TravelTravel Advice

The New Rules of Travel

Seventeen essential strategies for how to make your adventuring more fun, affordable, and hassle-free

In Taghazout, Morocco, the waves are good and the transportation to find them even better.Go with Surf Maroc. (Photo: Courtesy Surf Maroc)

We love sharing our favorite places in the world with you. But it’s been a while since we gave you advice on planning trips and preparing for travel, like how to find the best airfares, fly with large gear, sail through customs, seek out like-minded people on the road, maximize your airline credit-card miles, get off the beaten path, and other tried-and-true recommendations. So we mined tips from our most active travel writers and other experts to bring you these new rules. All you have to do is read them and go.

Find Your Crew

It’s never been easier to engage with other like-minded travelers, thanks to apps and active social-media groups with extensive reaches.

Looking for friends to travel with? There's an app for that. (Photo: jacoblund/iStock)

With the help of Facebook groups, you’ll never have to travel alone if you don’t want to. Post that you want to ride the Whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah, with someone, and you’ll likely find a riding mate quickly.

Make the Most of Our National Parks

A national park advocate shares his advice on how to avoid crowds, get off the beaten path, see wildlife, and find adventure.

National Parks
Here are some tips for traveling the national parks. (Photo: 4kodiak/iStock)

We asked David Lamfrom, director of the wildlife program for the National Parks Conservation Association, for his advice on how to do national parks while still avoiding crowds and steep entrance fees. 

Eat Healthy in Airports

It’s almost time for summer travel. We reveal some of our favorite airport restaurants plus tips on how to avoid loading up on junk food as you fly off on your mountain and beach adventures.

healthy food
It is possible to eat healthfully when flying. Here's how. (Photo: Dan Gold/Unsplash)

Some people get the munchies while high. Outside writer AC Shilton gets them while physically high—say, at 30,000 feet. Here she provides tips on how to eat healthy while traveling. 

Cruise Through Security and Customs

With these tools, there’s no reason to wait in long lines.

Ditch the lines and cruise through the airport by signing up for things like Clear or the Global Entry program. (Photo: Santi Nunez/Stocksy)

You know all those people you see heading for the lanes that say Global Entry and Clear? Here’s what they know that you need to know.

Travel Alone at Least Once a Year

For this veteran journalist, the intoxicating freedom of traveling solo outweighs the risks every time. Here are her life-on-the-road strategies.

Life-on-the-road strategies for women traveling alone (Photo: simonapilolla/iStock)

It’s a good thing to go it alone on occasion, whether camping in the wilderness, road-tripping cross-country, or flying across the world. Just do it safely and strategically.

Invest in Long-Haul Flight-Survival Gear

These bags, clothes, tools, and, yes, drugs make regular long-haul flights survivable.

A 747 lifts off from Ottowa's MacDonald-Cartier International. (Photo: Heads Up Aviation Photography)

Getting to faraway places requires sturdy and functional gear. Wes Siler, a writer for Outside and frequent traveler, lists his must-pack gear items for long flights and big adventures. 

Score Deals on Airline Tickets

Whether you’re headed for California or Costa Rica, these tips will save you money and minimize hassle.

air travel
Ticket prices can fluctuate as unpredictably as the stock market. (Photo: FG Trade/iStock)

Getting a cheap airline ticket comes down to the right timing, airport, and season. Don’t get caught paying extra just because you bought your ticket on a Friday instead of a Tuesday. 

Get Your Gear There Affordably

Traveling with large gear can get pricey. Here’s how to bring your mountain bike or surfboard along without going broke.

Keep your money and bring your stuff. (Photo: CACTUS Creative Studio/Stocksy)

Flying with gear can be downright expensive, and some airlines charge gear-specific baggage fees in excess of $200 one-way. Then again, some of them let you fly with your oversize gear for free

Use a Travel Agent

Yes, you can try to book your epic adventure by spending hours searching the internet. Or you can save time, money, and hassle by using a travel agent.

Planning a trip with the help of a travel adviser could reduce time spent wondering what to do next, save you money, and offer some amazing experiences you won't find elsewhere. (Photo: GomezDavid/iStock)

The next generation of world travelers is using travel agents more often. Maybe you should, too.

Explore a State Park

There are more than 10,000 different state parks across the country, many of which have terrain that rivals any national park. These are our five favorites.

State Parks
State parks are some of the best-kept secrets in the U.S. Ditch the crowds and go discover them for yourself. (Photo: Sportstock/iStock)

The busloads of tourists crammed into the designated scenic overlooks at national parks can be overwhelming. If you want a truly wild experience this summer, explore our underrated state-park system.

Pack Smart

Technically advanced outdoor gear can make traveling on your next business trip easier, more comfortable, and more efficient.

Christian, dressed for a night on the town. (Photo: Chris Brinlee Jr. )

Do you really want to be that person in the aiport lugging around a 40-pound backpack? Or worse, checking your luggage? We’ll answer for you: you don’t, so here’s how to not be. 

Maximize Your Airline Credit-Card Miles

Credit-card mileage programs are as confusing as they are enticing, with rules, add-ons, and fine print that’s always changing. Here’s how to score lots of free tickets with them.

credit card
Here's how to cheat the system and fly for free. (Photo: Sakkawokkie/iStock)

Airline-mileage expert Scott Keyes has 84 credit cards. Maybe you don’t need that many, but you do need to know his tips on how to basically fly anywhere for free

Get Travel Insurance

And everything you need to know before you purchase a plan.

Purchasing travel insurance? A little research before you do won't hurt. (Photo: Jakob Owens/Unsplash)

If a travel disaster does strike, you could be out thousands of dollars. The question is: How much risk can you live with

Let These Stories Inspire You

From SUPing down the Colorado to hiking the Appalachian Trail solo, these features explore and revel in the adventures our country has to offer.

We hope you enjoy the reading material—and maybe even find some inspiration to pack your bags and hit the road. (Photo: Gabe Rogel; Jake Stangel; Anita Kunz; Courtesy of Rahawa Haile; Forest Woodward)

Here’s a (noncomprehensive) list of the best travel stories we’ve ever told. Find some inspiration to pack your bags and hit the road.  

Don’t Recline Your Airline Seat

You heard us. On cramped flights, the person who reclines their seat in front of us really chafes.

A customer reclines in the cabin of a Transcontinental and Western Air Douglas DC-1 Airplane. (Photo: University of Southern California/Corbis via Getty)

If there’s one thing we hate about flying, it’s not the overpriced tickets or the baby crying three rows ahead in economy class. It’s the people who recline their seats with total disregard for the person behind them.

Own Your Layover

Frequent fliers spend a lot of energy trying to avoid long layovers. But with these tips, the right attitude, and a bit of ingenuity, you can turn your layover into an adventure.

Get a long enough layover in Iceland and you could be looking at a weeklong hiking adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the world. (Photo: Taylor Kampa/Stocksy)

A seven-day layover in Iceland? Yes, please

Chill Out

(Photo: Trinette Reed/Stocksy)

One final piece of advice: You’re on vacation, people. Drink the tequila! Eat the pasta! Sleep in! And yes, lounging in a hammock on a beach is a legit adventure. Bon voyage.

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Lead Photo: Courtesy Surf Maroc
How to Travel in 2019