12 tried and tested, incredibly useful tips to ensure a stress-free vacation

With a little planning, you can organise yourself and make life so much easier when travelling. When a Reddit user recently asked the question “What’s the most surprising change in your travel style over the years?” scores of answers flooded in. We’ve whittled down the best to help you have a stress-free holiday.

Use your points

Racking up rewards on your credit card is a simple and easy way to cut back on costs, and there are scores of lucrative sign-ups around.

“I’ve started to really capitalise on credit card points and miles, which has been a game changer,” explained one Redittor. “I have been able to visit hotels and destinations that would have otherwise financially been out of reach.

Another has enjoyed five-star hotels which have been ordinarily out of their price bracket: “I’ve started to really capitalise on credit card points and miles, which has been a game changer. I have been able to visit hotels and destinations that would have otherwise financially been out of reach.

Using points can also mean that flying becomes that little more comfortable, with one Reddit user happy to announce: “Taking advantage of points has enabled me to fly business class on some trips, which makes me actually enjoy long haul flights instead of dreading them.”

Traveling Solo

Travelling alone has some advantages. One Redittor wrote: “I mostly travel solo, and I have made it a priority to be friendly to others. I’m not shy anymore when it comes to talking to strangers — either other travelers or locals. This has made a big difference.”

Staying in your own space 

Moving on from sharing a room with strangers to having personal space has been a game changer for one traveller, who explained: “When I first started travelling, it was hostels all the way for me. But now, I really value my own space.”

They continued: “I can’t imagine myself staying in a shared hostel room again. Why share a room with people who have alarms set for their 5 a.m. flight and need to share one bathroom?”

Get under the skin of a place 

Food brings people together and a good tour can not only do that, but you’ll learn about the history of a place as one traveler wrote: “I always take food tours.

“They’re an amazing, interactive way to not only learn about food but also the culture and history of a particular place. They tend to be pricey but so worth it. You get to discover so many new local dishes that don’t usually make it onto ‘must eat’ lists.”

Join a group tour 

There’s only so much you can glean from a guidebook, so this traveler is a convert to group tours. 

“I opt in for group tours. I mainly travel alone, and when I was younger, it was easy to think I knew all about what I should see and what I was seeing.

“Now, I appreciate being in a small group — whether it’s just for a day or several — and having someone knowledgable talk me through what I’m seeing.

“I don’t want to be on a bus stopping for obligatory photo-ops and listening to pre-recorded descriptions, but I appreciated a well-vetted, small-group tour.”

Choose an apartment over a hotel 

Family travel can sometimes be fraught, particularly when staying in a hotel with limited facilities. This parent has discovered an easier, more comfortable way to travel as a family.

“Especially now that I’m travelling with a kid, I love staying in fully equipped apartments,” they wrote.

“Having one or even two bedrooms and a washer/dryer is an absolute game-changer. I’m definitely willing to spend more on accommodations for that added comfort.”

Rent a car 

Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore when you want and where you want.  

One Redittor’s useful tip read: “I try to always rent a car. You would not believe how much more you can see and experience if you have a car. It allows you to travel on your own time so you won’t be waiting on schedules for buses, trains, and planes.

“And you can just pull over and explore wherever your heart desires. Driving from destination to destination feels like part of the adventure. You can stop at tiny little towns to fill up on fuel and walk around. Renting a car might cost more compared to taking a train, but you get way more from the experience.”

Don’t try to do too much

We’re all guilty of trying to do a million things in a day, but it’s not always the most enjoyable way to explore somewhere new. 

Sometimes it’s better just to take it slow and believe, less is more.  

One ‘calmer traveler wrote:, “I used to have an extensive list of places I wanted to visit, and used to cram several destinations into every vacation. But now, I am more likely to go to a single place and really enjoy what it has to offer.”

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Pay for breakfast 

Don’t scrimp on breakfast. Enjoy it. You’re on holiday and it’s a gorgeous start to a day. 

One traveler who takes time for breakfast, explained: “I always book the bed and breakfast rate, even if it costs a bit more upfront.

“I’ve realised that starting off a busy day of traveling with breakfast included makes such a big difference and lets me fuel up for the day ahead without thinking about it. Plus, it’s such a nice perk to wake up to.”

Splurge on plane seating 

Legroom is a big issue when traveling and once you’ve upgraded yourself once, you won’t look back. 

“I splurge on mid-tier seats (such as premium economy) for extra long flights,” said on Redditor.

“I know it’s a luxury, but I also can’t imagine going back to economy for international flights. I can’t afford first class, but that mid-tier with bigger seats.”

Look beyond the capitals

Wandering off the beaten path could lead to unexpected adventures. One traveller explained: “I think beyond major cities. A country can have a lot more to offer than just its capital.”

Keep one day totally free

“I used to stick strictly to an itinerary, but when I travel somewhere new, I always save a day with nothing planned,” wrote on Redditor who embraces spontaneity.

“I’m able to fit in things I come across as I travel but didn’t account for. I’ll just roam and recharge and go where the day takes me. I call it my Ferris Bueller day.”

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