7 Best Travel Tips

1. When you go with a program, push the envelope a little bit.

If you are going to have an amazing support system while you travel, we recommend going to more far-flung or off-the-beaten-path locations. Why? Because the information about and experiences within well-traveled countries, like Western Europe, are easy to come by and well-established. But those unique and crazy experiences — like hanging off the edge of Victoria Falls or getting to live with a Chinese family in a homestay for three months — are much harder to coordinate as an independent traveler.

2. Ditch a suitcase for a backpack.

Suitcases totally cramp your style. Since we’re suckers for mobility (and maximizing our ability to see as much as possible, on foot, while we explore a new place), we suggest you leave your suitcase with Mom and Dad and adopt the super cool, grungy backpacker look instead. Regardless if you’re more of an Osprey pack or Tortuga trailblazer, there’s a backpack out there that meets both your utility and stylistic needs.

3. Don’t splurge your money on where you stay.

You’re young, you’re adventurous, you’re eager to experience the world. Who cares if your bed has 5000 count linen sheets or is one you have to make yourself on the top bunk of the hostel. Save your money to pay for extra helpings of spaghetti or a ticket into the Haggia Sofia instead of on a hotel or Airbnb that racks up the cost of your trip.

4. Boys are always the hardest to buy gifts for.

Whether your dad, partner, or brother, we recommend bringing them the kinds of souvenirs that are edible. They always love a good snack.

5. Use Instagram to research fun places to go.

All it takes is a couple of searches in the “Places” and “Tags” to find actual photos taken by people experiencing your dream destinations now. Using Instagram can be a great way to find unique places or specific cafes that make your heart go “double tap.” With their new save functionality, you can even create an entire secret album of “must stop locations.” Awesome!

6. Adjustable airplane headrests can be a lifesaver.

If you’ve been stuck with the dreaded middle seat on a longhaul flight, don’t fall into despair just yet. We love when airplanes are equipped with adjustable headrests, making your snoozes to the left AND the right a more comfortable experience (we didn’t say comfortable, but we did say more comfortable). 🙂

7. Maximize your layovers.

If you’re a savvy flight booker, you can quickly see where your suggested stopovers are from point A to be point C via point B. The secret is to book individual flight legs between points A and B and then B and C. In this way, you call the shots on your layover adventures (sometimes a couple hours will do, sometimes a whole night is fun!). This is an especially fun tactic if you go light and only pack a carry on.