Unexpected But Still True: How Math is Helpful for Travelers

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Last Updated on: 17th December 2021, 03:49 pm

Math teachers usually say that math is the foundation of everything that exists and a universal language that helps us communicate how the world is built and how everything interacts.

However, for those of us who are not interested in discovering the deepest secrets of the universe, a large portion of math problems seems without practical use, except for basic operations.

Nevertheless, if you’re a passionate traveler and enjoy spending time adventuring through foreign lands, you can find numerous practical uses for math.

Egypt - Pyramids - Pixabay

Controlling your budget

Keeping up with our budget during holidays or business travel is often more challenging than we originally planned. In most cases, we lose track of how much money we spend after we convert our money to local currency.

Sure, it’s not as if you’re searching for solutions to the most complicated college algebra assignments, however, thanks to math you can always know how much money you’re about to spend, as prices displayed in local currency can often appear misleading to us.

We could get the feeling that we’re spending way less than we actually are, or we could miss out on a bargain because we think we’re about to spend too much.

Keeping an organized budget allows you to enjoy your travel to its full extent so it’s always a good idea to plan your budget on a daily basis.

Without good math skills, you could be way over your budget sooner than you expect which could lead to an early departure or having to let go of some of your travel plans.

Understanding foreign metrics

Have you ever traveled to a country that uses different measuring units than yours?

It’s really important to know how far from your position is a certain monument or part of the city so that you can plan your trip properly.

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Knowing your proportions helps us to quickly determine if we’re able to walk a certain distance when we have to leave in order to reach our destination in time, or even how high a certain mounting top is before we start our hiking trip.

Even something as simple as ordering food in a restaurant can be less stressful if we understand the size of the portion.

There are other metrics that you can easily understand thanks to proportions and ratios including temperature, weight, height, and numerous other types of measurements that might be introduced in units that are not being used in your country.

Spain - Madrid - Driving in Madrid at Night

Simple packing process

Airlines allow only a limited luggage space which is why we have to pack as rationally as possible in order to make the most of the room have at our disposal.

Through math, we can seamlessly organize our luggage by calculating the weight of each item type and multiplying it by the number of same-type items we decide to carry with us on the plane.

This way we can efficiently pack all of our things, without the need to measure the weight of our luggage every time we drop in a new item.

Also, many airlines include the allowed suitcase volume, which is very easy to calculate if you know your math.

Most people hate packing, and these few examples show us that math can reduce the amount of time we need to spend preparing for our journey.

This is extremely important for return flights because we usually carry souvenirs and gifts, so being able to quickly and efficiently calculate the remaining luggage space is more than useful.

Greece - Crete - Stephanie Luggage

Taking care of driving expenses

If you’re renting a car during your travel, math helps you calculate gas expenses.

Through simple ratios and long division, you can calculate how much gas you need to reach a certain destination. Moreover, you can also use math to decide the pace of your trip, that is, what distance you should cover on a daily basis to reach your destination, what should be your average speed, or even when you’d have to stop in order to tank up your car.

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There’s a huge practical value in being able to manage your driving expenses, especially if you’re planning to spend a lot of time driving.

With smart planning and good math skills, you can not only choose the optimal driving schedule but also save a lot of money on gas and motels.

Resource preservation

For those of us that enjoy extreme conditions and traveling into deep nature, there’s nothing more important than resource allocation.

In the wild, planning how much you will eat or drink on a daily basis can mean the difference between a joyful experience and terrible misfortune.

Sunlight is also an important resource when you’re out in the wild on your own, so successfully pacing your movement and managing your timetable prevents not reaching your shelter before the dark.

In extreme situations, calculating the energy value of each meal can help you stay alive just enough until the help arrives and takes you to safety.

In case you get lost or some other accident happens math can help you build a proper shelter that would keep you safe from weather and animals.


Math is entangled deep into science, art, and virtually every aspect of our daily lives, often in more ways than we are aware.

As a traveler, you have to stay on top of any potential event, especially in extreme conditions. Math helps us recognize and understand certain templates in nature, that carry a strong practical value to us and even make our lives easier.

If you’re a seasoned traveler, there had to be dozens of opportunities in which math helped you, so keep on building those math skills for future travels.

Good to Know: This guide to how to use math while traveling comes to us from Connie Elser, a freelance content writer engaged with several online publishers.

As a writer, Connie aims to deliver practical pieces of information that help the audience in everyday life. Her work is based on deep research and authentic sources of information.

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