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5 Things Smart Travelers Do Differently

As you read this, there are thousands or travelers making their way through various parts of the world. While some are getting by or struggling, others are traveling well. What is it that sets these people apart? What are they doing that is making their trip a happy and successful one?
06/01/2016 04:46pm ET | Updated June 2, 2017
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As you read this, there are thousands or travelers making their way through various parts of the world. While some are getting by or struggling, others are traveling well. What is it that sets these people apart? What are they doing that is making their trip a happy and successful one?

Let's have a look at the top five things that define smart travelers.

1. Research
You'll find that successful travel is largely based on researching the best options. Sure, it can be time consuming studying guidebooks and reading travel forums. But those who make this investment are almost invariably rewarded with a better trip. Their research not only highlights the best choices but also makes the overrated or disappointing ones more apparent. At the same time, as they take note of prices, they are going to be saving money.

2. Shop Around
In most aspects of their trip, the savvy travelers take the time to seek out the best deals with regard to price, convenience and comfort. This starts with the airfare but continues virtually every day through the journey. Individually these things may seem insignificant but if the trip is several months in duration the saving begin to add up. A simple thing like comparing a couple of different accommodation options is always a good idea.

3. Organization
Smart travelers are well organized. Their travel planning and trip preparation enables them to know exactly what they need for their journey. Having some kind of itinerary is the first step to optimizing travel time and one less thing to worry about after departure. The step after that is daily planning done the previous evening. This enables sightseeing or activities to begin first thing in the morning instead of pondering options as the day slips away.

4. Vigilance
Successful travelers are always vigilant in protecting their safety. This means they remain alert and aware of their surroundings, especially in busy areas of big cities where crime rates are higher. They blend into the local environment as much as possible because the less they look like a tourist, the less they are likely to be targeted like one. This means dressing appropriately and not overtly displaying expensive items such as jewelry, cameras, watches or phones.

5. Common Sense
I know it may seem obvious but this basic necessity is sadly missing in many travelers. This is especially true for those that somehow feel that the local cultural etiquette or even the laws of their destination don't apply to them. It may seem like fun at the time, but such behavior is either disrespectful, illegal or both. Apart from personal strife, it also creates a bad reputation and general distrust of subsequent tourists. Smart travelers know better.