Smart travel advice: try something new

Wendy Perrin describes herself as a “travel junkie” but that may be a little bit of an understatement. She’s traveled all over the place logging countless miles through 90 countries as Condé Nast Traveler’s director of consumer news and digital community, and more recently sharing “secrets every smart traveler should know” on her blog Wendy Perrin Travel Solutions. Last month she took on a new role as TripAdvisor’s first-ever Travel Advocate. When I met her back in the early 90s, she was Condé Nast Traveler’s ombudsman – the same job I eventually found myself in for National Geographic Traveler. Her passion for the job inspired me to help others.

What makes her the world’s smartest traveler? You do. “What really makes me smart is my readers,” she says. “They are diehard savvy travelers, and I get thousands of emails from them. When I offer advice, they reply with their own hard-won travel insights and recommendations—and boy, do they know how to get the best travel experiences for their dollar. What makes me smart is that I listen to them.” Her advice for a smarter trip: Try something new. “Do an activity during your trip that you’ve never done before,” she says. “Try ziplining. Ride an elephant. Learn to surf. Doing something for the first time makes a trip vividly memorable and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment.”

The World’s Smartest Traveler is a weekly series about the visionaries who inspire us to travel smarter. Its curator, Christopher Elliott, is the author of the upcoming book, How to Be The World’s Smartest Traveler (National Geographic Books).

2 thoughts on “Smart travel advice: try something new

  1. I have to travel a lot for my business, mostly in Europe and Asia, but often in the states to cities like Las Vegas. I used to use sites like Travelocity to book my flights and lodging, but I stumbled upon the better way to find deals: go to the second level sites – those like who compare the hundreds of different booking sites in one single search. You’ll not only see Trivago or Expedia deals, but ALL OF THEM in one place.

    I must have saved over 3,000 Euros since I started using them. I sincerely believe that using only one of the top booking sites is not necessarily the best idea.

  2. It’s so true- other travelers are a great help to make the trip go more smoothly. Each time we head to a new location, we love picking the brains of other travelers in the hostels we’re staying in, or taking taxi rides with. It is a comfort to speak with someone who is leaving where you are going, as they have great insider advice.

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