The 10 commandments of confident travel

By KAYAK
 Experienced travellers know the basics: do your research, pack light, and enjoy the ride – but there’s more to becoming a travel pro than simply being savvy. It’s about your attitude more than anything else.

Luckily for you, KAYAK knows a thing or two about exploring the world with confidence. Follow our 10 commandments and you’ll be on your way.

1. Thou shalt let your curiosity lead the way

Great deals come to those who are willing to be a bit flexible with their travel plans. You may already fly at less popular times to save – think early morning, weekday, or red-eye flights – but if your dates aren’t set in stone, why not add a bit of flexibility to your destination choice? With so many places to see, there is no shortage of options when curiosity leads the way. Choose your price limit and plug it into the KAYAK Explore feature to see where you can go for less. Consider it a game show where you win every single time.

2. Thou shalt travel like a local

Go off the beaten path and experience a destinations like the locals do.
Go off the beaten path and experience a destination like the locals do.

Travelling is about more than just seeing the sights. Sure, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see in Paris, but so is wandering through the city’s open archways and stumbling upon a hidden bistro where you can enjoy light local fare and a glass of wine away from the tourist-heavy bustle.

3. Thou shalt also enjoy being a tourist

While having an authentic experience is key, don’t get so caught up in avoiding the classic tourist experience that you miss out on some of your destination’s main attractions. The Louvre may be full of umbrella-led tour groups, but it’s popular for a reason. Filling your days with a mix of attractions and local experiences ensures you get the best of both worlds.

4. Thou shalt be prepared (but not over-prepared)

Spontaneity is great, but you know what else is great? Learning a few words in a local language and having a firm grasp on the conversion rate in your destination. Even when it comes to planning a last-minute trip, doing some quick research will pay off. Not sure where to start? A couple of key phrases, some basic currency information, and a rudimentary knowledge of the city’s transportation options will go a long way.

While having a few scheduled activities or a list of must-see sites is important, leave some room for on-the-fly outings and local recommendations.

5. Thou shalt have a budget

Know your budget and do your best to stick to it. Even if your bankroll is small, you can still have an exceptional trip if you use it wisely. Get local recommendations on the best happy hours, cheap eats, and street food (often it’s the tastiest and most authentic as well). Find cheap or free things to do, including self-guided tours, museums that offer free admission, or simply wander around a new city and explore on foot.

With that said, give yourself a break if you go a little over – you’re on holiday after all, and you deserve at least one splurge if you’re able.

6. Thou shalt not complain about travel fails

There are few certainties when travelling, but one of the few is this: things will go wrong. You’re bound to experience a flight delay or bad meal, get on the wrong train, or crack your phone screen while trying to balance your luggage to get that perfect shot. But don’t let these little misfortunes ruin your trip. Smile through it, laugh it off, deal with it when you’re back to reality.

Remember how lucky you are to travel and how fleeting the experiences are. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

7. Thou shalt read the fine print

Those tiny words attached to airline tickets, hotel bookings, car hires, and credit cards may seem superfluous, but they’re actually full of useful information for travellers.

Whether it’s an airline contract of carriage, which will tell you rules regarding compensation for bumps and delays, or your travel credit card, which may offer perks you weren’t aware of, including car hire insurance and travel rewards, you never know what savings you’ll find tucked away in those tiny words.

8. Thou shalt be present

Take lots of pictures – you’ll thank yourself when you’re older and able to reflect back on your travels – but don’t take so many pictures that you miss the experience while it’s happening. It can be easy to instantly share your experiences on Instagram or Snapchat, but it can also take you out of the moment. As a happy medium, stay off WiFi until you’re back at your accommodation and post then.

9. Thou shalt be open-minded

Travelling is a great excuse to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Travelling is a great excuse to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Get out of your comfort zone. Really immerse yourself in the experience by engaging all your senses. If a destination is known for its music, see a live show. If there’s a must-try dish, ask a local where you’ll get the tastiest version. Travelling in Bangkok? Everyone knows street food is a must. But locals can point you in the right direction for the best pad thai, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a selection of fried insects (it’s the seasoning that distinguishes one vendor from another, and locals are sure to have a favourite).

10. Thou shalt see the world

Don’t make excuses, get out and see the world.
Don’t make excuses, get out and see the world.

It’s easy to find reasons not to do something, whether it’s cost holding you back or a jam-packed schedule. It can be easy to make excuses or put off travel until you have more time or money, but there’s so much of the world to see and no time like the present. Check out where pro travellers are going in 2018, and find a cheap flight using our tips to get away, even if it’s just for a long weekend.

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Note: These rates are based on the most recent data pulled from KAYAK.co.uk, the cheapest prices are always displayed first, regardless of specific dates mentioned. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy, are per night and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available

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