Since it is the month of summer, a lot of people like to travel. Maybe you are considering traveling, but let’s say if it is your first time, what would be your usual approach? As much as it sounds fascinating, traveling can turn out to be cumbersome, tiring and hectic at times. Last minute reservations, tendency to fall for currency exchange con artists and many other things can make the entire ordeal very unfortunate.

girl and guy sitting on the road

Knowing that traveling is expensive and carries more value to people who want to cherish their once in a lifetime trip across different places in the world, here are a few tips that will help you to get the most out of your entire journey.

Beware of your surroundings:

Many years ago, I was reading an article where this traveler when to Africa. He related various incidents; good ones and bad ones alike. How he met new people and what the experience felt like at various places inside Africa. One thing which I still remember to this day is how the author of that article was swindled by con artists.

Right outside a train station, he rode a bus. There were a few people inside; one of them introduced himself as a money changer and emphasized on offering the best rate. The person was told that he will not get any better rate the more deeper he goes into the region because dollar rate is dwindling, based on its demand. Henceforth, the author willingly gave his money to the money changer in exchange for local currency.

It turns out that this poor soul got the shittiest dollar rate. What makes matters worse is that they met around a corner of the street. The money changer handed him a wad of cash and said, “It’s all in there, I counted it twice.” Without double checking the writer of the article went on his business. The next day when he counted the money, it was less than the agreed amount. The perpetrator had folded the cash in such a way that it seemed and “felt” right.

So instead of recommending some travel applications and gadget, I recommend that whatever you do and wherever you are in any part of the world, always be mindful of your surroundings. As far as the currency rate is concerned, ask around instead of falling for the first offer. You never know you could get lucky at the next stop.

Use your smartphones for tickets:

Paper tickets and such things have a tendency of getting misplaced or simply lost. Instead of carrying a number of tickets in your pocket, you can opt for a more convenient way. Take their photos and save them in your smartphone. Considering you purchased the ticket online, you don’t have to print it.

Throughout my travels, I have been grouping all my tickets in a separate folder on my smartphone. Most of the time, airlines let me pass by seeing my ticket and my identification card. After all, since 2007, many airlines across the world use a virtual boarding pass for passengers who don’t carry tickets in their wallets or back pockets.

What if I don’t have a mobile boarding pass?

If you don’t have a mobile boarding pass, you can get one at the time of checking in. Go to your airline’s website and select the mobile boarding pass option. Either they will send you an image, a download link or directions on how to get one. Some applications automatically allow for mobile boarding passes to appear on the smartphone lock screen just minutes before your flight.

No need for paper maps anymore:

You don’t have to haul around a clump of maps with you anymore. Since we are making full use of modern technology in today’s day and age, why not put it to good use on your travels? Instead of carrying conventional paper maps, it is time to install map apps such as FourSquare or Sygic etc. to navigate you way across the far corners of the world.

Also, if you are using an Android smartphone, you can download a pre-saved version of the desired location through the Google Maps application. Later on you can use the map in offline mode to avoid overspending on your mobile data package.

Same goes for famous travel locations, memoirs, restaurants and any other places that are highly recommended by fellow travelers in usual travel books. The modern travel applications offer a wide variety of reviews where fellow users recommend visiting special locations at different parts of the world. So maybe next time when you are in London or let’s say Ireland, you will know which pubs are cool, which night clubs are highest rated and which food is that particular area best known for.

In the end, it is all up to you on how you choose to travel. Applications, gadgets and such things can only help you throughout your venture. It is up to you how you and where you want to spend your time. If your heart is aching to visit a certain place that’s not in the travel itinerary, just go with it – and remember, be safe!