Are you a self-proclaimed travel addict? Yeah, us too. Traveling offers a much-needed opportunity to shift your perspective—to step outside yourself and experience different cultures, languages, environments, and people, all in real time.
Rawle Murdy has been in the travel and tourism game since day one. Our very first client was in the industry, and although a lot has changed since then, our passion for travel has not. Our expertise is unmatched (not to brag or anything), so we know a thing or two about catching flights instead of feelings and finding the best filter for FOMO-inducing Insta pics.
In celebration of World Tourism Day on September 27, here are some pro travel tips we’ve picked up over the years. Sharing is caring, after all.
1. The Off Season Is Your New BFF
This one may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how few people actually take advantage of off times. Scheduling that vacation to Costa Rica for May through August (during their “rainy” season) can save you hundreds on airfare alone, not to mention the money you’ll save on hotels and the headache you’ll save trying to rent a car during peak tourist season. Best of all, you’ll have plenty of money leftover for all the excursions you’ve been furiously pinning on your Pinterest board for the past year.
Planning a trip closer to home? We’ve got the inside scoop from our awesome clients at the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, which was recently awarded Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society. Escape to Jackson County in the western North Carolina mountains for a midweek reprieve. You’ll avoid the crowds and may find better deals on accommodations than you would on the weekends.
2. Give Public Transportation a Try
As daunting as it may seem to figure out public transportation in a new country (or even a new city!), it really is the most efficient and cost-effective way to see a new place. Hop on a bus or tram and pick a stop! You can cover the whole city in a day or two and skip over the part where a cabbie scams you out of all your money because you don’t know the conversion rate off the top of your head. Not like that happened to us or anything. Why do you ask?
Whether you’re a Charleston local or just passing through, our clients at CARTA have your back. The DASH will whisk you around downtown for free (yep, you heard that right), and you can take the Airport Express bus from downtown to the airport for just $3.50! That’s a deal that’s just too good to pass up.
3. Pack Light (You’ll Thank Us Later)
Remember the part where we said you should take public transportation? Yeah, well that will be a LOT easier if you’re not bogged down by double your bodyweight in bags. You want to be svelte, nimble, even aerodynamic on the off chance you have to sprint to make the last train of the night. When you’re packing, ask yourself, “What can I absolutely not live without?” or “Am I really going to wear three different outfits per day during my beach vacation?” Mostly the answer will be no, although if know yourself well enough to know it’s a yes, kudos to you for being self-aware.
If you need a little more guidance, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for a weeklong trip: Limit yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes, and one hat. Adjust the list to suit your needs. Throw in a swimsuit and exercise gear for a more active trip, or bring a dress and suit jacket if you need to get down to business.
4. Rain Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Come Out and Play
Quite the opposite, actually. There are countless places with indoor space worth exploring, and you won’t worry about missing out on a nice day. That’s what we call a win-win. Use this weather-related opportunity to visit a nearby museum, heritage site, or historic house that you’ve just never gotten around to seeing. It doesn’t matter how far you travel—it just matters that you step outside your front door and learn something new!
Did you know our clients at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum have 300,000 square feet of covered exhibit space? That’s a lot of room to explore. So rain or shine, grab your friends and family and come aboard for a (probably long overdue) history lesson.
5. Follow Social Media to Live Like the Locals
Nobody knows a city or town better than the locals. From friendly neighborhood dive bars to weekly specials, chances are you can find it all on an expertly curated social media account. Avoid tourist traps and questionable restaurants by following up-to-date accounts dedicated to highlighting the best of the best in your destination of choice.
Case in point: Our clients over at Visit Winston-Salem know all the ins and outs of the vibrant North Carolina city. Follow their blog for inspiration on the best ways to see the city of arts and innovation.
Think your brand would benefit from having a travel and tourism expert on speed dial? We’ve got you covered. Let’s talk!