Some “travel tips” are really just more like “common sense”! By now we all know to remember to pack our passports, wear comfortable clothing and take your laptop out of your bag for the security screening – it’s not rocket science.

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But even the most seasoned traveler could use a few pointers or new ideas from time to time.

We’ve compiled some of our best tips, directly from our Travel Experts and well traveled staff, all based on real issues we’ve personally dealt with. That time the airline lost my bag for two days and I had to use what little spending money I had to buy clothes to wear until it was found? I could have used the handy advice to pack a backup change of clothes in my carry-on…

Hike hat

Always wear a hat on hot hikes…maybe a better one than this.


Attempt the language. No one expects you to be fluent but try at least to master: “Hello” “Please” And “Thank you”.  It’s not only polite but endearing to show your willingness and your enthusiasm by giving the local language a shot. –Kelsey Knutson

• One of my favorite things to do is bring a small, empty duffle bag with me so that I can bring home all my souvenirs. This way if my bag happens to be a bit heavy on the return home I can load up that empty bag and carry it on the plane without having to pay pesky overweight bag fees! –Chrissy Edwards

Do what your mama taught you. Always try to go even if you don’t think you have to. Yes, I am talking about the bathroom. When traveling I can’t tell you the amount of times I had to hold it for a long drive on a bus. –Susan McVey

• Two words: Duct Tape. Use for repairing bags and tents, fixing flip flops, holding up mosquito nets and hammocs, making impromptu washing lines, securing plastic bags full of wet clothes and so many other emergency  fixes that I’ve lost count! – Anna Corbett

Duct tape is also essential for hula hoop repairs.

Duct tape is also essential for hula hoop repairs.

• Before departing the country, contact your bank and let them know what countries you are visiting along with your travel dates. As someone who hadn’t traveled much previously, my bank nearly closed my credit card and flagged it as stolen when foreign charges started appearing! Lucky for me I was in an area where my phone got reception when they contacted me so I could advise them that those were my charges and confirm my identity. –Trish Black

• A few of my travel essentials: A journal, to jot down random thoughts, sketches and to remember important details of my jaunts. TUMS, as it’s almost a guarantee that I will get in trouble at some point as I’m willing to try {almost} anything. Eye mask and ear plugs, they really come in handy pretty much anywhere I might try to get some shuteye. An MP3 player so the soundtrack to my rambling exploits will bring those moments back to mind years down the road. And of course my CAMERA GEAR! –Robin Chase

Murphy’s Law loves to travel. Make sure to get travel insurance for yourself in case he brings a lot of baggage! Flight delays, lost or stolen bags, even hotel room costs for unplanned overnights are a big part of travel, and without insurance you can be stuck with lots of extra costs you didn’t anticipate. –Amanda Baitinger

Don't let a lack of travel insurance stop you doing what you want.

Don’t let a lack of travel insurance stop you doing what you want.

• Always travel with disinfectant wipes, they can be used for many things. Cleaning cuts and scrapes, dirty surfaces (airline arm rests and tray tables) and as an emergency washing method should you be backpacking with no showers available. –Marianne Hansen

• When traveling, there is almost always something that does not go according to plan. Be prepared with contingency funds, flexibility, and an easy going attitude in case you need to change your plans. –Suzi Perlman

Do you have a tip you think we should add? Tweet us @statravelUS and you could see your handle in lights on the blog!

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