The Best Travel Advice We’ve Ever Been Given

This story is part of a new Yahoo Travel series, #StressFreeTravel, dedicated to making travel better in every way possible.

By Yahoo Travel Explorers

It’s been said before, but that doesn’t make it less true: Smart people learn from their mistakes, and smarter people learn from the mistakes of others. That’s why we always keep our ears open for good advice from travelers in the know. The savvy tips, the insightful observations, the time-saving strategies — they stay with us and help us avoid common pitfalls and stress. Just ask the Yahoo Travel Explorers; they’ve learned a lot during their near-constant travels, and they’ve also learned a lot from others. Last week they revealed the worst advice they were ever given; this week, they share the best. Take notes…

The best travel advice and recommendations can lead to a carefree getaway. (Photo: iStock/FredFroese)

Hotel Research Is Key
“Do research to find a reputable B&B or hotel with local color. My favorite sites to discover these gems include: ahotellife.com, lonelyplanet.com, and trippy.com. Also, the destination’s tourism board is a great, on-the-ground resource as well — email or call them.” —Lanee Lee, Voyage Vixens

Consider Hostels
“Stay at hostels (preferably private rooms). You’ll meet a ton of other like-minded travelers, end up dancing your ass off, and walking home at dawn with stories to tell for years to come!” —Laurel Robbin, Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel Blog

Hungry travelers are grumpy travelers. Pack snacks for everyone. (Photo: iStock/Imgorthand)

Kids Need Snacks
”Take extra snacks for kids when traveling. When there are delays, it’s absolutely fine as long as the kids aren’t hungry. If the kids are hungry, it can make for a miserable day.” —Eric Stoen,Travel Babbo

Adults Need Snacks
“Always carry some emergency snacks. You never know when hunger might strike or you simply don’t wish to spend time searching for food. As a vegetarian we’ve found it even more helpful considering the limited options available in places off the beaten track.”Rishabh Shah, Gypsy Couple

Related: The Worst Travel Advice We’ve Ever Been Given

Pack Light
“Save time (skip baggage claim), money (baggage fees), and aggravation (theft, loss, delay), plus it’s easier to be mobile and on the go. Bonus is that you get to shop for items in foreign markets and stores. You never know what kind of toothpaste and shampoo you will find!” —Charles McCool, McCool Travel

Pack Smart
“Whatever you pack, you should be able to carry it yourself without much effort. Don’t overload yourself with heavy bags: Take fewer shoes, pack clothes in the same color scheme (so that you can more easily mix and match), and leave some room in your suitcase to bring back a souvenir.” —Christine Amoros, C’est Christine

Health Essentials
“It’s always good to have some Imodium and mosquito spray. Sometimes you need them immediately and the store could be a fair distance away from your current location.” —Pamela MacNaughtan, Savoir Faire Abroad

Reduce Flight Stress
“When flying, it usually is worth the extra money to fly nonstop or at the very least, go for the fewest number of stops. It might be more expensive, but you will minimize stress and the likelihood of losing luggage or having delays. Plus, you’ll have more time in your destination! Another good tip that I live by is to always fly carry-on. It’s never worth checking a bag to have those extra shoes. Pare your packing down and you will be lighter, faster and you’ll be more self-sufficient! Not to mention, you’ll save money on baggage fees.” Kelley Ferro

Related: The Most Annoying Travel Pet Peeves Ever!

Travel Often
“Travel every six weeks of your life. This advice was given to me by a trainer that I hired for my first business. If it was not for him, I don’t think I would have ever traveled as much as I have. It worked for my family, with a little adjusting here and there, but we pulled it off. I made the lifestyle choice to travel and have now traveled every six weeks of my life for more than 20 years.” —Cacinda Maloney, Points and Travel

Don’t wait to find someone to travel with you — go it alone at least once. (Photo: iStock/Tarik Kizilkaya)

Travel Solo
“Travel alone at least once. Everywhere you go you will meet people more easily and be invited into their homes. Solo travelers enjoy the freedom of making all the decisions, experiencing the world unfiltered by anyone else’s perspective (i.e., complaining or talking about restaurants in your hometown), and living intensely in the moment. I was told: Just go! Not having a travel companion is no reason to stay home.” —Marybeth Bond, The Gutsy Traveler

Related: How These 10 Trips Changed Our Lives Forever

Do Disney Right
“Stay in one of the Disney resorts when visiting Orlando. We tried to save money by staying offsite, but my fellow PTA moms told me about the perks I was missing: extended park hours, free transit, and VIP character experiences. On future trips we stayed at a number of onsite properties and the trip was logistically easier with three kids and much more fun.” —Catherine Bennett Kopf, The Open Suitcase

Listen to Your Instincts
“If you feel like a situation may be dodgy, then it probably is. The vast majority of people you meet traveling are wonderful people, and 99 percent of the locals you encounter will try to help you. But if you get that bad feeling about something, it is best to simply walk away. It might mean you miss out on a wonderful interaction, or it could save you from a lot of trouble.”—Jarryd Salem, Nomadasaurus

Sometimes you have to put the camera down and just enjoy. (Photo: iStock/MarioGuti)

Be in the Moment
“Put your camera down and enjoy the moment. As an avid travel photographer, at first this advice sounded like an oxymoron. But I later realized it was sound advice. I love taking pictures but it’s also important to savor new experiences without thinking about the lighting or the composition or anything else for that matter.” —Susan Portnoy, The Insatiable Traveler

Sit in the Front Seat
“As a solo female traveler when you get a taxi or driver in another country, sit in the front seat with them if possible. This way you have a chance to ‘fight back’ if they try to do anything unsafe like drive you somewhere they aren’t supposed to. You can grab the wheel, or try to honk the horn. But if you are in the back you are stuck and can’t really do anything. In addition, even if you don’t have a cell connection, act like you do. Make a fake call so that they know you have a 'lifeline’.” —Sherry Ott, Ott’s World

Attitude Counts
“The best advice I got was to travel ‘for the story.’ It means something both professionally (given my job as a journalist) and personally (nothing goes as planned, especially when traveling). Practically speaking, though, some of the best travel advice I’ve ever gotten was to wear a wedding ring when traveling alone.” —Alexandra E. Petri, The Write Way Around  

Take a Culinary Tour with a Passionate Local Foodie
“In Budapest, I did a four-hour walk-and-taste with a young cookbook writer. I tried market specialties such as a bitter liqueur and sheep-cheese chocolate, and learned about outstanding Hungarian dishes I never knew existed.” La Carmina

WATCH: The 30 Worst Decisions You Can Make at an Airport


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