Traveling to exotic destinations and hometown favorites is what wanderlust is all about. Ronny Maye, contributing writer at The Points Guy, Fodor’s Travel and founder of The Life of Ronny, shared with us some of her top tips and travel secrets for those looking to escape the daily grind, either for good or from time to time.
Tell us about your job and how you ended up in the travel industry.
I’m a freelance writer with a niche in travel. Traveling and writing were always hobbies of mine, so it made sense to merge the two by sharing my personal travel experiences. My career took off from there and I have been able to make amazing connections, visit incredible places, and share it all with eager travelers looking for their own travel adventures.
What do you love most about your job?
The experience of getting to know the locals, and their passions, while seeing the world through someone else’s eyes is an immeasurable gift. It is the absolute best part of what I do.
What are your top travel planning tips?
- Always book direct when it comes to accommodations and flights, especially when you’re traveling at peak times. Sometimes, it’s so incredibly tempting to go for that deal bundling everything together but more often than not, travelers experience interruptions, cancellations, and delays. When this happens, only that third-party booking company can help you, not the hotel or airline.
- To add to that point, my next travel planning tip is to spring for travel insurance! It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you’re traveling. Side note: Ronny shared her experience traveling with Faye here.
- Look beyond the tourist traps. Those popular Insta-worthy restaurants and attractions are fun but getting tapped in with local spots and mom-and-pop establishments is the best viewpoint of a city.
What’s your favorite destination and why?
Domestically, it goes to New Orleans. There is so much history and culture there that every visit feels like the first time. Other than that, just give me a good beach, so I can catch the sunrise or sunset.
You travel nonstop. Tell us what the least glamorous thing is about that lifestyle.
As the old saying goes, there’s no place like home! As much as I love being on the go, coming home to unwind and relish in those new memories is underrated. I don’t have to worry about setting alarms to check in for flights, create itineraries or shuffle through crowds, or any of those other “pesky” travel nuances.
What are your three travel must-haves?
Oh, this is such a good question! Compression socks, a good snack pack, and some form of entertainment. I can make it through anything with these on hand!
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the past while traveling that you’d avoid in the future?
When I first started traveling, I was not nearly as well-versed as I am now. So, when my friends and I booked a trip, we went for a bundle deal on a third-party site. We didn’t have insurance and thought the price we saw at booking was the final price. Back then, I didn’t know that things like hotel incidental rates, overnight parking and such also had to be built into the travel budget. So it was quite a shock and a misstep for me not to plan for these in advance. Now I know better.
What’s your best piece of travel advice for our readers?
Book the trip! It seems simple and cliche but it’s the truest thing you could ever hear. I personally can’t think of a single time I regretted it but I can think of plenty of times I regret putting other things before my travel plans.
Travel with people you love, try something new, and forget about everything else for a few days. Bills, work, problems, etc., will always be there. The opportunity to create memories or do something unforgettable will not.