Okay. We’re just going to come clean and let you know that we have one of our OWN services listed below. But, in our defense, it SHOULD be listed here. Why? Because if you take our advice it will IMMEDIATELY allow you to travel better.
And unlike other lists (you’ll find elsewhere), we’ve put some thought into this one. What does that mean, you ask? Are we just being arrogant and cruel? ‘Course not! We’re just going to have a little fun at the expense of the anonymous others and move on.
So, here’s the story. While we were thinking about some super-awesome travel hacks that you might not have known about – we searched far and wide to see if our in-house experts were on-point. Sure, we trust them, but dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” is part of the job.
Anyway, during our search, we found some really odd suggestions from reputable publications (we’ve since reconsidered). For example, one such publication (if we told you who, your jaw would drop) suggested that “learning the local language” was a good idea. Seriously? You’re going to vacation in Tahiti and should learn the native tongue? Sorry not sorry. That’s just lazy content production. Another mentioned “pack smarter.” Um … never mind. That one requires a swear word to adequately discuss on that end, and our editor isn’t quite that progressive … yet.
What we can do, is promise that the following suggestions will be helpful (even if you already know a few). And we further guarantee that at least one will be hugely helpful and something that you likely didn’t think of. We are Must Do Travels and part of that, to us, means freely sharing what we know about HOW to travel better:
So, in no particular order:
Obviously, you are going to eat, geographically speaking, in the vicinity of where you are staying. But, what “eat local” means specifically is to “eat where the locals eat.” This is a cardinal rule that should go virtually unbroken.
Preparation. By virtue of you reading this sentence, we may presume you have internet access. Use it. Take a virtual vacation of the area you are visiting online. Be diligent. Read the reviews. See how long it has been there. See how something aligns with your particular desires and tastes. Be adventurous. Figure out how to get there and what type of payment they’ll accept.
Look, we are human beings. Food isn’t the only thing, but we can all agree it is a big part of travel. Local resources and concierges can be helpful, but if you know nothing, they’ll give you the standard tourist run-down. If you are well-researched and clear about what you want and what you know – you will get information that will take you to the very best options on your wish list.
If done right, eat local adventures can flavor your next journey as much as any experiential opportunity that awaits.
Since you read the last category, you probably have an idea about what this means. But how does one best engage, particularly when the time in a given destination is limited?
Unlike the eat local recommendation for hitting up google and the internet, this requires being open and engaging with the locals once you’ve arrived. You can start with your taxi driver or hotel waiter. Ask what they like to do. Where they like to go. Tell them why you are asking.
Most folks are proud of where they live, and they are energized when someone shows interest beyond the regular scope of tourist things to do. Sure, concierges can help – but typically their professional reputations (and jobs) are on the line, so they don’t deviate too far from the tried and true “resort approved” options.
And if you are asking what the big deal is about experiencing local – it’s not the idea of doing it. Rather, the real advice is to do this completely. It takes a certain je ne sais qua to commit. You will likely have some doubts going in. For example, you may worry that the Vegas experience will suffer without riding the over-priced High Roller or drinking a $35 dollar, 44-ounce crown and coke at Cirque de Soleil. But, if you do take the leap of faith required (we believe in you) – your vacations, excursions, journeys – whatever you want to call them, will never be plus ça change.
Usually, only regular business travelers take the time to bother. That’s too bad. Waiting in the TSA lines, even if you only travel a few times a year, is totes a drag. And, it is unnecessary.
You don’t have time?
Think again. Instead of reading an article like this one tomorrow, we’ll give you a hall pass to go ahead and get the process started. Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, or who aren’t completely sure what it is, it’s this:
TSA pre-check allows low-risk travelers on domestic and international flights to fast track security at participating US airports. Simply, those who join the pre-check program can skip the security check line. Plus, they do not need to remove items of clothing, show laptops or liquid containers. (TSA may still add random security checks). Pre-check is open to US citizens and lawful permanent residents. Membership is valid for 5 years.
Do this. Worth it. Promise.
Okay. It’s time for that shameless self-promotion we alluded to earlier. But, if you were not aware, Must Do Travels is more than this magazine blog. Not that this blog wouldn’t be enough. In fact, it’s awesome. But there’s just so much more to Must Do Travels. I mean, we’re also the fastest growing leisure travel site on Facebook. And we rock pretty much every social media outlet like no other.
But here’s the How to Travel Better takeaway. Because we run our members site like Costco (with a far cheaper fee), we don’t have to follow the industry mandates for publishing rates. In other words, we don’t have to do what everybody else is doing (yes ALL those other online entities). The Ex-eedia’s, the T-ocity’s … them.
Instead, because we’re private, we can offer you rates without the mandatory margins. In other words, you can book all your travel up to 50% those online “discounted” rates. Too good to be true? Nope. We have a HUGE following and huge membership base (that’s why nobody else can do what we’re doing). Our rates are unequivocally the best in the industry. And so much cheaper than the status quo its amazing.
Don’t believe us? A visit says a thousand words at VacationRewards.com