I decided that my first blog would be about some travel “rules” that I follow on my trips. I live my day to day life guided by the motto “Collect moments, not things” and try to see and experiment as much as I can. If you think about it, a job will fill your pocket but you need adventures in order to fill your soul! So keep this in mind when you are planning your next adventure and don’t listen to anybody, just follow your soul.
Let’s be realistic, you cannot plan for everything! In the beginning, you make a lot of mistakes. But travel can become so much easier by simply keeping a few things in mind. So, I compiled 20 travel tips to inspire you!
- Be Flexible – always plan for delays and try not to get angry and annoyed when things go wrong. You cannot control everything! I used to get so upset whenever I would miss a flight or something didn’t go as planned. My husband, Valentin, used to say that I ruinour vacation mood Just take a deep breath and find a solution!
- Always Buy Travel Insurance – you never know what may happen, so to be on the safe side prepare for unexpected! No one ever thinks that they’ll get sick, injured, or robbed while traveling. With travel insurance you don’t have to worry about hospital bills or stolen gear if it happens
- Make a List – before you start packing, write down everything that you don’t want to forget. A good idea is to pre-plan your outfits as well. When I look back at pictures from previous trips, I wish I had put more effort into it. And don’t forget to bring a sarong! This simple piece is one of my most useful accessory. It can be used for covering yourself in holy places, a bed sheet, a towel, a scarf, sun & wind protection, and the list is endless – the only limit is your imagination! nother flight attendant tip is to always take a change of clothes in your carry-on, in case your checked-in bag is left behind.
- Alert Your Bank of Your Travel Plans – if you don’t want to have your credit/debit card to be blocked when you use it overseas, make it a habit to let your bank know where you will travel. Also, be very careful to choose a bank that offers no-fee bank cards. You will want to keep your hard-earned money and spend it on travels, not to give it to the banks!
- Pack a Travel First Aid Kit – accidents happen, so be prepared! We pack up a small first aid kit with ibuprofen, Theraflu, Imodium, bandaids, antibacterial cream , and ointments for cuts.
- Stay Hydrated on a Plane – as a flight attendant, I cannot stress enough on how important is to drink plenty of water. You can always have a glass of wine but keep in mindthat staying hydrated makes it easier to get over jet lag. Also, buy a travel size moisturizer to use onboard, your skin will thank you for that!
- Back Everything Up – in order to make your life much easier in case you lose your documents, keep both digital and physical copies of your passport and visas in a separate bag from your actual passport. Back up your files & photos on an external hard drive as well as online.
- Learn the Basics of the Local Language – this is a great way to show respect. It will make your life easier where language isn’t understood.
- Find Photogenic Spots with Instagram – I always search through hashtags relating to the place I’m heading to check out the popular photos and the best spots to take them.
- Wake Up Early – on all my trips I try to have the place for myself. Inevitably, that means waking up early, at sunrise, to avoid the crowds. This will also make your photos so much better due to soft diffused light. One of my favorite memory is those early summer mornings in Yosemite National Park when it was just us and the nature!
- Allow Yourself to Get Lost – yes, it is good to make plans before your travels. Booking your flights, hotel, make a list of places you will want to visit. But when you will get lost, and that is only a matter of time, go with the flow! You will never know what hidden gems you may find.
- Separate Your Sources of Money – try to not keep all your cash and cards in one spot. In case you lose or get robbed you will want to have some cash and a back up card in a separate bag. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds.
- Keep an Open Mind – keep an open mind to learning and experiencing something new when you travel, that includes trying local food – eating street food is the best way to do that! If you don’t trust street food, try to find a place where you see kids eating from there. If it’s good for them, for sure it will be for you as well. Also, try not to judge other customs. You are just a visitor so try to be respectful. Embrace different suggestions, people, opinions and interests. You don’t have to agree, but you may be surprised what you’ll learn from people you meet during your travels.
- Don’t Be Afraid – don’t let fear hold you back. It may be true that the world is a little bit “crazy” nowadays. Just keep an eye out for sketchy situations and use your commonsense. Most people are friendly and willing to help you out!
- Talk to Locals – they usually have the best tips and knowledge of what to do in their own town. Some of the best people to talk are those behind the front desk in your hotel. Me and Valentin always ask them for tips on where to eat, drink and explore. We rely on Trip Advisor as well for that.
- Stay in Touch – remember to call your family and friends from time to time! This is important not only for maintaining a connection with the people who know you best, but also to let them know about your plans.
- Buy Tickets in Advance – when you have a limited time, this will be a life saver. You can always look for City passes if you are planning on visiting more museums – free public transportation included. If planning to visit only one museum try to look online and buy your ticket in advance in order to skip lines and get better deals.
- Learn to Haggle – this is a playful and fun way of avoiding being charged the foreigner price.
- Blow Your Budget – don’t be afraid to blow your budget on those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We travel to create memories. Go splurge on a famous restaurant, see a concert, go on a safari, do something amazing that you’ve always dreamed to do! We spent 500$ for a night to stay in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka – expensive, but we got to see the leopard, sloth bear, tusk elephant and wild water buffalo, all threatened species that Yala is harbouring!
- Don’t Forget how Lucky You Are – if you can afford to travel you can consider yourself lucky! Be grateful that you are healthy, that you have a job and the ability to save enough money to travel. Yes, you worked hard, but you’re still privileged. Never forget that!
Feel free to share your best travel tips in the comments below!