Affordable homestays and hostels, a month’s clothing in one backpack, cheap flights, and a list of online reviews on where to find the best low-cost street food; yep, this is how millennials like to travel. It’s great because money is saved and those authentic experiences that often evade more touristy travelers can now be ticked off bucket lists. But, are millennials doing EVERYTHING right when traveling?
Maybe not entirely.
Millennials can also 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 to see the world into a more satisfying experience.
Stay in a Centrally Located Hotel
Often shunned as an old-school tip that’s just too expensive for most millennial budgets, there’s a trick or two you’ll miss if you totally sideline the idea of dishing out for an affordable and practical hotel in the heart of the place you’re visiting. Let’s look at the benefits: 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 would 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 the money you will spend on it, 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 Hrs of Your Trip
Okay, so even some tech-savvy senior travelers would question this one, but the truth of the matter is there are so many other experiences to enjoy once you take your eyes off your phone to engage in conversation with another person. If anything, take it as a little 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 amidst is all about.
Don’t Rely Too Much on Online Suggestions
Why look at the thousands of online reviews when all you have to do is bond with a friendly native and get suggestions directly from them? You can also take this as an opportunity to engage in the art form that older generations embraced when immersing themselves in a new destination in the pre-digital age — 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.
It’s Okay to be a Tourist and Join a Tour
You may think 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 nowadays, there’s something to be said about taking a tour here and there, getting useful insights from experts or locals, and also 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 guide for his/her information, opinions, and sense of humor. So go ahead, don’t think it’s too uncool to be a tourist once in a while!
Bundle It Up to Save on Flights & Hotels
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 bundle package 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
Wonder what people did before there were a gazillion online articles right at your fingertips on everything to see and do in a place? They just went with a handful of recommendations and a map! “Boring and a waste of precious vacation time” you might be saying to yourself. But, think about it for a second; is your vacation enriched by ticking off sites or spending some time really soaking up the local culture? The idea of “slow travel”, where travelers spend a few days or a week just living at the pace of the locals, maybe 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 can bet your bottom dollar 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!