Intro: Travel Tips 101
Below are some tips I've found helpful when traveling. I hope they can help some of you guys as well and if you like them remember to vote for me in the Travel Tips Contest! Feel free to comment your own traveltips below!
1) Pack what you NEED! people often bring way more clothing than they actually use. Check the weather and typical climate for where you're going and then pack lots of layers. Packing a few long sleeve shirts and sweaters is easier and much lighter than taking a big jacket or several sweatshirts. Also then you're set for all temperatures, if it's a little hot, peel off one layer, a little cold? add one
2) If you're going oversees, get a universal travel adapter like the one in the picture, rather than one specifically for the country you're going to. That way if you go somewhere else later or you want to travel around, you're already set.
3) For oversees travel, if you bring your laptop then you can charge that using your travel adapter then simply charge your phone, kindle and other devices from the usb ports on your laptop instead of buying several adapters
4) When going oversees make sure you know that many devices are already rated for high voltage like in Europe (like the Macbook charger for example), and only need the adapter but some devices are not and actually need a voltage converter, so check your devices and be careful.
5) Google Goggles is an interesting/useful app which gives you information about things you take pictures of. It will typically recognize many landmarks and famous places, products, logos and more and will allow you to run a google search using that info from the picture. It will also allow you take a picture of text in a foreign language and translate it!
6) If you're a student, bring your student ID! Many places and tours across the country and even oversees will give you discounts. I was actually able to get student discounts when I went to the UK!
7) If you are not in a rush whether you are flying to China or flying to California, Be on the lookout for airlines looking for volunteers. Often they will give you up to several hundred dollars towards another ticket, flight out the next day and potentially even cover your hotel for the night. It's a great way to get a free or significantly cheaper flight in the future and maybe see or do some last minute things that you wouldn't otherwise have been able to.
8) Use TripAdvisor for suggestions on the best tours, restaurants, hotels etc, but also ask LOCALS. They often know the best spots and usually the less touristy ones as well.
9) Don't be afraid to go down a random block or street that looks interesting! Explore, because that's often how you find some of the most memorable places.
10) If you're going overseas and you still want to be able to use pandora or US Netflix etc, the mediahint extension for google chrome will allow you to do just that with a couple clicks!
11) I know this may go against my suggestions of the goggles app and trip-advisor, but remember to put your phone and all your electronics down for a while and really interact with the people around you and wherever it is that you are, take it all in! sometimes we all get a little too wired so unplug for a while! If your in a group you can even make it sort of fun and stack everyone's phone in the center of the table and force people to talk, it works.
Have fun and I hope some of these common sense tips help you have a smooth trip wherever you go!