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Old-School Travel Hacks That Millennials Are Missing out on

Friends on vacation laughing outside a cafe in Ibiza
Written by Dhinesh Manuel

This blog post was updated on February 19, 2023.

Hostels, backpacks, cheap flights, street food. This is how millennials apparently like to travel. These are great ways to save money and often evade the more touristy travelers. But, are millennials doing everything right when traveling?

Maybe not entirely.

Millennials can add to their overall travel experiences by looking to the past. In fact, there are certain old-school travel hacks that boomers and Gen Xers have used that can definitely turn your millennial adventure into a more satisfying experience.

Stay in a Centrally Located Hotel

A young multi ethnic couple looking at their hotel room

Rather than bunking down in a hostel, which aren’t always conveniently located, try to find an affordable and practical hotel in the heart of the place you’re visiting. You’ll be in the center of the city you want to explore and the “authentic” experience you seek will be right at your doorstep. Plus, who could say no to the (mostly available) free breakfast? Being within walking distance of all the great things to do and see also means that you save on transportation time and money, especially if you have just a few days to enjoy a new city. Trust us when we say, the old-timers got this one right.

Do a Digital Detox for 24 Hours

Young stylish woman in red beret having a french breakfast with coffee and croissant sitting oudoors at the cafe terrace

Okay, so even some tech-savvy senior travelers could benefit from this one. The truth of the matter is there are so many other experiences to enjoy once you take your eyes off your phone to engage with the new place you’re exploring. If anything, take it as a challenge, and see if you can go without fidgeting on your phone or laptop to keep yourself entertained. You’ll soon find yourself talking to strangers, sitting on a bench enjoying some scenery, sipping on a cup of coffee watching the world go by, and taking time to understand what this new culture you’re visiting is all about.

Don’t Rely on Online Suggestions

Tourists couple asking tuk tuk native taxi driver for direction

Why look at the thousands of online reviews when all you have to do is bond with friendly natives and get suggestions directly from them? You can also take this as an opportunity to engage in the art form that older generations were forced to embrace — the art of conversation! And this doesn’t mean just speaking the same tongue. Even if there is a language barrier, you’ll find that comical hand signs, some broken English, or directions scribbled on the back of a napkin can result in some good laughs for everyone. If all else fails, wait until after your digital detox and use one of the many helpful translation apps that are now available.

It’s Okay to Be a Tourist and Join a Tour

Tourist group having guided Segway city tour in Germany

You may think that your smartphone and steady internet is all you need to guide yourself through all the “must-dos” in a destination. But while this may be the cool thing to do, there’s something to be said about taking a tour here and there, getting useful insights from experts or locals, and having the opportunity to meet other travelers from around the world. Another fact to consider is that a lot of hot destinations have free walking tours, where you show your gratitude by only paying a small tip to the tour guides for their information, opinions, and sense of humor. So, go ahead. It’s OK to be a tourist once in a while.

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Bundle It up to Save on Flights & Hotels

booking online concept, travel planning

Millennials love to look for the best deals, scouring the Web for budget airlines and shared living space options in order to keep costs down. But opting for a package deal can actually be a big money-saving move that can be more practical and comfortable in the end. Most sites will throw in a little extra something to make your trip better or even award you points that you can redeem on travel later. There’s also the added security knowing that your flight booking and accommodation all fall under one provider, making it less of a hassle to keep track of them separately.

Don’t Try to See/Do It All

Two travelers relaxing in the tent and their feet stretching out of it

Wonder what people did before there were a gazillion online articles right at their fingertips on everything to see and do in a place? They just went with a handful of recommendations and a map. Think about it for a second; is your vacation enriched by ticking off sites on a list or spending some time really soaking up the local culture? The idea of  “slow travel,” in which where travelers spend a few days or a week just living at the pace of the locals, may be trendy right now, but it’s something that travelers in the pre-digital era found to be the go-to way to travel. In this FOMO age, this might not be too fashionable or Instagram-friendly, but you’ll come back with a more satisfying experience at the end of it all.

Know of any other old-school tips that millennials should consider when traveling? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Dhinesh Manuel

Socialite, philanthropist, costumed crime fighter by wait...that's bad ...

Musician, writer, travel junkie, dog lover, and database of useless information. I love to learn about new cultures, experience new cuisines, meet new people, and have a few laughs along the way!

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