1. Do not take anything extra.
There is no worse feeling than carrying a load on your shoulders when you are trying to enjoy your trip.
2. Be frugal, but don’t forget to indulge yourself from time to time.
You don’t have to blow $20 on every meal, but spend a certain amount every now and then to get a taste of the local cuisine.
3. Communicate in the local language.
You might be worried that you’ll mumble some words and the locals will criticize you for it, but in reality, the exact opposite is true. People like the fact that foreigners try to speak their native language and understand their culture. They will treat you with special warmth, no matter how terrible your accent is.
4. Plan, but in moderation.
When you’re traveling, it’s always nice to know where you’ll be spending the next day. But on the other hand, spontaneity is the most beautiful thing about traveling. When you arrive in a new place, just get a map and ask the locals about the sights. Then rely on fate.
5. Do not be afraid!
Fear is what keeps people from traveling in the first place. On the way to the trip, thousands of questions “What if …” arise in the mind of a person. “What if I run out of money?”, “What if I get robbed?”, “What if I don’t like the trip?”. All of these concerns are valid to some extent, but most of the terrible things that have happened to travelers are actually just exaggerated by the media. Many people die without ever leaving their country
6. Make new acquaintances.
When I look back on my travels, my best memories are not of the places I saw, but of the people I met. Take the time to make friends with other travelers or locals.
7. It is better to spend more time in fewer places than to visit more places in less time.
Traveling is extremely tiring. When you’re on the road, you don’t often get a chance to sit down and catch your breath. So when traveling, it’s better to conserve energy and allow yourself to enjoy your surroundings properly, instead of trying to see as much as possible. The latter will lead to fatigue, which, in turn, will turn the trip into a routine instead of a pleasure.
8. Get proper rest.
If you don’t allow yourself enough rest while traveling, you will be miserable. It is better to start the day later and do less things than to wake up early in the morning, when you will still not have the energy to complete the entire program.
9. Eat your fill.
When you travel, you turn into a calorie-burning machine. Don’t be shy about filling your stomach properly during the trip and don’t worry about little things like sugar or fats. Even if you gobble up an awful lot of food, there’s still a good chance you’ll come home slimmer.
10. Do not spare money for a good backpack.
Yes, it’s true that a proper shoulder bag can cost you more than a hundred dollars, but chances are it’s really worth the money. A high-quality backpack should be waterproof, with reliable seams and zippers and comfortable for the back. If you want to save money, then, most likely, your back will hate you for this decision.
11. Take pictures, but not all the time.
If you’re traveling for the first time, chances are you’ll want to capture every little thing that comes your way. While it’s great to bring back tons of memories from your trip, it’s really important to really enjoy your trip instead of trying to document every second of it. There are things that are better enjoyed without a camera in hand.
12. Travel alone.
Many say it is the best way to travel. The point is not only that you will have time to understand yourself. In addition, you will literally be forced to meet other people. Being away from home and feeling like an anonymous stranger is a surreal feeling that everyone should experience at least once. Perhaps the most vivid moments of self-awareness I felt were those weeks when I was traveling alone.
13. Travel with a friend.
Despite the previous statement, traveling with one (or two) friends is also great. You will have memories that belong only to the two of you, and which you can share long after the trip is over. In addition, it is beneficial in financial terms: because you will share the costs of housing, food and other things. And you have every chance to get as close as possible and remain good friends for life.
14. Keep a diary.
I am personally very glad now that I followed this rule. Although during the trip it often seemed routine, and it was not easy to write – the opportunity to turn the diary and immerse yourself in memories was worth it. Besides, there is no better way to catch your breath after a long day than to write down your thoughts, feelings and adventures.
15. You don’t have to be rich to travel.
Although I was an ordinary student during my first trip, I still didn’t let my financial situation stop me from seeing the world. Do you want to travel? Deny yourself certain things, borrow, earn extra money. If you really want to travel – you will do it anyway.
16. Museums are physically and mentally exhausting.
No, I’m not trying to discourage you from visiting museums, especially when it comes to Europe. In Europe there are the best museums in the world with the greatest masterpieces in history. But, nevertheless, hiking among frozen exhibits takes a lot of time and energy. Trying to visit more than one museum in a day is too presumptuous. And even one museum, if you bypass all its expositions, can be excessive.
17. Get off the beaten path.
Yes, of course, the traditional tourist destinations can be very nice, but the most beautiful places I got to see were hyped attractions, but rather, hidden gems that I stumbled upon purely intuitively. So don’t try to walk all the time among popular places, but let your curiosity lead you to mysterious alleys, through strange bridges and unexplored passages. Reveal the child in you.
18. Allow yourself to skip what you are not interested in.
Do not force yourself to do something that does not interest you. For example, if you find yourself in some famous place, and it does not affect you at all, then no one forces you to stay there. What is a treasure for others, may well be something unremarkable for you – that’s normal.
19. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Let’s face it: you run the risk of getting lost much more often than once when traveling. Instead of worrying about being labeled a “lost tourist,” put aside your pride and ask for help. It’s just amazing how happy people can be to help others.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to a hostel manager or a random passer-by on the street, smile as often as possible. When you smile, you immediately start to seem more pleasant to those around you, which can lead to an interesting conversation or acquaintance. You’d be surprised how far a simple smile from a stranger on the street can go.
21. Do not use the computer more than is really necessary.
When I traveled, I took a small netbook with me to write e-mails, search for necessary information, upload photos. To tell you the truth, I spent too much time on the computer. There is nothing easier than to “disappear” for a few hours in the “global web”, wasting precious time. Instead of relaxing after a long day of travel with the help of a computer, use this time to meet fellow travelers, make entries in your diary or simply remember the day that passes.
22. Home is where the heart is.
After my trip to Europe, I developed an even deeper love for home. Although I’ve walked around the world’s best museums, admired amazing ancient churches, and dined on exotic cuisine, I’ve come to realize that most of the things I’ve enjoyed abroad are available right here at home. No, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from traveling at all. On the contrary, one of the main reasons I encourage people to travel is that when you come back with a fresh head, you will begin to appreciate what you have more. When you get home, be sure to tell your family and friends in detail about your trip, and don’t forget to hug them and tell them how much you love them.