I gained many experiences during my 6 years of traveling the world: positive experiences and negative ones.
All of them taught me a lot and did not only help me while traveling but in all kinds of situations. Traveling is the best school in my opinion. In this post, I want to share my best travel tips with you.
Table of Contents
Best VPN for Travel: ExpressVPN
Heading abroad? Use ExpressVPN to access your social media accounts, unblock your favorite entertainment sites, and stay connected with friends and family. And get cheaper flights, of course.
✅ Next-gen, high-speed servers in 94 countries
✅ Works on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, browsers, and more
✅ 256-bit AES encryption protects your data, even on hotel Wi-Fi
✅ Unblocks Netflix and other streaming sites
❎ No dedicated IPs
Get 3 extra months free of ExpressVPN when signing up for a 1-year plan. That’s a 49% saving and a monthly cost of just $6.67! You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
1. Get lost on purpose
The best way to explore a new place is by walking. Don’t plan too much but decide spontaneously which direction or street you want to take.
This way you will really get to know the place apart from the typical tourist trails. Write down the name of your hotel and asks locals on your way back for directions.
2. Don’t plan too much
Don’t plan too much in advance as you never know how you’re going to like a place or who you’re going to meet on the road. Imagine you worked out a whole itinerary and already pre-booked all accommodations.
On your second day, however, you meet a group of people who are planning a cool trip to another place, and you’d love to join them. I guess you know what I’m driving at.
3. Meet local people
Asking for directions is also an easy way to get in contact and start a conversation with locals.
Most people have at least basic English skills, and a conversation with hand gestures and body language can also be interesting and enriching.
4. Use incognito window for bookings
Whenever you book anything, flights or hotel rooms, for example, use the incognito window of your browser.
Most websites save cookies on your computer and increase prices gradually when you keep checking.
5. Treat your body well
Travelling can be quite tiring for your body, and it isn’t easy to maintain a daily exercise routine. Remember to sleep and rest, drink enough and eat healthily.
To stay fit on the road you could go swimming in the sea, jogging or explore a new place by bike. I just started carrying along with a TRX Suspension Trainer* that you can use everywhere for a full-body workout.
6. Get up early
Most sights, beaches or other interesting places are crowded. Be there a few minutes before they open, and you can take amazing photos without hundreds of people on them.
7. Try local food
Ask locals what they normally eat or what their favorite food is and taste it. Eat street food and try the weirdest-looking dishes on markets. Don’t be scared of getting sick of the food. That can also happen in the fancy-looking and expensive restaurant next door.
8. Don’t be afraid
The world is actually a better place. Traditional media sometimes tell things that are not right. You should go out there and explore things for yourself and not only believe what others are telling you.
Use common sense. You will soon experience that most people are friendly and helpful.
9. Carry around passport photos
You’ll wonder how often you need passport photos. Be it for a visa, a new passport, or a diving license. Save time and hassle and carry around spare photos.
10. Break out of your comfort zone
Leave your comfort zone and overcome anxieties. You will experience new things and strengthen your confidence.
11. There is always a solution
If you are facing a problem on the road, don’t give up or panic. There is always a solution. The best moments while traveling are always where you are stuck.
Do not be afraid to get into such a situation. You will wonder how many friendly and helpful people there are.
12. Back up everything and make copies
Back up your files and photos in your cloud and on an external hard drive. What is worse than losing all of your favorite photos from your last trip.
Additionally, make digital and physical copies of all important documents such as passport, driver’s license, ID card & visas and note down emergency numbers, serial numbers of your electronics, and information about your health insurance.
Don’t judge the lifestyles of others. Listen to their opinion, ask questions and be open-minded to experience and learn something new.
You don’t need to agree with everything but also don’t assume that only your views are correct.
14. Be patient
Don’t waste your energy being angry about situations that you cannot change anyway.
Did you miss the only bus that is leaving today?
Take the next one the next day!
Does the visa renewal take three days?
Make a spontaneous trip to the nearby national park.
15. Slow down
Don’t try to see the whole world in one year. Take your time to explore fewer places more intensively.
16. Pack a sarong
Wherever I go, I carry along with a sarong. It is super light and small and can be used for many different purposes, such as a towel, sun protection, or beach towel.
17. Take out a travel insurance
Having travel insurance is so important. You never know what happens. A motorbike accident in South East Asia, a broken leg when climbing a volcano or getting fiver in a remote place.
Without insurance, you easily end up paying several thousands of euros for doctors and medicine.
18. Bring several credit cards
Some countries only accept Mastercard, others only Visa. Be on the safe side and take at least one Mastercard and one Visa card.
19. Don’t change money at the airport
You’ll get the worst exchange rate at the airport. I mostly withdraw money at an ATM.
20. Buy a good camera
Photos are the best memories of your travels, so invest in a good camera.
21. Pack less
After a couple of weeks on the road, you start feeling every gram in your backpack. Most of the gear you won’t need anyway, and otherwise, in other counties, there are also shops where you can buy most items.
22. Have basic language skills of the countries you visit
Most people have at least basic English skills, and you will get quite far with a hand gesture and body language. Nevertheless, learn basic words in the language of the countries you are visiting.
People will highly appreciate it if you can say at least “Hello” and “Goodbye” in their language.
23. Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights
Skyscanner searches many different airlines, and you can look for flights to a specific airport or any airport within a country or even continent.
Moreover, you can choose an exact traveling date or search for the cheapest flight within a certain month or year. This is especially interesting when your travel destination and/ or date are flexible.
24. Be polite and smile
Be polite to other people and walk around with a smile on your face. It will make your life easier, and you will soon make new travel friends.
A smile breaks the ice when you meet someone for the first time, and in difficult situations, it breaks the tension.
25. Say Yes and accept random invitations
Say yes a lot when someone spontaneously invites you for dinner, to their home, or a cool activity. Trust me; you will build wonderful memories.
26. Carry along extra cash
Carry along some extra cash in different places for emergencies. I recommend a couple of hundred dollars as a backup when you lose your wallet, can’t find a working ATM, or your credit card gets stolen.
You can stash it, for example, in your socks, cosmetic bag, day pack, and some in your backpack or suitcase.
27. Use a Drybag to keep your valuables dry
A drybag* is one of the most useful travel items. It helps to keep your smartphone, camera, travel documents, or any other valuables dry on a boat trip or during a rainstorm.
28. Visit local markets
By visiting a local market, you get to know real life. Observe locals and taste typical food. It is so delicious and fresh, and you can even save a lot of money.
29. Bring portable chargers
It happened to me many times in the past that I have been at a great place or a long hike with lots of photo motifs, and the camera or smartphone battery suddenly died.
Annoying! Avoid that problem by bringing a portable charger.
30. Be flexible
Be flexible and open to change plans. When you meet nice people that are planning a cool trip, go with them. When you like a place a lot and would like to explore it more, extend your stay.
31. Buy a local simcard
Local sim cards and internet plans are in most countries really cheap. Buy a local card and use your smartphones as navigation to lookup more travel tips and Must-See places, to stay in contact with your family and friends, and of course, for emergencies.
Do you agree with all of my tips, or do you have others to add? Let me know in the comments below :)
Are you on Pinterest? Pin this!
Protect your trip: With all our travel experience, we highly recommend you hit the road with travel insurance. SafetyWing offers flexible & reliable Digital Nomads Travel Medical Insurance at just a third of the price of similar competitor plans.
Monday 16th of April 2018
Hey Tim, There is also one thing, always bring medicine like paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-histamine and the like. You'll never know along the road you might get sick.
Wednesday 4th of April 2018
Hi Tim, Thank you for sharing us your great tips especially "accept random invitation" tips. As you mentioned, have dinner or activities with local people make a great memory. I had a nice memory with local people when I came to Thailand last year so I love you tips on that.
Sunday 1st of October 2017
The fertilized duck egg is very unsettling.
Saturday 17th of September 2016
Hi Tim, nice travel tips. I have one more: Buy a local simcard for your smartphone: we use our smartphones as navigation, emergency contact and to get more travel tips. Best wishes, Annika
Saturday 17th of September 2016
Hi Annika! Thank you, I totally agree with you and added your tip to the list :)
Friday 16th of September 2016
Love 11 and 12! Those are some that I would highly suggest as well. I have read carrying extra credit cards in other articles, and I just don't see how that could be a good idea if your things get stolen. I mean I understand the point of carrying extras and different ones though! Great tips though!
Sunday 2nd of May 2021
Carry one on your person and pack one in your luggage. It is a million to one that both will be stolen at the same time. You need a credit card to check in for incidentals at most US hotels and also for car rental, so you should have backup.
Friday 16th of September 2016
Thank you for your comment @chasaparvin:disqus! I carry prepaid credit cards to reduce the risks. If your card gets stolen and you immediately inform your bank they will also cover most of the costs. Of/c it is more risky than carrying only one card but it happened more than once to me that one of my cards wasn't accepted.