My 30 Best Travel Tips After 9 Years Traveling The World
Travel stories always make up a fantastic read. Travel tips are even better. The more you travel around the world, the more personal rules, dos and don’ts you collect. After nine years on the go, I can write several books of tips! But for now, I decided to share the most useful things. This is not an attempt to teach you how to travel, just helpful guidance I would be glad to have myself when I first started out.
#1. Learn to pack. Rolling vs folding? Try to take something that doesn’t wrinkle instead. Don’t pack too much. You can always use a laundromat or a sink to wash your clothes or visit a local mall. Carry baby wipes and snacks for emergency cases.
#2. Pack your carry-on wisely. Always ask yourself a question: what will I need to survive if my luggage gets lost?
#3. Always have insurance. You just cannot travel around the world without taking care of your life. Besides, border control officers and even police officers in the city can check your insurance. And make a plan for sickness, just in case.
#4. Don’t overplan. Be flexible. Get lost on purpose. Research the basics, then improvise. Sticking to a prepared plan ruins all the fun.
#5. Ask for assistance. Communicate with locals. Talk to travelers who came earlier and already have some places to recommend. Be open to suggestions.
#6. Look for cheap eats & stays. When you travel around the world long enough, you learn to avoid expensive resorts. Couchsurfing, hostels, food markets and supermarkets – this is all about local life. Traveling off-season also helps to avoid crowds and high prices.
#7. Find free activities. Free walking tours are among the most frequently mentioned travel tips, but not the only option.
#9. Have some local cash. Just use ATMs and exchange points outside the airport, the rates are better there in the city.
#9. Prepare different money steams. Prepare a debit or credit card (or both), some cash, top up PayPal account to have a plan B if something gets stolen or lost.
#10. Have an extra budget. Keep more money than you are ready to spend for the emergency case – medicine, ticket, etc.
Transport & accommodation
#11. Learn to deal with the jet lag. It can be an extra nap, an extra cup of coffee, more water, fresh air or chocolate. Figure out what works best for you.
#12. Combine different kinds of transport. You won’t get far without flights. Bus rides are often cheaper. Train rides guarantee scenic views. Try each for the complete experience and smart budget management.
#13. One-way tickets are a good idea. Travel tips don’t always focus on budget efficiency. No need to buy a cheap round ticket if you need to come a long way back later. In this case, logistics comes first.
#14. Volunteering is as well. Besides volunteering programs, there are websites, where you can find a part-time occupation in exchange for free accommodation (and sometimes free food).
#15. Try different kinds of accommodation. Hostels, guest houses, hotels, Airbnb, Couchsurfing – each has its pros and cons; each is appropriate for specific circumstances.
Comfort & wellness
#16. Drink plenty of water. Why is this even on the list of travel tips? Proper water balance keeps you healthy and energetic. During traveling, people pay less attention to such obvious things.
#17. Try to eat healthily. Eating cheap at fast food restaurants all the time will award you a couple of extra pounds with all the side effects. Go with healthier options every now and then.
#18. Carry a towel and flip-flops. This is simply about hygiene. You can also keep a pair of earplugs – the answer to how to travel and sleep well.
#19. Visit a doctor before you leave. If you don’t have any chronic diseases or allergies, visit at least a dentist.
#20. Use a VPN. WiFi networks are often unsecured, which can make your favorite streaming services unavailable. VPN is a solution.
Culture & people
#21. Learn how to behave. No matter how much you travel around the world, culture shock is inevitable. Always learn about the basic dos and don’ts. They will keep you away from embarrassment and trouble.
#22. Learn some local words. People don’t speak English everywhere. Learn key phrases to ask for directions, explain simple things, and make locals feel pleased.
#23. Carry your camera around. Right, how to travel without photos? Learn the camera gear inside out. Always backup. Just don’t get too obsessed.
#24. Forget about souvenirs. Keep a journal or start a blog instead.
#25. Talk to locals. This is the best way to find out about their lives and culture.
#26. Lower your expectations. Get ready to traffic jams, rubbish on the streets, rude people with their problems, and similar stuff every now and then. This is life.
#27. Be skeptical about TripAdvisor. Most of the reviews are fake or left by people, who don’t travel around the world much and don’t travel on a budget.
#28. Be patient and open-minded. Things aren’t wrong, they are just different. Don’t be rude or sarcastic on border control. Don’t mock the locals. Stay tolerant in any situation. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Embrace different cultures, experiences, and outlooks.
#29. Travel alone. At least sometimes. It is a perfect way to leave your comfort zone, become more confident, make new friends, and just clear your mind.
#30. Don’t forget your friends back at home. Last but not least among my travel tips. Don’t leave good friends behind, even if they are overseas. Share good stories, nice pictures, your fails, and check up on their affairs from time to time.