If you travel often, you've probably accumulated your fair share of routines or preferences you abide by when booking a trip or taking that coveted vacation. In other words, you figure out what works for you as a traveler to make each getaway more enjoyable. So a redditor recently asked, "What's the most surprising change in your travel style over the years?" Here's what people said.

1."I've started to really capitalize on credit card points and miles, which has been a game-changer. I have been able to visit hotels and destinations that would have otherwise financially been out of reach. Taking advantage of points has enabled me to fly business class on some trips, which makes me actually enjoy long haul flights instead of dreading them."

2."I mostly travel solo, and I have made it a priority to be friendly to others. I'm not shy anymore when it comes to talking to strangers — either other travelers or locals. This has made a big difference."

3."When I first started traveling, it was hostels all the way for me. But now, I really value my own space. I can't imagine myself staying in a shared hostel room again. Why share a room with people who have alarms set for their 5 a.m. flight and need to share one bathroom?"

4."I always take food tours. They're an amazing, interactive way to not only learn about food, but also the culture and history of a particular place. They tend to be pricey but so worth it. You get to discover so many new local dishes that don’t usually make it onto 'must eat' lists."

5."I've started to pay extra for nonstop flights. Paying more for fewer flights reduces the chance that one delayed flight causes missed connections and, as a result, the need to spend even more time in transit. Plus, you have to account for more recovery time when you arrive at a destination exhausted after long layovers and already long flight times. After a direct flight, I can get to the fun part of my trip."

6."I used to seek out nightlife, but I've lost pretty much all interest in that now. I’ve found that bars and clubs are pretty much the same everywhere. I like having one nightcap, getting to bed early, and waking up refreshed, ready to explore."

7."I opt in for group tours. I mainly travel alone, and when I was younger, it was easy to think I knew all about what I should see and what I was seeing. Now, I appreciate being in a small group — whether it's just for a day or several — and having someone knowledgable talk me through what I'm seeing. I don’t want to be on a bus stopping for obligatory photo-ops and listening to pre-recorded descriptions, but I appreciated a well-vetted, small-group tour."

8."Especially now that I'm traveling with a kid, I love staying in fully equipped apartments. Having one or even two bedrooms and a washer/dryer is an absolute game-changer. I'm definitely willing to spend more on accommodations for that added comfort."

9."I try to always rent a car. You would not believe how much more you can see and experience if you have a car. It allows you to travel on your own time so you won't be waiting on schedules for buses, trains, and planes. And you can just pull over and explore wherever your heart desires. Driving from destination to destination feels like part of the adventure. You can stop at tiny little towns to fill up on gas and walk around. Renting a car might cost more compared to taking a train, but you get way more from the experience."

10."I've become OK with splurging on experiences. Someone told me that you'll never remember the cost of that cool thing you wanted to do, but you will always remember the experience. Now, when I think back, I can't remember how much any single activity cost, whether it was visiting the Colosseum or eating a really nice meal."

11."I used to have an extensive list of places I wanted to visit, and used to cram several destinations into every vacation. But now, I am more likely to go to a single place and really enjoy what it has to offer."

12."I always book the bed and breakfast rate, even if it costs a bit more up front. I've realized that starting off a busy day of traveling with breakfast included makes such a big difference and lets me fuel up for the day ahead without thinking about it. Plus, it's such a nice perk to wake up to."

13."Travel journaling has been amazing for me. When I travel, I get a journal and write in it every day. When I read back on the small sensory details I wrote down (things I normally would have forgotten if not written down that day), it helps me go back and re-plant myself in that time and place."

14."I think beyond major cities. A country can have a lot more to offer than just its capital."

15."In the last year or so, I’ve stopped trying to do everything when I travel. I’ve found that my happiest travel moments occur when I make no plans and just do whatever feels right in the moment. Sometimes, that might be just finding a spot I want to be and just soaking up my surroundings for the day. It’s hard to stay present when I’m worried about trying to see and do all the 'must-see' places."

16."I splurge on mid-tier seats (like premium economy) for extra long flights. I know it's a luxury, but I also can't imagine going back to economy for international flights. I can't afford first class, but that mid-tier with bigger seats and adequate leg room is such an improvement and worth the extra money if I have it."

17."I've learned that while public transportation is nice when it works out, it isn't realistic to rely on it all the time. It's not feasible to walk to every destination or get everywhere on public transport. IMO, Taxis and Ubers are worth the money when you're tired or can't get somewhere conveniently."

18."I used to stick strictly to an itinerary, but when I travel somewhere now, I always save a day with nothing planned. I’m able to fit in things I come across as I travel but didn't account for. I'll just roam and recharge and go where the day takes me. I call it my Ferris Bueller day."

19."I've started paying for access to airport lounges. Having a more comfortable seat before flights or during layovers and access to free coffee, food, and drinks is so worth it for me. This is part of a larger trend for me, which is that as I get older, I value comfort, ease of travel, and avoiding the unknown as much as possible."

20."I give myself alone time when I'm traveling in a group. A lot of people try to pack everything in, and all it causes is stress. And some people want to do everything together, which can lead to a lot of fighting. I've found it's necessary to give myself breaks from others."

21."I used to make lots of restaurant reservations in advance of traveling, but I've started giving myself more free meals so I'm not tethered to plans. I still research and book some spots in advance, but I love being able to stumble on a promising-looking gem or ask locals for their favorite spots. And other times, I love being able to grab some street food or picnic rather than sit down at a big meal."

22."I'm over traveling to big cities. Ten years ago, I would have labeled myself a 'city person.' I loved visiting places like London, Amsterdam, Rome, and New York for the hustle and bustle, all the experiences, and the things to do and see. But over the years, I've slowed down in my traveling. Nowadays, I'd much rather spend a week in a smaller town — one of those places where you know your way around after a day or three and the days are more relaxed. I find these types of vacations more manageable and cities are all just...too much."

23."I rely more on roadtrips than flying. I used to fly for pretty much every vacation, which gave me the ability to see some wonderful places. But now, with how bad airlines have become, I have zero interest in flying. I'm taking more roadtrips these days and am much happier for it even though it limits my range."

24."I've begun taking an extra day off work when I return from a trip because I'm always so damn tired from the travel. It's made a huge difference."

What is a travel habit, preference, or style you've adopted that you'd recommend others try? Tell us in the comments!

2024-01-24T10:56:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd