Unfortunately, in the midst of the pandemic, the best travel tip out there is not to travel at all. But with a vaccine on the horizon, we’re hopeful we can get back to normal in the near future.
When you do take that next vacation, here are some of the best tips from serial world travelers.
1. Book cancellable rooms in case plans change.
The worst thing is when you have booked a non-cancellable hotel for a week, but the cool friends you met want to take you somewhere amazing. Often, you can still get amazing deals last minute anyways on the big hotel sites. Book a cancellable room so if plans do change, you’re not out a bunch of money.
2. Be Friendly
If you want to meet the locals, you must be friendly, smile and say that first hello. This rule pertains to meeting anyone new no matter where you live, but if your intent is to experience the people of the land you are visiting, you must show that you are open and friendly first!
3. Venture Into Meeting Locals
One of the most amazing aspects of traveling abroad is to be able to meet and talk to locals. You can learn and experience so much from them, opening up your mind, and giving you an overall sense of knowledge of this world. This is by far an experience that cannot be had anywhere else.
4. Explore Less “Touristy” Sites
You are allowed to explore area’s that are not as popular or well known. Sometimes it is these area’s that will give you more of an experience than the usual sight seeing spots and tourist money making area’s.
5. Explore The Unknown
Do you know the best way to discover something new? Just go somewhere randomly without knowing where you are going. Yes, we are telling you to purposely get lost. By doing so, you will definitely see places that you never planned and may be in for some great surprises!
6. Planning Too Much Will Backfire
You obviously need to book your travel days. You will also have planned out the must see or must do things. But anything else in between, you should leave it open or optional because when you start exploring, chances are you may spend more time on one thing, and less on another. By not having such a strict schedule to the minute, you will not be as stressed and you will enjoy your tour even more.
7. Say ‘Yes’ More Than ‘No’
If locals are offering something to you, food, gifts, visit to another place, try and say ‘Yes’ as much as possible. This opens up more opportunities for you to explore the lifestyle’s of the place you are visiting. You will also make the local’s happy as they are proud to show off who they are!
8. Travel Light!
This tip is so important when traveling. You are a tourist, you will be seeing different people everyday. Who cares if you wear the shorts or shirts a few times without a wash (unless it is absolutely necessary). You aren’t going there to meet a wife or husband, you are a tourist. Pack only the necessities as you will most likely be hauling these items with you most of the time. If you need something, buy it there, simple.
9. Be Open Minded of Other Lifestyles
The way you live your life is neither correct nor wrong, it is merely a choice decided by yourself and your society. When traveling to a new country, be open minded to how they live and don’t be judgemental. That’s what makes this world so great, is the diversity of different cultures living on one planet.
10. Alert Your Credit Card Company and Bank
With heightened security everywhere, do not forget to notify your bank or credit card companies. They are very good at tracking activity out of your daily norm. And the last thing you need is to be able to not access your funds. This will simply waste precious fun time while having to deal with getting your accounts open again
11. Dry Shampoo Will Save You
Depending on the kind of traveling you are doing, if you head to places that don’t have easily accessible showers, dry shampoo will save your hygienic life especially if you need to interact or just simply, be around people. Make sure you pack this item if necessary.
12. Learn Basic Language Terms
Before traveling to a country with a language you do not speak, you should make an effort to learn some basic words. Thank you, Hello, Please, Sorry, Do you speak English? Perhaps bring a book with translations so you can whip it out in order to really relay a message.
13. Take Tons of Photos!
It doesn’t matter how insignificant something may seem, if you have doubts about taking pictures of something, you probably should. You should have brought a few large memory cards, that will hold a lot of photos or videos. Better yet, if you brought a laptop or external drive, you can clear and backup your daily photos/videos every night or two to ensure you can go camera happy!
14. Document Your Trip
Whether you write it down on paper, blog, or vlog, it is best to keep track of your daily adventures, right down to the meal. It will be amazing to look back at it years later and trust me, you will take a serious trip down memory lane, like you were there all over again, from morning to night. Whether you document your day just before bedtime, or early the next morning, this is a very worthwhile thing to do.
15. Protect Your Wallet
You have all heard about important items getting stolen. For starters, never carry your wallet in your back pocket. For women, don’t leave your wallet in your purse that you carry over your shoulder. Some of these thieves are incredible professionals and you would never know that these items were long stolen by the time you look for it.
16. Don’t Forget About Your Hotel Housekeepers
Whichever hotel you stay at, do not forget to tip the housekeepers. It is best to leave the tip when you have checked out. They have a pretty tough job and this is just a mere show of gratitude that they have made your stay at the hotel a pleasant and comfortable experience.
17. Get Help At Museums
If you are going to be visiting museums or exhibits its wise to ask the staff for tips. Especially if you are in Europe there are too many museums. It’ll be impossible to see every exhibit at every museum, and as you work your way through museums you will find yourself looking for the important exhibits to see. Ask the staff to point you in the right direction
18. Don’t Ever Pack Hated Clothes
Ok, so this should sound like common sense, but seriously, do not pack clothes you hate and never wear at home. Chances of you wearing those while traveling are zero!
19. Staying With Someone During A Trip?
If you are staying with someone for a short period during your visit, do not forget to get them a gift. This is a universal sign of appreciation and thanks. Get them something from your home country that they cannot readily get. Showing common courtesy such as this will only add brownie points in the future if you ever visit them again.
20. Buy Souvenir’s
You should try to plan a budget for some souvenir shopping. Now consider this, buy a really tacky, borderline ugly souvenir. This could make a great gift for someone when the time is right, or if you decide to hang onto it yourself, it will bring back some amazing memories!
21. Don’t Bring New Clothing
Avoid packing clothes you have never worn before. You may end up finding yourself being very uncomfortable because you haven’t got used to it, or broken them in yet. Prime example, never bring new shoes. The last thing you need happening is getting extremely sore feet, compounded with blisters and the works002E
22. Pack Clothes That Are Low Maintenance
Please don’t be one of those inexperienced travelers that bring with them the most high maintenance clothing. Come on, you don’t want to spend extra time in the hotel room preparing your clothes unless you are going out to a luxurious dinner.
Bring clothes that aren’t too expensive, but more importantly, don’t require such maintenance like ironing. This is time you don’t need to waste pressing out creases. T shirts, polo shirts, whatever it is, remember you are traveling, you are a tourist, no one honestly cares if you have a few creases in your shirt or pants.
And don’t forget to check your weather app to see what is most appropriate to wear that day.
23. Don’t forget chargers and battery packs!
For whatever electronics you bring, do not EVER forget to bring the chargers! The last thing you need is to forget your battery charger for your camera. That will force you to have to buy something unnecessary, or worse yet, another camera. Also do not forget to check if adapters are required for the country(s) you are visiting. The last thing you need is to not be able to charge your devices even if you have brought your chargers.
24. Invest in Luggage or Backpacks With Wheels
Consider investing in a suitcase or backpack that is equipped with wheels and handles. For the times you don’t have to carry anything over your shoulder, you have this incredible option to just drag it around!! Little things can make your trip that much more easy going.
25. Don’t Pack For Just-In-Case
Ever stand and ponder the “what if” cases that you may need to wear a dress or shirt for a glitzy evening? Truth be told, only pack one as chances are you may never have to wear a 2nd outfit. Packing light is essential for traveling as this won’t tire you out, and cut out the extra “baggage” that wasn’t required in the first place. Worse comes to worse, just buy what you need when you get to your destination.
26. Bring An Empty Water Bottle
You never know what the conditions of drinking water are at your destinations. Many people can be sensitive to chemicals or there lack of, to the treatment of local water. Having an empty bottle to store clean water (whether it come from a filtered source, boiled, etc) will be handy and convenient for your excursions.
27. First Aid Kit Will Come In Handy
Another item often overlooked is to never forget essential first aid items. Sterilizing wipes, band-aids, hydrocortisone cream, anti-allergy meds, advil or tylenol, decongestants, etc. You never know when this will come in handy, and in the event something requires attention, you will so extremely grateful you had these life savers with you.
28. Don’t Forget To Do Your Laundry First
This should go without saying, but make sure you do your laundry first before packing for vacation. The last thing you need to do is have to find a place to do laundry after you land. Time is precious during any vacation, eliminate wasteful moments such as this.
29. Give Yourself More Time to Explore
If you are going abroad, it is better to spend a few extra days in one place rather than just one day. Compressing too many places in a short period of time will not only feel really rushed, but you will not truly experience the place you are visiting. You are better to visit a few places at a time, but allowing yourself a good few days to explore what’s around you.
30. Read! There is a ton of time to read in airports and on trains. Take advantage.
10 Inspiring Books For Your Next Trip
The Great Railway Bazaar – by Paul Theroux
A classic travel story, this vibrant novel will take you through the author’s colourful train journeys through Asia.
In Patagonia – by Bruce Chatwin
This quirky and intricate novel set in South America is an inspiration for travellers looking forward to a taste of the nomadic travel lifestyle.
Letters from Egypt: A Journey on the Nile 1849-1850 – by Florence Nightingale
Better known for her role in the medical world, Nightingale’s story of travel is a must-read for the young, energetic female traveller.
The Way of the World – by Nicholas Bouvier
Spark your sense of adventure and follow these European travellers as they take the backroads through India trying to see life the way locals do.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – by Hunter S. Thompson
The well-known journalist weaves a gripping tale that will light a fire under road-trip enthusiasts and lovers (and also cynics) of the City of Sin.
The Innocents Abroad – by Mark Twain
One of the best-selling Twain – and travel – books of all time, readers will be enthralled by the cultural observations made in the journey through the Mediterranean to the Holy Land.
Their Heads are Green and their Hands are Blue – by Paul Bowles
The essays about Hindu, Islamic, and Buddhist countries in this book will shed light, respect, and insight on beautiful parts of the world we sometimes don’t learn enough about.
Tracks – by Robyn Davidson
A comforting book for travellers feeling out of their element, this incredible story follows the author as she crosses the beautiful but harsh Australian desert by camel.
Into Thin Air – by Jon Krakauer
A gripping, best-selling novel about a man’s experience during the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster.
On the Road – by Jack Kerouac
You won’t want to linger for long on your travels while reading this beatnik classic about a substance-fuelled, energetic road trip through the USA during the ‘50s.