We all want to travel, and we all should travel. But traveling can be hard, and it can be expensive. If we’re not prepared for the trips we take, the planning, expenses, and difficulties can overshadow the potentially life changing experiences that are happening around us.
The fact is, traveling is tough! For those who haven’t set out to travel on their own, it can be hard to know where to start. Let’s start with the basics—how should you book your flight? Where should you stay? And the always important question: how should you dress?
Seeing the world can change your life. You’ll meet new people, push your limits, try new things, and familiarize yourself with different cultures and lifestyles that can shape the way you cultivate your own environment. But that can only happen if you know how to travel right.
It’s a shame that so many opportunities pass us by while we worry about things on the periphery. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips that will help you travel with style—and without stress.
1) Know When to Buy
Let’s say you’ve gotten together with your friends for some Friday drinks and you hatch a plan to fly down to Vegas the next weekend. You’ll want to start prepping right away, right? Not so fast.
Experts say that the best time to buy a plane ticket is on Tuesday. As tempting as it can be to just buy a spur of the moment ticket, it’s worth it to just wait it out a bit and save yourself a bit of cash.
2) Roll it Up
If you’re headed out for a long vacation, space is of the essence. You need to maximize the space in your luggage to make sure you’re not stuck wearing the same grungy tee shirt for three straight days.
The best way to pack your clothes is to roll them. This will save you space and keep your outfits organized. Have you ever gotten to your hotel room and opened up your suitcase, only to find an amalgam of random pants, shirts, and a few spare socks sticking out? We’ve all been there, but we don’t need to ever be back there again. Save yourself some space and a headache and roll your clothes.
3) Know Where to Stay
It can be tempting to find a place to stay that’s right in the heart of the action. The truth is, though, it’s often better to venture a bit off the beaten path and find a hotel that’s a bit removed from the bustle of the city.
First of all, by staying out of town, you can save yourself some money, or even afford to upgrade your room. Your cramped double bed room downtown can be magically transformed into a full suite. You can then take that extra cash out on the town, after you actually make your way back into town.
Perhaps more importantly, though, staying out of town will often give you a purer traveling experience. You know what’s not in the ‘burbs’? Tourist traps. When 5am.ers travel, they try to get a sense of the new cultures they’re a part of; they want to get the inside scoop on where to go, what to see, and best of all, we’d say, what to eat. We’ve found that the best recommendations often come from outside of the big city.
4) Perfect Your Airport Style
How you look is always important. It affects how others see you, but more importantly, it affects how you see yourself. No matter where you are, you should try and look good. With that said, you should be tailoring your style to your situation.
The days of traveling in suits are in the past. These days, the true 5am.er knows how to strike a perfect balance between comfort and style. For a red-eye, don’t be afraid to whip out a pair of tailored sweats. For a shorter flight, feel free to rock some jeans or chinos. Whatever you do, don’t show up in your PJs.
5) Don’t Do It For the ‘Gram
We know it’s hard, but not everything you do must be done phone-in-hand. This is less a tip for preparing to travel as it is a guiding principle for the travel itself. The best memories you have as you travel, with any luck, won’t be ones you can capture with a picture.
We’re not saying you should leave your phone and camera at home, we’re just saying that you should find a balance between what you want to document and what you want to experience. Both are valuable, so don’t sacrifice a memory by approaching it the wrong way.
Ready to Go?
Traveling is one of the best ways to maximize your life. You can get out of your comfort zone, try new things, and make lasting connections. So suit up (probably in a pair of comfy, airplane friendly jeans) and head out. There’s a whole world waiting for you.