Share this Story

How to be a smart traveler: Travel tips and more!

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Smart tips for travelling

It's not always easy to plan an amazing getaway all by yourself -- but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. Read on to learn more!

Woman Traveler

KNOW YOURSELF

When planning a vacation, choose the kind of activities you'd like to do first. Then, pick a destination. If you want to shop, head to a major city like London or Paris. If you're looking for adventure, get set to see Africa or the desert. Once you've picked your destination, work out a budget and start searching for hotels and resorts from there.

KNOW THE AREA

There are dozens of handy websites you can use to familiarize yourself with destinations around the world. And be sure to rely on recommendations from friends and family. Also, check out the US Department of State Travel Information Page (for updates on travel restrictions or warnings).

Other handy travel research sites include:

Lonely Planet
Rough Guides
Frommer's
TripAdvisor

FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS & ACCOMMODATIONS

Online travel sites are starting to take over. From TripAdvisor to Expedia, finding cheap flights and hotels has never been easier. What's more, because many sites rely on user ratings and feedback, you'll get a good idea of what to expect from a specific company or destination.

Some of the best sites include:

Travelocity
Flight Network
Kayak
Cheap Flights

 

When researching flight information, you should also visit the website of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It will help you understand why airfares are priced the way they are.

 

Hotel savings

Another tip? Dig for some pricing information online before you call a hotel to book. That way, if they give you a quote, you'll know whether it's their best offer or not.

Also, consider checking your credit card benefits or signing up for an American Automobile Association membership -- you often get great travel discounts just by presenting certain cards.

GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

Many typical healthcare plans don't cover travel insurance. And when you travel, insurance is a must, as it covers everything from hospital treatments to doctor's bills. The good news? It's relatively inexpensive. Some places to check out include AIG, TravelGuard and AccessAmerica.

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR

No matter where you're traveling, it's important to talk to your doctor before you leave. From vaccinations to refills on prescriptions, your healthcare provider will be able to tell you what to look out for health-wise, whether any region-specific vaccinations are needed (such as those for Yellow Fever or Dengue) and what types of medication you may need (like Neosporin or Tylenol, and even anti-malarial drugs).

COPY YOUR DOCUMENTS

Dealing with lost documents in a foreign country is time consuming and difficult. So copy all of your travel documents before you leave home. Leave itineraries with family and friends. Scan the documents and email yourself. Make sure your passport and credit cards are all up to date. And always write down the address and phone number of US Consulates in the place you are visiting. This info will come in handy if something goes wrong.

For more travel planning tips:

29 reasons to travel the world on your own
Traveling alone? Smart advice on how to stay healthy, happy and safe abroad
Air travel with an infant

Tagged in
Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Living
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!