Sure, everybody has the same old set of rules and tips when it comes to traveling, but are you sure those are actually enough? Before I discovered one specific Reddit thread, I thought the answer was yes. Now, however, I came to disagree with my old self.
On one of our favorite subreddits—the extremely popular r/Travel—someone recently asked a very smart question. And let me tell you, the answers are even better. “What is your most obscure yet vital travel tip?” the user wrote. They continued, “It can be as outlandish or unknown as you like but it is vital for beginner and veteran [travelers] alike.”
Scrolling through the comment section and making a note of every single one could take a while. More than 1,400 comments chase one another with original opinions, back-and-forths, questions, and witty takes. And in regards to those directly responding to the original post, answers vary from clever tips that will make your traveler’s life more comfortable and less stressful to, well, actual virtual lectures from Survival Skills 101.
The top comment, which racked up almost 2,000 upvotes (Reddit’s “likes,” so to speak), debunks what for many might be a fair assumption. “For some reason it’s often difficult to find sunblock and mosquito repellent in countries with lots of sun and mosquitoes,” it reads. “Take them with you!” People seem to agree, and some of them have more to say on the subject. One user claims that in some Asian countries it might be harder for visitors to find sunscreen without skin-whitening agents, while others warn about the cost of it if you’re traveling to an island, in which case you should definitely stock up before your trip.
Self-care topics are also very popular in the thread. One user, for example, proudly sings praise to dental hygiene. “Brushing your teeth is the quickest way to feel human again after long flights,” the comment reads. “Have toothpaste and brush ready so you can do this before you leave the airport.” (I can assure you that this is true, and it will absolutely improve the way you feel!) Another Redditor quickly chimes in. “And some face wipes and a small bottle of dry shampoo,” they share. “Immediate return to humanity.” And if you wear contacts, don’t forget to bring your eyedrops—they can do wonders for flight-tired eyes.
And now, onto the survival tips of it all. While some of them are more standard pieces of advice that sit at the crossing between survival and self-care, others are things you really should know if you find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Starting with the lighter stuff, one user wisely recommends to “never pass up a bathroom” when you’re traveling, as you might not know how far out the next one is located. Another user adds to that sentiment with their own take, sharing their motto. “My travel mantra is, ‘drink water when you can, pee when you can.'”
If things get spooky, you’d better be prepared—or at least have a sort of plan. “When traveling off the beaten track where personal safety is less certain ( basically anywhere that you’re not supposed to be out at night ) carry at least $50 to $100 in cash in a separate pocket from your money/cards/etc,” advises one Redditor. “That’s enough to give a potential assailant that warm feeling of achievement, so they will let you go.” Or you can even go the extra mile, and as another comment points out, you could bring with you a decoy wallet, and store your credit cards, cash, and ID in a separate pocket. Basically, be smart about what you’re bringing with you—and where you’re putting it, most importantly.
And maybe, just maybe try and not go too wild on your nights out, especially if you’re in a country you’re not really familiar with. The rule of thumb is that because of different cultures, habits, and lifestyle, tourists usually stand out among locals, which might potentially make you an easy target for people with bad intentions.
Sometimes, however, even the most irresponsible kid on the trip lucks out on what could’ve been a nightmare situation.
“Two guys tried to mug me in Bulgaria, but I was so drunk that I just kept laughing and saying ‘no, I’m not giving you anything, try someone else.’ After several minutes we shook hands and they left,” reads one comment. “Edit: This is definitely not a travel tip, would not recommend.”
Looking for more travel tips?
Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.