Julie Post-Trip, RTW, Travel Advice 64 Comments

Looking for great travel tips and advice? We spent 13 months traveling around the world, visiting 35 countries. In total, we have traveled to 67 countries across six continents. We have learned a lot and want to share our knowledge with you.

Here are our best travel tips after traveling around the world

1.  Go somewhere new every year.

2.  Meet the local people. It’s one of the best parts of traveling.

3.  Eat the street food. It’s delicious. The safest bets are the places with a queue. Stay away from the stands without any customers.

Street Food in Myanmar

4.  Bring your toothbrush and a change of clothes in your carry-on…just in case your luggage gets lost in transit.

5.  Accept the fact that something is going to go wrong. Your flight will be delayed, you might get lost, you might get sick…this is all part of traveling. Learning how to handle bumps in the road makes you a better traveler and sometimes these “bad moments” turn into your funniest travel memories later.

6.  Bring ear plugs.

7.  Try to sync your sleeping pattern with the local time zone immediately.

8.  The cheapest way to travel is by bus.

9.  The slowest way to travel is by bus. Be prepared for a long, slow journey. Yes, they can sometimes be torture, but what a view you will get of local life on the road.

10.  Get travel insurance. Just in case…

11.  Time your tower climbs or views over the city for sunrise or sunset. The lighting will be ideal for fabulous photos.

Bagan Sunset

12.  Use ATM’s to take out local currency. This is how we get our cash 99% of the time we travel.

13.  Travel during the shoulder season. This is the best time to go. Crowds and prices are low and the weather can still be very pleasant.

14.  Don’t bring brand new shoes. Break them in before your trip.

15.  Learn a few phrases of the local language. Being able to communicate a little bit goes a long way.

16.  Don’t be paranoid. The world is safer than many imagine it to be.

17.  Don’t visit restaurants in the touristy areas. Most likely the food will be overpriced and not very good. Wander a few blocks off the tourist path for the cheaper, authentic restaurants.

Haircut in Delhi18.  “Third World Countries” are more modern than you think.

19.  If you are lost in a city, go to the nearest hotel for help. There is usually someone on staff who can speak English and will be able to help you.

20.  Don’t plan out every minute of your trip. Sometimes the best moments are those we never planned on having.

21. Don’t wear your purse on one shoulder. Wear it across your body.

22. When booking your room, ask for the highest floor possible. The views will be better and you will have less street noise.

23. Wear sunscreen.

24.  Bring toilet paper. Many lavatories in many parts of the world do not stock toilet paper.

25.  Hostels aren’t always cheaper, especially for families. Hostels charge by the person. For a family of four or more people, you can usually find cheaper accommodations by looking at apartment rentals or bed and breakfast establishments.

26.  Know the rules for tipping at restaurants.

27.  Go outside of your comfort zone. Try something new, meet new people, eat crazy food, go bungy jumping or sky diving. Do something that you will look back at later and say, “Wow! I did that!”

Julie Bungy Jumping

28.  Don’t buy the traditional and expensive guidebooks. There’s enough free information on the internet that you don’t need to waste your money on a book.

29.  If you are going to be in a country for 10 days or more, it may be worth purchasing a SIM card. This can be a lot cheaper than paying for an international plan on your own local network.

30.  Eat lots of gelato in Italy.

31.  If you’re visiting a public place that has a map, take a photo of it on your smartphone so you can reference it later.

Scorpion for Dinner32.  Live in the moment. Before you know it, you’ll be back home.

33.  Know if the drinking water is safe to drink. In many parts of the world it is not safe to drink.

34.  If the drinking water is not safe to drink, don’t brush your teeth with it and keep your mouth closed in the shower.

35.  Send postcards to yourself from different countries. These are a cool souvenir to have later.

36.  Expect travel delays.

37.  Write the name and address of your hotel on a notecard. Hand this to your taxi driver. If you can’t speak the language, it’s easier to show them the address than to speak the address. Many hotel websites will have their address written in both their local language and in English; put one on each side of the notecard.

38.  The more difficult a destination is, the more rewarding it is. Yes, relaxing at the beach is nice, but navigating the streets of Kathmandu is epic.

39.  Book a hotel that offers free breakfast. You may have to spend a little more for a room, but sometimes this makes up for the cost of a breakfast at a local restaurant.

40.  Take a local cooking class. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to cook some of your favorite foods you had while traveling?

41.  The best time to see the attractions are right at opening time and one hour before closing.

42.  Bring a first aid kit containing ibuprofen, Ciprofloxacin and Imodium for traveler’s diarrhea, Benadryl, and band-aids.

43.  Use TripAdvisor or Booking.com to find the best hotels. The reviews are usually very accurate and can help you find the best hotel in your price range.

Trip Advisor in India

44.  Keep an open mind. When you are in a different country, things are not going to be the same as in your own country. We travel to go somewhere that is different…don’t be disappointed when it does not meet your preconceived notions.

45.  Sign up for a VPN service before you travel to China.

46.  Renting a car is cheaper than hiring a driver.

47.  Take your kids with you. Kids travel better than you think!

Dinner on the Beach

48.  Carry extra cash. US dollars can be used in many places in an emergency.

49.  Budget hotels usually offer Wi-Fi for free. Upscale hotels usually charge extra for Wi-Fi.

50.  Make a copy of your passport. Carry the copies with you and leave your passport locked up in your hotel room.

51.  Make a copy of your passport and email it to yourself. If your things get stolen you will still have access to a copy of your passport.

52.  Take too many photos, you can always delete them later.

53.  Notify your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling.

54.  Getting out on your own is the best way to travel. Explore where you are; you might even get lost. That’s OK. You’ll meet great people and make some great travel memories. There is a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes from successfully navigating a foreign city on your own.

Walking Under Banana Trees

55.  If you’re in Asia, expect to hear a rooster, a dog, horns, or even Buddhist drums, in the middle of the night.

56.  Pack light. Don’t bring too many clothes or shoes. It’s easier (and makes you look more travel savvy) carrying a small suitcase.

57.  Don’t go barefoot into the airplane lavatory. That’s just nasty.

Merge Like a Zip58.  Get off the beaten path. Don’t miss those must-see attractions, but the lesser known sights are many times just as good (and a lot less crowded!).

59.  Need some travel inspiration? Check out our Travel Inspiration page to find exciting destinations from around the world. 

60.  Dinner is served at 8 pm or later in many countries.

61.  Travel in a sleeper car on an overnight train journey. Not only are you combining the cost of travel with an accommodation for the night but you “gained” a day for sightseeing.

62.  Read travel novels about where you’re traveling to before you get there. You will gain insights on the history and culture of your destination which will make your visit more worthwhile. Here’s a great list of travel books to get you started.

63.  Enjoy the moment.

64.  Use Google Translate to communicate in a country where you do not speak the language.

65.  Buy packing cubes. These are a godsend. They compartmentalize your clothing and keep your suitcase or backpack organized.

66.  Bring a deck of cards.

67.  Eat the local food. It will be cheaper and taste much better than the “western food” served at the local restaurants.

68.  Be polite. When you travel, not only are you representing yourself but you are also representing your country. Plus, if you are friendly and easy-going, people are much more likely to help you out if you need assistance.

69.  Consider renting an apartment. Many times it can be cheaper and give you more space than a hotel.

70.  Know how to use a squat potty.

71.  If you have questions, ask the hotel staff. You can do this even before you arrive at the hotel.

72.  Say yes! If an interesting opportunity comes your way, go for it!

73.  Know the visa requirements before you book your travels.

74.  If someone on the street hands you something, don’t accept it. This is a scam. That man with the roses in Rome is just trying to sell you one. Once you accept it, he will demand payment. This happens everywhere!

75.  Let someone at home know your plans.

76.  Book a food tour. This is a great way to sample the local cuisine and try new foods you wouldn’t necessarily order when on your own.

Mumbai Food Tour

77.  Do your laundry in the sink. A small bottle of detergent and a clothesline takes up a lot less space in your luggage than extra clothing.

78.  Get a currency converter for your smartphone.

79.  Get restaurant recommendations from your hotel.

80.  Write about your travels in a journal.

81. When using an ATM press the cancel button before you walk away just to make sure your information is cleared.

82.  Bring a Kindle instead of a pile of books.

Myanmar Sign83.  When booking your room, ask for a discount. Many places will take at least a little bit off the price of the room if you ask. They are more likely to do this if you agree to pay in cash or plan to stay three nights or more.

84.  If you hired a driver, take a photo of the car and license plate with your phone. This will help you find him once you are finished at the museum, beach, or wherever you happen to be.

85.  Expect to haggle. In many countries there is no set price…you are expected to talk the shopkeeper down. It can be intimidating at first but with a little practice haggling becomes very fun.

86.  Do something that scares you. Sometimes these can be the most rewarding experiences.

Walking Along the Ganges

87.  Bring Dramamine if you suffer from motion sickness.

88.  To stay in touch, we were big fans of What’s App, Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, and email.

89.  Bring extra underwear.

90.  Don’t go out on your own late at night. Many places are safe but why take the chance?

91.  Back up your data while you travel. If you are taking lots of photos, leave a copy of them in your hotel and carry a copy with you. Travel hard drives are small and cheap. Photos make the best souvenirs so protect them!

Tim in Bayon92.  Use Google maps to get around.

93.  Put your dirty clothing in an Eagle Creek Compression Sac. These separate your dirty clothes from your clean clothes, keeps your luggage from smelling nasty, and compresses down so it takes up very little space.

94.  Beware of public Wi-Fi. It’s unprotected so it gives hackers access to your laptop or smartphone.

95.  Pack a picnic lunch. This is a great way to save money but can still be a very enjoyable experience.

96.  Don’t buy the attraction’s photos. They are so expensive!

97.  Don’t bring clothes that require ironing.

98.  Noise cancelling headphones can help tune out that sound of a crying baby on an airplane.

99.  Bring luggage locks. These are great to have when your luggage will be out of sight while traveling, especially on trains and buses.

100.  Travel more. People always have excuses for why they can’t travel…come up with reasons why you should travel. Don’t think that you can always do it later. Start traveling more today.

101.  Contact us if you have any questions! We want to help you travel better and travel more.


Comment below! What are your favorite tips? Do you have any travel tips to add?

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101 Travel Tips Traveling Around the World

 

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Comments 64

  1. Great travel tip list! I did a two year solo RTW in 2005-2007–This was pre-iPhone, early Facebook days when you stored photos on CD-ROMs. Here’s some of my additional travel tips in no particular order (some are more geared toward solo independent travel and may not apply to traveling families):
    1) Use a backpack and daypack. They allow you to keep your both hands free and climb stairs easier, run for trains, etc.
    2) Learn how to swim and get certified to SCUBA dive before your trip;
    3) Rent a bike wherever you can to explore;
    4) Learn how to drive standard/stick shift–many rental companies around the world don’t offer automatic;
    5) Learn how to ride a motorbike and rent one to explore e.g. Vespa in Rome; motorbike in SEA, Bali;
    6) Carry Visa and Mastercard–some countries only accept one or the other–forget about AMEX;
    7) Take an ATM card that is not a debit card–I suggest carrying two as there may be times when the ATM machine malfunctions and won’t give you your card back;
    8) Read and scan pages from 1000 Places to See Before You Die for a comprehensive list of places to visit around the world;
    9) I still like guidebooks–Lonely Planet is the gold standard, you can download pdfs, but I still find it easier to use a book;
    10) Carry a portable water purifier and use a couple of Nalgene water bottles; avoid buying bottled water (too much plastic waste and environmentally unfriendly);
    11) Plan to do one thing per day and let serendipity run its course;
    12) Bring your favorite sunscreen and lip balm from home–hard to find sunscreen sometimes;
    13) Leave anything you can’t lose at home;
    14) Take only one pair of broken in shoes and one pair of flip flops/slippers;
    15) Take a headlamp;
    16) Take a portable collapsable water kettle to boil water in your room for morning coffee, tea, hot oatmeal, noodles, etc.;
    17) Learn how to sail a boat;
    18) Take a wide brimmed waterproof hat and sunglasses;
    19) If you wear glasses, carry a back up pair;
    20) Wear a collared shirt and avoid t-shirts when in cities–it helps to dress up a little;
    21) Have recent photos of your family, friends, and home on your phone to share with people you meet;
    22) Use a money belt;
    22) Avoid arriving in a new destination at night, and book an accommodation for at least the first night;
    23) Try to stay in each place you visit at least two, if not three, nights (i.e., avoid one night stands);
    24) Eat more fruit;
    25) Get a prescription for a generic antibiotic (e.g. Cipro);
    26) In non-English speaking countries, go to restaurants without English menus full of locals that are busy and point to what locals seated nearby are having;
    27) Put down the phone/camera and just wander;
    28) And last, but not least, HAVE FUN!
    Cheers,
    The Champagne Backpacker

    PS Hopefully it will be safe to travel again in the not too distant future.

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      Author
  2. You have an amazing checklist of do’s and dont’s.
    You can also join local Facebook groups just to know about the culture of that place a bit more.

  3. LOVED all your travel tips !! I’m a South African and my husband and I began travelling in 2018, after I convinced him that air travel is NOT SO scary, as he was not comfortable with the flying part of traveling 🙂 We spend our 24th wedding anniversary in Mauritius in March that year and in December we traveled to the UK following by Amsterdam and Paris the next year. I also visited Bangkok along with a friend of mine. The travelling “bug” has finally bitten my husband and now there’s no stopping (not that I’m complaining!). I’m over the moon knowing that I can experience all the glorious sights and sounds along with my husband. This year (beginning of May) we will be travelling to Turkey (Istanbul). We’re very exited but also a bit concerned about the spreading of the corona virus all over the world 🙁 Not sure if we need to cancel our travel plans or not, as we will loose quit a lot of money on our plane tickets!!

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      Author

      Yes, the Coronavirus has really put a big damper on travel. Based on the latest developments in China (the fact that less and less cases are now being reported) I can only hope that that will soon be the trend for the rest of the world. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this won’t last much longer and that in a few months, the threat will be over, people around the world can stay healthy, and travel can resume as it was before. Happy travels to you and your husband! Cheers, Julie

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          Author

          Yes, we have been hearing reports that some airlines, tours, and hotels are waiving any cancellation fees, allowing people to reschedule at a future date or getting a refund. However, this does not apply to all airlines, tours, etc. You could reach out to the places that you have booked to see what their policy is (and this seems to be changing day by day right now). But yes, I will keep our fingers crossed for you. 🙂 Cheers, Julie

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