2023 is special. It is a year that began with the pandemic not being the face of the news. Most of the borders are now open and traveling is actually being encouraged. People are looking forward to 2023 (of course, it still has its own problems, like the looming recession) and experts agree that this is the year to check some goals off your bucket list. In this article, you’ll learn practical travel hacks that will help you achieve your 2023 travel goa
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Miles and Points
Airline Miles and Points are nothing new, but they are definitely still relevant for your 2023 goals. In fact, it is now more relevant than ever. One of the easiest to follow travel hacks is to make sure that you earn points from your everyday purchases. The points you earn may seem small, but they will be handy in the future.. It will also save you money as you the points for applicable expenses.
The best, proven, and easiest way to earn points is to target big welcome bonuses from credit cards. They earn you miles and points when you spend a certain amount in a given period of time. A great example of this is American Express’ Gold Card, where you can earn 60,000 Membership Reward points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. The second way to accumulate points is to use your card for everyday purchases.
You have to learn how to maximize the use of your Miles and Points. However, knowing when to pursue points and when not to is another hack. If you are spending more just to earn points and it’s already messing up your finances, then that’s not really considered a hack now, is it?
In fact, airlines reportedly have frequent flier redemption rates of less than 10% because of the stress of earning them and more so redeeming them. If you’re also just a casual traveler, you’re better off getting seasonal deals and timing your bookings than forcing it with Miles and Points.
The Hack Items You Need
Travelers tend to bring extra items that end up not being used for the whole trip. It’s always tempting to pack more OOTDs than you may actually need, especially if you’re going away for several days. Yet, traveling lightly is more convenient. It eliminates decision fatigue caused by too many choices and allows you to be more focused on the places you visit and enjoy its scenery. .
Here are the items you really need for a smoother travel experience and for a less bulky and heavy bag that you need to carry around:
1. Refillable Water Bottle
Buying bottled water not only contributes to waste pollution, it also sums up to a bigger expense since it’s pricey in tourist spots. . The amount you may be spending for all the bottled waters you may consume may add up to a meal or may be used instead for travel fare. Bring a refillable water bottle. You can stay hydrated by refilling it with potable tap water if it’s available in the place you visit or from public fountains across cities.
2. Make copies of your Passport and other travel documents
Make physical and digital copies of your travel documents. Create a cloud backup because you’ll never really know when you’ll need them. It is even advisable to take pictures of your luggage, and all the items you’re carrying. Document everything.
3. Basic First-Aid Kit
You’d think this is common knowledge, but it isn’t. Most travelers, especially the casual ones, don’t bring basic first-aid kits. Band-aids, sanitizers, and anti-bacterial creams are handy in attending to small accidents and helps with basic care for your health. Most importantly, it doesn’t consume much space.
4. Smart Watch
Whether you’re a casual or a savvy traveler, investing on a Smart Watch, like the Apple Watch, is a game changer. Smart watches, with how advanced technology has become, have GPS, Maps, instant notifications and alerts, Emergency SOS, and Compass App. You might say these are all available on your smartphone, but when you’re in an unfamiliar place the last thing you want to do is to bring out your phone every now and then to check on things like where you are. This may get you in unfavorable situations like getting robbed. Smart Watches are good not just for traveling. They are helpful for everyday use. It’s worth the money.
Eat Where The Locals Are Eating
There are several advantages in knowing where the locals are eating..
- Restaurants and food stalls near tourist spots are mostly expensive, having 2-3x the price of the same food sold to locals. Even then, the quality and good taste are not guaranteed. You’ll be able to connect with the locals and experience the culture first hand. Conversing with the locals is a great way to get practical tips and discover the hidden gems of the place you’re visiting.
- Locals know best when it comes to food, so there’s a high chance that the food will be good since locals eat there.
To find the nearest local stores, a general rule is to walk five blocks from the tourist destination.. If a restaurant also has several different languages on their menu, chances are they are created to cater to tourists, so do its prices. Just be careful though, especially on street foods and raw foods, as you don’t want to get food poisoned.
Visit the Local Tourist Office
This is perhaps the most underrated travel hack here. Many travelers skip visiting the local tourism office. What people miss here is that the local tourist office staff most probably know the global language, making it easier to ask for directions or tips. They also know everything about the place you’re visiting, including discount packages or passes that you can avail. Visiting the Local Tourist Office means saving more money!
Visit Sites during Lunch Time
Don’t go with the crowd.
Tourist Sites usually have fewer people visiting during lunch times, so exploring the place will be easier and more comfortable. Not to mention you’ll get better instagram-worthy images because there will be lesser people in the background. Another advantage to this is that, if you take your lunch earlier than usual, there will be fewer people in the restaurant and you’ll skip the long lines.
The ‘Whatnots’ when it comes to Bookings
1. Fly Off-Season
Airfare and other travel fares are cheaper during off-seasons. There are deals specifically made for off-season travels. You’ll also avoid the crowd, so be flexible when it comes to your travel dates.
2. Book in the middle of the week; early in the morning or late at night
Yes, you read it right. It’s cheaper if you book in the middle of the week instead of the weekend. Mondays and Fridays are also pricier. You’ll get cheaper prices with an early morning or late night flight. People usually struggle with waking up early. Use Google Flights as it suggests the cheapest flights and shows all available airlines.
3. Choose a connecting flight when possible
If you’re not in a hurry, choosing a connecting flight instead of a direct flight will save you a lot of money. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy an extra adventure when you explore the connecting city’s vicinity. Of course, it depends on how long the layover is. For the more casual travelers, however, direct flights are not a bad thing as it’s more convenient.
These are just some of the travel hacks that you can use for more memorable 2023 adventures. Although preparation will give you less worries, remember not to overthink everything and just enjoy the overall experience. It’s a time to rest and have a good time, after all.