Random travel tips

I just read this book. Pretty shitty, a lot of them are obvious or so stupid that no one will do them. I swear at least four times they mention to bring a power strip as a conversation starter. I compiled a list of a few good ones from the book.

Before going to a new town and you don’t know what to do call the local hotel you’re staying there next week and asking question you want.

If you're planning on traveling with locals or backpacking alone, bring a few small souvenirs from home to give out as thanks. They also make great conversation starters.

Never get your dirty and clean clothes mixed up again; simply turn your dirty clothes inside out after wearing them.

No laundry where you're staying? Pack some travel laundry detergent, like Tide Travel Sink Packets. They're like turning your sink into a washing machine.

Clean out an old stick of deodorant and stuff it with some extra cash and/or a backup credit card.

Want to remember your trip? Make a new playlist for each place you visit. Now whenever you want to relive your vacation just listen to that soundtrack.

/trv/, what other random travel tips would you recommend?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Sounds pretty interesting. Is there a PDF version of it?

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >I swear at least four times they mention to bring a power strip as a conversation starter.
    lmao what the frick
    Of course I would recommend bringing a power strip if you have a lot of electronics, but I wouldn't strike up a conversation about it. In my last four trips, I actually managed to downsize so much that I didn't even need a power strip.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Forget a power strip; bring a three-prong to two-prong adapter if you are using a laptop. Many rooms around the world have two-prong outlets.
    Bugging hotel staff with queries irrelevant to your hotel stay is bullshit, unless you are staying at a luxury place.
    Just put your dirty clothes in a trash bag, and remember to take it out of your pack as soon as you check in. The more your dirty clothes air out, the less they will smell.
    Any soap bar works for cleaning laundry. You don't need to carry laundry detergent around. If you do want to do laundry in your room, bring several shoelaces to tie into a clothesline.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you're really going to do laundry in your room's bathroom sink, try not to wear natural fibers unless you have a lot of time. Synthetic fibers will dry much faster.
    As long as you're not stuck somewhere remote, 9 times out of 10, getting your laundry done at a proper laundromat/launderette is way easier. It'll cost more, but your time will always be more important than your money.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Laundry service in Bogota cost as much as a night's lodging. $2/kilo. I did a lot of handwashing there. Some places charge by load and not by weight, so if you are one of those minimalist backpackers with two shirts to wash, handwashing makes more sense than paying for a 7 kilo load.
      >time is more important than money
      Typical vacationing wagecuck mindset. Checkout and check-in times govern my life, but otherwise, time is completely irrelevant during my months overseas. Time obsession creates boredom and impatience. When I am off the clock, I am off the clock. Period.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >$2/kilo.
        >minimalist backpackers with two shirts to wash
        lmao, and you have the audacity to call others a "wagecuck."

        >When I am off the clock, I am off the clock.
        You're actively participating in labor.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >complain about prices in one sentence, no problem slaving away on menial labor to save a few bucks
        >calls people wagecucks
        ???

        Sounds like you're just poor?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      We packed inflatable coat hangers for faster drying

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Don't eat at the first restaurant which catches your eye with high-res photos or beckoning staff; it is a tourist trap. Walk around checking out all menus and offerings, compare and contrast, observe the number of diners and what they are eating, then make your decision. Drop pins on your map for future reference, especially those eateries hidden on back streets. A good eatery in a foodie city deserves a second visit, but not a third.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Check where the locals are eating as well.
      In italy if you stay with a host or a local ask them! Fair chance a family nember has a restaurant and if the introduce you you get a deal.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is especially obvious in Japan. Both because the touristy places have a lot of English and because the locals will actively line up for the real shit

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Same way I do things in my own city. If you want good Chinese food or Indian stuff, you just look for places that have dual language and have regular foreign customers.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >leave on thursday nights to maximize days off
    >always try to avoid travel on fri->sunday if on a budget
    >travel with a 100$ of USD/EUR equivalent tucked away for emergencies
    >never a bad idea to bring your old phone with you as a backup
    >outside deodorant, bringing toiletries is often a huge waste of space
    >Tylenol/Advil PM is your friend for long flights
    >vitamins abroad are underrated especially in asia
    >hostelworld is GOAT for cheap private rooms
    >download as many google offline maps of the place you are going for better performance
    >download as many offline google languages for G translate for better accuracy
    >get good shoes+gel insoles before traveling
    >never tell people more than they need to know
    >building an itinerary prior to traveling is always a good idea, yolo'ing it can lead to bordem

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      google offline maps still work with gps tracking your location?

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Stay in less places for longer rather than trying to hit as many places as possible in a short amount of time.
    I did 3 months in Europe and some of my favourite memories were the ones where I was just strolling around the city with no agenda or sitting in the hotel room watching movies and local TV without having to worry about what places/things I had to "knock out" in the next day or 2.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      nah frick that, i generally get bored after a few days in one place when touristing around. especially europe, bad place to stay a while

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I know this is a weird question but this may be a decent place to ask.
    When you take one of those fully day couple massage packages in legit spas and they put you and your partner in a hottub, you're expected to have sex, right? Or could it cause you legal troubles?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Depends if they tell you that they let you alone for an hour... or not

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I simply have no idea how to intelligently book a holiday. When I try to book hotels it's nothing but aggregators and any advice online is just an advert. How do I book a flight and hotel and plan activities without getting scammed?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      i just book flights off of expedia
      I have frequent flyer miles with american and united but am nowhere near even one flight and I've been travelling for work for a year and a half now, their flight prices are still nowhere near competitive to what I see on expedia. I stay away from Chinese airlines except for those in star alliance (idk if they even count as Chinese anyway) and the typical super budget domestic airlines.

      for hotels I either do the hotel chain website, hilton honors, IHG, etc, as ive enough points there now to actually use, otherwise ive been using booking.com

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >flights
      use a site like google flights to find the best flights then once you found one you like, go to the airline website and book it directly (don't book through an aggregator/google flights, only use them to search)

      >hotels
      i look for and book hotels on booking.com. it's not really worth the effort of finding a hotel direct imo, and usually it comes out cheaper on booking.com because of the discount program they have anyway

      set yourself a few generic standards that you want for a hotel and stick with that. things like: must have double bed, must have private bathroom, must be within 1/2 mile of the train station/bus stop you are going to use. you could also do a quick search of the neighbourhood but honestly this isn't so helpful either if you're staying in some touristy place especially, it's mostly just dumb advice that is meaningless to you anyway, especially if it's written on travel blogs which are fishing for affiliate link clicks

      >any advice online is just an advert
      you really just need to practice/ get some experience of seeing what people say about a place vs. what you felt about it. make sure you NEVER book anything through an affiliate link unless YOU are getting the benefit from it. every blog is littered with this crap looking for YOUR spending to fund their life. death to freeloaders on society

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >i look for and book hotels on booking.com. it's not really worth the effort of finding a hotel direct imo, and usually it comes out cheaper on booking.com because of the discount program they have anyway
        I'm not sure anymore with booking.com. Usually I never check alternatives, but I got a 10% coupon. First I forgot to add it, price was 220, then I had to use some direct link to activate the 10% and the price was 230 after the 10% "off". Then I checked for the hotel website directy and it was 180. Booking is nice because of the map view, but next time I double check.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          You're never supposed to use just one site. You're supposed to be looking at every last option if you want to save every last penny. It's not always consistent, either. On your next trip, the site with the best prices could be different.

          If you are going to use third-party sites like Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda, etc., their prices can also differ depending on HOW you look at the site. Computer browsers, mobile browsers, and mobile apps can actually show different prices for the exact same search parameters (same city, same date, etc.).

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            you can modify it all in the URL. mobile is cheapest price, android too. can add usually $5-15 in coupons with android user agent, etc.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >booking.com
        I use it a lot but sometimes some major hotel chains do not appear on it. It’s worth to double check.
        The other thing about booking.com is that, in the cases of hotels with different types of rooms or under renovation, hotels tend to give the shittiest room to booking.com customers. While it’s cheaper for the customer, the hotel makes way less money because of the commission they have to give to booking.com.
        In that case, you better be booking directly through the hotel, even if it’s a little more expensive. But at least you won’t get the shittiest rooms. This is very true for boutique hotels where every single room is unique or large hotels (they will put you in the furthest room with the shittiest view).

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Are you really this bad at using the internet?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        normally no, but travel is very new to me

        i just book flights off of expedia
        I have frequent flyer miles with american and united but am nowhere near even one flight and I've been travelling for work for a year and a half now, their flight prices are still nowhere near competitive to what I see on expedia. I stay away from Chinese airlines except for those in star alliance (idk if they even count as Chinese anyway) and the typical super budget domestic airlines.

        for hotels I either do the hotel chain website, hilton honors, IHG, etc, as ive enough points there now to actually use, otherwise ive been using booking.com

        >flights
        use a site like google flights to find the best flights then once you found one you like, go to the airline website and book it directly (don't book through an aggregator/google flights, only use them to search)

        >hotels
        i look for and book hotels on booking.com. it's not really worth the effort of finding a hotel direct imo, and usually it comes out cheaper on booking.com because of the discount program they have anyway

        set yourself a few generic standards that you want for a hotel and stick with that. things like: must have double bed, must have private bathroom, must be within 1/2 mile of the train station/bus stop you are going to use. you could also do a quick search of the neighbourhood but honestly this isn't so helpful either if you're staying in some touristy place especially, it's mostly just dumb advice that is meaningless to you anyway, especially if it's written on travel blogs which are fishing for affiliate link clicks

        >any advice online is just an advert
        you really just need to practice/ get some experience of seeing what people say about a place vs. what you felt about it. make sure you NEVER book anything through an affiliate link unless YOU are getting the benefit from it. every blog is littered with this crap looking for YOUR spending to fund their life. death to freeloaders on society

        Thanks, it sounds like getting a package deal on booking/expedia is the easiest way to do this. I'll check google flights as well.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I use Kayak for flights (it's reliable, like expedia) and booking .com for hotels. 'Booking' is often reliable for comments and evaluations. Of course I mostly chek the bad ones.

      It's a good way to make a quick comparison. I usually then check the airlines and hotel websites to be sure, and sometimes phone/write to the hotel. I check perks and guarantees.

      I also check Airbnb for prices, though I very rarely use it.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    ive been just using the liquid hand soap in hotel rooms to wash the odd shirt or socks here and there
    use the iron to speed up drying, or even the hair dryer

    lately my "hack" has been bringing an HDMI cable and a usb-c hub with HDMI and USB stuff

    then I just hook up my phone to the hotel TV, or my steam deck

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    oh yeah and if you are on a non-prepaid plan with tmobile you get free texting and shitty slow (but working!) internet around the world
    it's the only reason I stay with them

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Want to remember your trip? Make a new playlist for each place you visit. Now whenever you want to relive your vacation just listen to that soundtrack.
    I've actually been doing something similar to this. It wasn't fully intentional, and I didn't realize this was a thing that people normally do.
    I have a travel "soundtrack" that is essentially a playlist of songs that I've heard while traveling. Not all of the songs are native to the places I've traveled, in fact there are a lot of mainstream American songs in this playlist, but I associate these songs with my trips.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      If you're really interested in doing something like this. Try cologne.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you're driving in the US and it's time to re-fuel, you might be asked for your ZIP code (which you won't have if you're a foreign tourist and not a US resident) if you're trying to pay at the pump.

    The easiest solution would be to just go inside the gas station and pay the cashier.

    The second-easiest solution would be to try a modified version of your country's postal code. If your postal code has letters, omit them, as there is no way to enter them into the pump. If you have less than five numerical digits in your postal code, fill the rest of the number with zeroes until you reach five characters.

    Examples:
    >Canadian postal code A1B 2C3 = enter 12300 as your "ZIP code"
    >UK postal code AB1C 2DE = 12000
    >Australian postal code 1234 = 12340
    >German postal code 12345 = 12345; no need to change anything since it's exactly five numerical characters and there are no letters

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >zip code
      dystopian

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Actually moronic.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        are you homeless or something?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Whenever I need to enter a US zip code I just use 10022. Don't remember why.

      >zip code
      dystopian

      Why? Every country has their own version of postal codes.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >I just use 10022
        That works for many websites but not for US petrol stations.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Why not?

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Want to remember your trip? Make a new playlist for each place you visit. Now whenever you want to relive your vacation just listen to that soundtrack.
    Damn, that's a pretty good one. Noted.

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Want to remember your trip? Make a new playlist for each place you visit. Now whenever you want to relive your vacation just listen to that soundtrack.
    i do this with spotify. i just have someone else make the vibe.
    >iceland roadtrip playlist
    >driving through yellowstone playlist
    >carolina mountains playlist
    lots of overlap, but still distinct enough to have a scandanavian/western/appalachian feel
    if you're at the beach, just listen to jimmy buffett lol

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    From many trips to Japan but I guess you could apply to elsewhere:
    - make lunch your main meal then have dinner in your room with Bento Box, crackers, beers from local "supaa". Keep some breakfast snacks in your room to get you going: banana, small milk.
    - I used to net search for "organic coffee", "vegetarian cafe" to find non tourist places, then use public transport to get there.
    - get a local travel card for subway / bus. As a day trip just take a route to the end of the line then wander local neighbourhood.
    - inb4 opinions above: I like to base in one place and get to know it or make short day trips from there (staying at an affordable serviced apartment such as Citadines).
    - learn pleasantries in local language.
    - look up local markets / temple markets for atmosphere and food.
    - I avoided the main bar districts. If I *did* go drinking I searched local student bars or speciality bars (e.g. a small punk bar / record store in Hiroshima).
    - consider a temple stay, basically avoid the main tourist temples.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >not mentioning about the women
      come on man, we need those tips too. its essential for asia.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Sorry to disappoint but gay gaijin here

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Based for me. How is it as a gay white guy? I've wondered how open people are about being gay or if any Japanese guys would want to hookup.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Didn't hook up in Japan. I *did* check out a gay bookstore and no-one paid no mind can't remember where. There's a gay bar district in Shinjuku Ni-Chome these days. I did have a shy nihonjin male in a quiet bar attached to a guesthouse ask me if I "go to gym".
            When travelling I only ever hooked up in NYC both middle class white guys.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >Didn't hook up in Japan.
              Any reason why? I figured it's twink country and would be a good time.

              >When travelling I only ever hooked up in NYC both middle class white guys.
              Kek, same. NYC but it was with some twink that was going to college.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >I figured it's twink country and would be a good time.
                Japanese gays like Japanese in general are just not very sexual. If you want to plow asian twinks go to California.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                What's the Japanese gay community like? Is it true they have a big ladyboy scene? Ik they have trap cafes

  17. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Scams to avoid:
    In Tangier "you are lucky! Today is the day the camel traders arrive! Let me take you and show you!" ( This was from a kid who took us to uncles rug shop -- me and travel buddy said we are poor students as the tough big brother toyed with a switchblade? Swiss army knife? It's a memory).

    In Osaka, approached by "Buddhist nun/ monk" who slips beads around your wrist and asks you to donate to temple building. Shows you list of others and how much they donated yen 20,000. In your confusion and obligation you realise that's AUD $200. Next time give the beads back and if they refuse place them at the feet of the scammer. Real nuns and monks won't ask for money in this manner.

    In Soho NYC mid morning very quiet street. Approached by someone asking for money "oh you seem like a nice guy could you help me out please?". I eventually handed over $40 which I should have done right away saying this is all I can give you. I didn't look like a stand out tourist as I looked like a local (legit asked for directions twice).

  18. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Want to remember your trip? Make a new playlist for each place you visit.
    Not a playlist but I had a pearl jam cassette from a backpacking trip eons ago. Reminds me of scuzzy youth hostels in Spain
    And bought nirvana unplugged cd in a downstairs record store off st Mark's place NYC.

  19. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Want to remember your trip?
    I've sometimes given myself a creative project while travelling:
    - making drawings in a sketchbook with oil pastels (Tangier= figs, silhouette figures, outlines of buildings)
    - taking a camera set on b&W only so *all* photos are b&w

  20. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    download offline google maps of your destinations before you go and you can use maps without cell service or data

    If you book a place for a full week on Airbnb, a lot of places give a deep discount. It's sometimes cheaper to book 7 days than 5 even if you don't use the last 2 days.

    Lufthansa doesn't charge you for going over the weight of your packed bag. If you show up and it's too heavy, they just check it with no charge.

    Noise Cancelling headphones are your best friend on a flight with a screaming baby or a train ride with a bunch of loud mouthed brits. I never travel without them.

    Never change money in an airport. The exchange rate is a ripoff

    Never pay for anything on a trip with debit, only credit, and only take out money using debit at an actual bank ATM, not a shitty corner Atm. If you get overcharged with credit, you can dispute and get the money back in 48 hours. With debit it takes weeks, months or never,

    Never go to any restaurant where someone tries to beckon you in from the street. If it was good food, they wouldn't need people out front trying to drum up customers.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      google offline maps still work with gps tracking your location?

      OpenStreetMap works much better offline, so the best is to have both GMaps and OSM with offline maps on your phone before you leave.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Don't bother with atms unless it's an emergency. Get WU setup and you will save an unprecedented amount of money.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        What kind of shitty bank do you have that Western Union of all methods ends up being cheaper?
        If you don't want to switch banks just cycle through the free withdrawals of Wise, Revolut and the like.

  21. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    We would travel with these collapsible soft bowls so as to always have a bowl for quick breakfast

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