that’s just a “something happened here” if they’re charging any fee to visit it. Check Amazon unless you see someone making that trinket with your own eyes. You can probably have the same thing delivered to your house for less.”
10. Rethink Skipping Travel Agents: The Hidden Benefits You Might Miss
With more frequent travelers striving to do everything independently and skip travel agents’ help, one user revealed that agents could skillfully step in for you in time of need.
‘“Agents aren’t just hopping on Skyscanner to get your flights. We have GDS like Sabre, Amadeus, and Galileo, which are quite complex and can do things you typically can’t do yourself online. These programs are quite difficult to master, and a good travel agent can make a big difference for you,” said one commenter.
At a crossroads about your bookings? A travel agent could do the job for you. Additional comments revealed that travel agents are useful if your booking has any issues, such as overbookings or canceled flights.
No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries
If you’re an American citizen traveling out of the country, you have to have a passport to be allowed into somewhere else, right? While that’s mostly true, there are some exceptions. Some are independent countries, while others are U.S. territories that largely operate independently.
Note: Before you visit any of these places, make sure you look into what the entry requirements are. For example, you may need an enhanced ID or proof of certain vaccinations.
Southwest to Maui: How to Fly to Hawaii for Free
Is Hawaii on your bucket list of places to go on vacation? You’re not alone! Each year, almost 10 million people visit the Islands (not counting 2020), but as I’m sure you know, it’s not cheap. Good news, though. I’m going to share with you how you can fly on Southwest to Maui and any other Hawaiian island for free!
Want to Travel for Free? Here Are 14 Ways to Get Started
Do you love exploring new places, but they don’t always fit your budget? Here are our tips on how to travel for free.
10 Places You Should Never Use Your Debit Card
Debit cards are a convenient way to pay for things without carrying a lot of cash around and without piling up credit card debt. However, debit cards can place you more at risk of identity theft and fraud. That’s because most debit cards don’t come with the same protections major credit cards do. If someone hacks your debit card, they can drain real money from your personal account, and that money might be gone for good.
Here are some places where it’s safer for you to use a credit card than a debit card.
This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.