Most people aren’t born savvy travelers. It’s something that only comes with on-the-road experience. In the beginning, you make a lot of travel mistakes.
We want to help speed up the process and help you avoid most common mistakes. Here is list of the best travel tips from expert travelers that help you reach your full Adroit travel potential.
1. Check Your Passport’s Expiration Date
You won’t be able to travel if you have less than six months’ validity on your passport! Friends of mine have been turned around at the airport because they didn’t realize their passport was expiring soon.
2. Don't Plan Too Much
Don't make too many plans. When it comes to travel we want to make sure we squeeze in as much as we can so we feel satisfied and fulfilled. The less we plan, the more we can get off the path and meet people, and then that's when things turn out the best.
If you go looking to understand the people, you'll have a different experience every time. It's the promise of surprise that makes travel what it is - so talk to people, talk to everyone and don't make too many plans.
3. Have a Travel Packing Checklist
If you plan to do lots of different types of activities on your vacation, you’ll have a fair amount of gear you need to pack. Keeping everything organized can be a challenge. One of the best things you can do when you're packing for any trip—especially one that requires packing lots of layers—is to make a packing check-list to double check that you have taken all you need.
4. Pack Light
It’s OK to wear the same t-shirt a few days in a row. Take half the clothes you think you will need…you won’t need as much as you think. Write down a list of essentials, cut it in half, and then only pack that!
5. Stay or Hang Out At Hostels
If you want to meet other solo travelers stay in a hostel or hangout in the lobby of a popular hostel. Hostel is the best place to meet other travelers to explore the city together or telling you where to go and what to avoid.
6. Let Your Bank Know You’ll Be Travelling
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my bank blocked my card something like 30 times in the first three years of my trip. Practically every time I arrived in a new country, I had to call them up to get it unblocked.
7. Take an Extra Bank Card And Credit Card With You
Disasters happen. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds. Imagine your card get freezed and you can’t use it for the rest of you trip. Having an extra card will take you through for the rest of your trip.
8. Make Sure to Use No-fee Bank Cards
Don’t give banks your hard-earned money. Keep that for yourself and spend it on your travels. Get a credit card and debit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or an ATM fee. Over the course of a long trip, the few dollars they take every time will really add up!
9. Pack Your Laptop in an Easy to Reach Place
You will have to take your laptop or any other large electronics out of your bag when going through security. To avoid having to dig through your bag while waiting in line, make sure to pack your laptop or any other electronics in a side pocket of your luggage with easy access.
10. Bring a portable charger
Not all airports have convenient outlets or charging stations while you’re waiting at the gate, so be sure to bring a portable charger with you! Also, have a universal adapter in case the outlet is different in the destination country or layover.
11. Check In For Your Flight In Advance
Be sure to check in for your flight online 24 hours in advance so you don’t have to wait in line once you get to the airport. This can also be a great way to grab a good seat assignment if you weren’t able to select your seat when you booked your ticket.
12. Take a Photo of Your Checked Luggage
On the off chance that your checked luggage gets lost, having a photo of it in addition to your luggage receipt can make it much easier to locate.
13. Dress in Layers For Your Flight
On a similar note to above, dress in layers to stay comfortable while at the airport and on your flight. Airports and airplanes can either be extremely cold or extremely hot and usually there’s no happy in-between so wearing layers will help.
14. Understand the Political Climate
Try to understand what's going on in the place you're visiting - the political climate, the economic climate, that's it. Be smart and pay attention to what's going on around you. But embrace the adventure. If you want excitement, if you want to feel your heart beat.
15. Join Group Tours
Plan to go on at least one group tour. You'll meet other travelers (who can tell you where to go and what to avoid) as well as savvy locals in the form of tour guides. For example, I was in Bogota few month ago and the best part of my trip was the biking tour that I took. There were 20 other tourists which I got to know few of them and we planned the rest of the trip together.
You can also meet people virtually -- at least at first -- by visiting forums like Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree and by using sites/apps like Couchsurfing, EatWith, Cookening, Eat With Me, and even dating apps.
16. Early to Rise
Wake up early and go to bed early. Sure, you might want to spend the odd night out and about exploring after dark, but for the most part night time is more dangerous than during the day as visibility is more difficult, so I feel better maximising daylight hours by getting up early and seizing the day!
17. Act Like A Confident Local
To stay safe you need to blend in, which means dressing the part. Obviously you aren't going to look like the people in every country you visit, but you should look like you might live there. If you walk around looking like a tourist in a t-shirt and shorts with your expensive camera around your neck, you will stick out like a sore thumb, even in the States. In certain countries women should cover up, not only to be respectful, but to fit in for safety reasons.
18. Eat the Local Food
One of the biggest regrets from the first year of many expert travelers is that they weren’t brave enough to try any of the local food.
Trying new food isn’t scary, and you’ll build your confidence up as you fall in love with more and more things. Try everything, even if you have no idea what it is. I promise you won’t regret it. Or fall straight into anaphylactic shock
19. Google Translate’s Camera Is So Incredibly Helpful
Download the Google Translate app before you leave and use the camera feature for translating menus, signs, posters, and anything else you need to read. You simply press the camera icon, aim your phone at the text, and it translates it all in real-time for you.
20. Download the City/Country Map For Offline Navigation
Don’t have data? You can download the maps through Google Map and get directions for anywhere you need to go. Click here to see how.
21. Make The Most of Your Layovers
Exploring a new place during your layover is the best way to hack your trip into two. In some cases, you can even save money in flight ticket by extending your layover to two or three days. Check out our blog post on how to do this.
How to Find the Best Stopover (Extend Layover) Options and Hack one Trip Into Two
22. Trust people
Some people will want to take advantage of you, but the vast majority of people you meet when you travel are good, decent, and will want to help you. Don’t let bad experiences prevent you from trusting anyone again. As long as you have your wits about you, expect that tuk-tuk drivers or anyone who comes up to you with amazing English and wants to be your best friend for no reason at all is out to scam you, and be most wary of the people in the most touristy places, you’ll be all good.
At the end BE GRATEFULL:
If you can afford to travel, you’re luckier than an enormous chunk of the world’s population. Be grateful you have a passport that allows you to easily travel. Be grateful that you have your health. Be grateful you were able to get a job; that you had the ability to save up enough money to travel.
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