In life, if you want to be an expert in something, you have to gain experience to achieve it, and it is not the exception when you seek to be an accomplished traveler. Like any activity you do during the first few times, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. Even later, when you think that you have learned a lot with the passage of time, you will continue to err as a good human being that you are.
From taking the collective bus that was not, paying more than the account carelessly, to saying a comment considered cultural taboo due to our ignorance, and any other tiny mistake, making a mistake on the way and learning is what will make you one more traveler skilled.
Having this last clear and explained concept, I would like you to then take advantage of the following list that I have compiled, where I will mention X tips that will surely allow you to prepare yourself better for your next trip, regardless of the country or region you visit.
1- Travel alone at least at some time
It is not bad to have a company by your side, but there will be times when you will prefer to walk alone, either to solve a situation for yourself or just looking to enjoy your own space for a while.
2- Do not forget to have extra copies of your most important documents
If by turns of life you lose your passport, loading a copy of this document becomes a kind of lifesaver. Do not limit yourself to having the copies just on paper, scan everything and save it on your smartphone, laptop or your USB memory.
3- Take an extra credit/debit card and emergency cash
You can never count on a backup in case of loss or theft of your money. You do not want a mishap of this kind to happen to you and that you stay in the air, not knowing what to do, for lack of preparation on your part.
4- Load a backpack with you
They are very efficient when you want to make excursions or small walks, making you carry only what is necessary and leaving the rest in your large backpack.
5- Sometimes it’s good to walk without a fixed address
The ideal way to explore a city (or town) is to go aimlessly and discover everything on your own. Try not to wander in an area of risk for your safety, so ask the locals if you are not sure of the place you travel.
6- Do not be afraid to use a map
There are many backpackers who do not like the idea of using a map because they make them look like tourists, but if there is something worse than that is to end up lost thanks to the stubbornness of not wanting to have a map to locate you properly.
7- Consider working while traveling
Each one decides if he wants to work or not when he travels, but it would be the most sense if you intend to stay on the road for a long time. The options to make money are multiple, so take your time finding the job that best suits your personality.
8- Avoid the carriers if possible
In my own opinion, I think that walking with a kangaroo (in other countries it is known as a fanny pack) is to draw the attention of thieves, who relate it to the image of the wealthy tourist. Even though there are some models that you can use inside your pants, they are often uncomfortable after walking with them for a while.
9- Always carry a small padlock (or better two).
They are very useful in hostels that have lockers to store your backpack. For convenience, the padlock is one that you can open by means of a combination of numbers and not with keys.
10- Less is better when making the backpack
Whoever has never traveled will believe that he has to pack half of the closet in his luggage, but nothing worse than that. What you carry with you is what you will use for all the time it takes your trip, and the last thing you want is for your back and shoulders to suffer from excess weight.
11- Divide the cash you have in your possession
Instead of putting everything in one place, divide it and hide it in secret compartments of your backpack, something that is not visible in the eyes of the people.
12- When flying, reserve the seats that are closest to the exit
This is so you can get off the plane quickly and get to the immigration line. The same applies to trips by bus or boat that carry a lot of passengers.
13- Learn the basics of the native language
It does not matter if it’s Russian, Japanese, German, Italian or whatever language, the locals will appreciate the effort you make to speak their language, whether you know a little or a lot.
14- Stay with Couchsurfing
Although the hostels are one of the cheapest alternatives in terms of accommodation, with Couchsurfing the cost of accommodation is reduced to zero when spending the night at home.
15- Do not get used to eating always on the street
Even in very cheap countries, over time you will see that if you eat too much on the street, little by little your money is running out. You save more if you cook your own food or if you eat at strangers’ houses using the social network Meal Sharing .
16- Take pictures of your luggage before arriving at the airport
If you get to lose your suitcase, it will be easier for the airline staff to identify it with a picture you take with your cell phone.
17- That patience becomes your best ally
During a trip it is easy to lose your temper or do everything in a hurry when things do not go the way you want them to, even if it is something very small. They are in situations like these when you have to count to 10 and know that, whatever you do, everything will turn out as you expected in due time.
18- Buy a pen and a notebook
You will constantly come across all kinds of information that you will want to write down, which will help you in the moment or later. For me it is more practical to write on paper than to write down everything on the cell phone, although that will depend on each individual.
19- Respect the local culture
No doubt this is one of the most important tips to follow from the list. What for you may be strange, for others it is the opposite, and it is these small differences that you must respect if you seek to be respected in the same way.
20- Do not leave without your travel insurance
It will sound contradictory to acquire a traveler insurance and not use it at all, but that would be ideal. If it happens that you had an accident and your medical expenses require heavy expenses, the insurance will be your shelter. Do not overlook the phrase “it is better to prevent than to regret”.
21- Take a tour of the local tourism office
The staff of the tourist offices has full knowledge of everything that happens in the city and its surroundings. They can help you by naming the different events, celebrations and activities that take place throughout the year.
22- Have some malice
Most of the people you meet will have good intentions, and they will end up sharing a dinner or a beer in a bar. There are also those who take advantage of your goodwill, but I do not say this so that you distrust others, but so that you have malice to distinguish the good from the bad.
23- That it does not hurt to spend money for a little more comfort
When traveling as a backpacker, one believes that you should pay as little as possible to save, which is logical, but if it turns out that paying a little more you get a comfort that you think you will enjoy, do not have remorse in incurring that expense.
24- Save your photos in an external memory
Many commit the carelessness of leaving their photos in the memory of the camera, without backing them up. Imagine that your camera disappears and with it your more than a thousand travel photos; It is to die for. Then, take the proper precautions and save each of your photos on a USB stick. In my case, I use Dropbox , a free virtual space that I can access with an internet connection.
25- Do not plan too much
Leave your trip flow naturally and without exceeding in so much planning, because it will be less stressful than mobilize with a very rigid agenda.
26- Take a small basic kit
Get medicines that help you fight the symptoms of dizziness, diarrhea, fever and headaches. Remember also to have band-aids, antibacterial cream, bandages and gauze sterilized for cuts and small scrapes.
27- Explore the central market of the destination you visit
This is one of the places where you will learn more about the culinary customs of a country, since the food is aimed at local tastes. It’s worth going if your plan is to taste different foods than what you eat at home.
28- Take a coat, even if it’s summer
Logically, one goes with clothes for the cold if it travels in winter, but in summer one tends to believe that it is not essential to wear a garment that shelters. However, there will be situations where the opposite is the case, such as when the air conditioning of a bus is cold or during the night in mountainous regions.
29- Take advantage of frequent flyer programs
If you fly with a particular airline or an airline alliance ( Sky Team, One World and Star Alliance are the alliances that currently exist), you can accumulate miles and use them to get free flights and other benefits such as discounts and prizes of all kinds.
30- Get up early
Unless you are very tired because the previous day you were very active, it is advisable to get up early so you can take more advantage of the day.
How did you find the list of tips in this post? Do you think I left out some other advice? Let me know with a comment below, and do not hesitate to share this post if you liked it.