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You can spot a frequent traveller from miles away.

They’re the ones who know how to score an upgrade, always pack a portable phone charger, and somehow manage to appear immaculate and fresh after a long-haul flight.  They always travel prepared, pack smart, and the bank never blocks their credit card.

You may not be a frequent flier but we’re here today to share the ins and outs of travelling like a pro.

Traveling For the First Time? Here are 6 Tips For Traveling Like a Pro

Make a Checklist

Bag Suitcase luggage RF

Packing stuff you don’t need is a common mistake first time travelers make, and it’s understandable, because, after-all, you’ve never been on a trip before! But overpacking, or replacing unnecessary items for things you actually need can make a trip really frustrating.

It’s a really good idea to make a checklist of the essential items you need. This ensures you don’t miss anything, and don’t need to waste time shopping for a replacement when you land in your destination.

It’s important to do proper research when forming your checklist; information like the weather in your destination will help you carry the right type of clothes and shoes.

Country specific packing advice is also a good idea to research, ie if you’re traveling to a conservative country you may need clothes that cover you.

It is also extremely useful to make an itinerary of departure times, arrival times, and any other important time frames that you may need to keep in mind. If you are flying, write down which terminals you need to be at and when. This will help you keep everything in mind while traveling!

Find a Trustworthy Airline

Jettar Australia flight plane

If you plan on flying, finding a good airline at a reasonable price can sometimes be challenging. You may not even know where to begin looking when it comes to figuring out which flight to book.

Look at airline reviews to get a sense of other passenger’s experiences. Many airlines use PR and marketing companies like 8020 Communications to help communicate with their clients. Check out how your chosen airline will communicate flight delays and issues before you book.

A reliable company will make your flight experience as painless as possible. And if you’re planning on traveling a lot, remember that airlines value loyalty from their fliers. You have a higher chance of being upgraded if you fly exclusively with one airline for all your travels.

When it comes to saving money on your flights, it pays to do some searching online. You can score cheap flights by choosing off-peak seasons to travel and daily flight times that aren’t as popular. But just remember to keep the big picture in mind too.

Cheaper flights may be enticing at first, but may have a longer total trip time that may include several layovers. You also want to check what extras each airline includes, such as luggage and meals, since these may not be included with cheaper flights.

Photo credit: Jetstar Airways

Send Your Travel Plans to Your Bank

credit card for travel RF

Banks and credit card companies will often put your card on hold if they suspect suspicious activity. For instance, if you’re making purchases in an area far from home.

This is because banks are very hot on trying to combat fraud these days, and if they see a spate of transactions on your card abroad they may view it as suspicious and place and block on your accounts and card.

This is obviously a crisis situation if you are on vacation or a business trip without any access to your money, so it’s important to inform your bank of your travel plans.

Don’t ‘wing it’ when it comes to money; the last thing you want is to be stuck overseas with no access to your funds. Different travellers have varying preferences on cash vs. card however it’s recommended you bring a mix of both for safe measure.

It’s always good to have a Plan B and prepare for the worst case scenarios before you leave home, though if you can keep your money safe while abroad to start with, your trip will undoubtedly go much smoother for you.

Mix Your Personal Items into Multiple Bags

Flying plane airport travel traveler

Losing your luggage easily tops the list of travel nightmares – and it can happen! So if you’re traveling with other people, or as a couple, mix your personal items into each bag.

If an airport loses one of the bags, you will both still have access to some of your clothes and other personal items while you wait for your bags to arrive in the correct location.

Even though most missing bags are generally found and delivered to you (free of charge) within 24 hours, having a spare change of clothes for that time is a godsend.

For that same reason, always pack an ‘emergency kit’ in your carry on, which should include a spare change of clothes and underwear, toothbrush and basic toiletries, as well as your phone/laptop charger.

Having a backup makes a world of difference when the unexpected happens. If you’re tight on space stuff your shoes with socks and underwear, which will also help to keep their shape.

Bring a First Aid Kit

Hiking travel view RF

Packing a small first aid kit with bandages, cold medicine, pain relievers, tums, and other important medical supplies can help save you a lot of money and stress.

You generally don’t have to be a doctor to help yourself in an emergency, though you do have to have the first aid skills and tools to administer the care required; you need to be traveling with a first aid kit.

First aid may not be readily available while you are on your journey, and you don’t want to waste money on a hospital visit on holiday. According to a recent survey, a massive 80 per cent of us are not equipped to deal with minor medical emergencies in our own homes – let alone when we travel.

This means we are making thousands of unnecessary emergency visits to hospitals and GP’s for relatively minor, simple to treat conditions such as grazes, blisters and splinters.

There are many small first aid kits that you can purchase. Alternatively, you can make your own out of things that you have in your home. We recommencement the following:


Compact First Aid Medical Kit

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Emergency Survival Bag

Use a VPN if You Connect to the Internet

Phone Mobile VPN

Free WiFi is something we’ve come to expect from hotels, cafes, and airports when we travel, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to connect.

You’re ultimately connecting to a public hotspot, which means anyone on the same network (which could be thousands of people) can easily see your data: usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and your addiction to adult content!

In some cases, criminals have been known to target hotels and set up open WiFi networks specifically to trick people into connecting. So it’s incredibly important when you’re traveling that you don’t connect to the internet without a VPN.

A high quality VPN is one of the most useful tools you can have to keep your information secure when connecting to hotel WiFi. It encrypts your traffic so that cyber criminals using the same network won’t be able to access your information, or even detect your presence.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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