Nobody is born a savvy traveler—in fact, it’s something that comes only with years of experience. Travel savviness is born from missed flights, overbooked hotels, and cultural unawareness. With experience, you’ll be able to seamlessly explore new cities and blend in with the locals. To speed up the process, here’s a list of tips that will help you save time and money, meet locals, and become a better traveler.
Eat Local Food
Whether you’re traveling to a new state or a foreign country, eating the local food can help you learn more about each city’s culture. If you’re a picky eater and you’re afraid you’ll hate new dishes, step outside of your comfort zone. Trying new food shouldn’t be a scary experience, and eating one-of-a-kind local dishes can help you diversify your palette and fall in love with new things.
If you’re not sure how to scope out the best local spots, use Yelp to search for restaurants near your hotel or checking out your destination’s tourist bureau for ideas. For example, the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau website features a wide variety of Mackinac Island dining recommendations, with local spots ranging from cafes to delis to breakfast buffets.
Plan as Little as Possible
If you’re an experienced wanderer, you know that your plans will almost always change. Sometimes, you’ll arrive in a new place and want to leave as soon as possible. Other times, you’ll fall in love with a new city and decide to stay longer than you planned. You might make new friends along the way and change your travel plans to spend more time with them, or you might find a nearby town and spend a night there.
Booking everything in advance can make you feel too restricted during your trip. However, it’s important to create a rough plan for your trip to avoid last-minute emergencies. For example, booking your hotel and purchasing plane tickets in advance can help ensure availability and score lower rates.
If you’re planning to fly, set aside time before your trip to figure out parking options. If you’re traveling from LAX, use Parking Access to find suitable and reliable LAX parking options at affordable prices. Making parking reservations in advance can save you time, money, and peace of mind—especially if you’re running late for your flight. And with Parking Access, you can purchase long-term parking reservations at LAX from $12 per day or $84 per week.
Document Your Trip
While some people believe that photography can take away from your overall adventure, taking the time to document your trip can actually enhance your travel experience. Documenting your trip can make you more aware of your surroundings, and you’ll be able to reflect on your favorite cities, restaurants, and tourist spots later on.
If you’re traveling alone, don’t hesitate to ask someone to take a picture of you. Photos of tourist attractions and landmarks seem great at the moment, but after you get home from vacation, they’re not that much different from the pictures everyone else has taken. Pictures with you are more special, and they’ll mean a lot more when you look back at them in the future.
Keep in mind that travel photography isn’t always about owning a fancy, expensive camera. As long as you pay attention to your surroundings and make an effort to capture the beauty around you, you can take beautiful pictures with your smartphone camera. Overall, taking extra time to document your trip can be extremely rewarding—and it might even inspire those around you to travel.
Whether you’re embarking on a new adventure alone or with your loved ones, eating local food, planning as little as possible, and documenting your trip can help create an experience you’ll remember for years to come.