boats in a body of water with mountains in the background with Phi Phi Islands in the background

Who knew the internet could be so wise?

What’s better: one so called “expert”, or the collective wisdom of the internet? Answer: both are good, but the internet always wins. Just look at Reddit. GSTP asked Instagram followers for their very best travel hacks, and the results were as hilarious as they were illuminating. Y’all are pretty clever, so here’s a selection of our favourites.

a group of people with luggagePut Dryer Sheets In Your Bags

Hot tip from: eaudesebba

For those without a dryer, these sheets help to make your washing smell nice and keep it from getting all static(y). Key points: they smell nice and they keep things fresh. This was a gem of a tip to keep your worn clothes from making your unworn clothes smell as if they have been.

Leave One Day Open For Spontaneity

Hot tip from: ny_gypsy

Love this tip. People get so bogged down in planning every moment that they end up needing a vacation from their vacation. Travel should always involve time for relaxation and a steady dose of unexpected pleasure. Leaving a day, or at least a half day open to catch up with old friends, make new ones or do something spontaneous is brilliant advice.

Bring A Door Stopper For Hotel Rooms

Hot tip from: andygmayo

This is pure genius. I’ve been handed the keys to the wrong room on numerous occasions, and had people open the door to my own. A door stopper takes up hardly any space whatsoever in your case and allows you to add an extra level of security to your room. When you’re traveling in countries with an upsurge in crime, this feels really good.

Always Price Out Nearby Cities

Hot tip from: cameronstewart_uk

This is one of the best money saving travel tips of all time. Sometimes taking a train, bus or cheap flight to a semi nearby city – think London to Paris, Boston to New York – style distances can end up saving hundreds, or thousands. For example, business class may literally be cheaper from a nearby city than economy is from your present city. Here’s a deep dive into that.

Be Good Friends With A Travel Expert

Hot tip from: jessicagreen100

This is great advice. Being nice to great bloggers and following their work means you are always a tweet, Instagram message or email away from the help you need to help turn your travel dreams into a reality. Our favourite follows? One Mile At A Time, View From The Wing, Thrifty Traveler, Head for Points, Nomadic Matt and Condé Nast Traveler.

a room with a record player and a bedDo Laundry By Staying At Airbnbs

Hot tip from: mbenton1319

Doing laundry while traveling is so satisfying. It’s even more satisfying when you can’t, and get a bill from your hotel and you realise what a rip off it can be. Many Airbnb’s offer a washer and dryer, which makes it easy to catch up on laundry. On a recent trip, we did hotel, Airbnb, hotel, and caught up on laundry in the middle. It was everything.

Put All Electronics In One Bag

Hot tip from: nicoletravelbug

Some countries are crazy about removing all your electronics or things with battery from your bags. If you keep all your cameras, drones, headphones and iPads in one bag, this makes the process a lot easier and keeps you from rummaging around your clothes. Good stuff.

Always Put Travel Charges On Credit Cards

Hot tip from: brettholzhauer

You’ve probably seen a few airlines go bust lately. If you booked with a credit card, you got your money back and were just left with hassle. If you booked with a debit card, you have far fewer travel protections and may be stuck without your money. If possible, get a rewards card which helps during travel delays, when bags are lost and other things to earn points and protect your investment!

Store Things In The Shoes You Pack

Hot tip from: briannaalicedelvalle

So simple, yet so clever. If you don’t have shoes that compact nicely, stuff them with things that take up space. Think: socks, t-shirts and whatever else you might be able to squeeze into a shoe sized space. Perhaps stack this with the dryer sheets tip to make sure your shoes don’t leave a lasting impression.

a man selling food at a street marketHit Local Supermarkets For A Glimpse Of Life Elsewhere

Hot tip from: fishingforchickens

As weird as it sounds, there’s a surreal pleasure to visiting interesting foreign markets, or grocery stores. This not only gives a better understanding of what locals tend to eat, but also helps compare the real cost of living in that area, versus wherever you’re from. Plus, if you’re in a hot place, they are usually air conditioned.

Bring A Universal Power Adaptor

Hot tip from: reedmurray

Counting on a hotel, Airbnb or cafe to have what you need just isn’t smart. Universal power adaptors are better than ever, and many now offer a standard charging port, with two USB ports on the side. Buy one, take it everywhere. Your electronics and binge watching habits will thank you. Here’s a great one.

Triple Check Your Flight Details Online

Hot tip from: thecrumster

The further out you book your flights, the better the chance the airline will adjust the schedule. Sometimes that change will be five minutes, other times it will be 12 freaking hours. If you simply go on that first confirmation print out, you may be totally out of luck when you turn up at the wrong time, airport or whatever. Triple check everything, check again and use the internet to confirm.

Take An Empty Water Bottle

Hot tip from: clt086

People pay crazy amounts of money for airport H20. There’s absolutely no need. Always take an empty bottle, or thermos with you through airport security and then fill it up in a fountain, or better yet one of the sustainable water fountains. Most airport coffee spots will gladly fill you up as well. Good for the wallet and the world.

a pile of different currency

Always Pay In Local Currency

Hot tip from: mrjdl_

This has long been one of our biggest travel tips and it’s so important. Assuming you’re smart enough to carry a travel credit or rewards card which has no foreign exchange fees, always choose the local currency over whatever your currency is at home. This process can save up to 10 cents on every buck and get you a much better price. Read up on the whole thing…

Roll Your Clothes To Save Packing Space

Hot tip from: ladyclel

It’s true, rolling your clothes really is the most space effective way to pack your clothes. Not only will you have more space, but your clothes will also look a lot less like they have been unboxed from a lego collection. The rolling is much kinder on the edges. Here’s more great packing tips.

Respect The Place You’re Going, You Are The Visitor

Hot tip from: jsailor88

This is very profound and very true travel advice. Don’t get frustrated that your cab driver in another part of the world doesn’t speak English. People are so quick to criticise new things, or things which don’t understand them but one of the greatest gifts in travel is developing understanding and learning from new cultures. Remembering that you are the visitor is everything.

Take Photos Of Your Passport And Other ID’s

Hot tip from: nic.c.l

Losing your passport abroad is terrifying. Once you’ve gotten over the shock, the process of getting an emergency document issued is made far easier if you have a copy of your current passport photo page and or any other identifying documents. Keep these stored in a safe online file, or on your phone and perhaps share a copy with family, just in case. It makes things so much easier.

a coffee cups and saucers on a tableCheck Local Groupon And Deal Sites For Experiences

Hot tip from: hollyberrybest

It goes without saying that travel can add up. Websites like Groupon offer local sites in many markets which can score 2 for 1 brunch, great sightseeing excursions and things like airport transfers. It never hurts to browse and that makes this a very savvy travel tip.

Pack A Change Of Clothes In Your Carry On

Hot tip from: richierich7319

Despite barcodes and bag tracking devices, things go missing. Packing extra clothes which will last a day or two can be massive, and alleviate lost baggage woes. Plus, travel can feel gross, so if you have a layover, a fresh outfit can make you feel all the better before arrival in your destination.

Clean Your Airport Seat And Tray Table

Hot tip from: maritaperilla

Once you learn about the studies of germs on planes, you can’t un-know that information. For those who don’t like germs – who does? – bringing an antibacterial towelette or wipe can keep you from spending the best hours of your trip under the weather. This is particularly useful if you plan to use your tray table, which is known to carry more bacteria than anywhere else.

Always Carry A Pen

Hot tip from: champagnepleasedarling

Yes, just yes. Too many countries require paper forms and no one likes the person on the plane asking to borrow a pen. Plus, you just never know when you might need one to pass a sly note, write down a great travel tip or help draw a map for someone. Get a pen, keep that pen, bring it with you.

Don’t Bathe In Public Fountains

Hot tip from: sillybillybeth

Believe it or not, this is a thing. I can’t remember off the top of my head, but either Venice or Rome recently had to up the fines to keep travellers out of their fountains. Let this serve as yet another life lesson for one too many shockingly bad humans. There are other ways to shower abroad.

romeBe Kind To Airline Cabin Crew

Hot tip from: rogersnyc

Read as: just be kind – full stop. With that said, people are awful to cabin crew, and usually their anger is totally misplaced. The cabin crew likely did not build the plane, decide the days weather or cause the technical fault which delayed you. Be polite, look them in the eye, take your headphones off, say thanks and sometimes you’d be amazed at how far that goes. Including switching seats…

Add Something Unique To Your Luggage

Hot tip from: pants_flyer

Let’s be real, most suitcases look almost identical and when you don’t travel often, you can barely remember what yours looks like in the first place. To make this a whole lot easier, place something unique like a bright strap, trinket or sticker in a place you’ll be able to see it. With the whole “lost bag” thing, people are a big part of the problem and this definitely helps.

Ask The Concierge Where To Eat

Hot tip from: godsavethepoints

And then go anywhere else. Anthony Bourdain once said something like this, and it makes me laugh every time I see someone wander up to a concierge desk. Yes, my travel tip is ask the concierge where to eat and then cross every one of those suggestions off your list. Bartenders on the other hand, that’s a different story.

Always Earn Miles, Always

Hot tip from: matthewlumby

When people feel like they’ll never fly with an airline again they often don’t bother earning miles. That’s nuts. Even a tiny stack of miles can unlock free travel, and thanks to airline alliances, flying an airline like Vietnam Air can earn you points with an airline like Delta. Never ever fly without earning something in return.

Make Your Own Amenity Kit

Hot tip from: agistribird

If you’re not lucky enough to be flying up front, or even if you are, making your own amenity kit can be a great strategy. Stuff it with earplugs, face mask, bacterial wipes, skin cream or anything else which will bring joy, comfort or convenience to you during your journey.

Download Google Maps For Offline Use

Hot tip from: nathantitterton

If you’re not using Google Fi or a super flexible international phone plan, data charges can be crushing. Many travellers fail to realise that you can actually download entire city maps from Google Maps offline, so that you may use it on the go without using any data. Here’s everything you need to know about that.

Make An Effort To Learn The Language

Hot tip from: instabish

Learning just a few key phrases can endear you to locals and also get you out of tricky situations. This definitely falls into the category of “respect your destination” and doing so will always lead to more rewarding experiences. Google Translate can be a great way to help learn a few words for free.

Looking for one more?

Oh, and the most common travel tip echoed by hundreds? Pack extra underwear in your carry on. The reasons you may need them, endless. The joy of fresh undies: priceless.


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Join tinder. Women are more likely to engage in meaningless one night stands if they know they will never run into you again.

  2. If you’re renting a car check off airport rental prices. In some cities this can save hundreds.

    1. Most cities charge an ‘airport tax’ on car rentals. Sometimes just taking a shuttle bus will get you to a less expensive satellite rental site.

  3. I’ve always had really good luck with asking a concierge where to eat. Sometimes they’ll say well, other guests like this place and then I’ll just ask no, where do you you and your local friends like to eat for such-and-such food? Has worked wonderfully for me all over Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.

  4. The one about the grocery stores is a good one. Somewhere my wife has a picture of me dragging my little shopping wagon around a Spanish grocery store.

  5. I always travel with a little bit of bubble wrap for any ceramic magnets or other fragile things.

  6. PACK LIGHT! Choose things that are wash and wear, quick dry. Regardless of the length of your trip, pack for one week. You are not going to a fashion show! Wear your heaviest, bulkiest clothes and shoes on the plane. If you’re going from hot to cold or vice versa, pack things that can be layered. You can figure out a way to do laundry by the end of the week. I have washed clothes in the sink with the hotel/hostel shampoo (or pack a small bag of powder laundry detergent) or even in the shower. I always carry several sizes of Ziploc bags. If your laundry doesn’t dry overnight you can put it in the Ziploc bag and hang it up at your next destination.

  7. Maintain a checklist. I’ve kept a list of all the things I need to do before a trip, things to pack, and things to buy on arrival. It’s evolved over time and provided tremendous peace of mind. When I leave home, I know if my checklist is complete, then I’m ready to go. Never again will I say, “Oh No! I forgot blah, blah blah”.
    For infrequent travelers: Pack up everything, then unpack half of your clothes and toiletries and fit it all into a carry-on. You can usually wash clothes en route and hotels/homes for rent often supply basic toiletries. Go Light!

  8. I also have a packing list. I can usually fit everything in a backpack or a smaller than average size carry on.

  9. When travelling with my family, I have one travel adapter and a four gang trailing socket – it really doesn’t take up a huge amount of space and then no one has to worry about where to plug everything in (four phones, a couple of tablets, watches, fitbits etc etc etc)

  10. Collect hard eyeglass cases of different colors. Pack matching jewelry sets into a case with the corresponding color. It keeps jewels safe from breakage and tangling, and you can quickly pick the set you need by the color of the case. Eyeglass cases also fit easily into footwear to save space.

  11. Here are a few of mine:
    – Find authentic local food rather than franchise restaurants, just google or ask locals
    – Make a list of items (I have a excel sheet) to take for domestic and international travel, that way I don’t forget anything and avoid overpaying at the airport or local stores
    – Download Netflix movies / shows for offline viewing on the plane

  12. Really good general advice, although Be Good Friends With A Travel Expert is kind of dubious. With the titan bloggers, getting a response is extremely tough and inconvenient questions are flatly ignored. Sure, I remember almost a decade ago when OMAAT would almost always respond, but that’s just not the case anymore. Lots of bloggers just follow TPG and shill credit cards. Finding an expert who’s willing to dole out help and advice is sadly quite rare.

  13. Checking out local supermarkets can be a lot of fun, especially in more obscure destinations. There are so many new snacks to discover!

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