Preparation is key, and with these adventurous travel hacks, you’ll be prepared for any adventure.
With the right travel tips, tricks and skills, organizing your next excursion can be a painless process. The most savvy of adventurers already know the ins and outs of plane ticket prices, packing tight and getting through customs, and now is your chance to get in on their secret techniques.
With these adventurous travel hacks, planning your next adventure may even be fun.
Photo Credit: Kuster and Wildhaber / Flickr.com
Flying to the far reaches of the globe is only as achievable as it is affordable. That’s why the most savvy adventures know how to fly as cheap as possible. To do so, follow a few simple rules. First, plan ahead. While it’s true that you can grab deals last-minute, cheaper than average fares are more reliably found in advance. Some believe Tuesday afternoon is the best time of the week to search for fares, and that cheapest day to fly is Wednesday. Check out sites like Kayak and Expedia to see what other people are paying for seats, and then go deeper into flights listed by international sites like Skyscanner and Mobissimo. Next, check the official sites of the airlines that go where you want to go to see if they are offering fares even cheaper than what you’ve found. This is a key travel hack, because sometimes the cheapest flights aren’t indexed at aggregators. After you’ve found the cheapest option, you can finally make the decision.
As a bonus, if you plan on visiting places like the outer rim of Papua New Guinea and the Tepui Plateau in a single trip, consider purchasing an RTW (Round the World) ticket. RTW tickets typically cost just a fraction of what it would cost to pay for each ticket individually.
Photo Credit: Steve Cadman / Flickr.com
You’ll need to personalize your pack depending upon the length and location of your upcoming adventure. You can save a lot of room, however, by practicing the savvy traveler’s tradition of “BIT” or “buy it there.”
Alternatively, you can buy it all at home and pack it in a giant rolling duffel like the Eagle Creek Flashpoint XL. If you’re spending just a couple days in the woods, you might not need anything more than a glorified day pack. For that, check out Gregory’s Border 35, an everyday pack that earned a place on Outside Magazine’s 2013 Gear of the Year list. For something in between the two, check out the MEI Voyageur Backpack, a lightweight, rugged, all-purpose luggage that does just about everything. Pack it light enough and you can probably even use it as a carry-on. Carry-ons are always the savvy traveler’s goal.
Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan / Flickr.com
Unfortunately, because of costly bulk luggage fees, it pays not to be a pro. Pro surfers carry half a dozen or more boards on the road when traveling the globe, sometimes paying more in bulk luggage fees than they do for their own airfare. Typically, airlines charge somewhere around $100 per checked boardbag. Not all airlines, however, are hard on surfers or other adventurers with serious luggage. Surfline keeps an up-to-date list of boardbag fees for airlines so you can see where you should be flying out of. A few airlines, such as Arab Emirates and British Airways, let you check your boardbag for free. Consider boardbag and bulk luggage fees when purchasing a flight ticket, and don’t forget to pack a fin key. It would not be fun to touch down in surf paradise without working fins.
Photo Credit: Jorge Fusaro / Flickr.com
Customs and Security Line Shortcuts
There’s nothing more frustrating than leaving for paradise only to be forced to wait in a mile-long line. There’s little you can do to get ahead, but there are a few tricks worth keeping in mind. For one, know this travel tip: the shortest line or “preferred” line isn’t always the quickest line. Regular lines are usually staffed with more agents, making even longer “regular” lines move faster than the short ones. Additionally, short lines with inefficient travelers invariably move slower than lines with people who travel often. Know how to recognize a slow poke in the security line, like someone who doesn’t take their shoes off until prompted. If there’s a closed line, pick the line next to it in case it opens up allowing you to slide right in. Finally, if you’re a foreigner in a strange land, choose the customs line closest to the citizens line. Citizens lines go faster, and when they’re done, agents may invite foreigners through.
Photo Credit: Son of Grouch / Flickr.com
At some point on your adventure, it’ll be time to tuck yourself under some sheets. For a one-stop mobile booking source, try the Hotels.com app. Featuring over 220,000 hotel properties and exclusive last-minute mobile deals, you’re bound to find a suitable bed right next door to your adventure spot. Looking for alternative ways to find a cheap, clean bed? You can find house sitting opportunities with sites like Mindmyhouse.com or earn a bed picking organic produce with Wwoof. You can also stay with locals for free with sites like Couchsurfing and Stay4Free. There are a number of ways to find shelter that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Tell us your travel hacks and tips in the comments below or @DegreeMen on Twitter. Looking for other DO:MORE inspiration? Check out our Weekend Trip Ideas or 24 Hour Adventures you can take on.