10 Travel Hacks for Your Summer Holiday 🌞Jul 07, 2023
I hope that you are having a restful summer. In the midst of internships, job search, or prepping for the Fall semester, I hope that you have some time to recharge, travel, and explore America!
Our family just returned from Florida and we have a couple more family trips planned this summer. I’m always looking for ways to save money and find unique experiences when traveling.
As you are looking to take a trip during this summer break, I wanted to pass on some travel hacks that you’ll find helpful. Not only is American culture unique, but so is the way we go about travel and holidays.
Here are just a few examples of differences that you’ll find in America compared to what you’re used to:
- Americans highly value time and punctuality. Arriving on time for a flight, bus, or ride is crucial. Otherwise, you’ll probably be left behind.
- Tipping is customary and expected at restaurants, hotels, and taxis if you want to receive good service.
- American cuisine may differ significantly from what you are used to, especially with pure veg options. Do not assume that a restaurant offers veg or pure veg options. You’ll need to ask specific questions and make special requests to fit your dietary preferences.
As a student or new employee living on a tight budget, you’ll find these traveling hacks helpful - especially this summer as travel is more expensive than ever due to inflation.
Here are 10 travel hacks to find the best deals and experiences for your summer holiday.
1) Be Nice To Airline Agents 🙂
This simple hack will go a long way in helping you get where you need to be. Perhaps you’re facing a travel hiccup, like a delayed flight or a mix-up with your reservations. It's easy to get frustrated, but taking your anger out on airline agents won't solve anything. Instead, approach them with a calm and friendly attitude.
Sweet talk them a little by sharing your excitement about your upcoming trip. Take a moment to genuinely ask how they are doing. By building a positive connection, you're more likely to receive their support and assistance. And if you don't get the help you need from the first agent you speak to, don't worry! Just hang up and give it another shot. The next agent might be better equipped to handle your situation.
Travel agents deal with countless customers every day, so a little kindness can make their day brighter and motivate them to go the extra mile for you. By being nice to travel agents, you'll not only improve your chances of resolving any issues but also enhance your overall travel experience.
2) Take Advantage of Credit Card Points 💳
Brian Kelly, a.k.a. "The Points Guy," is an expert in hacking credit card points. In this podcast interview, he shares tips for finding the best credit cards to save money on your travels. Everyone has points, but not everyone knows how to use them effectively. Credit card points are like free money waiting to be spent on flights, accommodations, and more. There isn't one best credit card for everyone as it depends on your travel goals and spending habits.
In the interview, Brian Kelly discusses the top rewards cards and booking strategies, regardless of your travel frequency or location. Credit card points can be a lifesaver when travel plans go awry, offering flexibility and peace of mind. To maximize your points, you need to understand how credit scores work and pay off your cards in full each month. Before you go on your next trip, listen to "The Points Guy" podcast interview and unlock the world of credit card points. Turn your everyday spending into incredible travel experiences with those well-deserved rewards.
3) Don’t Buy “Travel Protection” From Airlines ❌
When it comes to buying travel protection from airlines, it's often best to think twice. Not only can it be expensive, but it may also fall short of covering what you actually need. The Points Guy recommends exploring alternatives like Insure My Trip. This platform allows you to compare top plans and providers, ensuring that you find the right travel insurance for your unique trip. By taking the time to compare options, you can secure comprehensive coverage at a more reasonable cost, giving you peace of mind throughout your journey. Skip the airline's pricey option and go with Insuremytrip.com for a tailored and affordable travel insurance solution.
4) Find Cheap Flights ✈️
To find the best flight deals, you need to stay ahead of the game. With more people traveling than ever before, being proactive is key. One valuable tool to utilize is Google Flights. It allows you to track prices, compare options, and discover the most suitable flights for your trip.
Another fantastic resource worth exploring is "Scottcheapflights.com." This website specializes in uncovering amazing deals, so make it a habit to check it regularly. When you stumble upon an irresistible offer, don't hesitate—act fast and book it. Great deals have a tendency to vanish quickly, and you want to secure those savings before they're gone.
A common myth is that there is are magical days to book flights. This is not true. Instead, it's all about timing. As a general rule, aim to book your flight around two months before your planned travel dates. This timeframe typically strikes a balance between availability and affordability.
If you're open to spontaneity and have flexible travel plans, keep an eye out for last-minute flight deals. Airlines often offer discounted fares to fill up the remaining seats. By embracing last-minute opportunities, you can score excellent deals and embark on unexpected adventures.
5) Enhance Your Travel Experience
✒️ First, always carry a pen with you. It may seem simple, but having a pen on hand can save you time and hassle when filling out forms, whether it's for immigration or customs.
🧦 Compression socks are a must for long flights. They help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of swelling and discomfort in your legs and feet. Don't underestimate the difference they can make during those extended hours in the air.
😴 Don't forget to pack an eye mask. Whether you're on a plane or staying in a hotel, an eye mask can block out unwanted light and help you get quality rest, even in unfamiliar surroundings.
🎧 Invest in a good pair of headphones or earbuds. They will be your best friends during flights, allowing you to immerse yourself in your favorite music, podcasts, or movies. The right headphones can provide a sense of control and create a personal oasis amidst the noise of travel.
📱Make sure to download the "Flight Aware App." This app offers comprehensive flight tracking right at your fingertips. It not only helps you stay updated with real-time flight information but also assists in finding new flights if you need to rebook due to delays or cancellations.
6) Use Airtags ⚪️
Airtags are a game-changer. By attaching Airtags to each of your bags, you can have peace of mind knowing that you'll always be aware of their whereabouts. Airtags will allow you to track your luggage's location in real-time, providing a map view with precise details. No more anxiously waiting at the baggage claim, wondering if your bags made it to the destination. With Airtags, you can confidently know the status of your luggage at all times.
Whether you're checking in your bags, going through security, or transferring flights, having Airtags in all your bags ensures that you have complete visibility and control over your belongings. Before your next trip, equip your luggage with Airtags and travel with peace of mind knowing that you can easily locate your bags wherever you go.
7) Visit National Parks
Traveling to national parks in America offers an excellent getaway and escape for students on a budget during the summer. These parks provide a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and affordable options.
- 🏞️ Yellowstone National Park offers geothermal wonders like the famous Old Faithful geyser, as well as opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. You can explore the vibrant geothermal pools and enjoy thrilling experiences like white-water rafting in the nearby rivers.
- 🌲 Santa Fe National Forest, on the other hand, has breathtaking landscapes with hiking trails, camping spots, and opportunities for stargazing. Students can immerse themselves in the rich Native American culture, visit art galleries, and indulge in delicious local cuisine in Santa Fe. Other budget-friendly national parks to consider include Yosemite National Park with its stunning waterfalls and rock formations, where students can go hiking and rock climbing.
- 🥾 Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers scenic drives, wildlife viewing, and hiking trails through its lush forests. By visiting these national parks, students can experience the wonders of nature, engage in exciting activities, and create unforgettable memories without breaking the bank.
8) Travel on a Budget 💰
Apps like RV Share, Turo, and Autoslash allow you to save money while embarking on incredible adventures with friends.
- 🚐 RV Share offers the opportunity to rent RVs directly from owners, providing an affordable way to travel and explore diverse destinations.
- 🚗 With Turo, you can find affordable car rentals directly from local owners, saving on traditional rental costs and enjoying the freedom to customize your road trips.
- 🚕 Autoslash helps students secure the best rental car deals, applying discounts and tracking price drops to ensure the lowest rates.
By utilizing these apps, you can stretch your budget and allocate more funds towards unique experiences, such as camping in national parks, road-tripping along scenic routes, and discovering hidden gems.
9) Use a Travel Agent 💼
When planning longer trips, you can benefit from the expertise and assistance of travel agents. Travel agents can provide valuable guidance in booking flights, accommodations, and creating comprehensive itineraries that suit your preferences and budgets. They have access to resources, discounts, and insider knowledge that can enhance the overall travel experience. However, for day trips or shorter excursions, it's better to take a DIY approach and handle the arrangements yourself.
10) Explore America and Expand Your Network! 🇺🇸
Traveling and exploring all that America has to offer brings numerous benefits. It's a fantastic way to network with new people and gain a better understanding of America's rich culture. By stepping out of your comfort zone and venturing into new territories, you open doors to connect with locals and build meaningful relationships. Exploring the diverse communities and vibrant cities allows you to witness America's history, breathtaking landscapes, and iconic landmarks firsthand. Embracing new experiences promotes personal growth, resilience, and adaptability, expanding your perspective and challenging your assumptions.
As you immerse yourself in the diverse tapestry of America, you'll develop a deeper appreciation for its complexity. Whether you're exploring national parks, bustling urban centers, or hidden gems, make the most of your time in America by embracing adventure and embracing the opportunity to discover the extraordinary within yourself and the world around you.
Are you planning a trip this summer?
Where will you be going next?
What travel hacks do you use?