Here I share with you the most useful travel tips I have learned through my years of traveling. Good and bad experiences taught me the collection of recommendations I give to you on this post. Let’s begin:
Book seat A
If you are like me and never, ever get tired of looking out of the airplane window, listen to this:
When you buy plane tickets online, it usually lets you choose what seats you want. Always choose from seat A on (whatever number you like), starting from the left side of the plane, never the right.
Many times it happens that because of operational issues of the airline, the aircraft with which the flight is to be made changes, so for example:
When you got your ticket online you chose the window on the right side, right? In the configuration of the aircraft shown on the website, this was the seat D. But when you get on board you find out that the configuration of the aircraft goes all the way to letter F. This means that you will now be sitting in the aisle seat. Bummer.
Remember: always from seat A on!
Don’t take the last train
This also applies for buses, boats, and airplanes. I wrote train in the title only because it sounded better (thank you Electric Light Orchestra).
When you need to go from point A to point B, either by bus, train, plane or boat, never book a ticket for the last trip of the day. If your ride is cancelled you will lose a day of your trip. You will have to stay one more night in the place where you are. Not to mention you will also probably lose reservations for hotels and tours.
Or if you have to take a bus, to get to the airport, to then take a flight, don’t book for your last option, book for the previous one. If your last option is delayed, you may lose the flight.
If it’s a long trip, book for the night ride
This sounds contradictory with the travel tip above, and yes, it is.
This is the only exception to the previous rule. Taking the night ride offers great benefits, that’s why I think it is worth the risk.
There are two major benefits of night transport:
– If you’re the kind of person who can sleep when sitting, a night trip will be much quicker than if you take a 8-hours day ride. You’ll spend most of it sweet dreaming .(If you have trouble sleeping on planes and buses this benefit is not that great).
– And most important: you save a hotel night. It’s practically a free night, because for the transport you had to pay anyway, but the first night at your destination you already spent during the trip. Great for your wallet.
Always ask for a second price
Be it for tours, taxis, transport, or whatever. Whenever possible try to get a second price. It is the only way to know if you are getting a regular price or not.
They can give you a price for a taxi that may sound normal to your foreigner ears, but when making a comparison you’ll realize that they were actually charging a fortune.
Don’t be afraid to do this. You may feel uncomfortable for not trusting the first vendor. But there’s nothing wrong with you taking care of your wallet. The worst that can happen is getting an angry look, nothing to worry about.
Don’t book in advance
Booking excursions, tours and activities in advance has its benefits. It mainly gives you peace of mind now that your schedule is perfectly planned. But like some wise person sometime said: “Man plans and God laughs” (I’m not religious but it’s still a great phrase). So what happens if you do not arrive on time?
The reality is that in the vast majority of cases it is completely unnecessary to book in advance. Tours can usually be purchased on the spot and even on the same day. And prices on the spot may be up to half of the ones you’ll find on the internet.
It’s not only cheaper, it also has the advantage that you won’t be risking losing the booking if for some reason you do not get to there on time. A missed flight or even a delay can make you loose your reservations, and in consequence, a great deal of precious money. We don’t want that.
– Some tours allow you to make free reservations. In these cases there is nothing to lose, so there is no reason not to book.
– There are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases it is convenient to book tours in advance in order to avoid queues (the Sagrada Familia tour in Barcelona for example).
In some others, booking is the only way to go. So be aware of this. It will surely be specified when you look the tour up online.