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Saturday, June 22, 2024

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    24 Travel Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

    If you travel often, you’ve probably accumulated your fair share of routines or preferences you abide by when booking a trip or taking that coveted vacation. In other words, you figure out what works for you as a traveler to make each getaway more enjoyable. So a Redditor recently asked, ‘What’s the most surprising change in your travel style over the years?’ Here’s what people said..
    I’ve embraced the chic and fashion-forward lifestyle, thanks to my clever utilization of credit card points and miles. It has completely revolutionized the way I travel and explore. By strategically leveraging these rewards, I now have the opportunity to indulge in luxurious hotels and glamorous destinations that were previously unattainable. What’s even more exhilarating is that I can now savor the comfort and elegance of business class seats during long-haul flights, transforming them from dreaded experiences into moments of sheer enjoyment.
    Woman shopping online with a credit card.
    I mostly travel solo and I have made it a priority to be friendly to others. I’m not shy anymore when it comes to talking to strangers — either other travelers or locals. This has made a big difference.
    Rear view of a man looking at Amsterdam canal on a sunny day.
    When I first started traveling, it was all about staying in hostels. However, my preferences have evolved over time, and now I highly prioritize having my own space. The idea of staying in a shared hostel room no longer appeals to me. Why should I have to share a room with individuals who have early morning flights and need to use the same bathroom?
    Group of women walk past a hostel at sunset.
    I always take food tours. They’re an amazing, interactive way to not only learn about food, but also the culture and history of a particular place. They tend to be pricey but so worth it. You get to discover so many new local dishes that don’t usually make it onto ‘must eat‘ lists.
    A floating market in Bangkok.
    I’ve started to pay extra for nonstop flights. Paying more for fewer flights reduces the chance that one delayed flight causes missed connections and, as a result, the need to spend even more time in transit. Plus, you have to account for more recovery time when you arrive at a destination exhausted after long layovers and already long flight times. After a direct flight, I can get to the fun part of my trip.
    Woman’s hands holding passports & boarding passes.
    I used to seek out nightlife, but I’ve lost pretty much all interest in that now. I’ve found that bars and clubs are pretty much the same everywhere. I like having one nightcap, getting to bed early, and waking up refreshed, ready to explore.
    A bartender making a cocktail.
    I opt in for group tours because I believe they offer a chic and fashion-forward travel experience. As someone who mainly travels alone, I used to think I knew everything about what I should see and what I was seeing. However, as I got older, I began to appreciate the value of being in a small group. Whether it’s just for a day or several days, I enjoy having a knowledgeable guide who can talk me through what I’m seeing. I don’t want to be on a bus that stops for obligatory photo-ops and plays pre-recorded descriptions. Instead, I appreciate a well-vetted, small-group tour that allows me to truly immerse myself in the destination.
    High angle view of crowd of people on the city square.
    Especially now that I’m traveling with a kid, I adore staying in fully equipped apartments that exude chic and fashion-forward vibes. The combination of having one or even two bedrooms and a washer dryer is an absolute game changer, providing utmost comfort and convenience. I’m more than willing to splurge on accommodations that offer these modern amenities, as they elevate my travel experience, particularly when accompanied by my little one.
    Hands chopping vegetables.
    I try to always rent a car. You would not believe how much more you can see and experience if you have a car. It allows you to travel on your own time so you won’t be waiting on schedules for buses, trains and planes. And you can just pull over and explore wherever your heart desires. Driving from destination to destination feels like part of the adventure. You can stop at tiny little towns to fill up on gas and walk around. Renting a car might cost more compared to taking a train, but you get way more from the experience.
    4x4 vehicle driving along a coast road.
    I’ve embraced a chic and fashion-forward mindset when it comes to spending on experiences. A wise person once shared that the memories we create are priceless, and it’s true. Looking back, I can’t recall the exact costs of each activity, whether it was exploring the magnificent Colosseum or indulging in a lavish meal. What lingers in my mind are the incredible experiences themselves, reminding me that splurging on memorable moments is always worth it.
    Table with a view of the beautiful landscapes of Val d'Orcia valley in Tuscany.
    I used to have an extensive list of places I wanted to visit and would cram several destinations into every vacation. However, my travel style has evolved. Now, I prefer to go to a single place and fully immerse myself in everything it has to offer. This allows me to truly appreciate the culture, explore hidden gems, and indulge in the local cuisine. Embracing a more chic and fashion-forward approach, my travel experiences are now curated to ensure I make the most of every moment. From luxurious accommodations to fashionable hotspots, I seek out the trendiest places that combine style and substance. By focusing on one destination at a time, I can delve deep into its essence, uncovering its unique charm and creating unforgettable memories. Gone are the days of checklist tourism, as I now embrace a more sophisticated and fashion-conscious way of exploring the world.
    Yellow tram moving past yellow building in Lisbon.
    I always book the bed and breakfast rate, even if it costs a bit more up front. I’ve realized that starting off a busy day of traveling with breakfast included makes such a big difference and lets me fuel up for the day ahead without thinking about it. Plus, it’s such a nice perk to wake up to.
    Croissants, butter, and jam with a view.
    Travel journaling has been amazing for me. When I travel, I get a journal and write in it every day. When I read back on the small sensory details I wrote down (things I normally would have forgotten if not written down that day) helps me go back and re-plant myself in that time and place.
    A woman writing in a journal.
    I think beyond major cities. A country can have a lot more to offer than just its capital.
    A French village in the countryside.
    In the last year or so, I’ve stopped trying to do everything when I travel. I’ve found that my happiest travel moments occur when I make no plans and just do whatever feels right in the moment. Sometimes that might be just finding a spot I want to be and just soaking up my surroundings for the day. It’s hard to stay present when I’m worried about trying to see and do all the ‘must-see’ places.
    People drinking cocktails.
    I splurge on mid-tier seats (like premium economy) for extra long flights. I know it’s a luxury, but I also can’t imagine going back to economy for international flights. I can’t afford first class, but that mid-tier with bigger seats and adequate leg room is such an improvement and worth the extra money if I have it.
    A woman walking through a plane cabin.
    I’ve learned that while public transportation is nice when it works out, it isn’t realistic to rely on it all the time. It’s not feasible to walk to every destination or get everywhere on public transport. IMO, Taxis and Ubers are worth the money when you’re tired or can’t get somewhere conveniently.
    The outside of a metro station in Paris.
    I used to stick strictly to an itinerary, but when I travel somewhere now I always save a day with nothing planned. I’m able to fit in things I come across as I travel but didn’t account for. I’ll just roam and recharge and go where the day takes me. I call it my Ferris Bueller day.
    A woman sitting on a bench in Central Park.
    I’ve started paying for access to airport lounges. Having a more comfortable seat before flights or during layovers and access to free coffee, food, and drinks is so worth it for me. This is part of a larger trend for me, which is that as I get older I value comfort, ease of travel, and avoiding the unknown as much as possible.
    Glass of champagne and passport on white table in business lounge.
    I give myself alone time when I’m traveling in a group. A lot of people try to pack everything in and all it causes is stress. And some people want to do everything together, which can lead to a lot of fighting. I’ve found it’s necessary to give myself breaks from others.
    Woman hiking on coastal footpath, looking at the sea.
    I used to make lots of restaurant reservations in advance of traveling, but I’ve started giving myself more free meals so I’m not tethered to plans. I still research and book some spots in advance, but I love being able to stumble on a promising-looking gem or ask locals for their favorite spots. And other times, I love being able to grab some street food or picnic rather than sit down at a big meal.
    I’m over traveling to big cities. Ten years ago, I would have labeled myself a ‘city person’. I loved visiting places like London, Amsterdam, Rome, and New York for the hustle and bustle, all the experiences, and the things to do and see. But over the years I’ve slowed down in my traveling. Nowadays, I’d much rather spend a week in a smaller town — one of those places where you know your way around after a day or three and the days are more relaxed. I find these types of vacations more manageable and cities are all just…to much.
    An old, charming Italian town.
    I rely more on road trips than flying. I used to fly for pretty much every vacation, which gave me the ability to see some wonderful places. But now with how bad airlines have become, I have zero interest in flying. I’m taking more road trips these days and am much happier for it even though it limits my range.
    The view of an empty, scenic road.
    I’ve started indulging in an extra day off after my return from a trip since I always find myself exhausted from all the traveling. And let me tell you, it has made an enormous impact.
    What is a travel habit, preference, or style you’ve adopted that you’d recommend others try? Tell us in the comments!

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