People aren’t born smart travelers. It’s something that only comes with experience. In the beginning, you make a lot of mistakes. Then, one day, you begin to seamlessly move through airports and integrate yourself into new cultures like a fish to water.
I want to help you accelerate the process and help you avoid some mistakes (and I sometimes make a lot of them also), so I put together this list of 20 travel tips that I gathered in my experience and research, that will help you reach your full travel potential.
20 Travel Tips
1. Don’t be scared of using a map.
Looking like a traveler isn’t as bad as getting really lost and ending up in the wrong places. So get yourself a city guide once you arrived in a city.
2. Visit the local tourism office.
They know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. Use this resource.
3. Make extra copies important documents.
Always make copies of Passports, Insurance, Travel tickets and other important documents. Also don’t forget to email a copy to yourself so you’ll always have access to them, one way or another.
4. Lunchtime is the best time to visit landmarks.
The sites are almost empty and you’ll have fewer crowds to fight.
5. Try new food.
Don’t ask what it is. Just put it in your mouth and see if you like it. Explore the local cuisine and let yourself in a new culture. Isn’t that the purpose of traveling? If you put your guard up, you might miss out on some unusual and delicious food.
6. Avoid Taxis.
They can be expensive. Try to learn how to get yourself around a city/town with local transportation (Trains, Bus and more).
7. Take city tours.
These tours will give you a good orientation and background of the city you are in.
8. Get a city pass.
If you are going to visit a lot of museums and other attractions in a short period of time, a city pass is going to save you money on admission.
9. Get vaccinated.
Because falling to an illness in a foreign country is not fun.
10. Get travel insurance.
Don’t be foolish. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be swimming in bills. Travel insurance is the most important thing you get that you never want to use.
11. Take photos of and with people.
Lots of photos. Years from now, you’ll want to look back on the adventures you had and those nights you can’t remember and the people who made them memorable.
12. Always carry a lock.
They come in handy, especially when you stay in dorms and need to lock your stuff up.
13. Learn basic phrases in the language of your destination.
The locals will appreciate it and it will make your interactions easier.
14. Always have local cash.
Not every place takes credit cards. Especially important places like trains or buses.
15. Bring a charger adapter.
Countries have different size plugs and voltage. So if you want to use your phone or computer, make sure you can charge it.
16. Bring a travel first aid kit.
At least bring the following: ibuprofen (or other pain killers), decongestant, bandages, hydrocortisone cream. You will not believe how often it will come in handy
17. Contact your bank before travelling.
Advise your banks you will be traveling internationally to avoid your cards being cancelled when foreign transactions appear.
18. Always note your hotel address.
A great way to avoid becoming legitimately lost is to write down your hotel name, address, and room number on your phone or a notepad so that you always have something to refer back to.
19. Ask for suggestions.
Start asking locals for suggestions instead of always consulting the interwebs (it does help A LOT of the time, but sometimes it is best to just ask a local). They can tell you some great local insider tips and often will offer to show you around or at least take you to the place you’re looking for.