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Traveling is one of the greatest joys of living. Endless opportunities for exploration present themselves to individuals with various experiences, and immersing yourself in new territories and cultures is unbeatable.

Traveling is a fantastic way to experience the world, but even the most seasoned travelers learn excellent travel tips later in their travel careers. Here are ten unknown travel tips shared by seasoned travelers.

1. Wake Up Early

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Not early enough to go to the hotel’s complimentary breakfast. No. This tip refers to hours before sunrise that allow you to get photos of famous landmarks or experience a city not yet awash with millions of tourists.

With this tip, you avoid crowds and experience a serenity that only comes before (or during) sunrise. Unless they work graveyard shifts, locals are unlikely to stroll the streets at 5:00 am or start their sightseeing adventure before sunrise.

2. Buy a Hat

Hats spark up your personality. Hats give locals something to recognize you by. Bedazzling a hat with pins or stickers elevates that personality further. If you’re saving a seat for someone, place your cap on the seat next to you instead of struggling to utter a language you don’t know and aggravating a local.

If you need to save some items, place them in your hat while you sleep. Plus, hats provide sun protection and shade in hot or humid weather.

3. Pay Attention On Public Transportation

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If you’ve been to an airport, you’ve run into that person who won’t remove their headphones, no matter the reason. Whether they need to go through additional security screening, they need to move over a seat in a plane, or a TSA agent needs to talk to them, there is always one person cemented to their headphones.

This delays the line and prevents other travelers from continuing with their itineraries. Imagine if every traveler waited until seated on a plane (in their correct seats) to place their headphones atop their head and delve into their musical preferences. We’d have far fewer delays and late arrivals. 

4. Bring Clips

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This tip is perfect for those who struggle with light while sleeping. Bring a few chip clips on your trip to fasten the curtains closed. If you’re like me, any shrivel of light bothers my sleeping routine.

When I got to Iceland, it was light outside, and I struggled to fall asleep. The curtain kept letting in streams of light while I tossed around. If only I had a clip with me. Use the clips to hang up clothes if you don’t have hangers.

5. Wait Before Renting a Car

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I cannot stress this tip enough. 

I hopped off the plane in Iceland at 6:00 am local time, 2:00 am Florida time. My dad fell asleep on the five-hour plane ride, ensuring him some fabulous shut-eye while the rest of the passengers listened to his snoring, and he drooled on my sweater. When we arrived at the main international airport in Iceland, we grabbed our bags and headed to the rental car area.

Because Iceland’s one main international airport is a landing pad for millions of travelers, the rental car companies get a bit backed up. In addition, our hotel sat about an hour from the Keflavik airport, a distance that didn’t seem daunting until we all piled in the car. 

My dad agreed to drive to the hotel since he was the only one who slept on the flight. Along the drive, craters dotted the Earth aside from the two-lane roads, cliffs loomed above the ice-cold Atlantic, and the entire population of Iceland seemed to be traveling in the same direction. Being overtired, eager explorers, we drove slowly and agitated several Icelandic drivers behind us. 

Pulling over in this country is strongly discouraged unless you find one of the designated parking areas. After too many swerves close to the cliff and near plunges into frigid water, I spotted a parking area and assumed the driver role.

We had 20 minutes remaining in our drive to the hotel, so I blasted the heat on my face, cranked up some traditional Icelandic radio stations, and braved the remaining third of an hour left of the trip. We made it with several close calls, but I will book a room near the airport on future trips before renting a car. 

6. Bring Chapstick

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It doesn’t matter where you are. Flying on an airplane dries out your lips and mouth. To avoid cracked corners and chapped lips, bring chapstick. If you forget, buy some at the airport. You won’t regret it. 

7. Check Hot Water When You Arrive

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Once checked into the hostel, hotel, or AIRBNB, check the outlets, water, and light switches. If any of them don’t work, report to the lobby, or phone the front desk so they send out a maintenance worker to correct the issue at the beginning of your stay.

8. Read Books First

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The best way to learn about other places (besides exposure) is to read about the area. Check out a library book or purchase a travel guide set in your destination. Travel writers specialize in finding the best attractions and destinations for tourists through experience. Reading about your desired vacation destination may open your eyes to events not prevalent on Instagram or the internet. 

9. Single Use Soap

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Public transportation is effective, but it is not all that sanitary. One way to combat the dinginess of public transit and public restrooms is by carrying single-use soap sheets. These inexpensive cleansers come in packages equipped with a few dry sheets.

Wet your hands and rub the dry sheet to use the cleanser, which will transform into soap. Dry soap packets aren’t heavy to carry around, and you’ll never know when you’ll need to use them. 

10. Hotel Business Card 

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This tip works if you get lost, or your phone dies, and you can’t access—or, let’s be honest, read a map here. Show a store owner or local the business card, and they can direct you toward your lodging. If they don’t know where the lodging is, they can call the hotel and ask for assistance.

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