Tips Traveling – It has been 10 years since I sold everything and left the United States to travel the world. These are the best travel tips to help you save money and have a great trip.
Are you curious about how to travel the world? I have been traveling around the world for many years as a digital nomad.
My journey began when I quit my job and took a round trip flight from Miami to Guatemala, nervously jumping into the unknown and leaving much of my old life behind as I embarked on an epic adventure around the world.
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The experience has been a wild ride – traveling to over 50 countries, meeting countless people and learning a ton since I first left!
Having adventures like hitchhiking across America, camping alone in Greenland, trekking through Afghanistan and more – the world has been an amazing teacher.
I eventually turned my travel writing into a successful travel blog and continued to travel regularly as part of my dream job.
(travel anniversary) each year, I update this guide with a collection of my best travel tips to help you save money, stay safe, and inspire others to get out there and explore our world.
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Patience is my best travel tip. Don’t sweat the things you can’t control. Life is way too short to be upset and annoyed all the time while traveling. Did you miss your bus? Don’t worry, there will be another one.
ATM with no money? That’s great! Take an unplanned trip to the next city and explore. I know it can be hard sometimes, but take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could be worse.
Get up before sunrise to have the best sights to yourself while avoiding the big tourist crowds. It’s also a magical time for photos thanks to the soft diffused light, and it’s usually easier to interact with locals getting ready for their day.
Want those postcard Instagram travel photos? You have to get there before everyone else shows up. Blank areas are less dangerous in the morning as well. Honest, industrious people rise early; crooks and criminals sleep in…
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If you really want to feel the pulse of a place, one of my favorite travel tips is to spend a few hours by yourself sitting in a park or on a busy street corner, just watching the everyday life unfold in front of you. .
Slow down your train of thought and pay close attention to the details around you. Smells, colors, human interactions and sounds. It’s a kind of meditation – and you’ll see things you’ve never noticed before. You’ll really absorb your destination this way and remember these moments long after you’ve left.
You will definitely look like a fool many times when you travel to new places. Instead of being embarrassed, laugh at yourself. Don’t be afraid to mess up and don’t take life so seriously. Relax!
Once, a whole bus full of Guatemalans laughed with joy when I forced the bus driver to stop so he could pee urgently on the side of the road. Getting back on the bus and laughing with them gave me new friends for the rest of the trip!
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Please don’t try to cram 6 countries into 6 weeks of travel. All good things happen when you really take the time to explore. You’ll learn about activities that aren’t in your guidebook and meet people who are eager to show you around.
I can honestly say that NONE of my best travel experiences have happened within the first few days of arriving somewhere. Spend more time in fewer places for maximum fun. I promise you will feel much better!
Also, I highly recommend renting a car when traveling to foreign countries. Sure, it can be a little scary to drive somewhere new, but it really opens up opportunities for adventure! Plus it’s a lot of fun.
Make it a point to give some of your time to worthwhile projects when you travel. Not only is it a very rewarding experience, but you’ll often learn more about the country and its people while making new friends.
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There is a great site called Grassroots Volunteering where you can search for highly recommended volunteer opportunities around the world. Just be very careful about volunteering and do your research as there are many scams out there too.
Pay attention to this travel tip. You can see these places and meet these people only once in your life. Remember them forever with lots of photos! Don’t worry about looking like a “tourist”. Great photos are the ultimate souvenirs.
They cost nothing, are easy to share and don’t take up space in your luggage. Also take lots of photos of other people, they will be more important than your postcard photos later. Remember that once you’ve taken the shot, it’s important to get out from behind the lens and really enjoy the view.
Nothing is impossible. If you have trouble going somewhere or doing something, don’t give up. You just haven’t found the best solution or you haven’t met the right person yet. Don’t listen to those who say it can’t be done.
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Perseverance pays off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that what I want to do isn’t possible, only to be proven wrong later when I don’t listen and try anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? Failure is not the end of the world!
Challenge yourself to try things that normally cause you anxiety. The more you do this, the more anxiety will disappear. Not a hiker? Take more hikes. Do you have trouble talking to strangers? Talk to everyone. Are you afraid of strange food? Eat the weirdest thing you can find.
The reason it works so well while traveling is that everything is already so different, what’s another new/awkward experience? No one knows who you are here, you can completely reinvent yourself.
Don’t judge other people’s lifestyles or habits if they are different from your own. Listen to opinions you disagree with. It is arrogant to assume that your views are right and others are wrong. Practice empathy and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
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Embrace different possibilities, opinions, religions, customs and interests. Ask questions. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but you might be surprised by what you learn from the people you meet on your travels.
If you want to see the parts of town where real people live and work, you have to go visit them. The best way to do this is on foot – without knowing exactly where you are going. Write down the name of your hotel so you can get a taxi back if needed, then pick a direction and start walking.
Don’t worry too much if you stumble into dangerous neighborhoods either, as the locals will generally warn you before you get that far. And you never know what amazing things you’ll find around the next bend…
I cringe when readers ask how many days they should spend traveling to a certain country or city. The truth is, I have no idea what you’ll enjoy or who you’ll meet. I thought I would cross Nicaragua in a week or two, but I ended up living there for 4 months because I loved it so much.
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My advice is to choose a starting point, 1 or 2 must-do activities and an ending point (or not). Then just let the universe determine the rest. Be flexible and open to changing your plans if you learn something along the way!
You don’t need to be fluent to visit a foreign country. However, one tip I learned is to master a few phrases in the local language, it can improve your travel experience. Hello, please, thank you, nice to meet you, excuse me, excuse me, and “can I take your portrait” are some of my favorites.
Not being able to communicate while traveling can be frustrating, but remember that this is your problem, not theirs. Raising your voice doesn’t magically help Mexicans understand English. Try hand signals, images from your phone or Google Translate!
Having your bank card details stolen can be nasty, but especially if it happens when you’re visiting a foreign country. If your card is frozen, stolen or the ATM eats it, you’re screwed! If you don’t happen to carry spare cards…
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An important tip for travel banking is to pack a second bank account/debit card plus a spare credit card, which you keep separate from your wallet. That way, if your wallet is stolen or your ATM card is declined, you’ll still have access to money while you travel.
Sometimes, after a long flight playing games on your smartphone, the battery may run out. And if you haven’t written down the address where you are staying, how will you tell/show the taxi driver?
As ridiculous as it sounds, I’ve done this a few times and it’s weird. I fall asleep or forget to charge my phone. I also recommend writing down your hotel room number somewhere after you check in.
Before traveling to a new country, I recommend reading a good book