Travel Tips

Advice from a somewhat-disorganized traveler.

-Always know where your passport is.

-…seriously…keep a tab on it (if, however, you need one rushed, you have options).

-Check weather on the daily: it sucks to assume it’s cold enough for jeans and then spend a day in sweaty discomfort…or soaked in rain because you didn’t bring a jacket.

-Learning even basic numbers and greetings/polite phrases in the language of the area you’re traveling in gives you a huge boost in your interactions with locals

-DO YOUR RESEARCH about sensitive topics in the area to avoid difficult situations and be respectful

-Be mindful of native customs; no one likes That Jerk who travels and wants everything to be catered to their expectations. You’re traveling. Things are different everywhere. Enjoy it, respect it!

-Talk to as many people as you (wisely and safely) can, especially if you meet cool people in hostels to adventure with.

-Be willing to sit and listen to many different opinions (and to stay in your lane when you don’t know enough to chime in).

-Americans: not everyone likes us (with some good reasons), and some of them might tell you so. Be ready to listen and don’t get involved if the situation turns tense. Just walk away.

-That being said, Americans are very welcomed all over. Some people will be super excited to meet you and ask a lot of questions. Enjoy the cultural exchange 🙂

-Respect and treatment of minorities differs in every country. Do some research into the history of minorities in the area and try to visit some monuments/other historical sites dedicated to/stemming from minority culture.

-Have extra socks and underwear.

-When booking flights, cheap ticket-finders like Kayak or StudentUniverse are your friends, but PAY ATTENTION to their ticket change/cancellation policy: discount sites operate as „third-party“ booking agents when you buy tickets through them, so trying to change or cancel your tickets can be very frustrating (too many phone calls and too much money) or entirely impossible (bye-bye, money).

-Love yourself and always travel with ear plugs.

-Write down important card numbers and personal information and keep it somewhere safe; if your wallet goes missing, you can at least see what info was in it.

-Speaking of money, make sure to let your bank know where you’ll be traveling so they don’t block off your account when you make transactions halfway across the world.

-Always have some cash; some areas don’t take cards as readily, and it’s always a good back-up.

-If you’re traveling for a longer period of time, fill up on prescription meds before you leave home and hide them well in your luggage; you might not be able to refill them easily abroad and having them mailed to you can cause issues with customs.

-It is to the benefit of your sanity to have a source of music that can be played without data or wifi (Spotify Premium, downloaded music, good-ol‘ fashioned iPod, ect).

-A good backpack is your best friend (shoulder support and extra pockets!!!).

-Allergy warnings are not A Thing in the entire world–make sure you ask what’s in the food if you have allergy concerns.

-Don’t walk around with things hanging out of your front pockets…keep a tab on all of your valuables, either in a safe pocket in your backpack or an inside jacket pocket or attached to you somehow.

-Portable phone chargers. That is all.

-Check what type of outlet the area you’re traveling in uses and try to get a converter ahead of time; they can be expensive once you get where you’re going.

-Some countries are not fond of other countries; check travel restrictions before you plan a trip. If you show up in a country with a stamp in your passport from someone they don’t like, you could be in for a very long day that could end in being detained or deported.

-A good book on long flights or rides will keep you company.

-For the best food, get outside of the tourist zone.

-If you’re in a bind or lost and need someone who speaks English, look for a fancy hotel or tourist attraction nearby. Someone there will be mostly likely to help you.

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