- Patience Is Important
Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. Life is much too short to be angry & annoyed all the time. Did you miss your bus? No worries, there will be another one. ATMs out of money? Great! Take an unplanned road trip over to the next town and explore. Sometimes freak-outs happen regardless.
Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could be worse.
- Wake Up Early
Rise at sunrise to have the best attractions all to yourself while avoiding crowds. It’s also a magical time for photos due to soft diffused light, and usually easier to interact with locals. Sketchy areas are less dangerous in the morning too. Always remember honest hardworking people wake up early; touts, scammers, and criminals sleep in.
- Laugh at Yourself
You will definitely look like a fool many times when traveling to new places. Rather than get embarrassed, laugh at yourself. Don’t be afraid to screw up, and don’t take life so seriously.
- Stash Extra Cash
Cash is the king around the world. To cover yourself in an emergency, make sure to stash some in a few different places. We recommend at least a couple hundred dollars’ worth. If you lose your wallet, your card stops working, or the ATMs run out of money, you’ll be glad you did.
Some of our recommended favorite stash spots include socks, under shoe inserts, a toiletry bag, around the frame of a backpack, even sewn behind a patch on your bag.
- Take Lots of Photos
You may only see these places & meet these people once in your lifetime. Remember them forever with plenty of photos. Don’t worry about looking like a “tourist”. Are you traveling to look cool? No one cares. Great photos are the ultimate souvenir.
They don’t cost anything, they’re easy to share with others, and they don’t take up space in your luggage. Just remember once you have your shot to get out from behind the lens and enjoy the view. Also, don’t forget an extra camera battery (or two). Have you ever gotten to that epic sunset photo spot and realized your camera battery is dead and you don’t have a backup? Try to bring at least three camera batteries on all of your trips so that you don’t miss out on that perfect shot.
- Smile & Say Hello
Having trouble interacting with locals? Do people seem unfriendly? Maybe it’s your body language. One of our best travel tips is to make eye contact and smile as you walk by. If they smile back, say hello in the local language too. This is a fast way to make new friends.
You can’t expect everyone to just walk around with a big stupid grin on their face. That’s your job. Usually all it takes is for you to initiate contact and they’ll open up.
- Splurge A Bit
We firmly believe in budget travel, as it allows you to travel longer and actually experience more of the fascinating world we live in rather than waste your hard-earned money on stuff you don’t need. That said, living on a shoestring gets old after a while. It’s nice (and healthy) to go over your budget occasionally. Book a few days at a nice hotel, eat out at a fancy restaurant, or spend a wild night on the town.
- Keep an Open Mind
Don’t judge the lifestyles of others if different from your own. Listen to opinions you don’t agree with. It’s arrogant to assume your views are correct and other people are wrong. Practice empathy and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Embrace different possibilities, opportunities, people, suggestions and interests. Ask questions. You don’t have to agree, but you may be surprised by what you’ll learn.
- Make Photocopies of Important Documents
No long explanation here. Things happen so we always need to stay prepared. Make a copy of all your important documents and put it somewhere safe. It may come in really handy one day while traveling.
- Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Company of Your Travel Plans
This is a great habit to get into if you don’t want your credit card company or bank to put a hold on your card while you are overseas.