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Southern Eats & Goodies

These Southern recipes are mouth watering, easy to make, and sure to get you recognized as a Southern cook.

family enjoying their beach dinners on vacation

Easy Vacation Dinners

These easy vacation meals will be a breeze to make in your beach house, rental house, or anywhere really that you need to feed the family. For the nights you don’t want to go to a restaurant but still want a yummy dining experience, keep this recipe list at your fingertips.

Depending on where you go on vacation and how much your eating out budget is, you will likely want some easy meals to make yourself. (But if you’re just looking for snack ideas for a day at the beach, head over to our Beach Food Ideas post!)

Whether you are in an VRBO, AirBnb, a townhouse, or a hotel with a kitchenette, you usually will have a few key appliances and ingredients to make these vacation meals.

I’m focusing this post on recipes that don’t require tons of spices, specialty appliances, or less common herbs you simply won’t have on hand.

Watch How to Make Ham and Cheese Casserole

Here’s an easy ham casserole that won’t drag you down with carbs. It’s keto and great for a vacation meal. This dish works well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Easy dinners to make on vacation

When you’re out of town and want to feed our family without having to go out to eat every night (and without sticking them with peanut butter sandwiches) try these easy vacation dinners. They are simple enough and you don’t need tons of ingredients. You also don’t lots of spices or tricky cookware you don’t have.

They’re simple, inexpensive, and satisfying. Of course, while you’re on vacation you’ll want to eat some meals out in restaurants. But for the other nights, try these dishes.

These meals are easy to make on vacation without all your normal spices, tools, appliances, and cookware. Simple and easy to make to fill your family if you want to save money while away on vacation.

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Super Easy Spaghetti Recipe (Done in 15 Minutes!)

This easy spaghetti doesn't require hours of cooking (who wants that when you're busy on vacation having fun?) and is tasty.

easy trip travel

Caprese Chicken (5 Ingredient)

This is a five ingredient chicken dinner dish. If you need to fill up with some healthy protein, this is a healthy vacation dinner option.

easy trip travel

Chicken Feta Pasta (5 Ingredient)

This chicken feta pasta is tasty, cheesy, and healthy. It will be filling and easy to make in an evening after a long day.

easy trip travel

Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese 

With 5 ingredients (not including salt and pepper, of course) is filling and quick and easy. It won't leave you with a lot of food or ingredients that go bad.

easy trip travel

Taco Casserole (5 Ingredient)

This taco casserole blends quite a few spices, still with only a few ingredients. It's inexpensive and super tasty.

easy trip travel

Chili Dog Pizza

Now, if you're going for broke and want to cook something that's a crowd pleaser you wouldn't ordinarily eat at home... this is it.

easy trip travel

Pasta With Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic

This is another super easy tasty pasta dish that'll fill you up after a long day of sightseeing.

easy trip travel

Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

This is a sheet pan dinner (meaning, throw everything on a sheet pan and bake it, voila, SO QUICK AND EASY!) and only requires

easy trip travel

Ground Beef Teriyaki Ramen

Ramen is the KING of easy dinners. This 5 ingredient meal throws in some veggies and takes the ramen up a notch.

easy trip travel

Chicken Enchilada Bake

This chicken enchilada bake is easy to make, super tasty, and only has a few ingredients.

easy trip travel

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

This cheeseburger and fry casserole is comforting, filling, and uses frozen or canned ingredients.. read: super easy and inexpensive.

easy trip travel

Pizza Chicken Roll-Ups

These pizza chicken roll ups combine two beloved dinner staples... pizza and chicken. Put them together with a side of a roasted veggie and voila, easy dinner.

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Best Grilled Cheese Recipe 

These yummy grilled cheese sandwiches are perfect dinners, serve it up with some roasted veggies or a nice salad and you'll be filled up and ready to sight see again tomorrow.

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Best Buttered Noodles Recipe

Talk about only using a few ingredients... this one is simple, inexpensive, and still super delicious.

easy trip travel

Easy Crescent Taco Bake

This is one of our family's personal favorites. Easy to find ingredients, quick, filling, and a crowd pleaser on those late vacation nights.

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Smothered Chicken Bake (5 ingredient)

This is beautiful, rich, creamy, and a great way to make an inexpensive vacation dinner with baked chicken.

easy trip travel

Chicken And Broccoli Pasta (Instant Pot)

Chicken and broccoli pasta is a family dinnertime staple for many. Use the instant pot and make it tasty and quick for a 30-minute meal.

Beach vacation meal planning

Now, we’ve already talked about beach food ideas , which are easy foods for a day in the sand. But this list is about great foods to cook during your beach vacation in your beach rental house.

Tasty, light, fresh, and great off the grill; these are quick ways to whip up an amazing meal.

Idea for Beach Dinners

These are great meals that are beach inspired, you can get easy seafood, or foods you can cook with your grill, and easy beach dinners that you can either eat on the beach or in your beach vacation rental.

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Easy Shrimp Pappardelle (5 ingredients!) 

Got some fresh shrimp? Here's a great and super simple 5 ingredient garlic shrimp pasta recipe.

easy trip travel

Best Oven-Baked Tilapia Recipe

If you've caught some fresh fish and want to cook it up, this uses the oven (so you don't have to spend an hour on a charcoal grill!) and the result is amazing.

easy trip travel

Best Crab Cake Recipe - How to Make Crab Cakes

These can be a little more difficult to make, but if you've been crabbing and want to try and whip up some yummy crab cakes, this recipe is simple and easy to follow.

easy trip travel

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Embrace the seafood side with this easy to make and delicious glazed salmon.

easy trip travel

Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops with Spinach

Gone scalloping? Here are some easy recipes to cook a delicious meal with scallops that are wrapped in prosciutto... which is always a winner.

easy trip travel

Express Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

Get some sausage with that shrimp and make an awesome cajun jambalaya one evening.

easy trip travel

No-Frills Shrimp Boil Recipe

New to the shrimp boil? This is a no frills shrimp boil that you can make as long as you have a pot, shrimp, potatoes, and corn. This is one of our favorite beach house dinners because it's so easy and delicious.

easy trip travel

Fried Whole Fish with Tomatillo Sauce Recipe

Ever wanted to try your hand at cooking a WHOLE FISH? Now's your chance to be the chef of this dish. Plus, you know the kids would think it's fun.

easy trip travel

Grilled Shrimp with Old Bay and Aioli Recipe

This shrimp dish is another one of our favorite evening meal recipes for when you're on vacation and want to whip up something quickly. It looks fancy but is super easy to pull off.

easy trip travel

Tilapia with Corn Salsa

This tilapia with corn salsa will please even the pickiest of seafood eaters. Plus it's simple and can be baked.

family enjoying their beach dinners on vacation

25+ Easy Vacation & Beach Meal Recipes

Ingredients   .

  • 15-Minute Spaghetti https://www.averiecooks.com/easy-15-minute-spaghetti/
  • 5-Ingredient Caprese Salad https://www.seasonalcravings.com/five-ingredient-caprese-chicken/
  • Chicken Feta Pasta https://www.wellplated.com/chicken-feta-pasta/
  • Instant Pot Chicken & Broccoli with Penne https://southerneatsandgoodies.com/instant-pot-chicken-broccoli-pasta/
  • Broccoli Mac and Cheese https://audrasappetite.com/broccoli-chicken-mac-and-cheese/
  • Taco Casserole https://www.theseasonedmom.com/lightened-up-taco-crescent-casserole/
  • Chili Dog Pizza https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chili-dog-pizza/
  • Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, & Garlic https://cupofjo.com/2014/07/pasta-with-tomatoes-basil-and-garlic/
  • Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken https://neighborfoodblog.com/sheet-pan-pesto-chicken-and-vegetables/
  • Ground Beef Teriyaki Ramen https://dinnerthendessert.com/ground-beef-teriyaki-ramen/
  • Chicken Enchilada Bake https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-enchilada-bake/
  • Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheeseburger-and-fries-casserole/
  • Pizza Chicken Rollups https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pizza-chicken-roll-ups/
  • Best Grilled Cheese https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19610233/how-to-make-best-grilled-cheese/
  • Best Buttered Noodles https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a25636049/buttered-noodles-recipe/
  • Easy Crescent Taco Bake https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/easy-crescent-taco-bake/9c2bd5f7-63f7-4a6c-afa3-56baeedbc35a

Dinners Perfect for the Beach

  • Garlicky Shrimp Pasta https://www.cookingforkeeps.com/5-ingredient-garlicky-shrimp-pasta/
  • Oven Baked Tilapia https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19665918/oven-baked-tilapia-recipe/
  • Crab Cakes https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a58704/best-crab-cakes-recipe/
  • Balsamic Glazed Salmon https://www.cookingclassy.com/balsamic-glazed-salmon/
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249554/prosciutto-wrapped-scallops-with-spinach/
  • Express Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252103/express-shrimp-sausage-jambalaya/
  • No Frills Shrimp Boil https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/no-frills-shrimp-boil
  • Fried Whole Fish with Tomatillo Sauce https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fried-whole-fish-with-tomatillo-sauce
  • Grilled Shrimp with Old Bay and Aioli https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-shrimp-with-old-bay-and-aioli
  • Tilapia with Corn Salsa https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tilapia-with-corn-salsa/

Instructions  

  • Select meal from list above.
  • Follow link provided for the recipe.
  • Prepare and enjoy!

Other posts you’ll enjoy!

  • BBQ Menu Ideas
  • Family Backyard Picnic Ideas
  • Beach Food Ideas
  • 25+ Champagne Cocktails
  • 50+ Easy Southern Pie Recipes
  • 30+ Awesome Pound Cakes

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Rachel Norman

Rachel is a southern born and bred mother of 5 and founder of Southern Eats & Goodies. She's an entrepreneur, country girl, and world traveler who speaks 3 languages and loves Southern food.

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How to Travel on a Budget for Beginners

Carissa Rawson

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Wondering how to travel on a budget? While it may seem like traveling is exclusive to those with cash to spare, you don’t have to overspend in order to get out of town. There are plenty of ways to travel on a budget — including using reward points or miles and traveling during ideal times— that can end up saving you a lot of money. Here's travel guide for beginners on a budget.

Start planning early

If this is your first big trip, odds are you’ve already started planning. That’s good — the sooner you start, the more time you have to save money . Travel prices rise and fall with demand, and the cycle fluctuates as your travel dates get closer.

Beginning your planning early gives you the best chance of finding discounted hotel rooms, cheaper flights and other less-expensive activities. Although you won’t find the cheapest prices far out in advance (as we mentioned, it’s a cycle) keeping an eye on rates will allow you to jump on them and book when they drop.

» Learn more: How to account for inflation in your travel budget

Book at the right time

This bears repeating. Why? Because when you book and when you travel can make a huge difference in the price of your vacation. This applies to flights and hotels.

Confused about when the "right time" to book will be? There are multiple free tools available online to help you.

One of the easiest to use is the price tracking tool available via Google Flights. This service lets you know how the fare you’re looking at purchasing compares with past pricing. It also lets you know if rates are high or low compared with average costs.

easy trip travel

If the flight you’re considering does appear to be expensive, Google Flights also features a price tracker alert system that will email you when fares drop. You can toggle this feature on within the search bar.

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According to Expedia, the best day of the week to buy your airline ticket is on Sunday.

Skip overpriced tours

There’s nothing like getting out into a new city to explore. But how much of that exploring can you do on your own? With the information available online, it’s simple and easy to conduct your own tour for free rather than paying for a guide.

If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider instead one of the many free tours that many major cities offer. These walking tours will give you tons of information about the area completely free of charge, though gratuities are welcomed.

Otherwise, apps such as Spotted By Locals , Tripadvisor and Rick Steves offer comprehensive information for many large cities. Often this is free, but sometimes you’ll need to pay a nominal fee.

Use reward points

One of our favorite ways to save money includes redeeming reward points for travel. Some of your biggest expenses, such as hotels and flights, can be wiped away by using reward points during your trip.

This type of travel takes planning; you’ll need to accrue enough points to make a travel redemption. Much of the time, this is accomplished through welcome bonuses earned when you open a travel credit card .

For example, a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Paris costs $1,255 at the beginning of November 2022.

easy trip travel

This same flight can be booked using 45,000 American Airlines miles .

easy trip travel

While 45,000 miles may seem like a lot, you can earn this amount of miles with ease. For example, you can earn more than enough miles needed for this flight with the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days. The first purchase could be a stick of gum or a cup of coffee — it doesn’t matter.

Many co-branded airline credit cards also offer perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, saving you time and money.

The same can be said of hotel credit cards . Most major hotel chains have co-branded credit cards, including Hilton , Marriott , IHG , Hyatt , Choice and Wyndham . These credit cards — and their sign-up bonuses — can go a long way toward cutting costs on your vacation.

Even better, many of these credit cards offer complimentary elite status . Elite status can grant you perks such as free breakfast, room upgrades, free WiFi and late checkout.

It’s a good idea to consider booking hotel rooms using points, especially for budget family travel. Sometimes hotels charge more for additional people in your room, but these costs won’t translate to reward redemptions. You’ll generally pay the same standard price as long as you can all safely occupy the room.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

Travel in the off-season

Along with using reward points, taking your trip during the offseason is another excellent way to save money. Each destination has a peak period of demand during which prices will be inflated.

This will include flights, hotels, tours and even dining, making traveling on a budget difficult. In Europe, the high season is in the summer, when most people come to visit.

During this time, flights will be at their most expensive. Remember the above example featuring that flight to Paris for $1,255? A similar flight during peak season will cost $2,070 round trip.

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As you can see, even if you’re paying cash for your flights you’ll be saving over $800 by taking your trip when demand is lower.

» Learn more: Why "shoulder season" is the best time to travel

If you want to travel on a budget

Vacations don’t have to be expensive. Whether you’re a vacation veteran or a travel newbie, it’s easy to save on trips by starting planning early and keeping an eye on prices.

More importantly, taking advantage of reward points can significantly cut down on flight and hotel costs. Otherwise, traveling during the offseason can help drop expenses and allow you to travel on a budget.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-6.5% Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

$300 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

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15 Easy International Travel Destinations For Your Next Vacation

While some people are willing to travel anywhere in the world, many would-be travelers aren’t so willing. I’ve always been an adventurous traveler, but the rest of my family doesn’t share my excitement.

When it comes to traveling, they worry about how difficult it may be to get there and how hard it will be to get around with the language barrier and unfamiliar customs. These fears keep them from going anywhere other than Hawaii for vacation.

Toronto's skyline - easy International travel destinations

Table of Contents

Why Try an “Easy” Destination

These are all legitimate concerns, but there are plenty of locations outside the U.S. where none of these concerns apply.

I mean, let’s face it, my parents aren’t going to be convinced to travel to far away countries like India or Japan , but I do think they can be convinced to travel outside the country if the location is close to home and easy to navigate.

If you’re been avoiding vacationing outside the U.S. due to travel fear, consider one of the easy International travel destinations listed here for your next trip. And if you’re willing to travel a bit farther than 5-6 hours, a whole other set of possibilities open up for leery travelers like my parents.

Melbourne - easy international travel destinations

The criteria used to select these locations was:

  • Easy to get to (no more than a 6-7 hour, direct flight from most major cities)
  • English is the primary language used at the destination (on a resort, especially — everyone will speak English)
  • A lot of planning and organizing is not required. In fact, at the beach locations you can sit back and relax and never leave the resort if you don’t wish to.
  • Customs and practices are very similar to the U.S. so you won’t feel out of place or nervous.

15 Easy International Vacation Ideas

1. cancun, mexico.

Valentin Imperial Maya Resort in Playa de Secreto, Mexico

Cancun is the #1 travel destination for U.S. travelers abroad. This can be attributed to a number of reasons, all of which also make it a very easy place to visit. It’s close, so the flights are short and often cheap — good deals crop up regularly to Cancun.

It can be an enticing vacation option because of the alluring clear, blue waters and year-round warm weather. While we love that about Cancun, we also love all the incredible outdoor activities, day trips, and tours in the region.

Amazing all-inclusive resorts line the stretch of white sandy beach, and stretch down the coast into the Mayan Riviera . You might need to be a bit careful while traveling around the area (I wouldn’t recommend renting a car and trying to get around on your own).

There are plenty of reputable companies that will cart you around to see the archeological sites and to take a dunk in a cenote — which was one of the most amazing things I’ve done on any vacation. You can also get a real taste for the Mexican culture outside of the resorts in Cancun, if you want to.

Try one of these tours:

  • Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour
  • Reef and Shipwreck Snorkeling Tour in Cancun
  • 3-in-1 Street Food Tour with transportation (food stalls + local market+ murals)

2. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Technically, it’s a U.S. territory, not another country, but that just makes it even easier. San Juan , the main city, with its cobblestone streets and vibrant nightlife, has a laidback feeling that contributes to a relaxing vacation, and golden-sand beaches are not far away.

While you’re there, why not learn how to salsa dance? It’s a highly popular activity, with many nightclubs hosting dedicated salsa nights. Take a walk through the cobbled streets of Old San Juan and explore its colonial architecture, vibrant art, and delicious food. Explore El Yunque National Forest , one of the most lush tropical rainforests in all of Puerto Rico! This stunning park features waterfalls, trails, and plenty of wildlife to take in.

Tour one of the island’s 3 rum distilleries. Casa Bacardi offers three tour options to choose from. Sip your welcome cocktail while you decide between the founder’s experience, the legacy tour, rum tasting tour, and the mixology class.

There are dozens of comfortable resorts in the city and directly on the beach that will cater to all your vacation needs and make sure you feel right at home. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is what cocktail to order.

  • Flavors of San Juan Food Tour
  • Puerto Rico Guided Adventure in El Yunque Rainforest
  • Old San Juan City Walking Tour

3. Toronto, Canada

Toronto Skyline

A very modern city along the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the fifth-largest city in North America and feels quite a bit like New York or Chicago. If you enjoy city life — bustling markets, a vibrant restaurant scene and world-class museums — this is a great, and easy destination to enjoy without the hassle of language issues.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has an impressive display of meteorites, including three from Mars. Another must-see attraction is the Distillery Historic District, a pedestrian-only neighborhood that once housed the largest distillery in Canada dating back to the 1830s. Many tourists and locals have reported ghost sightings in the area.

For the best views of Toronto, head to the CN Tower, the tallest building in the city at 1,815 feet tall. Thrill-seekers can experience the EdgeWalk , the world’s highest full-circle hands-free walk around the tower. Hockey fans won’t want to miss the Hockey Hall of Fame , where they can even practice their slapshot on an immersive model rink complete with virtual goalies.

Getting to Toronto, Canada from the United States is easy, as there are direct flights from key destinations, with just one stop-over from secondary markets. The flight is just 6 hours from Portland, Oregon , and an hour and a half from New York .

  • Niagara Falls Day Tour from Toronto
  • Toronto walking tasting tour with Secret Food Tours
  • Show me the City! Toronto Walking Tour

4. Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic at sunset

There are a couple of great beaches in Dominican Republic — Punta Cana and Santa Domingo — where both European and U.S. travelers flock to relax in the sun. It’s easy to get to — a quick flight from Miami — can be inexpensive and provides luxury resort accommodations with all-inclusive options.

While the resort offers plenty of entertainment, there’s also a lot to explore in the surrounding areas. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming town of Santa Domingo , once the capital of the Hispanic Americas. The Museum of the Royal Houses is a treasure trove of cultural history. Don’t miss Los Tres Ojos National Park, an impressive limestone cave system with crystal-clear water.

Experience over 40 miles of uninterrupted beach views along the Costa del Coco (Coconut Beach), or venture to Cap Cana to witness the natural beauty of Hoyo Azul . Take a dip in the 45 ft deep cenote full of turquoise spring water, located inside Scape Park which offers unique adventures such as ziplining, snorkeling, and splash hammocks.

  • Look for hotels in Punta Cana
  • Look for hotels in Santo Domingo
  • Small Group: Saona Island Full Day Tour
  • 4×4 Dominican Adventure with Chocolate and Coffee Tasting from Punta Cana
  • Small-Group Cruising and Snorkeling Catamaran Tour

5. Grand Cayman Island

grand cayman islands

Miles of pristine beaches and an impressive food scene make Grand Cayman a great location for relaxation and indulgence. The island is only 22 miles long, so you can easily drive from Seven Mile Beach on the west side of the island to the East End on a day trip.

I hesitated to add Grand Cayman to the list because they drive on the left and that can be intimidating to some travelers, but you don’t have to drive in order to get around the island.

Visit the Cayman Turtle Centre where you can experience turtles up close and the islands ecosystem. While away the entire afternoon watching shark feedings, splash around with green sea turtles, and hike the Blue Hole Nature Trail.

Visit and tour the Cayman Spirits Co. which is the only distillery on the island. Scuba divers, beginners and veterans, will delight in the Kittiwake shipwreck and artificial reef. Explore the US Navy submarine that has been turned into an artificial reef for a variety of sea life.

There are also a number of great resorts where you can hang out for a week without ever needing to leave. Just choose a hotel on Seven Mile Beach and you’ll have everything you need within walking distance or rent a bicycle and see the sights.

» Look for hotels in Grand Cayman

  • Starfish Point, Stingray City and Coral Garden (3-Stop Adventure)
  • Small Group E-Bike Grand Cayman Ecological Half-Day Tour

6. Luxury Barge Cruising in France

Inside the Finesse hotel barge

If you’ve never looking into barge cruising before, you absolutely should. One the list of easy travel experiences, taking a barge cruise is perhaps one of the easiest there is. Not only is the entire itinerary planned out for you, you will also have a driver and tour guide with you at all times.

So even in France , where the language and customs might be a bit different than the U.S., you don’t have to worry about it for a second. You will always have an English-speaking guide with you.

A luxury barge cruise is one of the best ways to have a completely relaxing vacation. The boat meanders slowly down the canal, passing through some of the most beautiful and lush countryside. You stop every day for excursions to nearby vineyards and museums.

All of your meals are prepared and served for you by a professional chef. You can take leisurely walks or bike rides down the canal, alongside the boat. Or you can just sit back and watch the scenery pass by.

Check out European Waterways – they’re the best! You can also read the full review of our barge journey through Burgundy, France.

iceland

Absolutely packed full of a natural wonders and stunning beauty, Iceland is a perfect destination for leery travelers. The tour companies have worked out a brilliant system where you can sign up for everything you want to do all in one place. With so much to see check out our 7-day Iceland Itinerary and 12 Incredible Things to do & See in Iceland.

The Golden Circle tour is a highly scenic drive with many photo-ops. Stop at the Kerid Crater, where you’ll view a volcanic crater lake, the stunning Gullfoss Waterfall, and see the spouting hot springs in the Geysir area. The last stop is the historic Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk through and see the stunning geology of Iceland .

A stop at the Blue Lagoon , a geothermal spa in Iceland is a popular place to stop for a long soak in the warm waters. It is a man-made “hot spring” tucked among the low hills near Grindavík, just 20 minutes southeast of the airport.

A Northern Lights tour is a must while you are there. The best time to see them is in the winter. These tours go from September 1st and April 15th.

You can book round-trip airport transfers, and most of these tours you can do all with one company, you’ll pay just once and have all of the details of your excursions taken care of by one tour company. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

While Icelandic is the main language, English is spoken everywhere in Reykjavik and where ever tourists might be found. If you are a foodie or just love to travel for food make sure to check out our guide on where to eat in Reykjavik and what to order.

  • Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon Including Admission & Kerid Volcanic Crater
  • Reykjavik Food Walk – Local Foodie Adventure in Iceland
  • Ice Cave by Katla Volcano Super Jeep Tour from Vik
  • #1 Northern Lights tour in Iceland from Reykjavik with PRO photos

Ireland road trip

One of the easiest countries to travel around is Ireland . Most tourists take advantage of the beautiful countryside by renting a car and driving from place to place. Start out by flying into Dublin and spending a few day seeing the city and trying to Irish food.

Then take a car around to the west side of the country, which they have dubbed the Wild Atlantic Way . This includes many of the most popular areas of Ireland to explore, like Donagal, counties Clare, Galway and Kerry. Here are 13 amazing Ireland road trips you’ll love.

Some of our favorite areas to explore are part of  Ireland’s Ancient East, which includes Tipperary and the adorable town of Kilkenny , plus Kildare. While you are there stay in one of these fairy tale castles.

English is the official language in Ireland. The roads are a bit narrow in places, but well marked, and most hotels offer free parking. It’s very easy to drive around , with the exception of driving on the left. Also be sure to note that you MUST add the extra insurance to any car rental in Ireland. It’s mandatory.

  • Cliffs of Moher Tour Including Wild Atlantic Way and Galway City from Dublin
  • Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip Including Giant’s Causeway from Dublin
  • Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
  • Irish Food Trail – Walking Tour of Dublin
  • Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough and Kilkenny Day Tour from Dublin

9. Scotland

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Aside from the sometimes hard-to-understand accent, a trip to Scotland is like visiting an unspoiled, natural paradise. Most travelers start in Edinburgh or Glasgow and then start driving north into the wild and beautiful countryside.

To see what you’re missing in Scotland, check out our guides to Edinburgh where you should plan to visit the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace which is the official residence of the British royal family. Scotch whisky is Scotland’s national drink so you may want to take a tour or two on the Scotch Whisky Trail , and explore the lovely area of Fife while visiting St. Andrews and see the ruins at Inchcolm Island . There is incredible food in that area, and it’s definitely fit for foodies .

We also highly recommend visiting some of the isles, like Isle of Skye and Islay (particularly if you’re a fan of peaty whisky!).

See our 7-day itineraries that are perfect for exploring the west of Scotland and the east of Scotland and the hotels to look out for .

  • Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Glencoe & Pitlochry Tour from Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Castle Tour: Fast-Track Guided Tour in English
  • Hogwarts Express and the Scenic Highlands Day Tour from Inverness
  • St Andrews & the Fishing Villages of Fife Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
  • The Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle from Inverness

10. New Zealand

Auckland

In New Zealand , you can rent a car and travel throughout either the North or South Island easily. A quick flight between the two Islands will likely be needed though, due to distance, unless you have at least two weeks and don’t mind lots of driving.

We spent some time in Auckland, with amazing wine tasting on Waiheke Island , before heading to the fun and quirky Rotorua area. You might also want to visit Hobbiton, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, and the nearby glowworm caves . Here’s our 7-day itinerary for the North Island, which is a very nice trip, and easy to do.

You might also want to check out our post with 9 romantic destinations to visit in New Zealand.

  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set 2-Hour Walking Tour from Shires Rest
  • Cruise Milford NZ Small Boutique Cruise Experience
  • Mitai Maori Village Cultural Experience in Rotorua

11. Australia

Sydney, Australia

In Australia , though you can drive from town to town, getting between the bigger cities will require flights. It’s one VERY large country. You can visit Sydney , which is bustling with things to do like great beaches and cafes, or spend some time in the wine country of South Australia ( Barossa , McLaren Vale and Adelaide ), our personal favorite.

We also really enjoyed Melbourne and the Yarra Valley wine region just an hour away. Of course, you can also arrange a tour to the outback or the Great Barrier Reef, if you want to see something completely unique to Australia. Consider taking a look at some of the Australia’s most scenic road trips to see what is off the beaten path .

For travelers, Victoria is quite accommodating, offering numerous outdoor activities, wineries to visit, and open roads to explore. While you’ll likely want to base yourself out of Melbourne, be prepared for a bit of driving.  The sun-soaked beach town of Byron Bay is worth a visit for it’s friendly people, arty culture, and awe-inspiring nature.

English is the official language of Australia and the people are very nice and accommodating. Enjoy one or all of these classic Australian dishes while you are there.

  • Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
  • Sydney Opera House Official Guided Walking Tour
  • All Inclusive Small-Group Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney with Scenic World
  • Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles Day Trip from Melbourne

12. London, England

Millennium bridge in London

Another great place to vacation with ease is London and the surrounding English countryside. Since England speaks English and has many of the same customs as the U.S, it’s an easy travel destination that won’t put you too far outside your comfort zone.

There are tons of great things to do in London so you won’t even have to leave the city if you don’t want to drive on the left. If you love food, be sure to check out London’s food markets , especially our favorite Borough Market . Here are all the top iconic landmarks to check out, and a guide to see all the top sights along the Thames in one day.

There are also great train systems that can take you to places like Stonehenge , Windsor , Bath , and even the Harry Potter Studio Tour outside of London without having to get in a car.

With so many diverse and unique neighborhoods we suggest staying in different areas of London  while you visit. There are fun and unique dining opportunities in London you can even have dinner on a double decker bus , which we highly recommend.

  • Westminster to Greenwich Sightseeing Thames Cruise in London
  • Downton Abbey Village, Blenheim Palace and Cotswolds Day Trip from London
  • The Tower of London – Small Group Tour with a local expert
  • Original Harry Potter Locations Tour – London
  • Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath with Pub Lunch in Lacock

13. Madeira, Portugal

Madeira harbor

Madeira, Portugal is a stunning island located in the Atlantic Ocean known for its lush forests, beautiful beaches , and incredible hiking trails. There are plenty of activities to enjoy while visiting this paradise, from exploring the charming city of Funchal to taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of Porto Santo Beach. One must-try activity while visiting Madeira is to take a cable car ride up to Monte, which offers breathtaking views of the city and at the top visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, which is home to an impressive collection of exotic plants and waterfalls.

Another must-do activity while in Madeira is to take a Levada walk. Levadas are man-made irrigation channels that run along the mountainside and are surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna. One of the most popular Levada walks is the 25 Fontes Walk, which leads you to a stunning waterfall and natural pool. There are plenty of activities you keep you busy.

Finally, no trip to Madeira would be complete without trying the local food and wine. Madeira is known for its unique cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Portuguese and African flavors. Be sure to pair your meal with a glass of Madeira wine , which is produced on the island and has been famous for centuries. Whether you prefer a dry or sweet wine, there is a Madeira wine for everyone to enjoy.

  • Around The Island – Two Days Tour From 9am to 5pm (each Day)
  • Madeira Dolphin and Whale Watching on a Ecological Catamaran
  • Madeira Best of the West Day Tour
  • Porto Moniz – Enchanted Terraces: Open 4×4 Full Day Tour

14. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium, is a beautiful and charming city known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and canals. There is no shortage of things to do while visiting this picturesque city. One of the must-see attractions in Bruges is the Belfry of Bruges, which offers stunning views of the city from its top. You can also take a boat tour along the canals to get a unique perspective of the city’s architecture and scenery.

Another great activity while in Bruges is to visit its many museums and art galleries. The Groeningemuseum is one of the most popular museums in the city and houses a vast collection of Flemish and Belgian art. The Memling Museum is located in the former hospital of St. John and contains a collection of medieval medical instruments and artwork.

No trip to Bruges would be complete without sampling its famous cuisine and chocolate. Belgian chocolate is known for its high quality and rich flavor, and you can find a variety of chocolatiers and shops throughout the city. Be sure to also try some of the local specialties, such as Flemish stew, moules frites (mussels with fries), and waffles. Pair your meal with a Belgian beer, which is also renowned for its quality and variety, and you will have experienced some of the best of Belgian cuisine.

We’ve stayed at a few great hotels in Bruges and enjoyed each experience for different reasons. If you pick a hotel in the historic center, it will be very centrally located and within easy walking distance of the things in the center of  Bruges  that most tourists intend to do. If you have more time to spend make sure to visit the medieval town of Ghent. This itinerary will help you see everything with some pointers on where to stay .

  • Belgian Chocolate Workshop in Bruges
  • Love, Architecture & Art of Bruges
  • Best of Bruges: History, Chocolate & Beer Tour

15. Munich, Germany

Old Town Munich

Munich, Germany, is a vibrant and historic city known for its beer, culture, and architecture. One of the must-see attractions in Munich is the Marienplatz, which is the central square of the city and home to the famous Glockenspiel clock tower.  If you’re close enough to visit Neuschwanstein castle , you absolutely should make the effort.

The Alte Pinakothek is one of the most popular art museums in the city and houses a vast collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the Rococo period. The Deutsches Museum is also worth a visit, as it is one of the largest science and technology museums in the world and contains a variety of interactive exhibits and displays.

Finally, no trip to Munich would be complete without experiencing its famous beer gardens and festivals. The Oktoberfest is one of the most famous beer festivals in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as pretzels, sausages, and Weisswurst, which is a traditional Bavarian white sausage served with sweet mustard.

  • Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
  • Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour in Munich
  • Munich Old Town Small-Group Walking Tour

Before You Go

Since you made it to the end of this article, you’re probably pretty interested in other travel destinations. Here are a few more articles we think you might enjoy.

12 Exciting Travel Destinations in Asia

21 top foodie destinations around the world.

  • 10 Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations
  • 10 Most Romantic Destinations in the Mediterranean

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the easiest countries for a first-time international traveler to visit.

Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman Island, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, England, Portugal, Belgium, and Germany are all very easy first-time travel destinations. These countries have robust tourist infrastructures, widely spoken English (or high English proficiency in the case of Japan ), and relatively easy-to-navigate public transportation systems. Countries within the European Union such as France, Italy , and Spain also offer many conveniences for first-time travelers with rich cultural experiences.

What should I keep in mind when planning my first international trip?

First, consider the language spoken in your destination – it may be helpful to learn basic phrases if English is not widely spoken. Second, look into visa requirements; some countries may require you to secure a visa before your trip. Third, consider your destination country’s cost of living and exchange rates to budget accordingly. Fourth, research about the culture and customs to respect local traditions and norms. Lastly, be aware of the country’s safety level, public transportation options, and the availability of health care facilities.

What are the must-haves I should pack for my first international trip?

First, your passport and possibly a visa, depending on your destination. Keep digital and physical copies of these documents in case of loss. Second, adaptors for your electronics, as plug types vary around the world. Third, a basic first-aid kit with essentials like band-aids and medicine for common ailments. Fourth, a cell phone with international capabilities and possibly a local SIM card for data usage. Lastly, clothes are appropriate for the climate and respectful of the local culture.

See how easy it is to travel internationally? There are many easy international travel destinations to go to where you won’t feel overwhelmed or unsafe. The pleasure of traveling doesn’t have to be scary or inconvenient. Get out there and see the world!

Be Prepared For Travel

Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:

🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home

  • Find and book the best hotel (our favorite booking site is Expedia)
  • Research flight options (our favorite tool is Skyscanner )
  • Book a tour (we always use Viator to find the best tours)
  • Rent a car through Discover Cars (they search the best deals for you!)

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Like this post? Why not pin these images on your Pinterest board and share it with friends?

Laura

Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited over 75 countries. Her work has been published in numerous guidebooks, websites, and magazines.

7 thoughts on “ 15 Easy International Travel Destinations For Your Next Vacation ”

Thanks for sharing. Some great tips. We went to Puerto Rico last year and it was amazing. Although from California it’s about 9 hours of flying! But it was still worth it.

If only there was a way to make flights shorter. Puerto Rico is worth it though, like you said!

Great information you shared in the blog post. I will add your blog to my wish list and explore all these information in future. Thanks a lot for this share…

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How can you get to either New Zealand or Australia in a 6 or 7 hour flight from the US?

Hi! I really appreciate this list. Well assembled. I would enjoy a list as well that indicates the same sort of easy cities with the exclusion of the 6-7 hour flight criteria. We are cut visiting Sweden and it’s so easy. Looking forward to more of your articles.

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  • Travel Resources

Plan, Ready, Go

How to Plan a Trip for Beginners (5 Easy Steps)

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Planning a trip can seem overwhelming to beginners, but I promise you that it’s simple. You only need to do a few things to plan a trip…and a great trip at that!

Keeping things simple will help you keep the nerves at bay and make your overall experience more smooth.

There’s no need to overthink your travel plans. You don’t need to follow an 11- or 18-step plan to learn how to plan a trip.

overhead view of a couple using a paper map to plan a trip

So if you want to easily plan a trip without any drama, just keep reading!

To get started planning your trip, grab your FREE printable travel planner here.

This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  See disclaimer.

#1. Choose your trip destination

First, you need to decide on where you want to go…which can sometimes be a difficult task since there are thousands of travel destinations all over the world.

Keep in mind that certain destinations will require a little (or a lot!) more research or pre-travel prep than other destinations (such as visa or vaccination requirements). They make for more complicated travel planning.

If you’re planning your first trip, I highly recommend that you keep your first destination simple. You can always make more complicated plans for your next trip.

Consider trying:

  • A domestic trip
  • A destination just a few hours’ drive from your home
  • A simple weekend getaway

When choosing a destination , cost is often going to be a major factor. You can choose your destination and then set your travel budget or choose your destination based on a travel budget you’ve already set.

Either option is a viable choice.

We tend to start planning trips up to two years out and we’ll set our budget based on where we want to go and how much time we have to save up the money we think we’ll need.

This leads me to one of my favorite travel tips (which also doubles as a personal finance tip: do not go into debt to travel. Only spend the money that you have.

For more help with budget travel, see my article outlining all my best practical tips for affording more travel .

For more help with building your travel budget, check out this post on creating a travel budget that works for you . It includes basic guidance for how much of your travel budget to allot for certain expenses such as transportation, accommodations, food, activities, etc.

Or sometimes we find we have some extra time and money and we’ll choose our trip destination and trip length based on the money we have available.

For help with choosing your travel destination, you can:

  • Brainstorm a list of places you’ve always wanted to visit. Inviting your travel companion(s) to give their input is a great way to get them involved in the planning process.
  • Check out Pinterest for inspiration
  • Read your favorite travel blogs (hint hint)
  • Ask friends and family about their favorite trips
  • Do Google searches for ideas such as “Affordable beach vacations in the U.S.” or “best family vacation destinations in Europe.”
  • Consult with travel guidebooks

Once you’ve chosen your destination for your perfect trip, you’re ready to get on with planning your trip.

mockup image of a free printable travel planner

#2. Decide how you want to get there

Once you’ve chosen your travel destination, you’ll need to make arrangements for getting there.

Now, sometimes there will be only one obvious transportation option for your destination. But sometimes there are non-obvious options such as taking a cruise to Hawaii instead of flying or traveling by bus or train.

If you live in the “lower 48” in the U.S., more often than not you’ll be flying or driving to your destination. We generally prefer to stick closer to home and drive for short trips. For a long trip, we’re always willing to fly.

Google Flights

My go-to site when I start my trip planning is Google Flights .

Use the “Explore” tool to browse for great deals from your chosen departure airport. You’ll get the best results if your travel dates are flexible…though this can be said of any cheap flight tool. 

See my post on how to use Google Flights for more information.

Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights,  Going  is a flight deals subscription service that sends travel deals straight to your email inbox. And Premium members get weekend getaway deals in addition to amazing deals on international and domestic flights.

In my opinion, a  Going Premium subscription  is well worth the money and is the best way to get the best deals on flights especially if you have flexible travel dates and want to see a new place. I especially highly recommend Going for international travel (from the U.S.).

You can even try it for free for two weeks to decide if you think it’s worth the money.

For more about this service, see my full  review of Going .

Secret Flying

Another great resource for finding amazing deals on flights (including error fares) is Secret Flying . Secret Flying is totally free.

You sign up for alerts on their website , but they don’t offer alerts from any airport you want in the U.S. But they do offer alerts from airports outside the United States, unlike Going

Another tool in my trip-planning arsenal is the Hopper app . Hopper predicts prices to help you decide whether you should book now or wait for a better deal to come along. I like to use Hopper when my travel dates aren’t as flexible, but I have time to wait for prices to improve before I book.

For more details about all the options for pricing flights, see my full post on how to save money on flights .

woman sleeping in an airplane window seat

I love driving to our travel destinations whenever we can. No airport security. No worrying about missing connections, etc.

I also love that I can be a lot less fussy about my packing. If it fits in the car, it can go.

Not to further complicate things, but you might also want to fly to your first destination and then road trip from there to see a few cities. This does make travel planning more complicated, but if you opt to do that you’ll want to look into renting a car.

A less complicated option is to choose one destination to serve as your “home base” and then day trip from that one location to see more of the area.

AutoSlash Find a great deal on rental cars with  AutoSlash . You can also use AutoSlash to track your rental, and they’ll notify you of price drops. 

Costco Travel If you have a Costco membership, you can also find great deals on rental cars through Costco Travel . I always check both.

I used to always get the best deal through AutoSlash, but lately, Costco has been offering me the best price.

Employee or association discounts Check with your employer or your alma mater’s alumni association to see if they offer any rental car discounts you can take advantage of.

For more help with your road trip, check out:

  • Things to do on a long road trip to pass the time
  • Great road trip questions to spark fun conversation
  • Entertaining road trip trivia & questions

Romantic couple is standing near green retro car on the beach.

#3. Figure out where to stay

Now that you know where you’re going and how to get there, you can decide where you’re going to stay once you’re there.

Unless you want to travel on a shoestring, you can bypass the typical “gap year” options like hostels and couchsurfing.

Your main options then will be to stay in a hotel (or resort, inn, or bed & breakfast) or use a vacation rental through a platform like Vrbo or Airbnb.

The choice of staying at a hotel, inn, or resort will depend a lot on how you like to vacation and what you’re looking for as far as amenities.

Those who travel regularly might choose a major hotel brand to frequent so that they can earn points for their stays and loyalty status for access to more amenities and upgrades.

View of The Inn on Biltmore Estate in winter

Vacation rental

Using a vacation rental can often (but not always) save you money.

Keep in mind when looking at options on Vrbo or Airbnb that the added fees can be significant, meaning that at some destinations or for shorter stays a hotel might cost you less money per night.

And there are plenty of affordable hotels that offer helpful amenities like free breakfast.

On the other hand, your vacation rental will typically come with a full kitchen, allowing you to bypass eating meals out at restaurants if you wish, which can also mean significant savings in your travel budget.

Vacation rentals are also a great option if you’re traveling with a large group that would require multiple hotel rooms. Dividing the cost of a larger vacation rental home with several bedrooms will very often save money over booking multiple hotel rooms.

There are websites (like booking.com ) that allow you to look for a wide variety of accommodation options at the same time: hotels, inns, B&Bs, condo rentals, homestays, etc); however, a downside with using a site such as booking.com is that choices can be overwhelming, making it difficult to make a decision.

My recommendation for new or anxious travelers who are having difficulty choosing a place to stay is to:

  • Use a map to choose an area or two in your destination where you would like to stay
  • Set your budget
  • Do a little research to find 3 or 4 accommodation options in a location you like and that are within your budget then stop searching there
  • Compare the amenities of those options and book

#4. Choose what you want to do

Now that you’ve settled on where you’re staying at your destination, you need to make some decisions about what you want to do on your trip.

What do you enjoy doing when you travel?

  • Popular tourist attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Guided behind-the-scenes tours
  • Walking tours
  • Arts performances
  • Outdoor activities
  • Historical sites
  • Natural sites
  • National parks
  • Scenic drives

There are so many options!

Large fountain at the gardens in Versailles

Depending on your destination this may require a fair amount of research and pre-booking tickets or tours. Or it could be as simple as just brainstorming a few ideas for things to do if you get bored.

Here are a few tips for building out your itinerary:

  • Be honest with yourself about what your “must-do” attractions and activities are. Prioritize the most important thing early in your itinerary then add in any lower priority items.
  • Don’t overbook your itinerary. Make sure to give yourself some breathing room between activities to account for travel delays, rescheduling for bad weather, etc.
  • For longer trips, give yourself half a day or a full day with no pre-booked activities so you can get some extra rest, go back to a spot you enjoyed, or accommodate any extra sites/activities you discover at your destination.

See my post on planning a travel itinerary to learn about the exact process I follow when I plan my trips.

#5. Build your packing list

With your itinerary built, it’s time to figure out what you want to take with you on your trip.

Your packing list will be a reflection of your destination, the season/weather during the time of year you’re traveling, and your planned activities among other things.

And don’t forget to pack your important documents such as your passport, etc.

Here’s more help to get you packed and out the door:

  • Travel Light Packing List for a Week (in a Carry-on)
  • The Best Carry-on Packing Tips for Traveling Light
  • How to Pack Toiletries in a Carry-on Bag
  • Weekend Packing List (For Any Kind of Getaway)

top view of a carry-on bag packed for a week

Other things to consider before you travel

While we just went through all the major steps you need to take to plan your trip, depending upon your destination and personal life situation there may be other things you may need to take care of before you leave town.

Visa, travel advisories

If you are traveling out of the country, you must understand what the entry or visa requirements (if any) are for your destination.

Don’t be like the honeymooning bride who didn’t know that her passport needed to be valid for three months beyond her planned date of departure from France at the end of her trip. It would have taken her literally two minutes to find that information and avoid the heartbreak of not being able to take her honeymoon. 

You’ll also want to be aware of any travel advisories or health requirements/recommendations. U.S. citizens traveling internationally should check the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information.

Travel insurance

When you travel, it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance in case something goes wrong.

We use World Nomads for peace of mind whenever we travel internationally.

Miscellaneous considerations

Other things you may need to think about as you plan your trip could include:

  • Arranging care for pets
  • Arranging for your mail to be picked up or held
  • Making sure that you don’t miss any bill due dates while you travel

Final thoughts on planning a trip

Traveling for the first time or planning a trip yourself for the first time can seem scary, but it’s actually a pretty simple process.

Certainly, some kinds of trips are more complicated than others or destinations that require more advanced prep before you visit, but beginners and anxious travelers can still plan wonderful trips on their own.

Just remember that you only need a few things to have a great trip: a destination, a way to get there, some place to stay, and things to do.

More articles to help you plan a trip

  • Essential travel planning resources
  • The best travel guides (books and online resources)
  • Find the best personal item bag for you  

Pin this post!  

How to plan a trip. Planning a trip for beginners.

Darcy Vierow is a busy professional and travel planning expert with years of experience maximizing travel with limited time and on a less-than-average salary. Her tips have been published by Forbes, MSN.com, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Aol, Newsbreak and GOBankingRates. Read more about Darcy Vierow .

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Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

  • Travel Tips

How To Plan A Trip: An Easy Travel Planning Guide

Published: November 16, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rodi Kindle

  • Plan Your Trip

how-to-plan-a-trip-an-easy-travel-planning-guide

Introduction

Planning a trip can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, careful planning is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. From choosing the perfect destination to booking flights and accommodations, travel planning requires careful consideration of various factors. In this easy travel planning guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to plan your trip effectively.

Travel planning allows you to make the most of your time and resources, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any must-visit attractions or experiences. By following these recommendations and tips, you’ll be well-prepared to create a memorable and stress-free travel itinerary.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or this is your first time planning a trip, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical advice to help you make the most out of your travel experience. So, let’s dive into the essential steps of travel planning and get ready for your next adventure!

Step 1: Determine your destination

The first step in planning any trip is deciding on the destination. Consider your interests, preferences, and the type of experience you’re seeking. Do you want to relax on a tropical beach, explore historic landmarks, immerse yourself in a different culture, or embark on an outdoor adventure? Research various destinations and make a list of places that align with your interests.

Factors to consider when choosing a destination include the time of year, weather conditions, and your budget. If you’re traveling during peak tourist season, popular destinations may be crowded and prices for flights and accommodations could be higher. Alternatively, visiting during the off-peak season may offer more affordable options and fewer crowds.

Think about the distance you’re willing to travel and the transportation options available to reach your chosen destination. Consider whether you prefer a domestic or international trip, and take into account any visa requirements or travel restrictions.

Furthermore, take the time to research the safety and political situation of your potential destinations. Check for any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government, and read reviews from other travelers to gain insight into the current state of your desired location.

Ultimately, the choice of your destination should align with your interests, budget, and the kind of experience you’re looking for. Once you have narrowed down your options, you can move on to the next step of the planning process.

Step 2: Set a budget

Setting a budget is an essential step in travel planning as it helps you determine how much you can realistically spend on your trip. Consider your financial situation and allocate funds for transportation, accommodations, meals, activities, and any other expenses that may arise during your journey.

Start by determining how much you are willing to spend overall on your trip. This will give you a rough estimate of how much you can allocate to each aspect of your travel, such as flights, accommodation, and daily expenses.

Research the average costs of your chosen destination to get an idea of how much you need to budget. Take into account the cost of living, transportation, attractions, and dining options in the area. Consider whether you prefer a luxurious or budget-friendly experience, and adjust your budget accordingly.

Be sure to factor in any additional expenses such as travel insurance, visa fees, and transportation to and from the airport. It’s also important to set aside some extra funds for unexpected expenses or emergencies that may arise during your trip.

Consider ways to save money during your trip. Look for deals on flights and accommodations, consider alternative modes of transportation such as buses or trains, and opt for budget-friendly dining options like street food or local eateries.

Keep track of your expenses as you plan and throughout your journey. This will help you stay within your budget and make adjustments if necessary. Use online travel budget calculators or mobile apps to assist you in managing your finances effectively.

Remember, setting a budget allows you to plan your trip within your means and ensures that you can fully enjoy your travel experience without financial stress. So, take the time to assess your expenses and allocate your funds wisely before moving on to the next step of travel planning.

Step 3: Decide on the duration of your trip

Deciding on the duration of your trip is an important step in travel planning as it helps you determine how much time you can allocate to each destination and activity. Consider your schedule, budget, and the attractions you want to explore.

Start by assessing the amount of time you can take off from work or other commitments. Take into account any travel restrictions or visa limitations that may affect the duration of your trip.

If you have a specific destination in mind, research the recommended duration for visiting that location. Some places may require a longer stay to fully experience their culture, attractions, and activities, while others can be explored in a shorter timeframe.

Consider your travel pace and personal preferences. Do you prefer a leisurely trip with plenty of downtime, or do you prefer a fast-paced adventure packed with sightseeing? Factor in travel time and any jet lag that may affect your energy levels upon arrival.

If you plan to visit multiple destinations, allocate sufficient time for each location based on your interests and the activities you wish to engage in. Remember to account for travel time between destinations and consider the feasibility of fitting everything into your desired timeframe.

Keep in mind that a longer trip may require a larger budget due to increased accommodation, dining, and transportation costs. Balance your desire to spend more time in certain locations with the overall cost of your trip.

Once you have determined the duration of your trip, you can move on to the next steps of travel planning, such as researching and gathering information about your chosen destinations and booking flights or transportation.

Remember, the duration of your trip should align with your interests, budget, and available time off. So, take the time to carefully consider these factors to ensure a well-balanced travel experience.

Step 4: Research and gather information about your destination

Researching and gathering information about your destination is a crucial step in travel planning. It allows you to familiarize yourself with the local culture, attractions, customs, and practical information essential for a smooth and enriching travel experience.

Start by reading travel guides, online resources, and blogs to gather insights about your chosen destination. Look for information about popular tourist sites, local customs, transportation options, safety precautions, and visa requirements.

Check out travel forums and social media groups to connect with fellow travelers who have been to your destination. Seek their advice, recommendations, and firsthand experiences to gain valuable insights and tips.

Research the best time to visit your destination. Consider factors such as weather conditions, peak tourist seasons, and any festivals or events that may be happening during your trip. This information will help you plan your itinerary and determine which attractions or activities to prioritize.

Learn about the local culture and customs. Familiarize yourself with local greetings, etiquette, clothing norms, and any specific cultural practices or taboos. This will help you show respect to the local community and avoid any cultural misunderstandings.

Research transportation options within your destination. Find out about public transportation systems, availability of rental cars, and the cost of taxis or ridesharing services. Knowing how to get around will help you save time and money during your trip.

Look for recommendations on accommodations, dining options, and local cuisines. Read reviews and compare prices to find the best options that fit your preferences and budget. Consider the proximity of your accommodation to major attractions and amenities.

Make a list of the top attractions and activities you want to experience. Prioritize them based on your interests and available time. Research entry fees, operating hours, and any restrictions or reservations required for certain attractions.

By conducting thorough research and gathering information about your destination, you’ll be well-prepared to create an itinerary, make informed decisions, and make the most out of your travel experience.

So take the time to delve into the details and immerse yourself in the charm and wonders your chosen destination has to offer.

Step 5: Book flights or transportation

Once you have determined your destination and gathered information about it, it’s time to book your flights or transportation. This step is crucial, as it often affects your budget and can impact the overall logistics of your trip.

If you’re planning to travel by air, start by researching flights to your destination. Use flight comparison websites or online travel agencies to find the best deals and compare prices. Consider factors such as flight duration, layovers, and airline reputation.

Flexibility in your travel dates can help you find cheaper flights. Consider flying during off-peak seasons or on weekdays, as prices tend to be lower during these times. Be sure to book your flights well in advance to secure the best rates.

If you’re traveling by other means of transportation, such as trains, buses, or ferries, research the schedules, fares, and availability. Look for reliable booking platforms or official websites of transportation providers to make your reservations.

Consider the proximity of your accommodation to the airport or transportation hubs. It’s convenient to choose accommodations that offer easy access to public transportation or provide shuttle services to and from the airport.

When booking your flights or transportation, it’s essential to consider travel insurance. Travel insurance provides coverage for unexpected events such as flight cancellations, delays, or medical emergencies. Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself and your investment.

Before finalizing your bookings, double-check the details to ensure accuracy. Verify the departure and arrival dates, times, and terminals. Make note of any luggage restrictions or additional fees that may apply.

Once your flights or transportation are booked, it’s a good idea to set up travel alerts or notifications to stay updated with any changes or delays. Save electronic copies of your itineraries, e-tickets, or reservation confirmations for easy access during your trip.

Booking your flights or transportation early ensures that you have the best options available and allows you to focus on other aspects of your travel planning.

So, take the time to research and make your bookings, ensuring a smooth and seamless journey to your destination.

Step 6: Find accommodation

Finding suitable accommodation is a crucial step in travel planning as it directly impacts your comfort and overall experience during your trip. Here are some steps to help you find the perfect accommodation.

1. Determine your budget: Set a budget for your accommodation. Consider how much you are willing to spend per night and allocate a portion of your overall trip budget to accommodations.

2. Research the options: Use online travel platforms and booking websites to explore various types of accommodations. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and reviews from previous guests.

3. Consider your preferences: Determine the type of accommodation that suits your needs. Options include hotels, hostels, guesthouses, vacation rentals, or even unconventional options such as homestays or house swaps.

4. Location: Consider the location of the accommodation in relation to your planned activities and attractions. It’s convenient to stay in a central location or near public transportation for easy access to the places you want to visit.

5. Read reviews: Take the time to read reviews from previous guests to get an understanding of the quality and service provided by the accommodation. Look out for any common issues or concerns mentioned in the reviews.

6. Compare prices: Compare prices of different accommodations that fit your criteria. Consider any added charges or fees, such as resort fees or taxes, when comparing prices to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.

7. Book in advance: Once you have found the perfect accommodation, book it as soon as possible to secure your reservation. Popular accommodations can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons.

8. Check the cancellation policy: Before making your reservation, carefully read and understand the cancellation policy of the accommodation. This will help you navigate any potential changes or cancellations in your travel plans.

9. Contact the accommodation: If you have any specific requests or questions, reach out to the accommodation directly. This could include inquiries about special amenities, room preferences, or any other concerns you may have.

10. Confirm your booking: After making your reservation, double-check your booking confirmation for accuracy. Take note of any important information, such as check-in and check-out times or any special instructions given by the accommodation.

By following these steps, you can find the perfect accommodation that meets your needs, budget, and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay during your trip.

So take the time to explore your options and secure your ideal accommodation in advance.

Step 7: Create an itinerary

Creating an itinerary is an essential step in travel planning as it helps you organize your time, prioritize your activities, and make the most out of your trip. Here’s how to create an effective itinerary:

1. Identify your must-see attractions: Make a list of the top attractions or activities you don’t want to miss in your chosen destination. Research their opening hours, ticket prices, and any specific requirements.

2. Consider time and logistics: Take into account the duration of your trip and the time it takes to travel between attractions. Be realistic about how many activities you can fit into each day, allowing for breaks and downtime.

3. Prioritize your interests: Determine your main areas of interest – whether it’s historical sites, museums, outdoor activities, or cultural experiences. Allocate more time for the activities or attractions that align with your interests.

4. Plan for flexibility: While it’s important to have a schedule, leave room for spontaneity and unexpected discoveries. It’s impossible to predict everything, so allow yourself time to explore and embrace new experiences.

5. Group activities by proximity: Cluster activities or attractions that are located close to each other. This will help you maximize your time and reduce travel time between destinations.

6. Consider the local culture: Take into account any cultural or religious practices that may affect the opening hours or availability of certain attractions. Plan your itinerary accordingly to make the most of your visit.

7. Explore local cuisine: Include time for trying local dishes and exploring different dining options. Research popular local foods or restaurants in each area you plan to visit and add them to your itinerary.

8. Pace yourself: Avoid overloading your itinerary with too many activities in a short amount of time. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Remember, quality experiences are better than rushing through a long list of attractions.

9. Utilize travel apps and resources: Make use of travel apps or websites that offer itinerary planning tools or suggestions for your destination. These resources can help you create a well-structured and efficient itinerary.

10. Be mindful of your energy levels: Take into consideration your own energy levels and travel preferences. Avoid cramming too many strenuous activities in a row, and allow for rest or leisurely exploration.

Remember that an itinerary is a tool to guide you, but it’s okay to deviate from the plan if you discover new opportunities or if unexpected circumstances arise. Flexibility and spontaneity can lead to unexpected joy and memorable experiences.

So, take the time to create a thoughtful and well-balanced itinerary that allows you to fully enjoy your trip and make the most out of your chosen destination.

Step 8: Pack your bags

Packing your bags is a crucial step in travel planning, ensuring that you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Here’s how to pack efficiently:

1. Make a packing list: Create a comprehensive packing list to ensure you don’t forget any essentials. Include clothing, toiletries, travel documents, electronics, and any other items you may need.

2. Check the weather: Research the weather conditions of your destination during the time of your visit. Pack appropriate clothing and accessories, such as jackets, hats, or sunscreen, to suit the climate.

3. Pack versatile clothing: Opt for clothing items that can be mixed and matched easily. Choose neutral colors and versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down to maximize outfit options while minimizing luggage weight.

4. Consider local customs: Take into account the cultural or dress norms of your destination. Pack appropriate clothing that respects local customs, especially if you plan to visit religious sites or conservative areas.

5. Pack travel-sized toiletries: To save space and comply with carry-on restrictions, transfer your toiletries into travel-sized containers. Remember to adhere to airline regulations regarding liquid quantities.

6. Organize your belongings: Use packing cubes or separate bags to categorize and organize your clothes and belongings. This will not only keep your suitcase tidy but also make it easier to find what you need during your trip.

7. Keep important documents together: Gather all your travel documents, including passports, tickets, accommodation reservations, and any necessary visas. Keep them in a secure and easily accessible place.

8. Pack essential electronics: Bring along the necessary electronics for your trip, such as smartphones, cameras, chargers, and adapters. Consider the voltage requirements of your destination and pack the appropriate adapters.

9. Don’t forget medication and first aid: If you take any prescription medications, ensure that you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip. Pack a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.

10. Travel with essential valuables: Keep your valuable items, such as cash, credit cards, and jewelry, in a secure bag or pouch that you can carry with you at all times. Consider using a money belt or a hidden travel wallet for added security.

Remember to pack light and avoid overpacking, as it can be cumbersome and may incur additional luggage fees. Consider doing a trial pack beforehand to ensure that everything fits and that your luggage is within weight restrictions.

By following these packing tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your trip, ensuring that you have everything you need while avoiding the stress of overpacking. So, pack smart and travel with convenience and peace of mind.

Step 9: Plan your meals and dining options

Planning your meals and dining options is an important step in travel planning, especially if you’re a food lover or have specific dietary requirements. Here’s how to make the most of your culinary experiences during your trip:

1. Research local cuisine: Familiarize yourself with the local cuisine of your destination. Look for signature dishes, traditional specialties, and popular food markets or street food scenes. Researching local cuisine beforehand allows you to anticipate and embrace the flavors of your chosen destination.

2. Make a dining wish list: Create a list of restaurants, cafes, or food stalls that you’re interested in trying. Read reviews, consult travel guides, or seek recommendations from locals and fellow travelers. Prioritize your list based on your preferences and budget.

3. Consider dietary restrictions: If you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies, research restaurants or eateries that cater to your needs. Look for places with gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan options, and ensure that you communicate your dietary requirements clearly when ordering.

4. Explore local markets: Visit local markets or supermarkets to immerse yourself in the food culture of your destination. Purchase fresh ingredients, local produce, or unique snacks to enjoy during your trip. It’s a great way to experience the local lifestyle and culinary offerings.

5. Learn basic phrases: If you’re traveling to a destination with a different language, learn basic phrases related to dining, such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “menu.” This will help you communicate your preferences and dietary needs to restaurant staff.

6. Embrace street food: Street food can offer some of the most authentic and delicious culinary experiences. Research popular street food markets or vendors in your destination. Follow local recommendations and observe cleanliness and hygiene practices when selecting street food options.

7. Be open to culinary adventures: Don’t be afraid to try new dishes or flavors. Push yourself outside your comfort zone and embrace new culinary experiences. You may discover unexpected favorites and create memorable food memories.

8. Consider meal timings: Take into account local dining customs and meal timings. Some cultures have specific meal times, such as a siesta or late-night dining. Adjust your plans accordingly to ensure you don’t miss out on local dining experiences.

9. Allow for spontaneity: While it’s good to have a plan, allow room for spontaneous dining experiences. Leave a few empty meal slots or explore local recommendations from friendly locals or fellow travelers you meet along the way.

10. Stay hydrated and practice food safety: Drink plenty of water, especially in warmer climates, and be mindful of food safety practices. Wash your hands regularly, opt for bottled water in areas with unsafe tap water, and choose restaurants or street food vendors with a good reputation for cleanliness.

By planning your meals and dining options in advance, you can truly savor the flavors and culinary delights of your destination. So, research, embrace, and indulge in the local food scene during your trip.

Step 10: Prepare necessary travel documents

Preparing the necessary travel documents is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free trip. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Check your passport: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned travel dates. If it’s expiring soon, renew it well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.

2. Apply for visas: Research the visa requirements of your destination country. Check if you need a visa and apply for it early to allow sufficient processing time. Follow the instructions provided by the consulate or embassy and submit all required documents.

3. Organize travel insurance: Travel insurance provides crucial coverage in case of medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost belongings. Research and purchase a travel insurance policy that suits your needs and provides adequate coverage for the duration of your trip.

4. Make copies of important documents: Make photocopies or take pictures of your passport, visa, travel insurance, and other important documents. Leave copies with a trusted person at home and keep digital copies accessible while traveling.

5. Check entry requirements: Research and familiarize yourself with the entry requirements of your destination. Check if you need to present return tickets, proof of accommodation, or other supporting documents upon arrival.

6. Research health and vaccination requirements: Check if there are any specific health requirements or vaccination recommendations for your destination. Consult your healthcare provider or a travel clinic to ensure that you are up to date on any necessary vaccinations.

7. Register with your embassy: Consider registering with your home country’s embassy or consulate at your destination. This allows them to provide assistance or contact you in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.

8. Check travel advisories: Stay updated with any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government for your destination. Adjust your travel plans accordingly and be aware of any safety or security concerns.

9. Prepare a travel wallet: Organize all your travel documents in a secure travel wallet or folder. This makes it easy to access them when needed and helps keep them safe and organized throughout your journey.

10. Share your itinerary: Inform a trusted family member or friend about your travel plans. Share your itinerary, contact details, and any important information with them. In case of emergencies, they will know how to reach you and provide necessary assistance.

By preparing and ensuring that you have all the necessary travel documents in order, you can travel with peace of mind and avoid any potential complications or delays. So, take the time to check and organize your travel documents prior to your departure.

Step 11: Make necessary reservations and bookings

Making necessary reservations and bookings is an important step in travel planning to secure accommodations, activities, and transportation during your trip. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Book accommodations: Based on your research and preferences, make reservations for your accommodations in advance. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and budget. Popular accommodations can fill up quickly, so ensure you book early to secure your desired options.

2. Reserve transportation: If you plan to use public transportation or rent a car at your destination, make any necessary reservations in advance. Look for deals or discounts and ensure your transportation arrangements align with your itinerary.

3. Purchase attraction tickets: For popular attractions, consider purchasing tickets in advance to skip the long lines and secure your entry. Many attractions offer timed entry or online ticket options that allow for a more seamless experience.

4. Arrange for guided tours: If you’re interested in guided tours or activities, book them in advance to secure your spot. This allows you to plan your itinerary more effectively and ensures availability for popular tours or experiences.

5. Reserve dining options: If you have specific restaurants or dining experiences in mind, make reservations ahead of time, especially for popular or highly sought-after establishments. Booking in advance guarantees you a table and avoids disappointment.

6. Consider transportation between locations: If you plan to visit multiple destinations during your trip, book transportation tickets or passes between locations. This could include flights, train tickets, or intercity bus passes.

7. Research and book special experiences: If you’re interested in unique experiences such as cooking classes, adventure activities, or cultural performances, research and make the necessary bookings in advance. These experiences often have limited availability.

8. Check cancellation policies: Before finalizing any bookings, make sure to review the cancellation policies. Life is unpredictable, and having flexibility in your reservations can be beneficial in case of any unforeseen changes in your travel plans.

9. Stay organized: Keep a record of all your reservations, confirmations, and receipts in a centralized place for easy reference. This helps ensure a smooth travel experience and allows you to stay organized throughout your trip.

10. Double-check details: Before your departure, double-check all your reservations and bookings to ensure accuracy. Confirm dates, times, and any specific instructions provided by the service providers.

By making necessary reservations and bookings in advance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your important travel components are secured, allowing you to focus on enjoying your trip to the fullest.

So take the time to plan and make your necessary reservations, ensuring a well-prepared and smooth travel experience.

Step 12: Plan for transportation at your destination

Planning for transportation at your destination is an important step in travel planning to ensure smooth and convenient travel within the area. Here’s how to navigate transportation options effectively:

1. Research transportation options: Familiarize yourself with the available transportation options at your destination. This may include public transportation systems such as buses, trains, or trams, as well as taxi services, ridesharing apps, or bike-sharing programs.

2. Learn about local public transportation: Understand the local public transportation system, including routes, schedules, and fares. Study maps of subway or bus routes and identify key stops or interchanges that will be relevant to your itinerary.

3. Consider purchasing travel passes or cards: Depending on your length of stay and anticipated usage, determine if it’s worth purchasing travel passes or cards that offer unlimited or discounted rides on public transportation. These passes can save you time and money.

4. Plan for airport transfers: If you’re arriving at an airport, research and decide on the most convenient mode of transportation to your accommodation. Options may include airport shuttles, public transit, or pre-arranged private transfers.

5. Check for ridesharing or taxi services: If you prefer more flexibility or convenience, look into ridesharing apps or taxi services available at your destination. Check if they are widely used and reliable for getting around.

6. Consider walking or cycling: Depending on the location and infrastructure, walking or cycling may be a feasible and enjoyable mode of transportation for shorter distances. Research pedestrian-friendly areas and bike rental options if applicable.

7. Navigate driving regulations: If you plan to rent a car at your destination, familiarize yourself with local driving regulations, including license requirements, traffic rules, and parking availability. Research and book car rentals in advance to secure the best rates.

8. Stay informed about disruptions or closures: Check for any planned closures or disruptions to public transportation routes or services during your travel dates. Stay updated through official transport authority websites or mobile apps to avoid any inconvenience.

9. Embrace local culture and etiquette: Be respectful of the local culture and etiquette when using public transportation. Familiarize yourself with any unwritten rules, such as offering seats to elderly or pregnant passengers, and follow local customs for purchasing tickets or validating passes.

10. Stay safe and be aware of scams: Use trusted transportation services and be cautious of potential scams. Avoid unlicensed taxis, be mindful of your belongings, and stay vigilant while using public transportation, especially in crowded areas.

By planning for transportation at your destination, you’ll be able to navigate the area efficiently and maximize your time exploring the attractions. So, research your options, consider convenience and cost-effectiveness, and choose the transportation modes that best suit your needs.

Step 13: Research local customs and etiquette

Researching the local customs and etiquette of your destination is an important step in travel planning. Understanding and respecting the cultural norms of the place you’re visiting can enhance your travel experience and help you connect with the local community. Here’s what you should do:

1. Learn basic greetings: Familiarize yourself with common greetings and phrases in the local language. Learning to say “hello,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” shows respect and can help break the ice in your interactions with locals.

2. Dress appropriately: Respect the local dress code and customs. In some cultures, modest attire is expected, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative areas. Research the clothing norms and pack accordingly to avoid any unintended cultural offense.

3. Respect religious customs: If your destination has religious traditions, familiarize yourself with the customs and practices related to them. Follow any dress codes or guidelines when visiting religious sites, and be mindful of appropriate behavior and photography restrictions.

4. Observe local customs and traditions: Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions, such as greetings, gestures, or table manners. Understanding and respecting these cultural nuances can enrich your interactions with locals and demonstrate your appreciation for their way of life.

5. Be aware of gestures and body language: Gestures and body language can vary across cultures and may have different meanings or interpretations. Research common gestures to avoid any unintentional misunderstandings or offense. When in doubt, observe and follow the lead of locals.

6. Respect personal space: Different countries and cultures have varying concepts of personal space. Be mindful of personal boundaries and avoid unnecessary physical contact unless it’s customary or welcomed in the local culture.

7. Follow local dining etiquette: If you plan to dine at local restaurants or with locals, be aware of proper dining etiquette. Pay attention to table manners, serving customs, and any specific traditions, such as tasting a dish before adding seasoning.

8. Know appropriate tipping practices: Research the tipping customs of your destination. In some countries, tipping is expected, while in others, it may not be common practice. Understand the appropriate amount and the preferred method of giving tips.

9. Respect local customs and traditions: Be mindful of and respect local customs, festivals, and traditions. Familiarize yourself with any practices or events happening during your visit, and observe them respectfully, even if you don’t fully understand them.

10. Smile and be polite: A friendly demeanor, a smile, and basic politeness can go a long way in any culture. Approach interactions with locals with an open and respectful attitude, and be open to learning from their customs and traditions.

By researching and embracing the local customs and etiquette, you can show respect for the local culture, connect with the community, and create meaningful experiences during your trip.

So take the time to learn and appreciate the customs of your destination, and enjoy your journey with cultural sensitivity and understanding.

Step 14: Make a checklist of essentials to bring

Making a checklist of essentials to bring is a crucial step in travel planning to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and stress-free trip. Here’s how to create a comprehensive checklist:

1. Travel documents: Include your passport, visa, travel insurance documents, identification cards, and any necessary permits or licenses for your destination.

2. Money and cards: Bring sufficient cash in the local currency and consider carrying a mix of payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, or a travel money card. Don’t forget to notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any issues with your cards.

3. Medications and prescriptions: Pack any necessary medications, along with copies of prescriptions or doctor’s notes. If you have specific medical conditions, consider wearing a medical ID bracelet or carrying relevant medical information in case of emergencies.

4. First aid kit: Include a basic first aid kit with items such as adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, antihistamines, and any special prescriptions or medical supplies you may need.

5. Clothing and accessories: Pack clothing suitable for the climate and activities at your destination. Include underwear, socks, comfortable shoes, weather-appropriate attire, swimwear, and any specialized gear required for activities such as hiking or skiing.

6. Toiletries and personal care items: Bring travel-sized toiletries, including toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, soap or body wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, and any essential personal care items you use on a daily basis.

7. Electronics and chargers: Don’t forget your essential electronics, such as phone, laptop or tablet, camera, chargers, adapters, and power banks. Consider bringing a portable Wi-Fi device or SIM card if you need internet access on the go.

8. Travel accessories: Include a travel adapter, travel pillow, lightweight towel, reusable water bottle, earplugs, eye mask, and any other accessories that enhance your comfort during the journey.

9. Entertainment and reading materials: Pack books, magazines, or e-readers to keep you entertained during travel or downtime. Don’t forget to bring headphones or earphones for listening to music or watching movies.

10. Miscellaneous items: Consider items such as a travel lock, a universal sink plug, a portable umbrella, a reusable shopping bag, a pen and notepad, and any other personal items that you find essential or useful in your day-to-day routine.

Remember to tailor your checklist based on your specific needs, the nature of your trip, and the destination you’re visiting. Keep in mind any restrictions or guidelines in place for carry-on luggage or liquids when packing.

By using a checklist, you can ensure that you have all the essentials you need for a comfortable and organized trip. So take the time to create a comprehensive checklist, double-check it before departure, and enjoy a worry-free journey.

Step 15: Ensure travel safety and security

Ensuring travel safety and security is a vital step in travel planning to protect yourself and your belongings during your trip. Here’s what you should do:

1. Research the destination: Familiarize yourself with local safety and security conditions of your destination. Check travel advisories or warnings issued by your government, stay updated on current events, and be aware of any potential risks or concerns.

2. Secure your accommodations: Choose accommodations in safe areas and research their security measures. Consider factors such as secure locks, in-room safes, and 24/7 reception or security staff.

3. Protect your belongings: Take precautions to protect your belongings from theft or loss. Use luggage locks, carry a theft-proof bag, and be mindful of your surroundings. Avoid displaying expensive items and keep your valuables secured in a hotel safe or a hidden travel wallet.

4. Use reliable transportation: Opt for licensed transportation services and be cautious when using public transportation, especially in unfamiliar areas. Research reputable taxi companies or use ridesharing apps that have a reliable track record.

5. Stay connected: Ensure you have a way to stay connected with family, friends, or emergency contacts during your trip. Share your itinerary with a trusted person and keep them updated about your whereabouts.

6. Register with your embassy: Consider registering with your home country’s embassy or consulate at your destination. By doing so, they can provide you with important updates or assistance in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.

7. Practice caution with strangers: Be cautious when interacting with strangers and avoid sharing personal information or details about your travel plans. Use common sense and trust your instincts when approached by unfamiliar individuals.

8. Use secure Wi-Fi connections: Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks, especially for accessing personal accounts or making financial transactions. Whenever possible, connect to secure and password-protected networks or use a trusted virtual private network (VPN) for added security.

9. Stay informed about local laws: Research and familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations of your destination. Be respectful of local customs, traditions, and social norms to avoid unintentional offenses or legal issues.

10. Purchase travel insurance: Travel insurance is essential for protecting yourself against unforeseen events or emergencies. Make sure your insurance policy provides coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.

Always prioritize your personal safety and security during your travels. Stay alert, be aware of your surroundings, and take necessary precautions to mitigate risks. Remember, being proactive and prepared can greatly contribute to a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

So, take the time to ensure travel safety and security, and embark on your journey with confidence and peace of mind.

Step 16: Enjoy your trip!

After all the planning and preparations, it’s finally time to embark on your much-awaited trip! Here are some tips to help you make the most of your travel experience:

1. Embrace the adventure: Approach your trip with an open mind and a spirit of adventure. Embrace new experiences, try local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

2. Stay flexible: Despite careful planning, unexpected situations may arise. Stay flexible and adapt to any changes or detours that come your way. Sometimes, the most memorable experiences happen when plans change.

3. Engage with the locals: Interact with the locals and learn about their customs, traditions, and way of life. Engaging with the local community can provide unique insights and create meaningful connections.

4. Seek off-the-beaten-path experiences: While popular tourist attractions are worth visiting, don’t be afraid to explore lesser-known places or hidden gems. You may stumble upon hidden treasures and have a more authentic experience.

5. Take breaks and relax: Travel can be exhilarating but also exhausting. Allow yourself time to rest and relax. Take breaks from sightseeing, enjoy leisurely meals, and recharge to fully appreciate your journey.

6. Capture memories: Take photos, keep a travel journal, or create videos to capture the memories of your trip. These mementos will allow you to relive your experiences and share them with others.

7. Try new activities: Step out of your comfort zone and try new activities that are unique to your destination. Whether it’s learning to surf, taking a cooking class, or going on a thrilling adventure, these experiences can create lifelong memories.

8. Stay mindful and respectful: Remember to be respectful of the local customs, traditions, and environment. Practice responsible tourism, minimize your impact on the environment, and leave a positive impression wherever you go.

9. Stay present in the moment: Put away your devices and take time to fully experience your surroundings. Be present in the moment, savor the sights, sounds, and flavors around you, and create meaningful connections with the places you visit.

10. Embrace the unexpected: Travel is full of surprises and the unexpected. Embrace and appreciate the unexpected moments or detours that come your way, as these can often lead to the most incredible and memorable experiences.

Remember, the purpose of your trip is to enjoy, relax, and create lifelong memories. So, be open to new experiences, embrace the unknown, and allow yourself to fully enjoy the journey.

Wishing you a fantastic trip filled with exploration, adventure, and unforgettable moments!

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Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

My Best 61 Travel Tips to Make You the World’s Savviest Traveler

61 Travel Tips to Make You the World's Savviest Traveler

Most people aren’t born savvy travelers. It’s something that only comes with on-the-road experience. Travel savviness is a process born of missed buses, foolish behavior, cultural unawareness, and countless tiny errors. Then, one day, you begin to seamlessly move through airports and integrate yourself into new cultures like a fish to water.

In the beginning, you just make a lot of travel mistakes.

But I want to help speed up the process and help you avoid my mistakes ( and I often make a lot of them ), so I put together this giant list of my best travel tips that cover everything under the sun to help you reach your full travel ninja potential.

I’ve learned these tips over the last sixteen years being a nomad.

These tips for traveling will have you saving money, sleeping better, getting off the beaten path more, meeting locals, and just being a better traveler.

So, without further ado, here are the best 61 travel tips in the world:

1. Always pack a towel. It’s the key to successful galactic hitchhiking – and plain common sense. You never know when you will need it, whether it’s at the beach, on a picnic, or just to dry off after a shower. While many hostels offer towels, you never know if they will or not, and carrying a small towel won’t add that much weight to your bag.

Make sure it’s a lightweight, quick-drying towel since regular towels are too bulky and heavy (and they take a long time to dry). Dry Fox travel towels are my favorite (use the code “nomadicmatt” for 15% off your purchase)!

Nomadic Matt posing for a photo in Hawaii while traveling

My favorite bag is the Flash Pack from REI . Other companies offering high-quality bags are Osprey, Nomatic, and MEC (for Canadians).

This article has more tips on finding the best travel backpack for your needs.

The same rule applies to suitcases. Don’t take a huge suitcase because they are a pain in the butt to lug around, especially if you’re traveling long term (short term, not so much). I like Level 8 suitcases. They are durable, quite spacious, nicely designed, and well-priced (luggage can be pretty damn expensive). Plus, they have a TSA lock built into the zipper. You can click here to learn more and buy one .

I also recommend packing cubes , which are essential if you’re going to be living out of a backpack for a few weeks (or months), or you just want to keep your suitcase better organized. They come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to store items big and small. They’re great for making it easy to find everything in your backpack or suitcase.

3. Pack light. Write down a list of essentials, cut it in half, and then only pack that! Plus, since you bought a small backpack like I said above, you won’t have much room for extra stuff anyways! Take half the clothes you think you will need…you won’t need as much as you think. It’s OK to wear the same t-shirt a few days in a row.

I love Unbound Merino , as their travel clothing can be worn daily for weeks without getting smelly. They are super light and they look sylish too. I really love the material, they’re comfortable, they hardly ever need a wash, and they last forever!

Click here for more packing tips .

4. But take extra socks. You’ll lose a bunch to laundry gremlins, wear and tear, and hiking so packing extra will come in handy. Take a few more than you need. Trust me on this. Nothing beats a fresh pair of socks!

A room of empty bunk beds in a hostel in Spain

Here’s a list of all my best hostels around the world . If you’re planning on backpacking Europe , it’s worth getting HostelPass , a card that gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money, and they’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and so I’m glad it finally exists. Use code NOMADICMATT for 25% off.

6. Take an extra bank card and credit card with you Disasters happen and things get stolen or hacked. I once had a card duplicated and a freeze put on it. I couldn’t use it for the rest of my trip. I was very happy I had a backup. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds. This happened to a friend once and they had to borrow money for me for weeks while they waited for their new card to arrive.

Here are some helpful articles on banking:

  • How to Avoid Banking Fees While Traveling
  • 22 Ways to Cut Your Expenses and Have Money for Travel
  • How to Pick the Best Travel Credit Card

7. Make sure to use no-fee bank cards. Don’t give banks your hard-earned money. Keep that for yourself and spend it on your travels. Get a credit card and debit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or an ATM fee. Over the course of a long trip, the few dollars they take every time will really add up!

Here’s an article that will tell you how to do that.

8. Don’t fly direct. When booking flights, sometimes it is cheaper to fly in to airports close to your final destination, and then take a train, bus, or budget airline to where you need to go.

To use this method, find out how much it is to go directly to your destination. Then, look at prices to nearby airports. If the difference is more than $150 USD, I look to see how much it is to get from the second airport to my primary destination.

My favorite flight search engine is Skyscanner . This is my go-to website for finding cheap flights. It searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that larger sites miss.

Here are some more tips on finding cheap flights!

Nomadic Matt posing at the Villandry chateau in France during the summer

Here are some helpful articles on solo travel:

  • Why I Travel Alone
  • The Joy of Solo Travel
  • Travel: The Ultimate Personal Development Tool
  • How to Overcome Being Alone
  • Reading People: One Skill Travel Has Taught Me

10. Always visit the local tourism information center. This is probably one of the most underused travel tips in the world. Tourism information centers know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. They even offer discounts on attractions and transportation. It is their job to help you experience the destination better. It’s amazing how many travelers skip this when they are visiting somewhere but, as a savvy traveler, you know to use this resource!

11. Take free walking tours. Besides being free, these tours will give you a good orientation and background of the city you are visiting. I love, love, love taking walking tours when I travel. You pass the time, you get to pepper the guide with questions, and you get to learn so much about where you are. Here are some of my favorite walking tour companies around the world:

  • The Best Walking Tours in New York City
  • The Best Walking Tours in London
  • The Best Walking Tours in Paris
  • The Best Walking Tours in Berlin
  • The Best Walking Tours in Amsterdam

And while free walking tours are great, sometimes it’s worth it to take a paid walking tour if you’d like to dig deeper into a particular aspect of the destination. Walks is one of my favorite paid walking tour companies, offering in-depth history and cultural tours in cities around the world (especially Europe). Its small-group tours also tend to offer exclusive behind-the-scenes access you can’t get elsewhere.

For fellow foodies, Devour Food Tours has all kinds of amazing food tours around Europe.

12. Don’t be afraid to use a map. Looking like a tourist isn’t as bad as getting really lost and ending up in the wrong neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to use a map or ask for directions and look like a tourist. After all, you are one!

13. But don’t be afraid to get purposefully lost. Wandering aimlessly through a new city is a good way to get to know it, get off the beaten path, and away from the tourists. You might be surprised by the hidden gems you find. I like to wander around and try to find my way without using Google Maps. Travel is the art of discovery and you never know what cool little spot you’ll come across.

14. Ask hostel staff for information — even when you aren’t staying there. Hostel staff deal with budget travelers all day, every day. They know exactly where to go for cheap meals and attractions. They also tend to be locals so they know the city very well. Ask them for all sorts of information. Even if you aren’t staying in one, just pop in and ask for help. They’ll usually give it.

15. Sign up for flight deals. When it comes to travel, your flight(s) will likely be your biggest expense. Save money by signing up for flight deal websites. You’ll get epic flight deals straight to your inbox, saving you time and money. Also be sure to sign up for airline newsletters, since that is where they will announce their sales first. The best websites for finding travel deals are:

  • Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) – The BEST for upcoming US flight deals.
  • The Flight Deal – Great for global flight deals.
  • Holiday Pirates – The best for European flight deals.
  • Secret Flying – A great site for flight deals from around the world.

16. Don’t buy a money belt — they’re stupid. Thieves know they exist and being seen with one basically shouts, “Look at me, I’m a tourist with money! Rip me off!” The more you can blend in and act like a local, the easier it will be to get deals and avoid touts. If you’re worried about pickpockets, keep a better eye on your stuff!

17. When you go out, take only what you need. Limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you when you go out, so if something does happen, you can easily recover. Never take more than one credit card or ATM card with you. My rule for cash is to limit what I carry to $50 USD.

18. Always carry a lock. Carry a small combination lock with you when you travel. They come in handy, especially when you stay in dorms. Most hostels use lockers, so budget travelers need to provide their own travel lock to keep stuff secured. While you can usually rent or buy them at hostels, it’s much cheaper just to buy one before you go. (Just don’t use one with keys because if you lose the keys, you’re screwed!)

19. Make extra copies of your passport and important documents. Don’t forget to e-mail a copy to yourself too. You never know when you might need to have some sort of documentation with you and might not want to carry your original. Additionally, if your passport gets stolen having a copy will come in handy for your police report.

20. Learn basic phrases in the native language of your destination. The locals will appreciate it and it will make your interactions easier. You don’t need to master the language but learning a few things like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you!”, “Where’s the bathroom?” will go a long way to endearing yourself with the locals. They’ll like that you tried.

Here are some tips on how to learn a language .

Nomadic Matt reading a travel book at a desk

Here are some posts that highlight my favorite reads:

  • 13 Travel Books That Will Give You Serious Wanderlust
  • The Best Travel Books
  • 12 Books to Take You Around the World

22. Don’t be ashamed to walk into a Starbucks or McDonald’s. Sometimes familiarity is comforting and both places have free wifi and public restrooms you can use. (Just don’t eat the food at McDonald’s! That shit is gross and unhealthy for you! You can get it back home!). Libraries and most modern coffee shops also have free Wi-Fi too.

23. Always get behind business travelers when in security lines. They move fast since they are usually in a rush and travel light. They know the drill. Line up behind them as much as possible. You’ll speed through the line!

24. Never get behind families in airport security. They take forever. It’s not their fault. They just have a lot of stuff because of the kids. Try to avoid getting in lines with lots of kids. It’s going to take a while.

25. When you check in to the hotel, don’t be afraid to ask for an upgrade. They have a lot of flexibility when it comes to assigning upgrades at check-in. It never hurts to ask. Often times they can accommodate you if the hotel isn’t full. Just be super nice!

Note: If you stay in hotels frequently (or want to), it might be worth it to get a hotel credit card . You can earn points on your everyday spending at home and convert those points into free stays. The best cards come with status, making upgrades more likely too!

26. Write down your experiences. Even in this hyper-technological age, I think everyone needs to write more during their travels so they have something to look back on. I never leave home without a journal. Not only do I use them for work (I’m constantly taking notes and writing down ideas) but I also use them to keep track of my travels.

Simple travel journals work great for journaling during your trip as well as for writing down logistical information like directions, contact information, and language tips.

If you want a travel journal that isn’t just blank pages but rather has space for itinerary planning, places to jot notes in the local language, inspirational quotes, and more, grab our new travel journal. It was designed specifically with travelers in mind, so you can take notes as well as write down stories and reflections during your travels.

27. Lunchtime is the best time to visit historical sites. Be a contrarian. You’ll have fewer crowds getting in your way as big tour buses, groups, and most travelers head to lunch. It’s always best to visit an attraction super early, late, or when people eat. You’ll have even the most popular places to yourself!

28. Never eat in a touristy area or near a tourist attraction. As a general rule, I walk five blocks in either direction before I find a place to eat. The closer you are to tourist attractions the more you are going to pay and the worse the food (and service). Use websites like Yelp , Google Maps , or Open Rice to find some delicious and popular restaurants around you.

Additionally, never eat anywhere the menu is in like 6 languages! That means the restaurant is just for tourists!

29. Locals don’t eat out every night and neither should you. Go grocery shopping. You can learn a lot about locals’ diets by seeing the type of food they buy. Plus, it will save you a lot of money. You won’t regret it. Cook your food, save money, and surprise yourself!

30. Eat at expensive restaurants during lunch. Most expensive restaurants offer lunch specials featuring the same food they would serve for dinner but for a fraction of the cost! That’s the best time to eat out when you travel.

I share more tips on how to eat cheaply around the world here.

31. Pack a headlamp. This is a handy tool for both backpackers and anyone looking to do any hiking or camping. If you’re going to be staying in a hostel, having a headlamp is helpful when you need to check in or out but don’t want to disturb your fellow travelers by turning on the lights. They’re also helpful in emergencies.

32. Carry a basic first-aid kit. Accidents happen, so be prepared. I always take band-aids, antibacterial cream, and ointments for minor cuts and scrapes. You never know when you’re going to need it and you can’t always get it when you travel.

You can either assemble a first aid kit yourself ( here are some tips for doing so ), or purchase a pre-made kit online .

33. Don’t believe the cheap flight myths. Don’t drive yourself too crazy trying to get the absolute cheapest fare. There are a lot of myths online about how to find cheap flights, but there is no magic bullet or one secret ninja trick. It’s not cheaper to book on a particular day of the week, or if you search in an incognito window.

Spending five hours to try to save $10 will cause you a lot of stress. Once you find a flight deal that you’re happy with, book right away, as airfares change by the minute. Remember, you usually have a 24-hour window to cancel in case you need to.

Here are some article on how to save money on flights:

  • 5 Steps to Booking a Cheap Flight Online
  • How to Always Find a Cheap Flight
  • Where I Find the Best Travel Deals

34. Use Meetup, the sharing economy, and hospitality websites to meet locals. These websites will help you get an insider’s perspective on your destination by connecting you with locals in the places you visit. The sharing economy has changed the way people travel allowing you to meet locals, get off the tourist travel, and save mega money! It’s a triple win – and I use these resources all the time when I travel.

Here’s an article on how to use the sharing economy (and what websites to use) when you travel.

35. Be open to strangers. Not everyone bites. Say hi to people on the road. Turn strangers into friends. Remember they are just like you! They want to live a happy, full life and have hopes and dreams too! You never know. You just might make some lifelong friends.

36. But keep your guard up. Some people do bite, so keep a healthy level of suspicion. You don’t want to fall for any travel scams or get yourself into uncomfortable situations. Be open but cautious. Here is a list of travel scams to avoid.

A delicious, fresh Greek meal while looking out over the ocean in the Greek Islands

  • My Favorite Restaurants in Europe
  • The Best Places to Eat in NYC
  • How to Eat Cheap Around the World
  • 30+ Places to Eat in Tokyo
  • How to Eat Around the World on a Vegan Diet

38. Avoid taxis. They are always a budget buster. Never, ever take a taxi unless you absolutely have too!

39. Take a reusable water bottle through airport security and fill it up at your gate. Single-use plastics are common in a lot of countries around the world. They’re also polluting our oceans and destroying the environment. Drink from the tap when you can — you’ll save money and help the environment. If you’re going somewhere where you can’t drink the water, be sure to get a water bottle with a filter. I love Lifestraw .

40. Get city attraction cards. If you are going to visit a lot of museums and other attractions in a short period of time, a city pass is going to save you money on admission (plus most provide free public transportation too!).

41. Take pictures of your luggage and clothes. If your bag gets lost, this will help identify it more easily and speed up the process of having your travel insurance reimburse you.

42. Carry emergency cash. Because emergencies happen, like that time in Romania when I couldn’t find an ATM and needed money for the bus to the hostel. I usually try to keep around $200 USD in emergency cash in case something happens!

43. Get good shoes. You walk a lot when you travel. Don’t beat up your feet. Love them as much as they love you, and they’ll take you to amazing places.

My favorite shoes for traveling are Suavs shoes , which are versatile and durable. They’re comfortable and great for exploring a new city all day, but also look nice enough that you can dress them up if you want to at night.

44. Get vaccinated. Because falling prey to an illness in a foreign country is not fun — and many countries require you to get vaccinated in order to visit them. So regardless of your opinion on the subject, you just might have to.

Here is an article on how to stay healthy on the road.

45. Learn to haggle. Haggling is a fun, playful way of not getting charged the foreigner price. It’s the art of negotiating and one that will help you throughout all of life, not just at the market.

A TSA Pre-Check sign at a US airport

Here are some articles to help you get started with travel hacking:

  • Travel Hacking 101: A Beginner’s Guide
  • How I Earn 1 Million Frequent Flier Miles Every Year
  • The Best Travel Credit Cards
  • The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Travel Credit Card

47. Take a jacket. Nights get chilly.

48. Eat street food! If you skip the street food, you miss out on culture . Don’t be scared. If you’re nervous, look for places where kids are eating. If it’s safe for them, it’s safe for you.

49. Get travel insurance. Travel insurance is the most important thing to get that you never want to use. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be out thousands of dollars in bills. Travel insurance will be there if you get robbed, flights get canceled, you get sick or injured, or have to be sent home. It’s comprehensive and, for just a few dollars a day, one of the best investments you can get for a trip.

You may think you’re superman/woman but so did my friend who broke her arm, didn’t have insurance, and had to pay thousands out of pocket. Insurance was there when I had to replace my camera and when I popped an eardrum scuba diving! Get it! Here are some tips on how to find the best travel insurance.

My favorite companies are:

  • SafetyWing – A budget-friendly choice for travelers who need basic coverage. They are affordable, have great customer service, and make it easy to make a claim. If you’re on a tight budget, go with SafetyWing!
  • Insure My Trip – The best insurance for those over 70 years old.
  • Medjet – This is a membership program that provides emergency evacuation coverage should you get into a dire situation while traveling and be hospitalized. Medjet is meant to supplement your regular travel insurance.

50. Be patient. Things will work out in the end. No need to rush. You’ll get to where you are going in due time. Travel is about the journey, not the destination.

51. Be respectful. Locals are willing to help you out, but there’s probably a language barrier, so keep your cool when something doesn’t go your way. If you don’t, you’ll end up just looking like an asshole tourist.

52. Don’t over plan your trip. Let your days unfold naturally. Schedule two or three things and let the day fill in the rest on its own. It’s less stressful, and letting the day just take you is one of the best ways to travel. Here’s my advice on how not to over plan your travels!

53. Relax. See Be patient .

54. Be frugal — but not cheap. Don’t be pennywise but pound-foolish. Look for deals and don’t waste money, but don’t miss out on great experiences or walk 10 miles to save a couple of dollars. Time is money. Spend them both wisely.

55. Take earplugs. Anyone who has ever stayed in a hostel knows that earplugs are a necessity. Snorers are everywhere and you need your sleep.

But even if you’re not going to be in a hostel, they’re still helpful for sleeping well if your accommodation is located on a busy street, or for sleeping in buses, overnight trains, and other types of transportation. A good night’s sleep is priceless — be prepared!

These earplugs are reusable and work much better than the cheap foam ones, blocking out any distracting noises.

56. Always carry a power bank. Batteries die. Your good mood shouldn’t.

We all travel with numerous electronic devices like phones and tablets, but it can be hard to keep them all charged. An external battery solves that problem.

57. Remember that you’re not alone even if you’re traveling solo. Traveling alone never means you’re really alone. Wherever you go, there is a network of travelers who will be your friends, give you advice or tips, and help you out. They will guide you, point you in the right direction, and be your mentors. You aren’t out there on your own. You’ll make lots of friends and tons of memories.

If you’re not sure about traveling on your own for the first time, you can always join a group tour, such as those we offer at The Nomadic Network . I’ve designed all the itineraries myself to ensure they cover the highlights, get you off the tourist trail, and connect you with friends and locals.

Christmas dinner in Ko Lipe with new friends

59. Pre-book your tickets to attractions, activities, and excursions online. If you’re planning to do any activities or excursions on your trip, book them online. Companies usually offer a discounted price when compared to buying in person. Not only that but you’ll be able to pay with a credit card, giving you some extra protection as well as more travel points!

Many major attractions also allow you to reserve your spot and skip the line. Always look online to see if this is an option. This will you to avoid wasting time in multi-hour lines and go right in. I’ve seen people wait hours for the Paris Catacombs, Louvre, London Churchill War Rooms, churches, temples, historic fortresses, and more. Pre-book the day before, skip the line, get to see more during your day!

Get Your Guide is my favorite place to book activities in advance. It’s a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions, with tons of options in cities all around the world, including skip-the-line attraction tickets, cooking classes, walking tours, and more!

60. Avoid TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is fine when you need opening hours or an address, but when it comes to reviews I ignore it completely. People always leave a negative review when something bad happens but rarely leave a positive review when something good happens so the reviews tend to be skewed.

On top of that, it’s very easy to create fake reviews and make a place seem better than it is. Many hotels and restaurants hire firms to artificially inflate their reviews on the platform. Additionally, TripAdvisor has been known to take down reviews that are overly negative as well as reviews on sexual assault. Use TripAdvisor with caution. Or better yet, don’t use it at all.

61. Finally, wear sunscreen. For as the Baz Luhrmann song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” goes:

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable Than my own meandering experience.

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner . It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld . If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Want to Travel for Free? Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip? Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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Ultimate Road Trip Food: 105+ Easy Road Trip Meals & Snacks Ideas

Packed for Life contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my Disclosure policy for more info.

Road trips are exciting adventures to take with your friends, family or solo. However coming up with a list of road trip foods can be hard. Even when we know bringing some easy road trip meals & snacks are essential. To prevent those hangry travel companions and to cut way down on food costs.

Not to mention less stops at the local gas station to buy food and snacks, equals healthier food and more time at places you really want to be. Which is where our list of ultimate road trip food meal ideas, comes in handy.

It includes easy ideas for healthy snacks & breakfast, lunch & dinners both kids and adults will love.

Plus tips for packing and what non-food items & supplies you’ll need to bring.

We’ve taken our share of road trips over the years. Cross country adventures and multi-day road trips to visit extended family, and a move to northern Canada are just a few.

Road tripping both as adults, and with kids ranging from months old to teenagers, and everything in between. So we know quite a few tricks when it comes to road trip meal planning .

Ready for some awesome road trip food ideas for adults and kids? Let’s go!

Table of Contents

ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP MEALS IDEAS

If you plan ahead and pre-make some yummy snacks and meals, your family will be well fed on the road. Whether you are heading on a Southwest USA road trip or a coastal road trip to Boston to Acadia National Park .

Best Road Trip Foods : Why Make Ahead Meals For Road Trips?

Before we get to the epic road trip food list and road trip meals, here are a few reasons why you should bring your own make-ahead road trip meals and snacks.

  • Road trip meal planning is a great way to avoid fast food temptation and save money.
  • Frees up some of your hard earned cash to splurge on meals you will actually look forward to and want to eat. 
  • Your own make-ahead road trip food is healthier.
  • If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, creating a road trip meal plan will allow you to have safe meal options on the road.
  • Have fun picnics at rest stops, parks, or in your hotel room along your long drive.
  • Avoid hungry kidlets with healthy road trip snacks , so they can focus on road trip activities , not driving you crazy with whining.
  • Perfect ideas for any type of travel; by car, by RV, plane, camping.

Now planning, pre-making and organizing your road trip meals will take a bit of time. Bringing your own food is well worth the time and money you can save on your adventure. Use our road trip planner to organize.

If you are eating gluten-free, vegetarian or need snacks for young kids, there’s ideas here for you too for your family road trip.

Make ahead easy travel meals are great for cutting down on the mess, stress and time it takes to prepare and clean up on the road.

easy trip travel

DELICIOUS MEALS FOR ROAD TRIPS

When meal planning healthy road trip foods, you’ll need to consider a few key important things:

  • What road trip meals you want to bring, and which one’s you’d like to buy.
  • If travelling with kids, which foods do they already like. They aren’t going to magically start liking raw broccoli and raisins on your long trip.
  • Road trip meal ideas – Make a list of road trip food ideas for breakfast , lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks
  • Creating a road trip grocery list is a good idea, so important items don’t get forgotten. But don’t stress, as usually you’ll be able to pick up ingredients along the way if needed.
  • How to pack food for your road trip, so it doesn’t get squished, and stays cool longer.

We’ll give you tips for all of these, as you hit the open road.

⭐️ PRO TIP : Bring a reusable coffee mug and water bottles for each family member. They’re great for filling up with hot water, tea, coffee and water on the go. Less likely to spill in the car if you use a spill-proof refillable cup and snack cup for the littles.

Want To Travel More With Your Family

Healthy road trip breakfast ideas.

Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. However it can often be overlooked, as you eagerly hit the road to your next destination. Especially if it isn’t included with your hotel stay.

Here are some easy road trip breakfast ideas you can take to go, or quickly eat hot in the morning. As long as you make ahead and bring in a cooler, or have access to hot water or basic kitchen facilities or a microwave.

Combine some healthy fats, with a little protein, so everyone can be full til the next rest stop.

Most are also portable and easy to eat in the car  as well. Long road trip friendly.

easy trip travel

Cold Road Trip Breakfast Ideas – On-the-Go

Non-perishable road trip breakfast ideas.

  • Road Trip Breakfast Cookies  
  • Cereal Bars
  • Breakfast Bars
  • Fruit & Veggie Pouches 

Cold Breakfast Ideas for Road Trips

  • Yogurt – Tubes, Drinks
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Rye Crisp Breads & Goat Cheese
  • Chia Pudding – Make the night before
  • Granola & Overnight Oats – Make the night before
  • Muffins & Peanut Butter (or other nut or seed butters)
  • Egg Muffins or Mini Quiches ( To heat or not to heat. That is the question)
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Breakfast Cookies 
  • Vegan Blueberry Muffins
  • Bagels and Cream Cheese
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap
  • No Bake Oat Bites 
  • Apple Pie Oat Bliss Balls
  • Croissant, ham, cheese
  • Croissant, jam & cream cheese
  • Pancake Sandwiches – nut butter / jam between two mini pancakes

easy trip travel

Breakfast – Hot & Quick Ideas

  • Instant Oatmeal 
  • Cup of Soup or canned soup
  • Pre-made Mini Quiche (just heat up)
  • Egg, Cheese, & avocado tortilla wrap
  • Haloumi Cheese and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
  • One Pan Chickpea Hash (fried chickpeas, veggies, herbs) & Fried eggs

More kid friendly breakfast ideas here .

Road Trip Lunch Ideas – On-The Go

Road trip lunch ideas are probably the easiest for most people to come up with, when it comes to thinking of meal planning for road trips . Often road trip lunch and dinner ideas can be used for either meal.

What is the first thing that comes to mind, but sandwiches. Sandwiches are such a staple we’ve given them their own section below. 

To be honest, I often just prepare and pack foods I would usually take for lunch at work, for the first day or two. Then add easy road trip lunches to grab and prep along the way, like sandwich fixings. Or cheese, meat  and cracker plates for a longer trip.

The best road trip lunches are ones that are easy to make, fairly mess free and don’t require heating up.

Meals on the road don’t have to be overly complicated or fancy. Unless you want them to be.

Easy Road Trip Lunch Ideas

Non-refrigerated road trip lunch ideas.

  • Canned Tuna & crackers – The mini pull tab tins come in many flavours
  • Protein Bars , Energy Bars
  • Peanut Butter (or other nut & seed butter) & Jam Wraps

Cold Road Trip Lunches

  • Sushi / nori rolls – sweet potato, cucumber and avocado,  smoked salmon, cucumber and avocado, smoked salmon & cream cheese
  • Sandwiches (see Road Trip Sandwiches below for ideas) 
  • Tortilla Pinwheels
  • Meat Kabobs
  • Pasta Salad
  • Corn & Zucchini Fritters
  • Sardines or Mackerel canned with crackers or bread
  • Fruit (apple slices, cantaloupe, grapes), cheese and bread or crackers
  • Charcuterie plate – cheese, deli meats, olives, dried fruit
  • Chickpea or Bean Salads
  • Quinoa Salad
  • Mason Jar Salad – keep the dressing separate
  • Pre-made Quesadillas – Refried beans and cheese. Keep salsa & sour cream separate in small leak-proof containers

Sides to Add to Lunch Ideas

  • Cut up veggie sticks and hummus
  • Fruit – apple, berries, melon, grapes
  • Homemade cookies or energy balls

easy trip travel

Road Trip Sandwiches

What’s a road trip, without a sandwich or two. In fact sandwiches are so iconic, portable, easy to make and ideal for lunch and dinner they deserve a section, all on its own. And here it is! You’re sandwiches for road trips.

For easy,  awesome sandwiches you will need a few things:

  • Bread: First you’ll need some kind of hearty bread (kaiser bun, wraps, pita, baguette, ciabatta)
  • Protein: Pair with protein such as deli meat, sliced chicken or beef, bacon, eggs, tofu, nut butters
  • Extras: Add on the extras such as cheese, lettuce, pickles, fruit 
  • Condiments: mayo, mustard, olive tapenade, other sauces

Road trip sandwiches. 4 key ingredients wuth images of bread, protein, extras & condiments.

Here are some easy and interesting sandwich ideas for Traveling:

  • Cheddar and Jam
  • Egg Salad 
  • Cream cheese and cucumber
  • Spicy Tuna and Cucumber – leave out the spice if it’s not your thing
  • Pesto Egg Salad Baguette
  • Ham & Cheese Baguette or Wrap
  • Turkey and Cheese Baguette or Wrap
  • Turkey Club Sandwich
  • Turkey, Pear, Feta Wrap
  • Apple, Cheddar and Mustard Sandwich
  • Roasted Red Pepper & Hummus Sandwich
  • Curry Chicken or Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Tips to Prevent Soggy Sandwiches for Road Trips

Start with heartier bread or toast it first . Put a layer of mayo, or mustard on each side. It actually helps prevent soggy sandwiches.

I often toast the bread, and then wait until it’s completely cooled before making and storing the sandwiches.

Keep watery veggies separate like tomatoes, and add them right before eating. Or even better, pack each ingredient separately, then everyone can assemble their sandwich how they like, on-the-go.

How To Pack Sandwiches for Road Trips

No one wants to eat the sad sorry state of a squished sandwich that found its way to the bottom of a cooler, or bag.

Keep “wet” sandwich ingredients separate, like tomatoes and add them in right before eating.

Packing sandwiches in a hard sided container is ideal. Either use reusable individual sandwich containers or larger leak-proof containers for multiple sandwiches.

If hard sided containers don’t fit, we love silicone sandwich bags to cut down on plastic.

Keep the sandwiches on top of the cooler for easy to grab meals on the road.

Sandwiches make one of the best road trip lunches or dinners.

You may also like 50+ Easy to make, healthy road trip snack recipes

Easy Road Trip Meals: Dinner Ideas

Dinner is the one meal we often splurge on, and choose to eat out at a local restaurant, instead of on the road when possible. 

We like to do a bit of research and see what the area is known for, or if there are special meals we can’t get at home. Also after a few days of packed road trip meals, it’s nice to sit down at a restaurant and have someone else clean up and organize.

However, there are times when you need dinner in the car ideas. You can always re-use the lunch or even breakfast ideas , because they are all tasty anytime of day. 

Cold Road Trip Dinner Ideas

  • Pasta Salad Greek Salad
  • Cobb Salad 
  • Other Cold salads – Potato, bean, egg, chickpea, salmon, tofu, quinoa, rice and bean
  • Sandwiches – check out ideas in sandwich section
  • Chicken salad / caesar wrap
  • Falafel Wrap
  • Rice Paper Rolls & Peanut Sauce
  • Chicken wings & pre roasted veggies
  • Grilled or roast chicken, rice and veggies
  • Tortilla Chips, Bean Dip and Salsa
  • Egg roll pinwheels with spinach, and cheese 
  • Mason Jar grain + protein + roast veggies (pre-made)

Salad Tips – Keep the ingredients & dressing separate. That way each person can assemble to their liking, and the lettuce doesn’t get soggy from swimming in the dressing all day.  

Mason Jar Meal tips

Mason Jars are a fun and easy way to store pre-made meals. They are fairly sturdy (I’ve dropped them many times without breaking them) and come in different sizes. The 500ml and 250 ml are perfect for individual meals. Choose a grain + a protein + roasted, steamed or stir fried veggies and you have a delicious meal to go.

  • Pre-cook a grain: brown rice, basmati rice, white rice, quinoa,
  • Choose a protein : roast chicken or beef, curried chickpeas, tofu
  • Cooked veggies: stir fries, steamed broccoli, curries, stew,

Hot Road Trip Dinner Ideas

One pan or pot dinner ideas are perfect for travel, camping and road trips. Especially if you ‘ve been entertaining kids with road trip conversations all day.

As long as you remember the hot plate, or cook stove. Been there, done that, forgetting the stove. Another option is to choose motels, or places to stay that have basic kitchen facilities. 

You can also meal prep ahead of time and put individual meals in separate containers that are easy to reheat and clean up. 

If you are a camping family, what you plan for camping meals is similar. Think easy camping type meals:

  • Baked Beans
  • Cup of Soup or Canned Soup
  • Frozen Homemade Soup (use the first day or two after it defrosts. Bonus it helps keep the cooler cold)
  • Bacon or Sausages and Eggs
  • Quesadillas
  • Rice and beans or ground beef for tacos or wraps
  • Chickpea Curry and Rice (pre-make and heat up)
  • Spaghetti 

Road Trip Snacks

We have a full article on all the best road trip snacks to bring that both adults and kids will love. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Energy Balls
  • Fruit and Veggie Sticks & dip
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Apple Pear Muffins
  • Jerky, Beef Sticks
  • Potato Chips
  • Plantain Chips
  • Moon Cheese
  • Cheese Crisps
  • Seaweed Snacks
  • Gluten-Free Bars –  We like these mini Gluten-Free Bars  

Who doesn’t drink too much on the road because they are avoiding using restrooms at pull-outs or gas stations?  I’m guilty of this too, but this often leads me to crankiness and wicked headaches, sooo…… Do as I say, not as I do (said Parents everywhere).

Staying hydrated is super important. While water should be the number one choice, sometimes you need a little something different like:

  • Coconut water
  • Water with crushed berries, or cucumber slices, or lemon
  • No sugar added fruit juices 
  • Flavoured Sparkling water 
  • Almond / Oat / Soy Milk

🚙 More road trip ideas 7 day Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon itinerary

Road Trip Food Tips

With so much to do when planning a road trip, it’s sometimes hard to be prepared when it comes to food. Beyond throwing a bunch of items into the cooler and food bag and hoping for the best. Let’s give you a few tips to make packing a bit easier:

  • Bread: Bring wraps, pitas and flatbreads – they take up less room, and won’t get squished like bread loaves
  • Perishables: Eat your perishables and more fragile fruits first (bananas, raspberries, pre-cut fruit like melons, pineapple, mango etc.)
  • Freeze Water bottles: When hot out, freeze a couple of the water bottles the night before. They’ll keep your cooler cold, and give cold water to drink as they melt.
  • Pre-Make Meals & Portion Out: Pre-make meals, and portion them out in mason jars or reusable plastic or glass containers.
  • Place your cooler somewhere cool the night before, or pre-chill the cooler for up to 12 hours with ice / ice packs you won’t be using on your trip. 
  • Lay solid blocks of ice or reusable ice packs on the bottom, plus put a layer of ice on the top
  • Pack the cooler full – too much space helps the inside heat up faster
  • Freeze food you won’t need for a couple of days, and use frozen water bottles to help keep the inside colder, longer
  • Try to limit the number of times you open the cooler in the day.
  • Pack your food in order of when you want to eat it, leaving the next day or two’s meals on top. 
  • Garbage Bag for the car: Having a designated garbage bag for the car, will keep the garbage contained, and your car organized.
  • Clean-Up Kit :  Bring a clean up kit. Kids, adults, toddlers all on occasion make messes. Having a clean-up kit handy just in case is good practice. Include wipes, paper towel, extra water, and an easily accessible change of clothes.
  • Storage: To keep things organized, use small stackable Rubbermaid containers to pack your non-perishables.

Road Trip Cooler full of food, apples, deli meat, cheese, carrots.

🚙 More Road Trip Ideas: 4 Day family friendly itinerary in Acadia National Park

Road Trip Essentials – What To Add To Your Road Trip Packing List

Now that we’ve got the meals all planned out, and the best road trip SNACKS organized  let’s move on to the non-food items you’ll need to add to your road trip packing list. 

Reusable Items

Our goal is to reduce our impact on the earth whatever mode of travel. Bringing reusable items on our trips to cut down on waste is one simple way to do this. If you make it part of your routine, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it becomes.

Here are some other reusable items to pack for your road trip:

  • Plastic, glass or stainless steel containers – Can be used for leftovers, as dishes, hold snack packs, or even small toys, art supplies
  • Cutlery – knives, forks, spoons, 
  • Dishes – Cups, plates, bowls
  • Coffee Mugs – Our favs are Yeti Mugs or the Klean Kanteen  
  • Reusable Straws
  • Water bottles for the kids
  • Water bottles for the adults
  • Cloth fruit bags 
  • Bento Boxes
  • Garbage bags – reuse grocery bags

Storage & Cleaning Supplies

  • Reusable Ice Packs 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper Towels & Wet Wipes 

Travel Backpacks

You will definitely want to make sure you and your kids have their own travel backpack for the trip.

A good travel backpack can be multipurpose, for hiking, storing road trip activities and entertainment, plus give easy access to a couple of snacks, and a handy change of clothes.

Best Road Trip Coolers

Coolers provide more flexibility with the types of meals and snacks  you can bring on your trips. We think they are a road trip essential, without a doubt. Before choosing one, there are a few things to consider:

  • How long is your trip?
  • Which meals will you be packing from home?
  • How often will you have access to a grocery store?
  • How much space do you have in your vehicle? Where do you want to put the cooler?

Answers to these questions will give you an idea of the size and cooling ability needed from your cooler. We’ve put together a list of the best coolers to try, that are easily available on Amazon.

Best Overall Cooler ( Size and Holds the Cold) – Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler

easy trip travel

The Yeti Roadi 24 Cooler is narrow, so it easily fits behind the seat, is well insulated, which holds the cold, and is lighter than previous versions. It can also be transformed into a stool if you buy the cushion. It’s a bit of an invesment, so a good buy if you are planning on using it a lot.

Best Afforable Family Cooler – Coleman 316

easy trip travel

The Coleman 316 Cooler is a top pick for size, flexibility and price. It can hold a lot of food and ice, which can be kept cool at higher temps for 2-3 days. Perfect for shorter trips, or if you plan on replenishing your food / ice every few days.

Best Soft Sided Cooler – TOURIT Leak-Proof Soft-Sided Cooler Backpack

easy trip travel

The Tourit Leak Proof soft-sided backpack is an excellent option for shorter road trips or if you are planning a picnic or day at the beach. This leak-proof high-density insulated backpack can keep food cold for up to 3 days. It also has side pockets for extra storage.

Tips to Prepare For Your Road Trip

Anything you can do the day or two beforehand to prep your food, and pack your non-perishables, do it. This will save rushing around at the last minute, and forgetting important things like your water bottles.

We recommend doing the following ahead of time:

  • Make a Shopping list and meal plan.
  • Check off the items as you pack them. 
  • Wash and cut veggies and fruit
  • Prepare sandwiches, meat slices, cheese slices
  • Freeze meals and water bottles the night or two before
  • Prepare the snack bags or snack tote 
  • Prepare your Clean up kit
  • Pack non-perishable foods in small totes or bags
  • Pack your perishable foods in the cooler, right before you leave.

PRO TIP: Pack your car the night before you leave, to make sure everything fits. Make sure your cooler and essential road trip snacks are easily accessible. 

Conclusion: Ultimate Road Trip Food List: Easy Road Trip Meals

With over 100 delicious and easy road trip meal ideas, you will find a party in your cooler for all taste buds. Plus don’t forget that a little pre-trip planning can go a long way towards a stress free vacation.

What’s your favourite road trip meal or snack? Do you have any cool road trip meal planning hacks? Let us know in the comments below or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

3 road trip meals ideas; charcuterie plate, granola with yogurt and sandwich with fruit

Related travel tips and destination articles:

  • Easy ways to take a frugal road trip
  • Epic RV Gift Ideas: Gifts RV Owners will love and use
  • Epic Gifts for Beach Lovers – prep for your beach vacation
  • Best Walkie Talkies For Road Trips
  • Complete Road Trip Packing List For Families

Packed for Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.ca.

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Donna Garrison is the founder of Packed for Life, and an ever curious traveler with a passion for making memories with her family. With a unique perspective on travelling on a budget gathered over 30 years, 20 countries and 5 continents she helps families break through their limiting beliefs and experience the possibilities of travelling more for less through practical solutions. She helps over 40,000 families a month plan & take the family travel, camping and road trip adventures of their dreams in Canada, the USA and around the world.

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How to Pack Lighter, Smarter, and Faster, According to T+L Editors

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

No matter the length of the trip — be it a weekend beach getaway or a three-week Himalayan trek — you'll need to pack a bag, and you'll want to pack it right .

There's a lot to consider when determining what to bring: the type and length of your trip, your itinerary, the weather, the size of your luggage, and any weight limits imposed by your mode of transportation. And with so many factors at play, it's easy to overpack or underpack, especially if you've waited until the last minute.

Enter: the editors at Travel + Leisure , most of whom can be ready for a trip at a moment's notice. We're sharing our favorite ways to keep your clothes wrinkle-free, your cosmetics spill-proof, and your souvenirs safe, whether you're packing for a solo trip or for your entire family (kids included).

You'll learn how to best organize your carry-on luggage , how to pare down to avoid those excess baggage fees, and a few easy tricks to help you remember the little items you're most likely to forget .

With these travel packing tips, you'll be packing like a pro in no time. The only question that remains: Where will you and your impeccable packing skills be heading to next?

Pack by Outfit

"There's nothing more annoying than struggling to stuff everything back into your suitcase at the end of a trip only to realize you didn't even wear half the clothes you brought. That's why I started strictly packing by outfit — not individual item — and only letting pieces I had a plan for make the cut. I'll take a skirt only if I know I'm bringing a top and shoes that I would wear with it, and I'll think about the activities on my itinerary and what I see myself wearing while doing them. I hate checking a bag but love clothes, so being realistic and planning ahead is key." — Nina Ruggiero, Deputy Digital Editor

Lay Things Out First

"Even when I pack at the very last minute, I take time to lay everything out before any item goes into my bag. Grouping things together on my bed helps me see quickly what items don't pull their weight. A pair of pants that can only be worn with one top, or that requires shoes I wasn't already planning to pack? Back in the drawer. Seeing everything clearly before I start also helps me fit things into my bag in a logical way. For me, this means starting with my bulkiest items, then cherry-picking lightweight items to tuck into gaps around them to form a sturdy base layer to build up from." — Skye Senterfeit, Photo Editor

Have a Dedicated, Pre-packed Travel Dopp Kit

"One of the most frustrating parts of getting ready for a big trip is realizing that you can't zip up your bag until after you've brushed your teeth and packed the products you need in your toiletry bag. I keep a travel-only toiletry bag that has duplicates of everything I ever travel with ready to go in my suitcase." — Tanner Saunders, Associate Digital Editor

To buy: Rains Small Dopp Kit, nordstrom.com , $34

Choose a Soft-Sided Bag

"Packing in a soft-sided weekender or duffel gives you the flexibility (literally!) to shape your bag to what you're packing instead of the other way around. My canvas overnighter takes on a different shape depending on what I need it to hold and will squish, even when packed almost beyond its means, into spaces a hard-sided roller bag just won't go. I hope my current bag will last forever but I'm eyeing this simple weekender from Makr as its eventual replacement." — Skye Senterfeit, Photo Editor

To buy: Makr Fold Weekender Revised in Navy Canvas, makr.com , $185

Have a Ready-to-go Health Kit

"After going on international adventures and suffering food poisoning, sudden fever, cuts and scrapes, terrible bug bites, and other ailments — and then having to navigate a foreign pharmacy — I've learned to always pack a small medical kit . I keep a toiletry bag ready to go stocked with Band-aids, Neosporin, pain relievers, cold medicine, medicine for stomach trouble, itch relief ointment, antibiotics (you can ask your doctor for an emergency prescription before you travel), and ear plugs (life savers on long-haul flights and trains). And if you never have to use it, all the better!" — Karen Chen, Editorial Producer

To buy: First Aid Kit, amazon.com , $20.57

Separate Jewelry With Snack Size Bags

"Buy 'snack size' plastic bags for packing necklaces. To prevent tangling, give each one its own bag and fasten the clasp." — Kathy Roberson, Copy & Research Chief

To buy: Ziploc Double Zipper Storage Bags, amazon.com , $19.94

Check the Hotel Closet

"In the closet of most high-end hotel rooms, you'll find draw-string fabric bags for laundry and shoes. They're semi-disposable, but fantastic for packing. Trust me, using them to separate shoes and dirty laundry will totally transform your return-journey packing experience." — Flora Stubbs, Executive Editor

Be Prepared for Wet Swimwear

"I always pack a plastic grocery bag — or steal the shower cap from the hotel if I forget — to stash a wet bathing suit in for the return home. That way, we get to enjoy every last second on the beach." — Jacqueline Gifford, Editor-in-Chief

Use Marie Kondo's Folding Method

"All memes aside, I've been living the Konmari lifestyle for a few years now, and her folding method may be one of the biggest takeaways. Not only does the method save room in drawers at home, but the folded clothes can go quickly in a bag or suitcase for extremely fast packing. Another perk of using the Marie Kondo method is being able to see your entire wardrobe at once so you don't have to waste time digging in boxes of storage for off season clothes when taking a warm weather vacation in winter months." — Mariah Tyler, Visuals Editor

To buy: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo, amazon.com , $17

Roll, Don't Fold

"I always overpack, so rolling up my clothes so that they take up less space in my luggage is essential." — Devin Traineau, Associate Photo Editor

Keep Essentials Packed and Ready to Go

"I am a terrible packer. No matter where I am going, or for how long, or how far in advance I booked my trip, I will inevitably be up at 2 a.m. the night before, just one misplaced sneaker away from a complete meltdown. I've accepted this as an inevitability and tried to streamline the process where I can, so now, I always keep a clear toiletry bag packed with all my favorite products, so I can see at a glance what I have and add in a couple essentials (sunscreen for a lake trip, bug spray when there's hiking planned, etc.). I also keep a few plane go-to's — chargers, lip balm, eye mask, neck pillow — in my favorite travel bag, which helps me speed through the personal-item prep so I can get back to bemoaning my lack of good shoes and waffling on how many caftans and books I'll need for a four-day weekend." — Lila Battis, Senior Editor

To buy: Travel Smart by Conair Transparent Sundry Kit, amazon.com , $12.99

Invest in Luggage You Love

"For most of us, no matter how organized we are or how many times we do it, packing will just never be pleasant. The best way to make it more enjoyable? Invest in luggage you look forward to using, be it for functionality or style — or, ideally, both. As professional travelers, the T+L team spends a whole lot of time packing and unpacking, so we worked with top luggage brand TravelPro on a collection we knew we'd actually love to use. I have a set (including a checked bag, hardside carry-on, and tote), and all three pieces are sturdy, spacious, and basically do the organizing for you as you pack in their various compartments. I'm always happy to take them out of my closet and prep for a trip, and I feel good deplaning and exiting the airport in a new city with them in hand." — Nina Ruggiero, Deputy Digital Editor

To buy: travelpro.com

Create a Capsule Wardrobe

"No matter how hard I tried, I could never streamline my packing list — until I started thinking of it in terms of a capsule wardrobe with a specific color palette. I always start with a neutral (usually black or blue) and then build outfits based on the main events or activities happening during the trip. Usually it ends up consisting of two dresses, two pairs of pants, two tops, 1-2 sweaters, and a jacket. More brands, including Aday and Summersalt, are designing their lines so that everything mixes and matches easily, which makes building a functional but flexible packing list that much easier." — Sarah Bruning, Senior Editor

To buy: Wing It Sweater, thisisaday.com , $265

Wear Your Heaviest Clothes on the Plane

"As a chronic overpacker, and someone who never, ever checks a bag, weight limits are no friend of mine. That's why I always stick to the following motto when it comes to packing light: If it's heavy, wear it. Bulky jacket? Cute boots? Chunky sweater? I'll wear them all, then throw the jacket in the overhead bin, slip off my boots and into some compression socks, and usually keep the sweater on – a warm and cozy antidote for those often chilly airplane cabins." — Alisha Prakash, Senior Digital Editor

Keep Masks and Hand Sanitizer at Hand

"If you're traveling during the pandemic, you'll want to pack essentials like face coverings and hand sanitizer in your checked and carry-on luggage so you're never without. Keep them in an easy-to-access pocket so you can grab a fresh mask, wipes, or sanitizer whenever you need it." — Elizabeth Rhodes, Associate Digital Editor

Prepare for Travel Shopping

"Admittedly, packing light isn't easy for me. The only way I can get myself to not prepare for every possible scenario (and end up packing ski goggles next to swimsuits for the same trip) is by promising myself a little shopping while I'm at my destination. This helps me to pack only essentials and a couple of favorite items I know I'll wear or use. Then, I leave at least a quarter of my suitcase empty, ready to be filled with souvenirs. If I don't end up shopping, it's even more of a bonus — there's nothing better than lightweight luggage." — Kendall Cornish, Associate Digital Editor

To buy: Travelpro ® x Travel + Leisure ® Compact Carry-On Expandable Spinner, travelpro.com , $525

How to Pack Delicate Clothes

"I always roll my clothes, making room for more things in my suitcase (admittedly, I'm an overpacker), especially with fabrics that tend to wrinkle or crease easily, like silk or satin. For items that are especially delicate (hello, slip dresses!), I always, always, always roll them around a piece of packing paper. I like that over tissue paper because it's sturdier and tends to hold its shape even if things in my suitcase move around." — Deanne Kaczerski, Digital Content Director

To buy: Brown Craft Paper Roll, amazon.com , $58.25

Wait to Wrap Gifts

"If you're traveling during the holidays, wait to wrap your gifts when you reach your destination. TSA may have to unwrap presents to see what's inside, so it's best to bring the packing supplies with you or opt for bags and tissue paper for easy-rewrapping." — Elizabeth Rhodes, Associate Digital Editor

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Travel Fashion Girl

60 Travel Packing Tips from the Experts

Packing , Packing Tips

travel-packing-tips

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I am excited to share these travel packing tips with you! This is the collaborative effort of over 50 of the best travel bloggers in the business! From travel wardrobe basics to practical tools and ideas, these expert packing tips reveal a treasure trove of information sure to make your trip planning easier. Pack light and pack smart!

60 Travel Packing Tips

travel-packing-tips

Sleep Mask by Bedtime Bliss

Packing Tips for Comfort on Flights

If you travel regularly, keep the basics in your backpack . It saves a lot of time! Don’t forget earplugs, a light scarf, medicines, a sleeping mask, and little scissors! A World to Travel

Bring lip balm, ear plugs, a notepad, and panty liners for long flights . The liners help prevent yeast infections and doubles the life of your underwear.  Green Global Travel

My friend From Zurich shares her top packing tips: Bring a scarf because they are so multifunctional! You can use it if it’s cold, if you need to cover up, to sit on, and more. On plane trips, I must have: a small toiletry bag with eye drops, moisturizer, sanitizer, aspirin, and ear plugs. The ear plugs can block out loud snorers in dorms.

If you’re facing an upcoming trip with an extremely long travel time, our readers share their best tips on how to survive long flights !

travel-packing-tips

Packing Cubes

Packing Tips for Travel Organizers & Travel Bags

Use colored packing cubes  to organize your clothes. That way, you can pull out the “shirts” bag quickly without searching and dumping out an entire backpack. Around the World in 80 Jobs

Don’t bother with those fancy, expensive travel towels . Instead, get a sarong. It’s cheap and multi-use: use it as a wrap, lay it out for picnics or sunbathing, or dry off with it. They’re super light and dry quickly, even in humid places. For packing, invest in packing cubes ! They make packing and living out of a suitcase/backpack more organized and much easier. It’s one of my best packing tips.  1 Dad 1 Kid

Bring a range of see-through plastic bags with you. They are useful for keeping dirty or wet clothes separate from clean clothes, replacing lost cosmetics bags, storing souvenirs, keeping dirty shoes contained, and just generally keeping your backpack organized without needing to empty it every time you want to find something. Plastic bags are very useful if you like to compartmentalize, like I do. Vicky Flip Flop Travels

Always pack a few plastic baggies in different sizes. They are great for swiping food for lunch from the buffet breakfast or for saving the seashells your child collected. As a bonus, bring a small, collapsible cooler with a baggie filled with ice from the hotel to keep your lunch cold or to refrigerate something you pick up from the store for later. There and Back Again Travel

Always carry a huge garbage bag (clean, of course!) in your backpack’s top pocket. You never know when you’ll need to protect your backpack from a downpour or from wandering hands in your hostel.  Solitary Wanderer

My best advice when it comes to packing: ziplocs! I keep everything in ziploc bags–from toothpaste to shampoo to sunblock–to prevent them from damaging my clothes or electronics. It’s a cheap and easy solution to make sure your face cream doesn’t stain your favorite jeans! Beatrice BP

I put together a  five-part YouTube series  showing you the different methods to use packing cubes . If you use  this  specific packing strategy, they can also compress your belongings and travel capsule wardrobe . This is the secret to traveling carryon only!

travel-packing-tips

Compression Sack

I pack my daily supplements and vitamins in small ziploc bags to reduce bottle bulk. Geogypsy Traveler

It’s one of the often-repeated packing tips but seriously– a bunch of bags to separate out your clothes will prove invaluable. Compression sacks, packing cubes , or just stuff sacks–use them to keep things organized and smush clothes into a smaller bundle. Just make sure they’re not plastic! Chasing the Wild

Make sure all your liquid items are in bags or separated from the rest of your things. That way, if one of the bottles gets damaged, it won’t get all over your entire wardrobe! The Kay Days

Instead of plastic bags, use cloth hotel laundry bags for storage. They are reusable, washable, and don’t make that annoying rustling sound if you find yourself in a hostel in the middle of the night searching for something. Man on the Lam

Use compression bags to pack your clothes . Not only do they save space in your bag, but they also double as waterproofing for valuables when you’re out exploring.  Flip Flops Abroad

Space bags are great, but don’t forget you’ll need to go through that process every  time you open your bag. Is it worth it? It’s One World Travel

Here’s the  best packing organizers  for travel!

travel-packing-tips

Delsey Helium Aero Carry On Luggage

Travel Packing Tips and Tricks

Roll stuff, don’t fold it; it seems to take up less space, in my experience. Also, leave at least half of what you were going to take behind; you’re not going to need it. You won’t believe me and you’ll take it anyway, because everyone does, at least the first few times. Finding the Universe

I always roll my clothes because it takes up less space and makes them less wrinkly. I also bring an extra pair of contact lenses, no matter how short the trip. I pack my glasses and a pair of underwear in my carryon in case of delayed luggage. Monkeys and Mountains

Pack elastic bracelets as they can double as hairbands and can be used to hold small items together. Also, I’ve never regretted taking packs of mini tissues. Southwest Compass

I like to bring a few sheets of tissue paper along. I use it to roll up anything that is likely to get wrinkled. Works great. Bond Girl Photos

Use a suitcase where you can strap your clothes down tightly. It works like an iron.  Boomeresque

Read these tips on packing cubes vs packing folders and find out what’s the best for you!

travel-packing-tips

Shop Sizes XS-4X:  J.Jill

Packing Tips for Fashionistas

Packing light provides you and your trip flexibility . Therefore, I pack mostly black or blue jeans and clothes and provide color with scarves and accessories. I am also a confirmed “roller”. Family Travel

Bring the jeans, leave the heels. Make sure you bring the right bras. When you’re stacked, it can be a real challenge to make sure the girls are locked and lovely. My fave combo is one everyday bra, one sexy bra, and one sports bra. A bunch of packing tips in one shot!  It’s One World Travel

If you love your jeans, just pack them. No matter what else someone tells you—they take too long to dry, they smell bad wet, they are heavy—yes, they are all of those things…but they are also something you’ll likely wear every day on the road, just like at home. Oh, and use  packing cubes ! A Little Adrift

Our readers voted for the best black travel pants and these were their favorite styles!

travel-packing-tips

Ruched Body-Con Tank Dress

Think twice about the hiking boots. Not only are they bulky and heavy, but I find that even when I’ve packed them in the past, I’ve felt more comfortable wearing a pair of Toms or Chucks. Unless you’re thinking about some serious hiking, you can get away with a much lighter (and more fashionable) shoe like this one .  That Backpacker

Bring a black or brown dress and tops with you. I call it the “safe” colors. You can wear them anytime, anywhere. Bringing one stiletto or high-heeled shoe helps, especially if you need to attend a formal event. In terms of packing, bring cotton tops and if you’re going to a tropical country, avoid bulky clothes. Senyorita

Be conservative with shoes. Even shoes that you normally consider comfortable may pinch your feet or give you blisters. Go for the most comfortable yet neutral shoes you can find, and make sure they’re broken in. Bring cuter shoes for short outings or evenings. This is My Happiness

Wherever you are going and in whatever climate, always, always have a posh frock and heels in case you need to dress up.  Escape Artistes

.Here’s the most comfortable and cute walking shoes for travel!

travel-packing-tips

Plaid Blanket

No matter the climate I’m going to, I always travel with at least one scarf . It takes up virtually no room, and yet can have so many uses. A scarf can dress up a boring travel outfit, give you a bit of warmth in chilly locales, help you cover up in conservative destinations, and can even serve as a pillow or sarong in a pinch.  Dangerous Business

One of my top packing tips is to resist last minute urges to pack extras (like extra t-shirts). Allow 30 minutes extra time before you leave for the airport to edit what you’ve put in your bag. Aim to take at least three items out.  30 Traveler

I pack lots of scarves. They use practically zero room in a suitcase and are so versatile. They allow me to create multiple outfits from the same top and bottom by providing different colors and textures, and they also can serve as protection against the cold or sun. I have used a scarf as a picnic blanket and as something soft (or protective) to sit on. Also, I pick up scarves wherever I go so it turns into a travel moment, too! Misadventures with Andi

A little black dress, cute flats, and a shawl go a long way.  Nomadic Chick

Here are eight different ways to wear a scarf when you travel!

travel-packing-tips

The Chrysalis Cardi

Lay out all the clothes you intend to take …then put half of them away! I’ve never regretted not taking any piece of clothing on a trip but I have regretted packing too much. Take double the amount of underwear that you think you’ll need. A girl can never have too many pairs of clean knickers.  Flashpacker Family

When in Asia, always travel with a scarf. It’s perfect for places that use a bit too much air conditioning (you can throw it over your shoulders) or wear it as a skirt if your clothing isn’t appropriate for temples. A scarf always makes clothing look a bit more put together. Asia Travel Tales

Bring versatile clothing that you can reuse in several outfits. I especially love wrap dresses that you can change from one-shouldered to halter to strapless and more!  Christine in Spain

Want to look good while you travel? Bring the same clothes and styles you love at home  as long as they’re reasonable and don’t take much space. I always travel with a skinny tie and skinny jeans (hipster essentials) because you never know when you’ll want to look good—even when abroad.  Travels of Adam

Find out exactly why these two piece sets are the perfect addition to any travel wardrobe!

travel-packing-tips

Apple iPad Mini 4

Packing Tips for Families

One tip that’s probably been mentioned a lot, but I live by, is this: lots of layering options for the kids reduces the need to pack lots of warm clothes. By layering, it’s easy to modify their level of warmth. Having multiple short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts are more space-friendly than carrying extra jackets, for example. Little Aussie Travellers

Your kids, especially toddlers, will ALWAYS need less than you think they will, especially when it comes to toys. An iPad or tablet plus a very small bag of favorite toys can get you to your destination, while the actual place you are visiting is often entertainment enough. With so many new sights and sounds to explore, you’ll find your toddler ditching that bag of cars you packed in exchange for every stick, rock, and leaf along the way. Walking on Travels

We are a family of four. When we pack, we roll everything (except jeans and thick pants); it does give you more space. The Q Family Adventures

Flying with a baby ? Don’t stress! We have some awesome tips from a jetsetting mom.

travel-packing-tips

Trunki Original Kids Ride-On Suitcase and Carry-On Luggage

Traveling as a family of four, we use vacuum-sealed, airtight, and waterproof space bags for each individual. They compress clothes by squeezing the air out, they protect fabric from spills, and they are an easy way to separate everyone’s belongings. They’re also great for bulky items like sweaters and ski gear for winter trips. The World is a Book

My best packing tips for families: make the kids pack and carry their own stuff. Whatever tempting cool clothing they want to buy along the way, they know they have to carry. This saves mom’s and dad’s backs. Also, dark fabric shows fewer stains, needs less washing, and shows less wear.  The Nomadic Family

One of my best pet travel packing tips is to always bring your dog’s blankets and pillows and a few toys that smell like home. It keeps them calm in the car and lets them have a piece of home when sleeping in a different hotel every night. It’s the best way to have well-behaved, well-traveled pets. The Constant Rambler

Read this packing list for toddlers and babies  to make traveling with a family a breeze!

travel-packing-tips

Titanium Spork

Packing Tips for Everyone

Leave space in your backpack or suitcase. Use the extra room for souvenirs and purchases you make during travel. Awe Inclusive

When you’re taking a short trip,  pack your old underwear and throw it away after you wear it. I also take clothing I’m tired of and leave it behind, too. I pack underwear and jewelry in my shoes. Edgy June Travels

Pack a spork to make your street food experiences easier and more enjoyable. Travel Gear for Men

Don’t forget the duct tape. You’ll find a million and one uses for it. My Itchy Travel Feet

Here’s a twist on an old standby in terms of packing tips: 3M has come up with a new type of  Scotch Transparent Duct Tape . It comes in various strengths, but it is not yet available in convenient mini-rolls. Savvy Traveling

Take a look at these 25 random travel necessities and find out if they make sense for your next trip!

travel-packing-tips

Waterproof Dry Bag

Besides the normal things like clothing and body products, I take a traveling natural health kit. One of the key ingredients is essential oils: they’re great for natural first-aid, to ward off germs and bacteria, and even for a bit of scent (smaller than any perfume bottle). I use lemon oil as my hand sanitizer wherever I go. It’s easier to carry and better smelling than most products on the market. Santa Fe Travelers

I always have a thread and needle.  It’s one of the more classic packing tips. Not only can you patch up your clothing, you can exchange your services for free beer. Going Nomadic

The best day bag for travel is a dry bag like this one that can protect and store your valuables! We Heart Scuba Diving

String and cable ties –it’s unbelievable how many times they’ve come in handy! Magnificent Potato

I always pack a hypoallergenic pillow case (one that zips) to cover gross pillows, which often contain dust mites. And, of course, I pack a sleep sheet (some call it a “sack”) to protect me from bed linens I’d rather not touch.  Chicky Bus

Buy a universal adaptor rather than one suited only for the country you’re visiting. It saves money in the long run and gives you more travel flexibility (especially during airport layovers). Inside the Travel Lab

I always carry earplugs and a headlamp. You never know when you will need them. Ordinary Traveler

Find out our top 10 travel essentials for backpackers !

travel-packing-tips

Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack

I keep a “quick fix” kit in my cabinet and grab it for trips. It contains earplugs, a sleep mask, lip balm, ibuprofen, and extra contact lenses. I also bring flavored tea bags to relax with a cup of tea no matter where I am. As for clothing packing tips, I keep it simple with lots of black. It goes with everything and is difficult to stain!  Spanish Sabores

Buy a backpack that isn’t a top loader. Backpacks like the Berghaus Jalan and the Osprey Farpoint zip most of the way around and open like a suitcase, which makes getting to your stuff a lot easier! Gap Year Escape

Keep a list of all the items you need for a vacation  overseas or a weekend trip, as each type of trip requires different things to pack, especially electronics– chargers, lenses, memory cards, etc. A list means it’s less likely to be forgotten. Kiwi Travel Writer

The best item I’ve found is a  travel clothesline . If you’ll be hand-washing your clothes while traveling, it’s super convenient. SKJ Travel

Because we at Green Global Travel often venture to off-the-beaten-path destinations, it’s crucial that we pack light and carry clothes that can be washed and dried very easily. Green Global Travel

Have lip balm and your Speedo if you’re traveling in Europe. And always pack light is one of the golden packing tips! Dream Euro Trip

Want the ultimate guides for packing light? Read our Pack Light Stylishly book to get started and see our packing tips, and take our master class if you’re ready to Stop Overpacking !

A giant thank you to all the travel bloggers who shared their packing tips in this post!

If you have any travel packing tips to share, please add them in the comments below!

For more packing tips, please read:

  • 75 Packing Tips that Will Make Your Travels So Much Easier
  • This Video Will Change the Way You Pack 
  • Packing Lists for (Almost) Every Destination
  • Think Traveling Carry-on is Impossible? Read this

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Hope you liked this post on travel packing tips from the expert. Please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

72 comments.

Gloria

That’s quite an interesting article Alex, and I find it really useful, As a corporate traveller, packing things is literally hectic work, and I am going to follow your tips for my upcoming travels. Hope this parking trick could save some space.

Alex

Hi Gloria, thank you for your feedback, glad that you found the article helpful! Safe travels! 🙂

AMH

I found all the tips very useful, I use some of them. I would like to add a few I use. Packing bijoux jewelry, I pass necklaces through a straw to prevent tangling, put rings and earrings seperately in small ziplocks then all together in a small cosmetic pouch and into my suitcase. For expensive jewelery I put it in a small cufflink box which accomodates two diamond rings, a medium sized locket and a brooch. This protects them from being compressed. Then I carry it in my handbag in a small zippered compartment. Hope this may help somebody.

Hi, thank you so much for your comment! Thank you for sharing you great tips 🙂

Thiagu

That’s quite an interesting article Shari Melillo, and I find it really useful, As a corporate traveller, packing things is literally hectic work, and I am going to follow your tips for my upcoming travels. Hope this packing trick could save some space on air travel

Nikki

Tips to save space in your suitcase

Roll the clothes instead of folding them. You can save your space and carry some extra items such as belt and pair of extra socks in your baggage.

Wear as much as you can rather than packing it. This doesn’t sound cool but it is one of the best trick. Wear extra clothes inside your over coat and later remove them once you are on your sear after boarding the flight. A little extra layer of clothes on your body will give you a lot of free space in your bag. Now you have some extra space in your suitcase to put some more items.

You can also use your pockets to hold small things rather than putting them in your luggage. You can even fold small clothing items and place them in large pockets of a jacket or cargo pants.

Frederike H

I just read this and must say, I should have done so a few weeks earlier 🙁

One thing I found interesting lately is to use tools for my packing. whattopackforatrip.com is one example but there are a few more. Can you do something like this too 🙂

Simone Morine

Thanks for one marvelous posting! I enjoyed reading it, you are a great Writer. Keep up the wonderful works on. I’ve added you to my blogroll as well.

Joie Mojica Gahum

Glad seeing this kind of tips, make sure to bring a handy soap, roadeavour scented soap sheets is a must have!

linzee

I also think packing with capsule wardobe principles is also very effective.

alex

Glad you agree! All of our packing lists are based on a capsule wardrobe: https://travelfashiongirl.com/packing-lists/

Andy

Great tips! I agree that rolling your clothes make them take up less space.

Thanks Andy!

Marilyn Barker

Like one of your correspondents above said – practice pack and pitch. Any old clothes that are serviceable but may have a spot or are heavily worn get packed and pitched along the way. You can always tie a scarf so it covers a spot and you’re never going to see these people again. Your pitch will equal your stuff purchased. And stuff left in Peru, mark it trash bastuda, doesn’t worm its way back into your closet. I also just purchased an Elizabeth and Clarke unstainable tshirt and can’t wait to see if they work well.

Great tips! Thanks Marilyn!

ag

when staying in a hotel, just below the peephole in the door, there is usually a sign describing protocol for emergencies. next to this sign is (usually) a card inserted with room prices, check-out times, etc. pull this card halfway out and use it to cover the peephole for privacy. this gave me peace of mind when my young daughter and I traveled alone. an alternative would be to cover the peephole with a small piece of blue painter’s tape. I also locked and bolted the door and placed the (empty) plastic trash can a few inches from the door before we went to bed. this would give us valuable seconds if someone tried to enter our room while we were asleep!

Kyla Cruz

Thank you for your post. space while helping your bras maintain their shape by stacking them on on top of each other. You can even store you underwear inside of the cups.

alex

Great tip Kyla!! Thanks for sharing!

ILoveSpeakers

A portable speaker is a great item to take with you. You can listen to music anywhere and even charge your phone with them.

That’s a great tip!

Pollyanna

I always (always!) use a packing list for every trip and just tweak it each time based on where, when & how long the trip is. It’s divided into four sections.

Section 1 is for things I might need to have at the ready like passports, reservation paperwork, phone charger, antibacterial wipes, etc. This is basically my travel bag list.

Section 2 is for toiletries and rarely changes.

Section 3 is for planning outfits. I break it down with the itinerary for each day and what the expected weather will be, and then pre-plan out each outfit for each day/event, including belts, shoes and accessories. Keeping to this strict plan helps me from over-packing!

The fourth and final section is for anything extra, like a hat, gloves, undies, bras, etc. Also included in this section are little extras like small hand fans for hot & humid climates, a small baggie for the hotel remote control (one of the germiest things in your room), etc.

Great suggestions Pollyana! Thank you so much for sharing your method! Sounds like you’ve got packing down! Happy travels!

Lecitia Pointig

Traveling is a fun activity but doing it repeatedly can eventually tire a traveler down. Because of this, many frequent travelers have realized the importance of preparing luggage that allows one to carry necessary travel items without compromising comfort. Much of the challenges come from identifying the trip, choosing and prioritizing the items that will be brought according to the trip, and finding the right packing technique to ensure that the luggage that will accompany the traveler will not cause any discomfort.

Travel Fashion Girl

Thanks for your message Lecitia! Great tips! Comfort is definitely most important when selecting what to bring and what luggage to bring it in. Thanks for reading! Safe travels!

JP Anke

So many people recommend rolling clothes instead of folding, and I’ve even tried the “military” style you can learn on YouTube videos. However, I still find correct folding (eg, the KonMari method) makes my suitcase so much more calm and organized. And fewer wrinkles.

It’s great that you’ve found the way that works best for you! Keep packing smart 🙂

Piccola

My Husband and I are leaving for 90 days travel and I am keeping it to one roller thanks to a lot of the tips here.

Wow thank you Piccola 🙂 Have a wonderful journey!

Stacey

I like to carry a backpack on the plane for all my stuff. Instead of dealing with a purse AND a backpack, I just put my necessary purse contents (wallet, smartphone, meds, etc.) in the backpack and pack my purse in my suitcase.

Perfect strategy!

Filomena

I always bring a few wooden clothespins. I need the room very dark to sleep and the clothespins sometimes are perfect to hold a drape together. Of course they can be used in the obvious ways hand clothes to dry off a hangar or towel rack.

good tip! I’ve met travelers with plastic ones but wooden plastic it’s all the same 🙂

Mary

I try to lay out everything I want to pack, including cosmetic bag, etc., then live with it, at home, for the amount of time I’m going to be gone. Anything that doesn’t get used doesn’t go in the suitcase, and it’s an easy way to see if everything fits together. Takes discipline to do this, but it’s a good reality check.

That is dedication but if you do it once, you can keep reusing the same things for future trips. Great tip!

Shalaka

Alex, can you give me few tips regarding packing fine jewelry on business trip

great timing! have an article publishing on July 9th with your answer – stay tuned!

Katelyn Baez

Great tips from everyone this is really going to help me this summer other thing when you make a list make sure you check off the important things first like start off with carry on luggage essentials any way this is my favorite site to go to when I’m having trouble packing oh almost forgot make your luggage noticble by putting ribbons and shoelaces so that way you would not have to worry when you get to the airport

Micamyx|Senyorita

I am not so sure if I shared this compilation on my page before, but I’m glad to see my tips and advice on this post now 😛

Picha

When going on a vacation where swimming is involved, I pack a lightweight, cheap or well used towel. Then, if I want to swim after the noon checkout time, I give away the wet towel at the end of the day.

Another useful and small, lightweight item is a little sponge (the little pink, yellow or green ones). They are incredibly useful, take almost zero room, and save towels if the floor gets wet.

Leah

I’ve been looking everywhere for a blog like this… finally 🙂

Glad you found it!

Mary Calculated Traveller

Great list – I thought I’d add that I always travel with a black and a grey tank top. They are perfect for layering if you are cold, sleeping in OR for modesty.

I agree, great to have some basics. Thanks!

Kelly

Awesome tips! I am leaving for London on Wednesday for two weeks with my school, and these tips will help me pack and lower my anxiety over it! (: Thanks so much for this blog post, I really appreciate it! (:

Thanks Kelly! Glad to help 🙂

You also might find this post helpful: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom/

Bernie

Loads of helpful stuff there – thanks. Glad to know that I am amongst fellow rollers and ziplockers!

Thanks Bernie! Rolling is the way to go 🙂

Donna Hull

Thanks for including my duct tape tip. I’ll be linking to this list in our February newsletter.

Thanks Donna! Duct tape has endless uses – I especially like to use it to help prop up the massive universal adapters/converters into the outlet. Thanks again!

Barb K

I am a first time visitor. I enjoyed your blog some great tips.

Thank you 🙂

Mary{The World Is A Book}

What a great round-up post! Bookmarking this and will be using a few of these tips for the next trip. Thanks for including my tip 🙂

Thanks! Thanks for the tip 🙂

Laura

This is the best post on packing I’ve seen! (and not just cuz I got a nod, either) I especially love the last point made: “pack clothing you feel good wearing”

Thanks Laura! I hope I can get enough tips to make it to 100 🙂 high goals!

Talon

Thanks for including my tips! A bunch of great advice here from others.

Thanks Talon! What color is your sarong of choice? 🙂

Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

Brilliant list! Thanks for including my tip!

Thanks Bethany and also for sharing your tip 🙂

Stephanie

I love these tips! I find an iphone invaluble for all of the language apps and google!

Thanks Stephanie. Hopefully you could use a few for your upcoming trip 🙂

Inma

Same here! Thanks and congrats for the article! 🙂

Thanks again! Great collaboration 🙂

Shannon O'Donnell

Thanks for featuring my tip here, I love seeing what all the different range of travelers feel is important when packing! 🙂

Thanks for contributing Shannon! Great tips from everyone 🙂

Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com

Great tips! I have already bookmarked this for future reference. Thanks for including mine 🙂

Thank you! No matter how experienced you are, it’s still possible to pick up new tricks from others 🙂

Lisa

I enjoyed reading your post full of great tips. Thanks for including mine. I’ve already tweeted your post.

Thanks Lisa! I’m happy with the turn out 🙂

Jenna

So many great packing tips from knowledgeable travelers! Thanks for including mine 🙂

Thank you so much for contributing! 🙂

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Let's Roam Explorer

41 No-Cook Meals for Your Next Travel Adventure

We’ve challenged ourselves to come up with the easiest dishes to prepare on a trip. You’ll love these no-cook meals for traveling!

easy trip travel

Let’s be real … nobody wants to cook on their vacation. However, it isn’t economical to eat out every meal, and if you are off the grid camping, then you can’t anyway. Luckily, there are lots of great no-cook meals for traveling out there! They might take a bit of preparation beforehand, and you’ll definitely need a cooler or refrigerator of some sort, but it can be done! 

While the options for minimal-cook or prepare-before-hand meals are endless, we are going to challenge ourselves today. For this guide, we will only use only recipes that you need absolutely no heat source for, once you’re on the road.  That’s not to say, you couldn’t modify some of them to make even better meals cooked over a campfire or stove—like s’mores! 

App-Guided Travel Adventures

While you’re traveling, don’t forget to download our app and search for nearby scavenger hunts ! Each adventure is designed to help you get to know new places and learn fun facts. Search through hundreds of tours , pub crawls , art walks, and ghost hunts and find one perfect for you!

No-Cook Breakfast Meals for Traveling

​Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right? It certainly is if you plan on taking a long hike or spending the day in one of the blazing hot national parks of the Western United States. While packaged doughnuts are totally an option, let’s what else we can find!

1. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a simple and nutritious way to start the day. All you need is something to keep them cold. There are a million ways to make overnight oats.  Most recipes call for milk of some sort, your favorite nut butter, and then embellishments. For a banana bread flavor, try oats, almond butter, milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Mix, and allow to sit in the refrigerator or cooler overnight. You want your mixture to be fluid and runny, as the oats will absorb the milk overnight. Add cut bananas in the morning and enjoy! Many people choose to add flax seeds, yogurt, or chia seeds for extra protein. There’s no wrong way to do it, whatever ingredients you have on hand will do!

2. Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Chilled peanut butter balls are not only an amazing-tasting snack but they’re also packed with protein and all the sugar you need for a long hike. You can make them before you leave the house, and just throw them in the cooler. Five easy ingredients of chocolate chips, ground flaxseed, peanut butter or other nut butter, honey, and oats are all it takes for this perfect camping trip power breakfast.

3. British Bean Bites

Sounds weird to Americans, but the brits eat cold beans and bread for breakfast all the time. Open a can of baked beans and served atop crunchy french or focaccia bread! The British version would be more akin to Showboat Pork and Beans than saucy baked beans. They’re usually in a thin, tomato sauce, not a sweet, thick BBQ sauce. 

4. Yogurt Parfaits

Low-sugar yogurt is packed with healthy protein. Add a little granola and fresh fruit for a complete breakfast. We love this one because the ingredients are available at pretty much any grocery store and can be used for other quick meals as well. A large can of rolled oats and a big tub of original Greek yogurt should be on everyone’s packing list for a road trip or camping trip. 

5. Boiled Eggs

This is the one cheater on the list. You’ll have to cook them before you leave, but boiled eggs are valuable to have around. You can at them on their own, or use them in several of the recipes on our list. Boil a batch of 12 before you leave the house, and they will keep for a few days in the cooler. Eggs will keep you full for a while, have healthy protein, and pack easily. Just peel and eat! Plus, you can use them for several of the other recipes on our list.

6. Bagels and Cream Cheese

Don’t know about you, but there’s nothing much better than an “everything bagel.” Pack a brick of cream cheese or goat cheese in your cooler, and you are good to go. You can top with blueberries for some extra anti-oxidants, or sprinkle with un-salted sunflower seeds for a little extra belly-filling protein. 

7. Banana and Peanut Butter

It’s simple, but it’s effective. Just beware with this one if you are sensitive to sugars. Bananas are a high sugar item, so you might consider pairing them with organic nut butter with no extra sugar added. Add a glass of your favorite milk, and you are good to go!

Better yet …

8. Banana Cereal

Nope, we don’t mean put bananas on your cereal, we mean make banana cereal. This was grandma’s specialty. We loved it, and your kids will love it, assuming they like bananas. Cut up the banana in thin slices, sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and douse in milk. Eat up!

9. Avocado toast

There’s nothing you can’t do with the superfood avocado. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it will show up everywhere on this list. It’s easy to pack, easy to find in most stores, and works to eat by itself, as a garnish, or as a spread or dip. It truly is a superfood. Since you likely won’t have a toaster, and it’s not as good on untoasted bread, consider grabbing some English muffins from the store. Mash your avocado a bit, making it soft. Spread over your muffin. Shred some of your boiled egg over the top and add a few diced tomatoes or spicy salsa … breakfast of champs!

10. Muffins

One of our favorite road trip treats is Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chocolate Chip muffins. There is just something about them that screams wreckless vacation abandon! 

11. Chia Pudding

Like overnight oats, chia pudding can be made beforehand and kept in the refrigerator. A good chia pudding base only needs 3 ingredients: Chia seeds, milk, and something sweet. For a little extra flair, combine chia seeds, your favorite milk, pureed strawberries, or another berry, and a bit of yogurt. Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and the chia seeds will suck up all the liquid, expand, and turn into a kind of gelatinous pudding. Top with almonds and coconut shreds or cacao nibs for the perfect treat! Add a bit of honey if you need some sweetness. 

12. Just be gross, you’re on vacation

When all else fails, Poptarts are tasty. It’s not ideal on the health front, but there is no shame in having some easy, premade stuff on your vacation. While you certainly don’t want to eat 5 Little Debbies a day (well, you might want to, but you probably shouldn’t) it never hurts to have one. There’s nothing better to celebrate conquering that beast of a hike than a Cosmic Brownie. You earned it. If you are absolutely against big-brand packaged foods and all their harmful grossness, there are some stellar organic options out there for granola bars, breakfast bars, and even brownies. 

No-Cook Lunchtime Meals for Traveling

Lunch on a trip needs to be quick, easy, and filling. If you are traveling alone, that’s super easy, but if you need to please a whole picky family, we don’t envy you. That job is much harder. Good luck to you! Hopefully, you’ll find something below that your clan will enjoy. 

13. Charcuterie board

You’ll be the fanciest road-trippers at the RV park with this one. Cold cuts, salami, fresh cucumbers, cubed cheese, an assortment of nuts, grapes, and some tomato slices, and you have a lunch that not only fuels your body but looks super pretty! We love charcuterie boards because they’re easy to feed a lot of people with, and littles can come by and pick up a healthy bite as they play. It can be stuck in the fridge and pulled out later too, so it just works great. 

14. Egg Salad Sandwiches

You still have those boiled eggs right? Turn them into yummy egg salad and slap it on a sandwich. Pair with some potato chips, and get back on the trail!

15. Good Old Peanut Butter and Jelly

Hey, don’t knock it. It’s an American classic, and it is tasty whether you are 3 or 93. 

16. Tuna salad

Tuna salad is another protein-packed option that is easy to carry on the road. Buy some packets or cans, or better yet fresh tuna if you live somewhere you can get it. Add your favorite fixings. This tuna salad recipe with red onion, dijon mustard, and celery is super tasty! Serve with crackers or as a sandwich. It doesn’t get much easier. Tuna is handy to have around, as you can also add it to pre-bought pasta salads for a little extra protein or make tuna-stuffed avocados for dinner (later). 

17. Chicken Caesar Wraps

Chicken Caesar wraps are one of the best backpacking recipes. Whether you choose to grab a rotisserie chicken at the store before you leave or go with canned chicken, either way, it makes for a delicious meal. This chicken Caesar recipe with whole wheat tortillas , parmesan cheese, and cherry tomatoes is simple and yummy! 

18. Crab Salad

The grainy mustard and sharp cheddar in this creamy crab salad recipe make it extra delicious! However, like tuna or chicken salad, you can pretty much throw everything but the kitchen sink in a crab salad or put nothing but mayo, and it will be just fine in a pinch. Plop it in a pita bread pocket, and pair it with some fresh veggies, and you have the perfect lunch.

19. Berry Salad

Add a little extra beauty to your boring salad with some colorful berries.  Romaine lettuce topped with strawberries, blueberries, shaved almonds, and feta cheese or goat cheese is a quick, healthy camper lunch. Throw on your favorite dressing, we love this Brianna’s blueberry balsamic vinaigrette . 

20. Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Pimento cheese is one of those things that we rarely eat unless we are traveling. Grab a tub at the store and use it on sandwiches, crackers, or as a spread for fresh veggies. It also makes a good addition to veggie tortilla wraps, lettuce wraps, or pinwheels.

21. Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Here’s where those ten cans of shredded chicken you bought are going to come in handy. Chicken salad can be very plain or really fancy. We love this cranberry pecan chicken salad recipe ! For a healthier option, omit the bread and serve as a lettuce wrap!

22. Smoked Salmon Stacks

A few packets of pre-cooked salmon are also nice to have around for fish tacos, to throw on your salad for a little extra filler, or to make this tasty lunch treat. This flatbread salmon stack is an easy option that requires just a bit of meal prep, so you might want to start the night before. If that is too much work, just load up some Ritz crackers with a bit of salmon, a slice of avocado, and a dash of salt and pepper for a quick and easy lunch. 

No-Cook Dinnertime Meals for Traveling

Dinner is probably the hardest category on the list, at least for Americans. We tend to save our largest meal for the end of the day, and we generally want something warm. So, a completely no-cook dinner is out of the normal for many of us (though sandwich or cereal night is certainly not unheard of in our house)! 

23. Greek Salad

A traditional Greek salad is not only healthy and tasty, but goodness it is pretty. While recipes vary all over the Mediterranean and the Balkans, they generally consist of fresh diced tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and sometimes bell peppers, red onions, and cucumbers. You can make it any way you want, with whatever you have. Toss in a little olive oil or vinaigrette and a pinch of salt. Magnifique!

24. Stuffed Avocados

This is one of our favorite no-cook camping meals. Split an avocado, and remove the pit. Fill the center with a plop of your favorite meat salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or paprika. You can use any of the meat you have, salmon, chicken, tuna. Use the leftover tuna salad from yesterday’s lunch. Another option is to make taco-stuffed avocados . All you need is a taco-seasoning packet to add to the meat and veg you already have on hand!

25. Crab Ceviche

Ceviche is a cold seafood dish, popular all over Central America. It is traditionally made with fresh fish, lime juice, peppers, red onion, and whatever else you have on hand at the time! You can use any of the packaged or prebought fish you have to create “ camping ceviche .” For a side dish, whip up some 7-layer dip and tortilla chips for a complete no-cook dinner!

26. Veggie Gyros

These vegetable gyros feature our favorite item-avocadoes, plus chickpeas and yummy tzatziki spread. Chickpeas are packed with protein and all these veggies will get you to your daily allotment of vitamins and fiber. For the meat lovers in the group, you can easily add chicken you have on hand! 

27. Mexican 3-bean salad with guacamole

… Oh, sorry! Just dreaming about this Mexican 3-bean salad ! It might be a favorite meal idea on this list. Hiking and exploring make you hungry, and all the beans in this baby give you the fiber you need for a good night’s sleep! Pair it with fresh guacamole for the ultimate easy camping meal.  

28. Layered Taco Salad

Take some of that chicken you brought and mix in some taco seasoning. In a large bowl, layer it with cheese, beans, lettuce, and crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos. Alternate your layers of each until the bowl is full. Let everyone choose their own toppings of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. 

Mexican food is the easiest no-cook dinner to make. Layer nachos with shredded canned meat, beans, and all the veggies and toppings you like! If you can warm your meat and beans, that’s great, but it is just as good cold!

Snack Ideas or Side Dishes

You’ll likely be more active on your vacation than you are in normal daily life. It seems most of us need a vacation from our vacation by the time we get home. So, you are going to need more fuel than usual. Plus, if you have kids in tow, then snacks are a primary food group (maybe the only food group)! Make sure you have some good ones on board!

30. Veggies and Hummus

Nothing super inventive here, but it’s easy and effective. Plus, you might get your picky ones to eat a carrot or bell pepper stick if it is slathered in yummy hummus or guacamole. You could make a big batch of homemade hummus before your trip, or make it easy on yourself and buy some tasty flavors at the store.

31. Trail Mix

No surprise here, trail mix is a great idea to have on hand. It fits easily in the backpack for long hikes. You can throw the bag at a kid in the backseat when needed, and it is filled with tummy-filling protein. Make your own trail mix , or snag a giant premade bag from Amazon before your trip!

32. Fresh-Fruit Salad

Nothing screams summer like a bowl of fresh fruit. This fruit salad with citrus dressing is delightful and is the perfect anecdote for that summer heat! You might even convince your kids to eat something healthy today. 

33. Beef Jerky

Beef jerky just belongs in a backpack. They go hand in hand. 

34. Pesto Pinwheels

Pinwheels are a classic party appetizer, but they also make a great one-bite snack. We love these pinwheels , but there are many great ones out there, so use what you have on hand! It does take a little bit of meal prep time as they need to sit in the refrigerator or cooler for several hours to set up. 

35. Deli Rolls

Don’t know about you, but to us, there isn’t anything better than a slice of your favorite cheese, rolled up inside of a piece of deli meat. Admit it, you have done it. You can make it fancy with a hummus spread or olive-decorated toothpick! It’s quick, easy, filling, and budget-friendly. We love it!

No-Cook Snacks for Traveling

36. s’mores.

Okay, so the best s’mores require a little smoking on a campfire, but technically you can make them with uncooked marshmallows. They’re still super tasty!

37. To-Go Banana Pudding

The banana version is the best, but you can try this treat with any premade pudding cup of your liking. Crush a bag of Vanilla wafers. Add it to your pudding cup. Slice up a banana for garnish and plop a dollop of Cool Whip on top. Yummm.

38. No-Bake Lemon Tarts

Lemon pudding snack packs can easily be turned into a tart. Line a small bowl, or just make a pile of finely crushed Graham crackers. Slather on a healthy slab of cold lemon pudding, and top with your favorite whipped topping. Sprinkle on nuts or coconut shavings to taste!

39. Cottage Cheese and Dried Fruit

This one won’t please everyone, but if you love it, you love it! Cottage cheese has healthy fat and is a good source of protein. It will keep you full, and if you top it with some sweet dried pineapple, it’s pretty tasty!

40. Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Topping

Strawberries topped with a little sugar take on a totally different flavor! If you don’t use granulated sugar, honey works just as well. Slice them up, add your honey or sugar, and allow them to sit in a cold environment for at least 4 hours. If you want a lush dessert, stock up on some pre-made angel food cakes or make one at home before your trip. The decadent strawberry mixture on top of some food cake with whipped topping is a fantastic dessert any day of the week!

41. Fruit Pizza

Pizza! Create this delectable treat with granola, nut butter, cinnamon, and chopped almonds. Combine together to make a delicious crust. You can add honey if you use unsweetened nut butter. Press into a pie pan or dish, or just press flat on parchment paper. Let chill in the refrigerator or ice chest for at least an hour. Cover in yogurt or softened cream cheese, then sprinkle with your favorite fresh fruits, cacao nibs, or drizzle with chocolate syrup!

Other Staples To Keep On Hand

If you tried to make everything on this list, your entire camper would be full of food and ingredients. Instead, try to group your choices by recipes that use and reuse a smaller number of ingredients. Remember you can always repurpose your leftovers from day 1 lunch for day 2 dinner. Get creative. With this sample shopping list, you’ll be able to create several dishes.

  • Canned or packed meats: tuna, salmon, and chicken
  • Canned beans of several varieties
  • Boiled eggs
  • Lots of fresh fruit and veggies
  • A tub of your favorite “crumbled” cheese – Feta or goat.
  • A jar of nut butter
  • A large bag of mixed nuts and seeds
  • Your favorite multi-purpose bread
  • Mayonnaise and brown mustard
  • Granola or oats
  • Olive oil and lemon juice or a vinaigrette dressing
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Closing Thoughts

Just because you don’t want to cook doesn’t mean you can’t eat like a king on your vacation. With a little forethought, some smart shopping, and perhaps a small amount of meal planning before you leave, you can ensure that you have everything you need to whip up fast, easy meals on the go. 

What are your go-to camping or travel meals? Let us know in the comments!

Going on a long hike? Here are a few more “ Healthy Travel Snack Ideas To Keep Your Belly Full. ” 

If you want an epic camping adventure this summer, check out our list of the “ 20 Best National Parks In The USA .”

Frequently Asked Questions

No one wants to cook on vacation. Some of the best no-cook traveling meals are not only filling but healthy too. While camping, try stuffed avocados, crab salad, or camping ceviche.

Travel food should be easy, and the ingredients versatile. Some of the best no-cook traveling meals can be made with bread, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and vegetables. And don’t knock canned ingredients!

It’s always best to seek travel advice from experts ! For starters, download travel apps to save on fares and an adventure app for fun. Also, plan some no-cook meals to fuel up between adventures.

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11 Must Have Items to Make Air Travel Easy

Written By: The Planet D

Travel Planning

Updated On: February 28, 2023

Let’s face it. In today’s world, air travel is not fun. Remember the days when you used to love being at the airport or on the plane just as much as the trip itself?

Well, they are long gone my friend, with confusing security checks that seem to change rules from airport to airport to seats getting smaller with each trip, flying can sometimes be a downright miserable experience. However, there are ways to make air travel more comfortable and it all starts with having the right gear.

Table of Contents

Air Travel Made Easy

Having the right gear makes air travel much easier. When you are rummaging around through your bags looking for things, it can be frustrating, so stay organized. Traveling to Europe soon? Enjoy reading our Packing Tips for European Travel

Turn Your Air Travel Into Easy Travel

Keep must-have items on hand and make sure to put together a small bag with everything you need for when you are on the plane. There’s nothing worse than reaching over people’s heads to get things out of the luggage compartment. Keep everything on hand with a little tote and you are good to go.

We always set aside a little care package with everything we could possibly need for a flight. See 7 Steps to Stress-Free Travel to see what we put in it.

Must-Have Travel Gear for Your Flight

1. gotoob bottles.

GoToob Bottles I am surprised at the number of people that still carry liquids larger than 100 ml, but it happens nearly every time we fly. I have to admit, I haven’t found 100ml bottles that work well or are reusable until we found the GoToob Bottles.

The multipack contains three bottles perfect for shampoo, conditioner, and sunscreen. I like the no-drip, leakproof valves, and large opening making it easy to fill. I didn’t bother to use the integrated label feature as it’s very small to read, I just go by the colour of the bottle instead.

Keep these bottles separate in a plastic bag and you’ll whiz through security. Buy GoToob Bottles on Amazon

2. Trackable Luggage Tags

Trackable Luggage Tags Have you ever lost your luggage never to be found again? I’m not going to lie, most airlines are not that helpful these days when it comes to helping you locate your valuables.

I’ve watched many a friend get nowhere fast as they have online discussions with airlines asking them for help finding their bags. To make sure we have an extra leg up in case we lose our bags, we registered our trackable luggage tag’s serial number online giving us extra security when it comes to our travels. You can order luggage tags on Amazon

3. Luggage Hugger

Luggage Hugger – Okay, how many of you have a black generic suitcase? Be honest. We’re guilty of it too, but with the luggage hugger, we can now locate our bag easily.

We thought we were safe with a duffel bag, but sure enough, when flying to Maui a couple of months ago, somebody grabbed our duffel bag thinking it was theirs. Luckily we were there to correct the mistake. Now, that we have the luggage holder, our bags stand out when they fall onto the conveyor belt. Make your generic bag stand out.  Order it on Amazon now. 

4. Luggage Handle Wraps

Luggage Handle Wraps – We’ve been using luggage handle wraps for years and this is the next best thing to the luggage hugger. As a matter a fact, we use both the hugger and the handle wraps because you can never be too safe.

We even put the handle wraps on our carry-on bags because sometimes we have to stow them when boarding a small plane. Do you know how many small black carry on rollers there are out there? Our handle wraps set them apart. Luggage Tags are  sold on Amazon

5. Eye Mask

Eye Mask  – When flying, I always wear an eye mask. I can sleep anywhere and there’s something about air travel that knocks me right out. A good eye mask is a must. I’ve been woken up by someone opening up their blind and unexpectedly blasting me with sunlight. I only made that mistake once.

The minute I’m tired, I put on my mask. The difference between 40 Blinks and other eye masks is that it is contoured out of molded foam so it doesn’t put pressure on your eyelids. It blocks the same light with twice the comfort. When you buy your eye mask, make sure you  order the 40 Blinks. 

6. EarPlanes

EarPlanes – As much as we hate to travel with a cold it is bound to happen. We find that our allergies are acting up more and more as we get older as well. Have you ever flown with an earache? It is completely unbearable.

I keep a pair handy to relieve pressure in the ears for take off and landings. You may not always be affected by pressure, but when you are, you’ll be glad you have your EarPlanes. Check out more Air Travel Tips

7. No Jet Lag Pills

No Jet Lag Pills – The more we travel, the more we seem to suffer from  jet lag . We do everything right. We usually avoid alcohol, we drink plenty of water and we avoid caffeine, but we still suffer.

No Jet Lag pills have natural remedies such as Arnica Montana and Chamomilla to help ease the symptoms.

We used them on our flight to Austin Texas and while it was only a two-hour time change, I felt great. Normally I even suffer through daylight savings and it’s only an hour’s difference. So this must have done something. Plus it tastes good too. Buy them on Amazon

8. Compression Socks

Compression Socks   I never took Deep Vein Thrombosis seriously until a friend’s sister got it after a flight.

Compression socks help with circulation and leg exhaustion. Compression socks have come a long way. Dave now wears them ever since breaking his back in the Amazon as he suffers from nerve damage and the sock help to quell his leg cramps when we arrive at our destination.

I tried them once a few years ago and they felt like they were squeezing my legs, my latest pair are so cushiony and cozy. The merino wool keeps odour away and they feel comfortable on a flight.

9. Ballet Flats

Acorn Via Cap-Toe Ballet Flats – Speaking of feet. I know that nobody likes to look at people’s bare feet when traveling. I was guilty of this in my backpacking days. I used to always travel in flip-flops. I would never dream of doing that now!

Now, I care about the people around me and slip into my ballet flats on the flight. They are comfortable and stylish and I’ve even worn them out of the airport too. Why didn’t I start wearing ballet flats in my travels earlier?

10. Noise Cancelling AirPods or Earbuds

Air pods or Noise Cancelling Ear Buds – I am a big fan of earbuds. Dave wears earphones. But we both make sure to pack noise-canceling headphones to block out the noise.

We always hear of people complaining about crying babies or loud talkers, but with our noise-canceling headphones, we don’t hear a thing except for the soothing music we have on our playlist or the movie that we are watching. I like earbuds because I keep them in when I’m sleeping and they don’t press on my head. Order them now

11. CoolMax Travel Blanket

CoolMax Travel Blanket – So, we’ve flown in the middle of summer from one hot destination to another and seriously, who want to carry a sweater with you when you’re going to the tropics?

This is where a travel blanket comes in handy. I never trust that the blankets on an airplane are washed properly and I often think of all the germs that collect on flights, so having my own travel blanket is a must. It’s lightweight and takes up very little space.

With these products in hand, we have comfortable flights. Air travel is stressful, but if you are armed with some useful gadgets and information, it can be painless and fun!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the above links and buy a product, we will receive a commission. We only recommend products that we have used ourselves and adds value to out readers.

  • The Most Complete Travel Packing List You’ll Ever See!
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  • Our 27 Best Travel Tips from 20 Years Traveling the World
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Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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9 thoughts on “11 Must Have Items to Make Air Travel Easy”

What a great list!! As frequent travellers, we at Travel-Gentlemen are always looking for the right carry on water bottles. Great to find this on here. Well done!!!

Very informative and useful tips and gadgets for air travellers

Thanks for sharing this post. It helps me a lot……..

I also have. Boss noise cancelling ear buds—. Very small and compact to carry and its much quieter in flight—. They are one of the first things that come out of my bag when I board the plane

I find that the floor of airplanes are cold and my feet would swell and be uncomfortabl in my shoes I bought a pair of Muclocks— with soft leather soles—. My feet and ankles stay warmer and they wick away any sweat.. and I can get up and walk around in them— even into the plane restrooms I love these and would never travel without them

Great and helpful post. Thank you sharing

Thanks very much for sharing! Even though I have been raised in foreign countries and started to use airlines when I was six weeks old, I have not had the truly marvelous idea to recommand 10 must have items to make air travel easy to the readers of my blog yet. Shame on me – and thanks for the initiative!

Good ideas. Thanks!

Air travel should be easy! I’d like to suggest to use packing cubes when travelling. It helps organize your stuff so you don’t have to unpack everything when unpacking one item from your luggage. Awesome right? It really revolutionize the way I pack and travel. Joche – http://goo.gl/wMzHza

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25 Easy Make-Ahead Road Trip Meal Ideas they’ll love!

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

Planning a road trip? Looking for easy, make-ahead meal ideas, whether for a weekend break or a longer trip? Or maybe you want some easy recipes for meals on the road? Here are 25 great ideas for you!

*We work hard to make this the best motorhome travel blog and road trip website possible, full of helpful content for you. The website is supported by our readers, so if you buy through links on this site we may earn a commission- at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own .

If you find this post useful, you can also treat us to a coffee – we promise to enjoy it while creating more useful content like this- we might even indulge in a biscuit (or two!)

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Easy Make-Ahead Road Trip Meals

I’ll be honest- planning meals for a road trip is one of the things I dislike most.

Don’t get me wrong- I like cooking and I DEFINITELY like eating … but I am not good at creating a meal plan.

I also have a daughter who has gone from eating whatever we give her to being more and more particular about what she likes- and she’d rather not eat at all than eat something she doesn’t love. At home, it’s pretty easy to cook separate meals, but in the van, it becomes a whole different issue- and it makes the process of meal planning a lot harder.

Why plan meals on a road trip at all??

Oh, I hear you. In an ideal world, we’d just head off into the unknown and see what we find. One of the things we enjoy most about travelling is sampling local foods and dishes and enjoying discovering new things.

Both Mr WB and myself are fairly easy to please and can make do with all sorts, but anyone with kids knows that it’s just not that easy. I also don’t want to spend my time on the road worrying about whether she’ll eat anything- so it makes MY life easier if I plan it out a little in advance.

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Road Trip Meal Planning

So, where do you even start with planning meals for a road trip??

For me, I break it down into 2/3 day intervals. Generally, we like to pop into a shop and buy fresh bread, fruit and other bits every 2/3 days. We don’t do MASSIVE week long shops when we travel- our fridge is nowhere near big enough to deal with that and there’s the worry about what happens if you lose power or gas? All that food will go to waste.

Of course, if you’re only going to a weekend, you can easily make-ahead several dishes and just heat them up- much easier.

TOP TIP for picky eaters- Make them choose some meals

One way I tackle our favourite picky eater is to get her to pick 5-7 dinners she will eat. (Annoyingly, this seems to change every week or so!) I also make her come shopping with me- I find if she chooses it, there’s a higher chance she’ll eat it.

While we’re on the subject of kids, here are some posts you might find useful:

  • 21 EPIC Children’s car games & road trip activities
  • 14 quiet time activities for kids, tweens and teenagers

Our Normal Road Trip Food shopping method

On a ‘normal’ two-week road trip to mainland Europe, this is my tried and trusted routine:

  • Buy stuff in UK which we struggle to get overseas (see below)
  • Make-ahead meals for first night or two
  • Buy things as you travel (at local markets, supermarkets or Lidl)
  • Do this every couple of days so we can buy fresh bread, fruit and croissants! Yum!!
  • Try to ignore jeans not doing up….!! 
  • Remember that people eat EVERYWHERE and try not to overbuy before you leave the UK.

This system has worked fairly well for us. It’s allowed us to discover new things, let Jade choose what she fancies and my stress levels don’t get too high trying to plan out a whole weeks worth of meals.

What about perishable foods?

We have a fridge which works both whilst we’re driving (battery) and when we’re parked up (gas). So we bring a small amount of perishable food with us- milk, cheese, ham, meat, yogurt, fruit, bacon.

We don’t buy too much in case there is a problem and the fridge breaks- it’s always been a little tempermental and is the part of the motorhome I trust the least!!

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

Easy Road Trip Recipes

When I’m on a road trip, especially if it’s a holiday, I don’t want to spend hours of my time in the galley, prepping, washing, chopping, cooking and washing up!

Here are a few easy recipes we use and love. Most only use one pot and many can be made in advance if you prefer.

5 easy road trip Breakfast ideas

  • Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Muesli/ cereal
  • Scrambled eggs in a wrap or on toast (toast is HARD to cook on a gas hob though!)
  • Bacon/ sausage sandwich (bring your own bacon from the UK. Alternatively, look in European supermarkets- but it won’t look the same. It’s usually much thinner and cooks MUCH faster.)
  • One Pan English Breakfast 

Note how those went from fairly healthy to full-on delicious! I’m making myself hungry!

10 easy Lunch ideas for a road trip

We tend to do lunch as we travel- or if we’re exploring we’ll treat ourselves to a cheeky lunch out. Just don’t do that at Neuschwanstein Castle ! ( Jeez- you thought Norway was expensive!!!! )

  • Fresh crusty bread and… anything. Cheese, ham, tuna, butter, garlic cheese, crisps, chicken, leftover beef, fish fingers…
  • Salad. We try and add some fruit or salad in where possible- we’ll pretend to be healthy every once in a while! If we’re parked up I love to fry up some chicken and pop it onto a quick salad with avocado, tomatoes and peppers. Or try these delicious healthy salad recipes . TOP TIP- WASH your salad. Even the ones in bags. They don’t always wash it in Europe. It also doesn’t seem to last as long (that might be the heat) so don’t over buy.
  • Grilled Cheese (see below for recipe)
  • Couscous (see below)

I have still not found a decent way to make toast in the van. It’s an ongoing process that I will continue to work at! Still, Grilled Cheese sandwiches are a perfect snack:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Sliced Bread
  • Cheese (Cheddar and Mozzarella work well)

Butter bread thinly and put butter side down into hot frying pan (not too hot and use butter, not oil.) Add slices of cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Add other slice of bread on top, butter side up. After a couple of minutes (when bottom slice is brown but not burnt), flip sandwich over. Grill for a couple of minutes. For an extra touch, transfer sandwich to oven tray and bake in oven at 170’c for 5-7 minutes until cheese is totally melted.

Burritos are basically large wraps, with beans and/ or rice added into the wrap. One of the easiest ones is the bean and cheese burrito, but you can easily add in meat, sauces and any leftovers you might have.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 whole-grain tortilla wrap
  • 1 medium-sized can of black beans (cook in advance if needed)
  • Cheese- sliced or grated

Simply spread ingredients over wrap, fold in all ends tightly and enjoy!

5 Easy Road Trip Sandwich ideas

Sometimes, simple is best. Here are some easy road trip sandwich ideas:

  • Sausage or Bacon Sandwich – great for breakfast or lunch!
  • Ham/Chicken/ Salami Sandwich – with or without cheese
  • Jam or Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Egg Mayo Sandwich
  • Tuna sandwich

Couscous is magical. Lighter than rice and so versatile. I make a big helping of this and it lasts for lunch and dinner quite happily.

The trick is to double the amount of liquid to cous cous. One cup couscous= 2 cups stock. I love to use chicken or vegetable stock. Nothing fancy; those little cubes in some boiling water are just fine. Stir until the cube disolves, then pour it over the couscous. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. The beauty of this is you can add whatever you like to it. We like lemon, mint, feta, avocado, red peppers, spring onions, celery… the list is endless. I generally make a bowl of plain couscous and we each add different fillings to it.

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

10 easy or make-ahead road trip meals for dinner

Ahhhh… now this is the fun part. Everyone’s been driving in the exact same motorhome for several hours… and as soon as you arrive somewhere and the van is parked up for the night, they all turn to you and ask ‘what’s for dinner?’…!

All of these recipes take no more than 30 minutes or you can make many of them ahead for the first few days of the trip.

TOP TIP- Be kind to yourself. Many people dislike ‘pre-made’ sauces, feeling that they’re ‘cheating’ if they don’t cook everything from scratch. But it’s your trip too, so don’t be judgemental about sauces from a jar. Yes, there might be a bit more sugar or salt- but it’s a heck of a lot better than a pizza or McDonalds. So be kind to yourself and make things easy.

Some easy or make-ahead meal ideas for dinners on the road:

  • 3-way mince (Bolognaise, Chilli, Savoury)- can be made in the slow cooker

Spanish Omelette

  • Easy make-ahead taco Bowl

Chicken Quinoa

  • Pea/ Pesto Pasta

Cheats Pizza

3-way mince: bolognese, chilli or savoury.

Here’s the recipe for 3 way mince bulk cooking. You can get savoury mince, bolognese and chilli from 1 pack of mince. It’s the perfect ‘make-ahead’ recipe and is very easy to heat up on the road.

1 pack of 500g mince makes 5 meals: 2 x savoury mince 2 x chilli 1 x bolognese

Start with chopped onion, pepper, garlic and grated carrot all in one large pan with a little oil (or butter) until softened.

Split the mix between 3 pans & add the mince. Cut it long ways in the packet before adding so it’s easier to break up in the pan.

You can add any vegetables at this point. Previously I’ve used courgette, mushrooms and aubergine, all finely chopped. You can get 6/7/8 kinds of vegetables in there!

Brown the mince on a low to medium heat so it doesn’t clump together, break it up with a spoon as it cooks.  Add the seasoning to the chilli pan (cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic powder and paprika) and garlic powder to the savoury mince & bolognese pans. 

Once browned, strain peas & sweetcorn (one small can of corn & 1 small can of peas and add to savoury mince pan.

Add one can of chopped tomatoes to the chilli pan & 1 to the bolognese, stir through. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add to the chilli. I used half a can of beans, I’ll save the rest for a salad.

Rinse the tomato cans out with a little water & add to the savoury mince pan. Stir in Bisto granules (or beef stock & maybe cornflour or thickener as needed). Add a little Worcestershire sauce & pepper to taste.

Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary.

Divide & eat, or store in the fridge until ready.

Many thanks to Phillippa from PhilyaBelly for the recipe – follow her on Instagram

Meal planning on a road trip doesn't have to be tough. Here are some easy road trip meal ideas to help you get started and enjoy the journey! #roadtrip #camping #recipes #mealplanning #campervan #motorhome #wanderingbird #foodideas

Serve with:

  • Spaghetti, rice or potatoes.
  • Garlic or crusty bread
  • Grated cheese
  • Side salad if your family will eat it.

I LOVE this Spanish Omelette. It’s so easy to make and only uses one pan.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

Heat the oil in large frying pan. Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Put the slices in the pan with the onion & garlic. Cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender, turning them occasionally. Beat the eggs.

When the potato and onion mixture is cooked, add it to the eggs and mix together. Heat another spoon of oil in the pan, and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Pour the egg, onion & potato mixture into the pan.

The essence of this dish is slow cooking and it should take about 20 minutes. When there is no liquid left turn omelette over for 2 minutes. It’s now ready to serve and eat! Delicious- perfect with salad or french loaf.

Lamb Kebabs

Take 500g (4 people) of lean lamb mince and add spices (salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika… whatever you like!) Mould into balls or around a skewer and cook on BBQ or in oven until browned.

If using BBQ and wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for about 30 minutes first.

Serve with Tzatziki- Greek yogurt, mint, lemon and cucumber

Easy make-ahead Taco bowl

  • 1 can of beef
  • ½ of a small jar of salsa
  • Bag of tortilla chips
  • 1 can of beans
  • 1 avocado/ guacamole

Warm beef and cook beans as directed on label. Mix and add on top of chips (can be warmed in oven) Add Salsa, avocado/ guacamole, sour cream and grated cheese as desired (we pop the whole thing in the oven to melt the cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp. herb de Provence (or any herbs)
  • 1 cup. quinoa
  • 1/4 cup. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup. olive oil
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 cup. rocket/ lettuce/ salad
  • 2/3 cup. olives, quartered
  • 12 oz. tomatoes, halved
  • Season chicken breasts with herbs, salt and pepper. Grill 3 minutes per side on medium-high or until cooked through.
  • Cook quinoa as label directs.
  • Mix vinegar, olive oil, green onions, Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss half of the vinaigrette with cooked quinoa, salad/ rocket, tomatoes and olives. Serve chicken over quinoa with remaining vinaigrette.

Pea / Pesto Pasta

  • Pasta  
  • fresh or frozen peas
  • Chopped chives, for serving
  • Cook pasta. Drain and return pasta to pot. 
  • While pasta is cooking, roughly chop 1 cup peas. Add ricotta and lemon zest and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Add ricotta mixture, remaining 1/2 cup peas, and pasta water; toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired.

Alternatively, cook pasta, add several large spoons of pesto and some grated cheese and mix well.

Salmon with rice and vegetables

We eat salmon a lot- it’s very good for you.

Grill (or use a low-wattage air fryer ) and serve with rice, couscous (see above) and vegetables.

Sure, you can make your own dough and add toppings- and if that works for you, then go for it. However, we cheat.

  • Grab 2 pitta breads per person and pop them under the grill
  • You want them warm, but not ‘crispy’
  • Turn over, and spread with pesto (green or red)
  • Add mozzarella cheese, ham, salami, mushrooms… whatever you like!
  • Grill until bubbling

If you’d like more inspiration, here are a couple of our favourite camping cookbooks:

The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 wheels, Cooking on 2 rings

Healthy Road Trip Snacks

We’ve done an entire post on 15 quick & healthy road trip snacks (many of them Keto friendly) but here are a couple more ideas for you:

  • 1 large can of tuna
  • ½ cup of cranberries
  • A packet of whole-grain crackers

First, take the tuna out from the can and empty it into a bowl. Next, mash a whole avocado and add it with the cranberries into the tuna. Use whole-grain crackers to dip into your tuna.

Apple Cookies

  • 2 green apples
  • Peanut butter
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Almond slices

Cut an apple into slices that resemble a cookie, then layer the rest of the ingredients in between two slices to make the snack look like an apple sandwich. The snack will stay fresh in an ice cooler for two days.

Barabrith – great snack for afternoon tea!

Other things:

Whilst we’re on the subject, don’t forget to bring:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Big scrubbing pad for BBQ if using
  • cleaning supplies
  • Kitchen roll
  • Bottle/ can opener
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Tea/ coffee/ sugar

How else can I help you today??

  • See the BEST Road Trip Journal to record your adventures!
  • Show me essential Road Trip Accessories
  • Get 100+ essential road trip songs (+ playlist)
  • Help me plan my road trip
  • See gift ideas for road trippers

Road Trip meals- quick and easy road trip meal ideas to pack and prep for adults, couples & families.

Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.

Find out how she went from stuck in the rat race to being a digital nomad and inspiring thousands of people to have their own epic adventures here.

If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.

Last update on 2024-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Hi Kat I’ve not tried these yet but they get a good review on Amazon. As I’ve bought the barbecue you recommended in your blogs I thought I would try to keep my new BBQ clean as I absolutely hate scrubbing it after use. Just bought a pack to try on our trip to France in September BBQ Grill Mat, Set of 5 Beeway® Non Stick Barbecue Baking Mats for Charcoal, Gas or Electric Grill – Heat Resistant, Reusable and Easy to Clean, FDA Aproved – Bonus 12″ Just thought you may also find these useful

They look amazing- let me know how you find them 🙂

The https://wandering-bird.com website is one of the best we have found, and the 15 Easy Road Trip Meal Ideas article is very well written and useful! Thanks and kisses! 🙂

I recommend a ridge monkey for camper van cooking. You can cook chicken breasts, steaks, poach eggs, bake a cake, make an omelette, and it also makes great toast!

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13 Healthy Travel Breakfast Ideas That You Can Make and Pack With Ease

  • August 3, 2022

This post may contain promotional and Amazon affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. This article is presented to you for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for any kind of professional, medical/health advice. Please read full disclosure for more information.

An essential part of any successful road trip is having breakfast well-organized and ready just when you’re up from sleep.

You don’t want to be stressed in the morning trying to make an omelet with the weather against you. The day ahead would also be full of fun activities, so you want to kick off with an energizing and mood-enhancing breakfast.

We share some thirteen travel breakfast ideas that are tried and true for seamless planning, preservation and require almost no cleaning during travel.

These foods can be assembled in little time and won’t require setting up a fire to cook any meals from scratch. How awesome is that!

As well, they are healthy and great for boosting energy levels for all the activities that you plan for the trip. Let’s head in but before that, let’s cover a few prep tips.

Some Tips To Consider When Preparing Make-Ahead Breakfasts

Create an itinerary for your trip.

The backbone of every successful road trip is the itinerary that you work with. Creating a plan helps you organize your activities, which would inform every other thing you do from start to end.

An itinerary is a good tool for keeping your head in a good space while preparing, so you are properly guided and not overwhelmed.

Create a meal plan

After developing an itinerary, you should create a meal plan to choose and structure your meal and eating schedules on the trip. A meal plan helps you merge your dieting style with your preferred foods for comfortable meals on the go.

With a meal plan , you can also schedule your meals in order of perishability. This way, you can have quickly perishable foods early on the trip while the longer-lasting ones can go further into the days ahead.

Plan your storage method

Does your trip truck have set up fridges and spaces that can preserve the different foods you want to pack? If yes, that’s great to help keep your breakfasts fresh. If not, you can work with coolers and ice but would require frequent monitoring.

Also, consider storage containers, zipper bags, and jars that you would need for the trip. They are great for packing chopped fruits, energy bars, cereal, muffins, and many other foods for your trip.

Plan foods that are easy to prepare, pack, and clean afterward

The essence of making breakfast ahead for travel is to ease the burden of having to cook frequently on the trip. Most meals can be premade, so scan through some options that give you the most ease.

We share some amazing foods ahead that require little effort to make, are comfortable to pack, and most require no cleaning.

Extra Healthy Snacks Video from "A Place To Nest"

13 Tasty Breakfast Meals To Make Ahead For Your Next Trip

Having covered some important prep tips, here are thirteen easy breakfast ideas you need for your next trip.

1. Lemon and Berry Muffins

Muffins are perfect for morning coffee and double as a snack for road trips. They are easy choices because you can create many pieces and have them stored in zipper bags throughout your trip.

They accommodate many flavors besides these lemon berry ones, so you can have a piece of different ones each time.

2. Granola Bars

Packing bags of cereal on your trip may be bulky and not fit well into your limited space. So, baking granola bars ahead of time would help you store them better.

You can even munch on them as snacks or break them into a bowl and pour on some milk. That would make for an effortless but nourishing breakfast .

3. Freezer Vegetable Egg Burritos

Burritos are easy to handle when on a road trip. And if you’re having breakfast while driving, it would be easier to eat along without making messes.

The downside of having these burritos for your trip is that they go bad early. So, they are better prepared to be eaten early on in the trip. You can f reeze them for 2 to 3 days maximum but should have them at the earliest possible.

Thaw frozen burritos a few hours before eating and you can warm them in a pan over a small set fire outdoors.

4. Chocolate Energy Bite

Breakfast doesn’t always have to be around a table with a bowl of cereal or yogurt. For road trip breakfasts, you can improvise with some snacks that would fill and energize you for the day ahead.

These chocolate energy bites are quick to munch on and can be paired with a glass of milk, juice, or even coffee.

You can make a bunch of them to have throughout the trip as snack items too. They don’t go bad early and can keep well in airtight jars.

5. Yogurt and Fruit Bowls

These breakfast bowls are ultimate treats whether you have them at home or on a road trip. They require no cooking and would save you some prep time. 

Simply pack some bottles of your preferred yogurt in the fridge. You can also chop your fruits into zipper bags and freeze them for easy access when ready to eat.

Better still, you can pack some fresh fruits , which would mostly stay for longer. Peel and chop them when ready to have breakfast. 

These yogurt bowls also accommodate other elements like nuts, seeds, granola, and chocolate chips for a fuller meal.

6. Breakfast Cookies

These cookies range from buttermilk cookies to chocolate chip cookies and the list is endless. They are perfect to enjoy with coffee, tea, milk, or juice on your trip.

Baking them is effortless as there are store-bought dough options that save you time from making dough from scratch. Make a good portion of them and pack them in airtight containers or zipper bags for breakfast.

7. Peach and Yogurt Parfaits

Parfaits double as dessert and breakfast treats depending on the character you choose to give them. They are similar to yogurt fruit bowls except that these sets are prepared in jars and refrigerated until ready to enjoy.

They are perfect for travel because they sit in jars for easy packing and preservation and can be eaten straight out of the jar. Cleaning after is no fuss with them.

8. Tropical Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is set up in a way to be ready overnight and for up to 3 days, making it perfect for road trips. This recipe uses tropical fruits with chia pudding to boost flavor, taste, and character.

For the best results, mix up your chia pudding without the fruits and refrigerate them until you’re ready to eat them. When ready to have breakfast, chop up some fruits or add some frozen ones and enjoy a hearty meal.

9. Apple and Raisins Overnight Oats

Like chia pudding, overnight oats as the name goes are some amazing cold breakfast ideas for road trips. This apple and raisins version is unique and offers a balance of sweetness and tang to each bite.

Make some creamy jars of oats and keep them refrigerated overnight for up to 3 days. Chop up some apples and fold them into the oats along with raisins when ready to eat. You get a merge of soft, crunchy, and chewy bites.

10. Orange Banana Bread

Banana bread isn’t still overrated because of the delicious pieces that it offers. It is one of our favorite items for road trips as it is easy to prepare, pack, and keep for longer. It also doesn’t require any clean-ups, which makes life a lot better on the trip.

You can enrich banana bread with just about any food and we love this citrus version that brings on sunshine energy. The color is great and the flavor invites you to each slice.

When making this banana bread, you can add some chocolate chips to boost its texture and enhance nutrition .

11. Bagel Bombs

Bagels are irresistible for breakfast particularly when smeared with a cream cheese spread. They should definitely be on your travel breakfast ideas list as you plan.

You can opt to bake them afresh if you’ve got the time but grabbing a few fresh pieces from a bakery is a time-saving way to prepare.

12. Smoothies

Yes, smoothies ! With only one condition, however. If you’ve got one of those portable carry-along blender bottles that blend up fruits in an instance that would work.

So, prepare, chop, pack, and freeze different sets of fruits so you can blend them on the go. You may already have some milk, nuts, seeds, and other smoothie foods packed for other meals. You can top your smoothies with bits of them, blend, and enjoy.

13. Sweet Breakfast Wraps

These wraps are simply sweet breakfast items combined in tortillas. They can be prepared on-site and require no cooking or much space to assemble.

To prepare, pack portions of small tortilla wraps, granola, sliced or chopped fruits like bananas , peanut butter, Nutella, cereal, nuts, seeds , and the list goes on.

When ready to eat, lay out some tortilla wraps and top them with your selection of fillings that you packed. Roll up the wraps and enjoy.

Rounding Up The Best Travel Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast can often be a cumbersome meal to prepare while traveling, especially when weather conditions are against you.

Meanwhile, it is an essential meal of the day that you would need to start your day with much energy.

So, creating a plan of simple breakfast foods to compliment your diet and trip is a great way to plan successfully. The ideas we shared ahead are fantastic and would fit comfortably into your routine.

A pro tip: Think three things when organizing travel breakfast ideas. They should be easy to prepare, easy to pack, and easy to clean.

The best option for healthy eating to satisfy the whole family typically means cooking your own breakfast.

For example, whipping up protein bars, a tofu scramble or even a quick smoothie tend to be the perfect healthy make ahead meals.

Even make ahead breakfast sandwiches should definitely be on the ultimate road trip food list. Easy recipes or healthy breakfast ideas as simple as greek yogurt filled with fresh berries and ripe bananas is the perfect way to make the best snacks.

A breakfast burrito is the first thing that most people think when it comes to a filling breakfast. Adding a mix of green onions, bell peppers, and a lean protein can create a delicious meal.

Fresh fruit and avocado toast is a fan favorite that’s checks the box for healthy fats. Dried fruit, string cheese and whole grains are easy things you could even include on business trips.

Still in the mood for a snack? Check out this post about healthy banana cookies. Click Here

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Protect Your Trip »

12 Unconventional Ways to Save on Travel

Points and miles are major, but there are other cheap ways to travel too.

Hands put money coin in the glass jar with passport and model plane for saving money and travel.

(Getty Images)

Consider setting up airfare alerts, housesitting and traveling midweek to help stay in budget.

Traveling can be expensive, and even when you rely on widely known savings tactics – such as traveling in off-peak seasons or staying at a hostel or a rental with a kitchen – the costs inevitably add up. If you're looking for ways to save on your next trip, add these unconventional tips provided by travel industry experts to your hat of travel tricks.

Get a set of packing cubes

Traveling with just a carry-on bag is a cost-effective option since it's typically free on most major airlines, but it's often easier said than done. That's why packing cubes are a good investment. They don't cost much – you can get a quality set like this one by Bagail for less than $25 – and they inevitably allow you to save space and fit more in your carry-on (or checked luggage ).

[Read: Guide: Carry-on Luggage Sizes by Airline .]

Choose the flight, then the destination

Scott Keyes, flight expert and founder of Scott's Cheap Flights , recommends changing the way you search for flights to save on airfare . Instead of looking for flights to a specific destination, use a flight comparison tool like Google Flights , Momondo or Skyscanner to browse a variety of airfares from your preferred airport(s). Maybe a trip to Barcelona wasn't what you originally had in mind, but if the price is right, why not head there instead?

Consider alternate airports

While flying from the airport closest to home is always the most convenient option, Keyes also suggests comparing fares from other airports, even those that are a few hours away. You may find prices are hundreds of dollars less to get to the same location, making the combined cost of gas, parking and driving time an excellent investment.

If you can drive a few hours to a larger airport with more flight options in general, that may be even better. Not only do you have the potential to save money, but you're more likely to find a direct flight or a route with fewer layovers.

[Read: What to Do If Your Flight Is Canceled or Delayed .]

Set up airfare alerts

If you're eager to travel far and want to save big on airfare, keep an eye out for short-term airfare offers on websites like Hopper and Trip.com . These sites offer deals that usually last a short time, meaning you have to strike while the iron is hot. "I do this every time I book a flight and I usually save at least 10%, but sometimes up to 75%," says Josh Band of A Backpacker's World . "I once got a flight that should have been $200-plus for just over $50 by setting up an alert."

Go to Europe for Thanksgiving

Many Americans opt to head to Grandma's house or another domestic destination for turkey dinner. However, not as many escape to the Caribbean and Mexico, and even less go to Europe – which means you're more likely to find flight deals to Paris , London and other European vacations you've been wanting to cross off your bucket list.

Travel midweek

There's no set day of the week to book the cheapest airfare, but there are less expensive days to travel, says Keyes. He recommends flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays since most business travelers fly on Sundays and Mondays (and consequently drive up the cost of airfare on those days).

Consider a 'bleisure' trip

If you have an upcoming business trip in a unique or new-to-you destination, consider tacking on a few personal days to the journey. This way, you can enjoy a mini-vacation sans airfare (assuming your company will cover that portion).

[Read: The Best Garment Bags for Travel, According to Reviews .]

Buy travel insurance

It may sound counterintuitive, but purchasing travel insurance can save your bank account (and your sanity) in the event that you or a family member falls ill or has another emergency that forces you to change your vacation plans before or during the trip. A basic and cheap travel insurance policy will suffice, though there are coverage options for a wide variety of needs – including cancel for any reason travel insurance (which is exactly what it sounds like).

Housesit for free accommodations

Did you know you can enjoy free accommodations in exchange for housesitting? Sites like House Sitters America and Mind My House offer housesitting opportunities for a small annual fee (less than $50). Many of the homeowners have pets who need TLC while they're gone, too, making this a fun and budget-friendly alternative to traditional rentals like Airbnb. No matter where you travel, it doesn't get much better than living like a local and playing with pups.

Similarly, you can try couch surfing, which allows you to stay with a local for free. Services like the site Couchsurfing charge a negligible monthly or annual fee to sign up and get verified for safety purposes, while others such as BeWelcome are free. These services also provide exclusive meetups with other travelers.

Read: The Best Vacation Rental Travel Insurance Plans

Sign up for a family loyalty program

Did you know there are loyalty programs that allow family members or groups to pool rewards or freely transfer rewards to others?

"This can be a great option for infrequent travelers who may not rack up enough points or miles for a free flight or hotel room individually – but can reach those rewards when combined," says Nick Ewen, director of content for The Points Guy . "In some cases, it's a single, pooled account that automatically combines points (like JetBlue). In other cases, you can simply transfer points from one account to another (like Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, or Marriott Bonvoy)." He recommends reading the full terms and conditions of these programs, as some impose time limits, maximum transfer amounts and other restrictions.

Use travel rewards on experiences

Don't forget that both airline credit cards and airline rewards programs can be used to cover more than flights and hotels. Programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards make it easy to redeem points for sporting events, dining (including reservations, exclusive culinary experiences and takeout orders) and more.

You can also use points earned on hotel credit cards as well as hotel rewards programs to pay for fun experiences in hundreds of destinations around the world. Options range from cooking classes and concerts to outdoor activities and spa experiences .

Book a refundable car rental

While some companies offer discounts for prepaid car rentals, many travelers say they've had better luck with booking refundable car rentals , allowing them to secure a reasonable rate while keeping a watchful eye for price drops. If a better price pops up, simply cancel your original reservation and book at the lower rate. Frequent traveler Pamela Howard, who writes about her experiences on Our Adventure Is Everywhere , says she's consistently able to save anywhere from $25 to $100 using this tactic on Costco Travel car rentals. "It's simple and that little bit of time rechecking rates pays substantially in savings."

Ewen says you can do the same when you book a flight or hotel using points since many loyalty programs have flexible cancellation policies. "If you lock in a flight at 35,000 miles and see that your same ticket is 30,000 miles just a week later, you should be able to rebook and get those 5,000 miles back into your account," he explains.

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  • The Top Cheap All-Inclusive Resorts
  • The Top Cheap Weekend Getaways in the U.S.
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8 Affordable US Trip Ideas So You Can Finally Plan That 2024 Getaway

Posted: November 9, 2023 | Last updated: November 9, 2023

<p>When you plan your <a href="https://www.gobankingrates.com/category/saving-money/travel/?utm_term=incontent_link_1&utm_campaign=1197723&utm_source=msn.com&utm_content=1&utm_medium=rss" rel="">budget for traveling</a>, you have to decide whether you're going to allow for eating out every meal, every day, or whether you're going to try and make some of your food yourself. Sometimes eating out is part of the joy of travel, but tourist destinations always pump up prices, making the same meals you might find in a different part of town significantly pricier. Not everyone wants to cook on vacation, either. </p> <p><strong><em>Find Out: <a href="https://www.gobankingrates.com/saving-money/shopping/costco-brand-items-not-worth-the-money/?utm_term=related_link_1&utm_campaign=1197723&utm_source=msn.com&utm_content=2&utm_medium=rss" rel="">9 Costco Brand Items That Aren't Worth the Money</a></em></strong><br><strong><em>More: <a href="https://www.gobankingrates.com/credit-building-steps-you-cant-afford-not-to-take-during-inflation-1466021/?utm_source=msn.com&utm_term=related_link_2&utm_campaign=1197723&utm_content=3&utm_medium=rss" rel="">3 Easy Tips To Turn Your Credit Woes Into Wows</a></em></strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.gobankingrates.com/saving-money/food/10-easy-ways-to-save-on-food-while-traveling/?utm_term=incontent_link_2&utm_campaign=1197723&utm_source=msn.com&utm_content=4&utm_medium=rss">To save money on food while you travel, these experts weigh in with their tips.</a></p>

If you have been aching to get away , now is the time to start planning your 2024 vacation. While international travel may still cost an arm and a leg, flights within the U.S. are pretty affordable. If you plan now, you may be able to sneak away for a long weekend for less than ever.

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At GOBankingRates, we asked travel experts from around the country where the best and most cost-efficient destinations will be next year. Here are 8 affordable trip ideas so you can finally plan that 2024 getaway.

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Miami or Sarasota, Florida

Molly Egan, a travel and hospitality expert and founder of themollyegan , recommended Florida as an inexpensive destination.

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She stated, "For a beach getaway in Florida, such as Miami or Sarasota, plan a visit in October or early May to avoid peak times. You will avoid the snowbird crowds, spring breakers and heat, and best of all, snag a great lodging and flight deal!"

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<p>Egan noted that for western adventures, she would suggest, "Bozeman, Montana, in June and October, which are slow times for the city, so that you can snag an affordable deal! The same timing goes for Western Colorado towns such as Vail, Colorado."</p> <p>She continued, "The beginning of October is a great time to see the leaves changing, go hiking, feel like you have the whole mountain town to yourself and find the best lodging deals. If you are interested in skiing, the best time is late November or early December and early to mid-April (the skiing conditions vary, but the deals are the best)."</p> <p><strong>See: <a href="https://www.gobankingrates.com/saving-money/travel/expensive-destinations-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2024/?utm_term=related_link_5&utm_campaign=1251033&utm_source=msn.com&utm_content=7&utm_medium=rss" rel="">11 Expensive Vacation Destinations That Will Be Cheaper in 2024</a></strong></p>

Bozeman, Montana

Egan noted that for western adventures, she would suggest, "Bozeman, Montana, in June and October, which are slow times for the city, so that you can snag an affordable deal! The same timing goes for Western Colorado towns such as Vail, Colorado."

She continued, "The beginning of October is a great time to see the leaves changing, go hiking, feel like you have the whole mountain town to yourself and find the best lodging deals. If you are interested in skiing, the best time is late November or early December and early to mid-April (the skiing conditions vary, but the deals are the best)."

See: 11 Expensive Vacation Destinations That Will Be Cheaper in 2024

easy trip travel

Savannah, Georgia

Tracy Kennedy, an experienced travel advisor at Tasmania , noted, "If you're eyeing an affordable yet enriching U.S. trip for 2024, Savannah, Georgia, should be high on your list. The city is a perfect blend of traditional Southern charm and modern allure, and it's an ideal destination for a 2-3 day weekend getaway. Flights to Savannah are usually economical, with multiple carriers offering competitive rates."

She added, "Once there, you can enjoy quintessential forms of tourism such as exploring the historic district, strolling through Forsyth Park, and taking a riverboat cruise. The culinary scene is exceptional but won't break the bank, offering classic Southern dishes that are rich in flavor but easy on the wallet."

She also stated, "However, what sets Savannah apart is its unique offerings like the Sorrel Weed House Museum. This historic haunted house provides an unforgettable experience, especially if you're planning a trip around Halloween. Not only does it offer a glimpse into 19th-century life in the South, but it also has its share of ghost stories and paranormal activities, adding a thrilling element to your visit."

<ul> <li><strong>Average monthly rent: </strong>$1,873.33.</li> <li><strong>Monthly total cost of living:</strong> $3,660.97.</li> <li><strong>Livability index:</strong> 84.</li> </ul> <p>Black Mountain, located 15 miles from Asheville in the Blue Ridge mountains, is well known to the arts crowd. The town was once home to Black Mountain College, one of the most innovative experimental art colleges in the United States. Today it remains a popular destination for artists and art lovers while also offering scenic views and small-town charm.</p>

Asheville, North Carolina

Adrian Todd, an outdoor and travel expert, hiking coach and owner of Great Minds Think Hike , said, "One of my favorite places to go to is Asheville. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a great destination with various things to do."

He continued, "Asheville has some of the most breweries in and around than most places East of the Mississippi. You can hike in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit the Biltmore Estate, or explore the artsy downtown area."

<p><strong>Worst place to retire:</strong> South Valley</p> <ul> <li><strong>Percentage of population over 65:</strong> 16.1</li> <li><strong>Average home value:</strong> $165,010</li> <li><strong>Annual expenditures:</strong> $43,409</li> <li><strong>Livability score:</strong> 56</li> </ul> <p><strong>Where to retire instead:</strong> Alamogordo</p> <ul> <li><strong>Percentage of population over 65:</strong> 17.4 </li> <li><strong>Average home value:</strong> $135,883</li> <li><strong>Annual expenditures:</strong> $38,288</li> <li><strong>Livability score:</strong> 72</li> </ul>

Santa Fe, New Mexico

"Santa Fe is a really neat place," Todd also noted. He explained it is "full of neat adobe style houses and architecture. I recommend going to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, but to make sure to book way ahead in advance."

He also suggested, "Check out the oldest house and church in the US near the downtown area. Be sure to visit the Loretto Chapel to see the mysterious staircase and head to the downtown area during the market when all the natives come by to sell handcrafted items."

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<p>For fishing and outdoor activities, Todd recommended Stanley, Idaho. He said it is "a small town located to the East in Idaho. It is a beautiful mountain time hugged by the Sawtooth Mountains. I highly recommend checking this place out during the summer months when it is a lot warmer."</p> <p>He continued, "Go fishing along the Salmon River, hiking to Sawtooth Lake, and camping near Redfish Lake. There is so much to do for all outdoor lovers in this destination."</p>

Stanley, Idaho

For fishing and outdoor activities, Todd recommended Stanley, Idaho. He said it is "a small town located to the East in Idaho. It is a beautiful mountain time hugged by the Sawtooth Mountains. I highly recommend checking this place out during the summer months when it is a lot warmer."

He continued, "Go fishing along the Salmon River, hiking to Sawtooth Lake, and camping near Redfish Lake. There is so much to do for all outdoor lovers in this destination."

Nashville skyline with river and sunset

Nashville, Tennessee

"Nashville is historically known for its live music scene and offers a vibrant atmosphere and many free or affordable activities," stated Todd. "You can explore the city's music history, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, and enjoy live music in honky-tonks," he said.

The hiking enthusiast added, "There are also a lot of things to do out in nature in Tennessee if the city life isn't your cup of tea. Check out the Great Smoky Mountains to visit the most popular and visited national park in the US."

easy trip travel

Loveland, Ohio

"Loveland, Ohio, is known as the 'Sweetheart of Ohio,'" explained Krista Rose, marketing and communications coordinator for the City of Loveland. "We are the perfect destination for a Midwest trip on a budget! We are often told Loveland feels like a 'resort town' and 'time slows down here.'"

She continued, "Loveland is located about 15 miles north of Cincinnati and close to major highways including I-75 and I-71. We are known for our river and trails, making us a favorite trip for outdoor enthusiasts."

For outdoor adventure seekers she recommended, "the Little Miami Scenic Trail is an 80-mile bike/pedestrian trail across Ohio. This trail runs through the center of Loveland. Visit for a day of canoeing, kayaking, and outdoor adventure! After you explore the trail, explore Historic Downtown Loveland's unique shopping and dining. There are quaint AirBNBs and a boutique hotel in town."

You can learn more about the city by visiting LovinLifeLoveland .

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