It may be mid-July, but you still have plenty of summer to explore somewhere new.
Whether you’re flying abroad or taking a Texas road trip with friends, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your travels and come back with an amazing #BauerTravels story to share.
Believe it or not, traveling doesn’t have to burn a hole through your wallet. There are a lot of ways to save money when you travel, but the trick is to start planning early. If you’re flying, book your flight two to three months ahead of time and always clear the cookies in your browser beforehand — sites can mark up prices if they recognize you. Consider staying at Airbnb locations instead of hotels, and search for restaurants and museums that offer student discounts (there’s a lot!).
Have a Plan.
Being spontaneous while you travel is part of the fun, but you’ll save money and time if you have at least a rough idea of what you want to see/do during your stay. Consult travel websites like Trip Advisor to read past traveler reviews, and don’t forget that social media is a powerful research tool, too — find users on Instagram or Snapchat who live or have visited your destination, so you can get some visual inspiration.
Live Like a Local.
It might be tempting to go on an H&M shopping spree in Los Angeles or New York, but chances are you can find the same stuff in your nearest mall at home. Instead, take advantage of the unique places the area you’re visiting has to offer. Find out the shops, restaurants and activities the locals frequent, and bring back unique souvenirs that will be conversation-starters in your future office or home.
How you pack can make or break your trip, so be smart about how you fill up your suitcase. Roll your clothes instead of folding, pack snacks for between meals and leave a little extra room for souvenirs. If you’re flying, visit the website of your airline to make sure your luggage abides by the size and weight rules — and that you don’t pack anything you’re not supposed to.
Keep safety in mind throughout your travels. Pack a first aid kit for emergencies, bring extra copies of your passport, and always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re traveling abroad, consider signing up for the free SMART traveler program, which registers you with your nearest U.S. embassy and will provide safety travel updates before and during your trip.
Keep Important Items Close.
If you’re checking a bag during your flight, make sure you keep your most important items in your carry on. Also pack important toiletries and a spare change of clothes if you’ve got room, just in case your baggage gets misplaced or you need something on the plane. When it comes to money, the best strategy is to not keep it all in the same place in case something happens, and make sure it’s safely hidden away.
Traveling is full of unexpected detours and surprises — that’s part of what makes it so adventurous. Have a plan of what you want to do, but accept the fact that everything might not work out exactly the way you hoped it would. Learning to navigate the surprises life throws at you is part of being a successful adult, and not stressing about the little things will help you have a more enjoyable trip in the end.
By Priscilla Aceves