Frequently Asked Questions
We have gathered a list of the top 25 most commonly asked general questions about travel:
How do I find the best deals on flights?
To find the best flight deals, consider using flight comparison websites, sign up for fare alerts, and be flexible with your travel dates. In addition, we’d be delighted to search for the best deals for you.
What travel insurance do I need for international trips?
For international travel, it’s essential to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost belongings.
How can I stay connected to the internet while traveling abroad?
You can stay connected by using international SIM cards, portable Wi-Fi devices, or purchasing local data plans from your destination.
What are some safety tips for solo travelers?
Solo travelers should research their destinations, avoid risky areas, inform someone of their itinerary, and trust their instincts. Here are some safety tips for solo travelers:
- Research Your Destination: Before traveling, thoroughly research your destination, including local customs, laws, and potential safety risks. Be aware of any travel advisories issued by your government.
- Share Your Itinerary: Share your travel itinerary and accommodation details with a trusted friend or family member. Check in with them regularly to keep them informed about your whereabouts.
- Choose Safe Accommodation: Stay in reputable and well-reviewed accommodations. Consider booking places with good security measures, such as 24-hour reception or electronic keycard access.
- Avoid Arriving at Night: Whenever possible, arrive at your destination during the daytime. Navigating unfamiliar areas at night can be riskier for solo travelers.
- Blend In: Try to dress and behave in a way that blends in with the local culture. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or belongings that might attract unwanted attention.
- Keep Valuables Secure: Use a money belt or a secure bag to carry your passport, money, and important documents. Don’t keep all your valuables in one place.
- Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. Avoid risky areas and always prioritize personal safety.
- Stay in Public Areas: Avoid isolated or poorly lit areas, especially at night. Stick to well-traveled streets and public transportation.
- Use Reliable Transportation: Choose reputable transportation options, such as licensed taxis or rideshare services, and avoid hitchhiking.
- Be Cautious with Alcohol: Drink responsibly and be cautious about accepting drinks from strangers. Alcohol can impair judgment and make you more vulnerable.
- Stay Connected: Keep your phone charged and have emergency contact numbers stored. Consider getting a local SIM card or an international data plan.
- Learn Basic Phrases: Learn some basic phrases in the local language to facilitate communication and show respect to locals.
- Avoid Revealing Personal Details: Be cautious about sharing personal information with strangers, especially in unfamiliar settings.
- Keep Emergency Cash: Carry a small amount of emergency cash in a separate location in case you lose your wallet or encounter unforeseen situations.
- Use Locks: Secure your luggage with locks, and use lockers when available to store valuable items in hostels or public places.
- Stay Sober Before Traveling: Avoid intoxication before and during travel to maintain awareness and make sound decisions.
How far in advance should I book accommodation?
Booking accommodation in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel seasons. Aim for at least a few weeks to a few months ahead.
What are the essential items to pack for a trip?
Packing the right essentials can make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Here’s a list of essential items to pack for a trip:
- Travel Documents: Passport, visa (if required), driver’s license, travel insurance documents, and any necessary identification cards.
- Itinerary and Reservation Details: Printed or digital copies of your travel itinerary, flight and hotel reservations, and contact information for accommodations.
- Money and Payment Methods: Sufficient cash in the local currency, credit/debit cards, and a travel wallet or money belt.
- Health Essentials: Prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines (pain relievers, antihistamines, etc.), and a small first-aid kit with bandages and antiseptic.
- Personal Care Items: Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.), sunscreen, insect repellent, and any other personal care items you regularly use.
- Electronics: Phone, charger, power bank, camera, and any other electronic devices you need, along with their chargers and adapters for international travel.
- Travel Guidebook or Map: A travel guidebook or a map of your destination can be handy for navigation and finding local attractions.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated and reduce plastic waste by carrying a reusable water bottle.
- Travel Pillow and Blanket: For comfort during long flights or bus/train rides.
- Travel Locks: To secure your luggage and keep your belongings safe.
- Comfortable Clothing: Pack clothing suitable for the weather and activities at your destination. Consider versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched.
- Appropriate Shoes: Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, or any footwear suitable for your planned activities.
- Swimwear: If your destination includes beaches, pools, or water activities.
- Rain Gear: Depending on the season and climate, pack a compact umbrella or a waterproof jacket.
- Sunglasses and Hat: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
- Daypack or Small Backpack: Useful for day trips and carrying essentials while exploring.
- Travel Towel: Lightweight and quick-drying, ideal for hostel stays or beach visits.
- Snacks: Carry some snacks like energy bars or nuts for when you’re on the go.
- Entertainment: Books, e-reader, or any other form of entertainment for downtime during travel.
- Language Translator or Phrasebook: Handy for communication in places where English may not be widely spoken.
How do I avoid excessive baggage fees?
Pack light, know the baggage allowance of your airline, and consider shipping some items or using laundry services during your trip.
What's the best way to exchange currency when traveling internationally?
Use ATMs or currency exchange offices at your destination, as they often offer better rates than exchanging money at your home country. Try to avoid exchange offices at airports as they tend to charge you more, and exchange rates are not necessarily the best.
Can I use my credit card abroad without incurring extra fees?
Some credit cards waive foreign transaction fees. Check with your bank to see if your card offers this benefit.
What are the top travel destinations for budget travelers?
Some popular budget-friendly destinations include Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America.
How do I deal with jet lag after a long flight?
Dealing with jet lag after a long flight can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to help your body adjust to the new time zone more effectively. Here are some tips to manage jet lag:
- Gradually Adjust Sleep Schedule: Before your trip, try adjusting your sleep schedule gradually by going to bed and waking up an hour or two earlier or later each day, depending on your destination’s time zone.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can disrupt your sleep patterns.
- Get Natural Light Exposure: Spend time outdoors in natural sunlight during the day. Exposure to natural light helps regulate your body’s internal clock and can help you adapt to the new time zone.
- Take Short Naps: If you’re feeling extremely fatigued upon arrival, take short naps (20-30 minutes) to recharge without interfering with your ability to sleep at night.
- Avoid Heavy Meals: Try to avoid heavy meals close to bedtime, as it can disrupt your sleep. Stick to light, easily digestible foods during your adjustment period.
- Use Sleep Aids Sparingly: While some travelers use sleep aids like melatonin or over-the-counter medications to help them sleep, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using them.
- Stay Active: Engage in light physical activity or exercise, like walking, to help combat fatigue and promote better sleep.
- Adjust Your Watch: As soon as you board the flight, set your watch to the destination’s time zone. Mentally prepare yourself for the new time schedule.
- Avoid Napping Too Long: If you need to nap during the day, keep it short and avoid sleeping for extended periods, as this can make it harder to adjust later.
- Be Patient: Give your body time to adjust. It may take a few days for your internal clock to synchronize with the new time zone.
Are there any essential travel vaccinations I should get before my trip?
Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or consult a travel clinic to find out what vaccinations are recommended for your destination. Check out our destination guides for vaccine information.
What's the best way to navigate public transportation in a foreign city?
Research public transportation options, get a map or app with local routes, and consider purchasing a transportation pass if available.
How can I make the most of a short layover?
Plan ahead and choose a layover with enough time to explore nearby attractions or relax in airport lounges. Here are some tips to maximize your time during a layover:
- Check Visa Requirements: Before making any plans, ensure you have the necessary visa or transit visa (if required) for leaving the airport during your layover.
- Research Layover Options: Look into nearby attractions and activities that are easily accessible from the airport. Prioritize places of interest within a reasonable distance and travel time.
- Pack Light: Opt for carry-on luggage to avoid the hassle of checking in bags during a short layover.
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye on your flight status and gate information, so you don’t miss your connection. Set alarms and reminders on your phone to stay on track.
- Plan Ahead: Create a rough itinerary, including transportation details, estimated time at each location, and how much time you’ll need to return to the airport.
- Use Airport Services: Check if the airport offers luggage storage facilities. If it does, you can store your carry-on luggage and explore more comfortably.
- Choose Efficient Transportation: Use public transportation or rideshare services to get to and from your chosen destinations quickly.
- Stick to Main Attractions: Focus on visiting iconic landmarks, city centers, or places that don’t require extensive travel time to make the most of your layover.
- Eat Local Cuisine: Try local food or visit a nearby restaurant to get a taste of the destination’s cuisine.
- Mind the Time: Be mindful of the time you need to be back at the airport for boarding. Leave a buffer to account for traffic or unforeseen delays.
- Use Guided Tours: Consider joining a short guided tour or city tour designed for layover passengers. It can save time and ensure you don’t miss important sights.
- Stay Safe: Keep an eye on your belongings, and don’t venture too far away from the airport if the layover is very short.
- Check Duty-Free Shops: If you’re interested in shopping, explore the airport’s duty-free shops during your layover.
- Relax in an Airport Lounge: If you prefer to rest and relax, look into airport lounges that offer comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and refreshments.
- Stretch and Exercise: Take some time to stretch and move around during your layover to stay energized and refreshed.
Can I use my mobile phone abroad without incurring roaming charges?
Fore the most part, yes. However, we recommend that you check with your mobile carrier about international roaming plans or consider getting a local SIM card for temporary use.
What are the most useful travel apps to have on my phone?
Some popular travel apps include Google Maps, TripAdvisor, Duolingo, XE Currency Converter, WhatsApp, and Airbnb.
What's the best way to avoid long lines at popular tourist attractions?
Purchase tickets in advance online, consider visiting during off-peak hours, or join guided tours that offer skip-the-line privileges.
How do I handle dietary restrictions while traveling to foreign countries?
Research local cuisine, learn some key phrases related to your dietary needs, and be prepared to communicate your restrictions to restaurant staff.
Is it safe to drink tap water in all countries?
Tap water safety varies by country. When in doubt, stick to bottled water or use a water purifier.
What are some eco-friendly travel tips I can follow?
Traveling in an eco-friendly manner can help minimize your environmental impact and contribute to sustainable tourism. Here are some eco-friendly travel tips to follow:
Choose Sustainable Accommodations: Look for eco-friendly hotels, lodges, or resorts that have green certifications and practices, such as recycling programs, energy-efficient appliances, and water-saving initiatives.
Reduce Plastic Usage: Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it whenever possible. Avoid single-use plastic bottles and other disposable items during your trip.
Conserve Water and Energy: Practice water conservation by taking shorter showers and reusing towels when appropriate. Turn off lights, air conditioning, and other electronics when leaving your room.
Support Local Businesses: Consider locally-owned restaurants, and tour operators. This supports the local economy and preserves cultural authenticity.
Eat Local and Sustainable Food: Try local cuisine made from locally-sourced, organic, or sustainable ingredients. Avoid eating endangered or overfished species.
Use Public Transportation or Walk: Utilize public transportation, bicycles, or walk whenever possible to reduce carbon emissions and experience the destination more intimately.
Choose Direct Flights: If flying is necessary, choose direct flights whenever possible. Takeoffs and landings are the most fuel-intensive parts of a flight.
Offset Your Carbon Footprint: Consider offsetting the carbon emissions from your flights by investing in carbon offset programs that fund renewable energy or reforestation projects.
Pack Light: Pack only what you need to reduce the weight of your luggage, which can lead to fuel savings on flights and decrease your carbon footprint.
Respect Wildlife and Nature: Avoid engaging in activities that harm wildlife or ecosystems. Observe animals from a distance and refrain from touching or feeding them.
Minimize Waste: Bring reusable bags for shopping, use a refillable toiletry kit, and say no to unnecessary brochures or flyers.
Turn Off Electronics: Switch off lights, air conditioning, and electronics when leaving your accommodation to save energy.
Learn About Local Customs and Culture: Respect and understand the local customs and culture of the places you visit, and behave in a culturally sensitive manner.
Participate in Community Initiatives: Support local conservation and community-based projects by volunteering or donating to reputable organizations.
Leave No Trace: Take all your waste with you and leave the natural environment as you found it, without leaving any litter behind.
Can I use my driver's license as identification when flying domestically?
Yes. However, as of 2025, the REAL ID Card is required for domestic air travel in the United States.
What are the best ways to immerse myself in the local culture while traveling?
Engage with locals, try local cuisine, attend cultural events, and learn a few basic phrases in the local language.
How do I handle unexpected travel disruptions, such as flight cancellations or delays?
Stay calm, contact your airline for assistance, and know your rights as a passenger regarding compensation and assistance.
Can I use my credit card rewards for travel expenses?
Many credit card companies offer travel rewards that can be redeemed for flights, hotels, or rental cars. Check with your provider for specific options.
What are the best tips for traveling with kids?
Traveling with kids can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some of the best tips to make your family trips more enjoyable and stress-free:
- Plan Ahead: Involve your kids in the trip planning process and consider their interests and preferences when selecting destinations and activities.
- Pack Smart: Pack essential items like snacks, drinks, extra clothes, and entertainment (books, toys, tablets) to keep kids comfortable and occupied during the journey.
- Choose Family-Friendly Accommodations: Choose accommodations that cater to families, such as hotels with family suites, kid-friendly amenities, and safe play areas.
- Keep a Flexible Schedule: Allow for flexibility in your itinerary to accommodate breaks, nap times, and spontaneous activities that may interest the kids.
- Safety First: Always prioritize safety. Keep an eye on your kids in busy places and teach them about staying close and following safety rules.
- Be Patient and Positive: Traveling with kids can be unpredictable. Stay patient and maintain a positive attitude, even if things don’t go as planned.
- Engage and Educate: Turn the trip into a learning experience. Involve kids in local culture, history, and activities to make the journey more enriching.
- Bring Snacks and Drinks: Carry a variety of snacks and drinks for hunger emergencies during long journeys and outings.
- Use Technology Wisely: Tablets and gadgets can be helpful for entertainment, but set limits to ensure kids stay engaged with the trip and don’t miss out on real-life experiences.
- Explore Kid-Friendly Attractions: Look for family-friendly attractions like zoos, aquariums, parks, and interactive museums that are enjoyable for kids of all ages.
- Take Frequent Breaks: Plan regular breaks for restroom stops and stretching during long car rides or flights.
- Involve Kids in Decision-Making: Let your kids have a say in certain aspects of the trip, such as choosing a restaurant or an activity.
- Carry a First-Aid Kit: Bring a basic first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic, and any necessary medications for minor injuries or ailments.
- Pack Light: Minimize luggage and bring only the essentials. Carrying less will make transportation easier.
- Be Respectful of Other Travelers: Encourage good behavior and respect for others in public spaces, such as airports, hotels, and restaurants.
- Be Prepared for Unexpected Situations: Have a backup plan in case of unexpected changes or delays during the trip.
- Capture Memories: Take photos and videos to capture the special moments of your family adventure.