I’ve been on the road 9 years (actually it’s now up to 14 years in 2020!) to all continents and about 65 countries and I normally shy away from giving people lots of advice about travel, as everyone’s tastes are different. But after 9 years of living on the road, I think I have earned the right to give people some of my best tips – travel tips that I use all the time.
Keep in mind many of these travel tips are oriented for the long term traveler or longer trips – however many can apply for vacations too.
And since my tagline from the beginning has been Life and Travel Experiences of a Corporate American Runaway – you not only get travel tips, but I threw in plenty of life tips too. And in honor of my 9 years of travel, I’ll even give you 99 tips!
Travel Planning Tips
I plan very little these days. After years on the road, I have a system that just works now and I don’t even really think about it. These tips are things I still do today as I travel.
- Always have a little US cash on you stashed away…new bills preferably 20’s and 1’s.
- Sign up for a eating tour the first day you’re in a new destination so you can get other food/restaurant recommendations.
- Stay places where you have your own kitchen – save money on breakfast and pack a lunch.
- Malaria pills may protect you from Malaria, but they won’t protect you from Dengue Fever and other mosquito illnesses. I skip the pills and use repellent with high deet instead.
- Keep digital copies of all important docs. Take a picture of passport, license, visas, even front/back of credit cards, and store them somewhere you can easily get them (in the cloud, or on a family member’s computer who can email them to you)
- Buy antibiotics in other countries where they are cheaper and you don’t need a prescription.
- Always choose aisle seats on long flights – that way you can get up anytime you want without bothering people. AND if you get up more frequently you’ll reduce the chance of getting blood clots from flying like I did.
- If you are going to be in a country for a few weeks or you are planning long term travel, organize the first 1/3 of your trip, leave the rest open ended so you can plan as you go based on the people and advice you get along the way!
- TMobile has the best international cell plan out there for Americans…free texting and 1 gig of international data. The coverage in the US sucks, but if you are going to be out of the country a lot, it’s the way to go. I recently switch over to Google Fi for my cell coverage and it’s even cheaper than TMobile for Android users. You pay as you go with no contract and no additional costs for international calls or texts. Check them both out and see what is better for you.
- Have a Mastercard AND a Visa card in case you come across countries or ATM’s that only accept one or the other
- Shoulder seasons, monsoon seasons, rainy seasons, hot seasons are all the best times to travel as you have fewer tourists and cheaper prices. I love traveling to a place when you ‘aren’t recommended to go’…I find it more local and interesting to see how the locals deal with the inclement weather.
- Sharing a bathroom with people is not a big deal…get over it. And actually staying in places where you have to share a room or a bathroom is actually a way to be much more social.
- As someone who travels solo most of the time – shared accommodations in general are a great way to meet people!AirBnb, Couchsurfing, EatWith are all great ways to have more local experiences while you travel – try them! I’ll even give you $25 to try Airbnb for the first time!
- Booking an overnight train or bus is a great way to save money on a hotel and get to where you need to go!
- Carry personal ‘business/travel’ cards with you so you can give people your email/Twitter/FB/Instagram that you meet along the way.
- Sign up with the State Department’s STEP program . It’s simple and a good way to let people know where you are going to be in case of country emergency. Plus – you get helpful updates from the embassy on things going on in the area, or notification of political issues.
- If you are afraid of traveling solo for the first time, then choose a small group tour to go on. You can check sites like Stride to search a multitude of small group tour operators. Based on my experience though my favorite small group operator is Intrepid Travel. Not only do they typically focus on local experiences, the group size is restricted to around 12 people max. You go solo, but you’ll meet many other solo travelers or couples and travel as a group. I’ve never taken an Intrepid trip I didn’t love.
- If you are traveling for a longer time, spend some of your time volunteering in some way. There are many more options than simply teaching English.
- When traveling to developing or more remote countries, bring postcards from your country to give out to local families you stay with. They love to see what your home looks like.
- Have one song that you know the words to from your home country. That way when you are sitting around a fire or inside a local person’s home, and someone asks you to sing a song from your country – you know one! This will inevitably happen.
Travel Gear & Packing Tips
I get a lot of stuff from companies to try out and write about, but few are really any good or stuff that I actually use while traveling. This list contains some brand names of things that I absolutely adore and they are in my pack EVERY trip.
- Roll your clothes to get maximum room in your suitcase/backpack.
- Always have a headlamp with batteries packed in your carry-on/daypack.
- Scarves make you fashionable and can be used for various uses – towel, beach cover-up, sun shade, warmth, modesty cover-up in Islamic countries, and it can be used to add a pop of color to a drab travel color palette.
- Packing cubes are the key to packing happiness – turn your bag into a dresser…organized! I use and love Eagle Creek Packing solutions.
- My favorite travel items are the gear that have double uses. My Lulu Lemon reversible tights, My PrAna swimsuit and shorts that I can hike, swim, and surf in.
- Good wool socks (like Point6) are GREAT for travel. They dry really fast, don’t hold odor, and they stay warm in the cold and are cooling in the hot. The only socks I travel with!
- Pack in one color palette so that you can stay light and everything can go together in different combinations.
- Use a backpack if you are doing a lot of train or bus travel – it’s much easier to maneuver. I use an REI daypack and Eagle Creek backpack/duffle.
- Bring a collapsible/refillable water bottle and stop using plastic.
- Heavy duty trail running shoes double as hiking shoes – one pair of shoes, two uses!
- Exofficio underwear really do work as it’s advertising indicates. Wear them day after day!
- Bring a small travel umbrella as it’s great for protection from the rain and the sun. One of my most essential items in my bag.
- LensCoat raincoat for cameras are great to keep your camera dry in a downpour.
- You must be able to carry everything on your own. If you can’t lift your bag over your head and into a railroad car or bus overhead storage, then you shouldn’t be carrying it.
- Ditch the heavy books and use a Kindle or ereader – your shoulders and back will thank you.
- Tripods are great – but if you need to stay light in your pack – just invest in a really good low light lens instead. I’ve been surviving off of a F2.8 17-55mm lens for years now and have never carried a tripod.
- Buffs are great for so many uses – a hat, scarf, mask, tube top, wash cloth, and even handkerchief.
- When you are looking at what you can get rid of out of your bag to make it lighter and you are deciding between your hair dryer and your vibrator, always choose to pack the vibrator. Hair dryers are easy to find when traveling, vibrators aren’t.
- If you wear glasses, have one extra pair to bring along just in case – even if it’s an old prescription. And make sure you have your recent prescription with you or somewhere on the internet cloud in case of emergency.
- Bring a Rocket Air Blaster (no – this isn’t a brand of vibrator)to remove dust and debris from your camera lenses. It’s small and squishes down.
- Noise cancelling headphones are a LIFESAVER…worth the ridiculous price tag. I just started using them this year and can’t believe I waited this long.
- Money Belts are a waste, I’ve never used one for 9 years – plus who in their right minds wants to add bulk to your belly area?Most things made specifically for travel are crap and you don’t need them. See #42 and save your money.
- Always travel with a deck of cards.
- Carry 4 or 5 extra passport pictures with you just in case you need them for visa applications while on the road.
- Tiger Balm for those aches and pains.
- Don’t pack/bring clothes you need to iron or dry clean.
On the Road Travel Tips
These are some of my favorite ways to deal with life on the road. Many of them are specifically geared toward getting more local and off the tourist trail.
- Save and listen to podcasts for when you have downtime on buses, airports, car rides and there’s no connectivity. My favorites – This American Life, Planet Money, Startup, Amateur Traveler, This Week in Travel, The Moth
- Travel connected – Rent and use a MIFI device to stay connected no matter where you go in the world – it’s much easier than dealing with international roaming. Plus you can connect up to 5 devices to the mifi device – perfect for group travel! TravelWifi is a good option.
- Take/Use public transportation for real experiences. It may take longer, but who cares…the journey is the experience.
- Always have emergency snacks for those hangry times – I use Cliff bars.
- Visit local supermarkets just to see what people eat in a country. I can easily spend hours in a foreign super market just looking at all of the foods and people watching!
- Respect the customs and dress appropriately – when in doubt, look around you and see how locals dress
- Most all cultures are looking for the same things in life – love, happiness, and family.
- All cities think they have the best craft beer movement in the world. They are all good…move on.
- Whenever a local invites you into their home or out for coffee – go!
- Be a good guest – leave no trace. As an eternal guest, I try to have no impact – put away your things, clean up a space like it was when you first got there. Manners!
- Always have a vomit bag with you
- On that note…always carry Dramamine and take it whenever in doubt. It doesn’t work after the fact.
- Learn how to say hello and thank you in the native language of where you are visiting.
- Fill out those Trip Advisor Reviews if you had a strong feeling about a place – it is a way to pay it forward and it really helps the small businesses.
- Rent a car and drive yourself! Learning to drive on the other side of the road isn’t rocket science, and it can be quite a fun adventure!
- Send postcards! People still love to get things in the mail.
- Take pictures of menus or historical plaques if you want to remember things but don’t want to take notes.
- Jetlag sucks, nothing stops it, and all of the jetlag aps suck. However, melatonin helps and I advise you to change your watch to the destination time as SOON as you get on the plane. And whatever you do, try not to nap.
- A rule of thumb – if there isn’t a price listed or a price tag, this means it’s ok to haggle – this is just part of the process, it is expected so get over yourself and have fun with it. This is especially true in most developing countries. There you can even haggle when there is a price listed.
- Eat anything you are offered – it’s just kind to at least try it – yes, even if it’s disgusting looking.
- When you get to a new country, spend the majority of your time observing instead of judging.
- Don’t worry about exchanging money – 99% of places I have gone to have an ATM at the airport where you can simply get out the cash you need in the local currency for better rates than any money exchanger.
- Call your bank before you go and let them know what countries you are traveling to else this may not work!
- Once you get that local currency out of the ATM, THEN go to the money exchanger and ask nicely if they will break a large bill into smaller bills. It’s always good to have small bills for taxis, bottles of water, and tips. Many people often tell you they don’t have change for large bills and cannot sell you a bottle of water/bread/taxi ride.
- When a place offers to charge your credit card in your home currency – decline it and tell them to charge it in their local currency. There are hidden fees that are more than exchange rates that are charged when you have the company charge it in your home currency.
- Do laundry whenever you can as you never know when you will get the opportunity again.
- Look for school age kids when you can’t find someone who speaks English, they often at least know a little English from school or television. And if that fails…Google Translate!
- Adopt and enforce the rule – one in, one out when it comes to your suitcase. If you must buy something, then something else must go!
- Once you pass through immigration – put your passport away and never carry it on you once you get to your destination. If you are carrying it in your money belt, purse, pocket as you tour around a city, you just increase the odds that it will get stolen off of you. Leave it in your room locked/hidden in your bag. Out of all of the countries I’ve traveled to – there was only one country that I actually needed to carry my passport with me at all times – Lebanon. The others…just put it away.
- Back up everything regularly. Whether you travel with a laptop, your phone, an external backup drive, or whatever – have a backup plan. Something will get stolen/lost eventually.
- Whether you keep a blog, a journal, videos, one second a day keep track of your adventures somehow. It’s a great way to see how far you’ve come and learn from your past.
- If you have a bad experience somewhere (Airbnb, Couchsurfing, etc) leave an honest review about the situation. If you are going to use the sharing economy, then you are responsible for making it work. That means leaving good reviews and bad reviews as it may save the next person from a very bad situation.
Not necessarily travel oriented, but these are a few of the life lessons I’ve learned along the way, and am still learning…
- You don’t need ½ of what you think you need in life…or in retirement…or in your suitcase.
- Do at least one thing that is completely ridiculous, dangerous, and pushes your boundaries; it will probably be the most memorable and talked about thing that you do in your life.
- People with less seem happier all around the world
- Accept praise or a compliment with a thank you and move on.
- Meet new friends, but don’t forget the old.
- Travel makes you see your own culture through other’s eyes, and that can be a humbling beautiful thing.
- The Middle East has the most welcoming guest culture than anywhere else I’ve been in the world. Surprising? Yes – but this is why it’s important to not let the news and media rule our impressions. Get out and see for yourself.
- At least once in your life, travel solo – completely solo.
- Learning how to give someone a bribe is a good life skill to possess. Practice.
- A smile is the universal language
- SPF30 – every day.
- Conform and be dull
- There is not one right way of living your life. Many paths can get you to where you want to be in life, and if you are bold and take the unknown paths, you may end up in a place you never thought imaginable.
- Don’t spend your life pining away waiting for stuff to happen – just go and make it happen yourself.
- Certainty is overrated
- You are more capable than you think you are
- If you know you are going to make it, then it’s not an adventure
- If we have space, we fill it – it’s human nature. Whether it’s a home, garage, storage unit, or suitcase. So if you want to be/live light, then just get a smaller space.
- Be a travel mentor to someone.
- If you have a goal to do longer term travel, but don’t know where to start, the best and first thing you should do it pick a date that you want to leave. That way you have something to work towards.
- Say “YES”! It’s much more fun than saying “no”.
This article contains some links to product that I recommend. If you are interested in purchasing them, I’ve linked some items back to my marketing link on Amazon or affiliate links (a small percentage goes to me if you purchase, however it will cost you absolutely no more money).
By Dan Unger September 10, 2015 - 12:56 pm
Wish I knew exactly when you had time to put together such a credible list with 99 important things a traveler I should know.
You sure picked a good way to spend 9 years.
By Rebecca September 10, 2015 - 1:34 pm
SO much good stuff, thanks! Only a few tech things I would add.
It can definitely save money to use local sims sometimes, as I’ll explain further down. But if you get a Google voice number, and give it to your family and friends, you can use it to text and get voice mails. I had problems with WhatsApp after I changed my sim, so I used Google voice for texting ppl who didn’t have iPhones.
A little bit of Skype credit goes a long, long way. I can’t tell you how many calls I made to different customer service numbers on just $5 worth of Skype credit. And you know how long those kinds of calls can take.
For data junkies passing through the UK, 3 Mobile has a super cheap UNLIMITED data plans for phones. The prices vary by text/minutes, but you won’t be using those much, so just get the cheapest unlimited data plan.
This meant I could FaceTime or video Skype from my phone without needing wifi! The rates for tablet data are excellent, too, though not unlimited. Still came in handy when a big screen was needed and no wifi was available. Also, you can’t use the unlimited phone data as a hotspot for a computer, but you can use the tablet data for that. These sims can also be used in hotspot devices that aren’t tied to a particular carrier.
Keeps getting better. 3 also has a Feel at Home program which lets you use the same sims in 18 other countries to get the same cheap data. The only thing is, you have to top up every 30 days and you can’t do so online without a UK credit card and you can’t even do it at local 3 stores in the other countries, they make you get a new sim.
So be sure to buy vouchers for each month you will need one BEFORE you leave the UK. For tablets, your data expires when you use it all, buy vouchers to top up from abroad as you run out. Also, the tablet sim itself will expire after 90 days, which is not the case with phone sims. So if you have a tablet or hotspot device and will not be back to the UK for more than 90 days, I’d suggest getting an extra sim.
And, finally, if you want to use local sim and your carrier won’t unlock your phone because it’s still under contract, you can buy unlock codes online. The newer iPhones take the longest and are the most expensive, though not prohibitively so. Some go through very quickly, others can take close to a month. I suggest you do this well before you leave home.
Google “Permanent phone unlock code”. And your phone will always be unlocked no matter how often you update the operating system. This is NOT the same thing as jailbreaking and will not void your warranty. In fact, the iPhone unlock codes come directly from Apple.
I just got back from six months travel in Europe and the UK. I started in London and the 3 store was the first stop I made after dropping off my bags. Gatwick gave me 45 minutes of free wifi, and I picked up more at St. Pancras. So I took screenshots of the route to my lodging. I also had downloaded offline city maps.
But if I don’t have that little blue dot moving along with me, I get very nervous. I had to keep reminding myself, after data heavy sessions on my phone, that I had an unlimited amount to use. It was fabulous, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Go to the 3 website to see what countries you can get coverage in. We didn’t have it in Greece, Malta or Nairobi. But they are adding countries all the time. Though I wouldn’t hold my breath for Kenya. Still, when various family members came to join me, I unlocked all their phones and got them sims from 3. Excellent customer service, too.
It was a very unhappy reunion I had with AT&T back in the states. Pretty sure our cellular rates are wickedly higher than anywhere else in the world. sigh.
Anyway, as you can see, this is a topic very dear to my heart. It was one I researched for years before I finally took off on my trip, and I was very happy with everything worked. I still have my UK sims, even a couple of vouchers, for when I go back. I’ll be all set as soon as I land, even if I don’t start off in the UK.
By Sherry September 10, 2015 - 4:40 pm
Ha – ‘only a few tech things to add’…you wrote a book! 🙂 I honestly just stopped dealing with sim cards altogether when I started using the MIFI devices – that way I didn’t have to do anything when I arrived somewhere but turn it on. I got tired of dealing with sim providers, etc. However occasionally I will use them. And I have used 3 Mobile before – it’s good. But – to each their own…find a system that works for you and do it. Thanks for offering some alternatives!
By Rebecca September 10, 2015 - 10:58 pm
Yeah, but that mifi is $13.95 a DAY for unlimited wifi in multiple European countries. 3 mobile is $10 a MONTH for unlimited phone data in 18 countries and maybe $25 a month for 7 gigs on a tablet, which can be used as a hotspot for multiple devices. Huge difference to the budget.
By Sherry September 12, 2015 - 2:23 pm
True – I suppose that the mifi is better for shorter trips where you don’t want to deal with changing sims. If I’m in a country for a longer time I definitely get a sim. However my Tmobile plan has also been great for me as I travel in and out of the US a lot.
By Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog September 10, 2015 - 3:06 pm
So many great tips – I love it! I also MASSIVELY LOVE the one-second-a-day video idea. Such a beautiful way to showcase a trip. 🙂
By Sherry September 10, 2015 - 4:38 pm
Yes Katie – the one second a day is really fun for a longer trip! My niece had a blast doing it!
By [email protected] September 10, 2015 - 3:30 pm
I love this! Great tips and I may try a few of the items you mentioned.
I only have one thing to add to #75 when dealing with people coming into the U.S. You will need your passport at all times. I’m engaged to an Englishman and his ID never works here. He has to use his passport. But we were recently at Big Bend National Park at the border of Texas and Mexico (straddles both and I highly recommend…so magical) and we were hassled nonstop about not having his passport. We live in Houston, which is 8 hours away from Big Bend and nothing we could do. We specifically chose trails we would not have to worry about crossing the border, because we didn’t want to have to deal with immigration. However, they moved the border checks 40 miles outside of the park and we had to go through them on either side. All he had was his ID and it took about 10-20 minutes depending on the agents there to get approved to move through. And we hit another border check near Del Rio (Border town and a different route we went home). We were then told over and over and over again that he needs his passport on him at all times and that ICE could ask to see his passport in a bar at Houston and deport him if he doesn’t have it.
So, just a thought. If you are not an American citizen, you should carry your passport around the Mexican border (maybe not everywhere in the U.S.).
By Sherry September 10, 2015 - 4:38 pm
Good point Kristi – I wrote this from an American perspective – and it is different for different countries, etc. I also wrote it from a female perspective – so some of those tips may not apply either to everyone! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience!
By Nadine September 10, 2015 - 4:31 pm
Such a good list! I loved it. I want to comment on so many of them (but I’ll refrain)… still, I have to say that so many of these either had me laughing, nodding my head in agreement, or reaching for a pen to take notes. And I have to say, I’m a big fan of #63. Postcards!! I still send them to friends and family whenever I travel… I think it’s a bit of a dying practice. So it made me smile to read that you’re still keeping it alive. 🙂
Thanks for this wonderful list, and for continuing to share your traveling life with us.
By Sherry September 10, 2015 - 4:36 pm
Thanks Nadine – glad it was a useful and fun read for you. I always wonder what would come out of me if I had no good midwestern filter. 🙂
By Wynne September 10, 2015 - 5:45 pm
Love, love, love! And #98 is something I tell SO many people at the MPG events. This list made me create an e-mail to myself as reminders of last-min. things to do/buy for later this month. Perfect timing!
By Darlene Foster September 11, 2015 - 9:55 am
All great! I totally agree with #85.
By Mary September 12, 2015 - 12:35 pm
You might like the Middle Eastern people, but I deal with them weekly, in retail, and they are the worst people, ever! They are rude, tear up the store, let their kids tear things up, and expect you to be their maids! And they want everything for nothing! I wouldn’t go there for free!!
By Sherry September 12, 2015 - 2:08 pm
Sorry you feel that way – but I’m sure there are many Americans that are rude too. You have all types in a society good, bad, and rude.
By Rita Wade September 13, 2015 - 10:10 pm
Loooove this list. I would add a “lipstick” size external cell phone battery charger. When traveling, I use my cell phone as a camera which sucks up the power quickly. Having a charged up and ready to go external battery has come in extremely handy and saves the hassle of trying to find a free outlet when your power is low.
By Sherry September 15, 2015 - 4:36 am
Excellent advice! I carry two of them!
By Mary @ Green Global Travel September 15, 2015 - 8:19 pm
Overall fantastic tips – especially using public transportation to get a real experience of a place and dressing to respect local cultures. Great read!
By DeJavieur L Speller September 15, 2015 - 10:15 pm
Great tips there are several things that I never ever though about. I liked #93 Certainty is overrated. that is the truth.
By Hans September 18, 2015 - 2:15 pm
Excellent tips … you are more experienced at life than 98% of people out there!
By Jared September 22, 2015 - 1:53 pm
Very thorough list – you could write a book just from this one post 🙂 And thanks again for including Stride.
By Sherry September 23, 2015 - 11:09 am
Ha! It would be 99 pages long!
By Ela December 15, 2015 - 11:08 pm
Traveling is very necessary to fresh your mind, it helps to feel your your life very interesting. So don’t get board to your life and try to visit as many places in the world.
By Cyrus March 7, 2016 - 9:20 am
I would like to use one of your photos “Maltese Chair” in my article and I am asking for your permission. Regards, Cyrus 07/03/2016
By Barbara April 25, 2016 - 6:30 pm
I love travel tips, they have helped me out tremendously. After 9 years you have really compiled a helpful list, thank you for sharing!!
By Sherry April 27, 2016 - 10:12 am
Great! Glad you found a few of the 99 helpful!
By Xplorato May 31, 2016 - 5:52 am
This article goes to show that you learn something new everyday :0 i have found so many tips and tricks i didnt even realize were possible 🙂 informative read
By Nicola October 29, 2016 - 6:45 am
Great list Sherry. I’ve read many many travel tips. This is up there with the best. In terms of sending postcards. I print out a couple of sheets of address labels of my nearest and dearest so as not to waste time on addressing them.
By Sherry October 29, 2016 - 8:41 am
Thanks- glad you found it useful! Good suggestion on the address lables!
By Vivian Raiborde October 30, 2016 - 1:09 pm
I love these tips. I’ve been traveling for business and pleasure for over 15 years and the advice you’ve put out in this list is fantastic. I love #52 – visiting local supermarkets especially when I’m travelling in Asia.
If I could add something to the list, it would be a high powered multi-usb charger which can charge multiple USB devices at a time. When you crawl into that hotel room at the end of the day with your devices are as dead as you are and you’re faced with just one power socket, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to choose between charging your phone, your tablet and your smart watch.
By Sherry November 3, 2016 - 6:11 pm
Excellent addition! Thanks for sharing!
By Linda April 16, 2017 - 6:11 pm
Well a small point here on your vibrator recommendation which may have been made in jest. I have read blogs and Facebook post that state that many countries consider those sex toys and they will confiscate them and possibly cause you some embaressent in the process. So read up on what countries you are going to and what their views are on such items. Respect the laws and beliefs of the lands you are traveling to.
By Sherry April 17, 2017 - 10:39 pm
Guess I’ve been lucky then for 10 years! Phew! Yes – I do respect other cultures – but I haven’t come across one where such things are against the law yet. Thanks for your input!
By Linda April 18, 2017 - 12:45 am
This is an article from 2016 and a lady I use to follow got her confiscated in Turkey. Maybe it’s not reliably enforced. Always enjoy your post on your many travels.
By pavitra May 17, 2017 - 3:10 am
Thanks a bunch for your very-helpful tips. All points are very genuine. You have a great experience of life and travel.
By Ellen May 21, 2017 - 1:14 pm
After travelling with Sherry and her MIFI (no not the vibrator) I researched pocket WiFis. There are a lot of options out there. I ended up getting a prepaid one that only charges me for the data I use instead of a flat daily rate. I generally use hostel WiFi and my pocket WiFi is a backup for when I get completely lost, need to make a booking or I need to make sure the metered taxi guy is taking the best route.
By Sherry May 21, 2017 - 4:08 pm
Ha! Glad you found a MiFi solution that worked for you! It’s a great ‘backup plan’ especially as a solo traveler when there are times like you mentioned (in a taxi) where you want to know where you are going and how to get a hold of people! For the prepaid – did you have to pay an initial fee for the device? Feel free to share what company you used as I’m sure it’ll be helpful to others!
By women only travel June 6, 2017 - 1:13 am
Nice blog to read and share. These are very helpful tips. This is a genuine blog that would help many people around including me. Whenever we are travelling to any place, planning is very crucial. Without planning you can ruin a lot of things or get messed up. So these planning tips are worth knowing. Keep blogging. Cheers..
By Kristen June 17, 2017 - 12:48 pm
These tips are really good. I’ve never thought of doing a food tour – especially first day and will use your Mifi tip. I have one that I use traveling in the US and never thought about using it internationally. I agree about staying in places with kitchen – even if you just have one meal in, it can save a lot of money.
By Sherry June 17, 2017 - 8:14 pm
Glad you found them useful! Definitely try out the food tour on your next trip!
By Vivian October 11, 2017 - 1:09 pm
I am going on a mission trip for the first time to Guatemala. These tips help me as well. Some things I know would be most helpful but had not thought about them myself. Thank you so much for sharing.God bless you!
By Sherry October 16, 2017 - 8:38 am
Best of luck on your travels to Guatemala! Happy that the list helped a little – it’s always so hard to figure out what to pack!
By Stuart Forster November 14, 2017 - 8:09 am
I think you provide a number of handy tips. I tend to carry some US currency with me and it’s often handy to have. One place where I struggled was in Myanmar, where the bills need to be pristine and free from even the tiniest of tears. One restaurant rejected five different $20 bills before finding one that was okay to take!
By Emily Hansen November 26, 2017 - 9:58 pm
Wow, this is definitely a must-read! Thank you for sharing all these useful tips, Sherry. I always choose to pack light when traveling. I pack a few clothes with me and just wash some of my used ones during the trip. They’re literally like “wash and wear” outfits (LOL). But this trick gives me more room for my other travel essentials.
By Sherry November 27, 2017 - 7:59 pm
Glad you found it useful! Happy Travels!
By Jason Thomas January 19, 2018 - 6:40 am
I love this! Great tips and I may try a few of the items you mentioned.
Traveling is very necessary to fresh your mind, it helps to feel your life very interesting. So don’t get the board to your life and try to visit as many places in the world.
Yes, I totally agree with your point that if anyone is traveling to any place, then they should take or use the public transportation for the real experiences.This really benefits the travelers.
But, here I want to add one more point that, you don’t mention about the world map in any of your above tips.
According to me, the map should be one of the important things you must carry while traveling to any place.
As there are so many world maps but the scratch map is the best map you can consider while traveling.
The scratch map allows you to track your travels by removing the foil layer over cities, countries, and continents you’ve visited. This is a useful product even if you are not a frequent traveler.
Scratch map is the most unique and creative map that you will ever own.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us.
By Sherry January 20, 2018 - 12:45 pm
Jason – I enjoy having a map up in my home – however to suggest that you need to carry a world map with you is not something I agree with. There’s no reason or room to be traveling with a big paper map – that’s just silly. I use Google maps to figure out where to go – or a hiking book with map, or sometimes a road map. But not a world map during travel.
By Jason January 22, 2018 - 5:54 am
Lol, Sherry! Yeah but scratch map is a fun item to carry while traveling, it ads a adventures thing in our journey instead of always getting into the digital world and using google maps, sometimes I feel to quit my phone and enjoy life to the fullest 😛
By sujith ks March 26, 2018 - 10:51 am
so informative tips like to read and hear from you
By Julia October 6, 2018 - 6:03 am
These are great tips!
I’m going to implement many of them.. all the things that make life on the road less stressful! I’m going to create my own list as a nomad that hops between Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia and has no plans to either go back to the US or enter the Schengen zone in the near future. I’m also on a shoestring budget, but I’m taking steps to change that.. 🙂
One thing that doesn’t work for me is sharing space with others…when working on the road and staying in one place for about 30 days, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not any more expensive, much less stressful, and easier to focus on work without the drama other people can create when you co-habitate for more than a week, max. But I get where you are coming from.. it can make sense, too. One of my favorite weeks was in a hostel sharing recipes with other guests.
I also prefer to find housing from local classifieds as it saves me a TON of money and is healthier for the local economy in many circumstances.
Still have not found a good mobile solution for hopping between Croatia, BiH, and Serbia on a limited budget.. but I’m taking notes!
Your packing system.. love it.
I’m following for more tips on photography too. Thank you! 🙂
By Sherry October 6, 2018 - 1:08 pm
Glad you enjoyed the tips! Good luck on finding a good cell phone plan!
By Lauren October 20, 2018 - 5:36 am
Good post,I love these tips. I’ve been traveling for business and pleasure for over 15 years and the advice you’ve put out in this list is fantastic. I love #52 – visiting local supermarkets especially when I’m travelling in Asia.
By Travel to Tibet December 4, 2018 - 12:57 am
Wonderful post. Thank you for each for your hard work on this blog. I love to grab information from this blog and really useful for me.
By Zai December 7, 2018 - 7:54 pm
Great tips there are several things that I never ever though about. I have to say that so many of these either had me laughing, nodding my head in agreement, or reaching for a pen to take notes. I love tip #52 – visiting local supermarkets especially when I’m traveling in a different country.
By jeanne January 7, 2019 - 4:08 pm
I love love love your tips! They are amazing and invaluable to travelers everywhere. I am so behind you with “tiger balm – nuff said”. I cant live without it!
By Sherry January 12, 2019 - 10:21 pm
Thanks Jeanne! Glad you felt the were useful!!
By techsofttips April 20, 2019 - 11:33 am
What a great article, Chock full of vital information for traveling in Australia. We spent 5 months with a little baby in Sydney and it was a beautiful place as we went on a business trip there. Anyway, we still did tonnes of free camping. Thanks for sharing the views with us. nice article.
By Aarsh Shukla August 27, 2019 - 2:09 pm
Great tips, hopefully i enjoyed reading your post fully. Great knowledge.
By Motmainna Begum September 8, 2019 - 11:03 am
There are several things that I never ever though about. Great tips! This tips will help me a lot.
By Sanjida Akter November 6, 2019 - 6:29 am
Great tips there are several things that I never ever thought about. I love to grab information from this blog and really useful for me. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us.
By Alice Eduardo Enrile November 28, 2019 - 1:12 am
Thanks for this. I really like what you’ve posted here and wish you the best of luck with this blog and thanks for sharing.
By Anisur Rahman Khan January 18, 2020 - 8:15 am
Thanks for sharing this type resourceful article. Do you share any idea to travel experiences on Ireland?
By Tiffany Shih February 25, 2020 - 6:41 pm
#38 might be the best thing I’ve ever read on a blog. Period.
By Sara July 15, 2020 - 9:16 am
This is a very old post that I came across. I’m an avid traveller like you, blogger and photographer.
I’m really curious to know how many countries you have visited to date?
By Sherry July 31, 2020 - 8:32 pm
I have likely been to around 67 countries? I haven’t really been keeping good track any longer! How many have you been to?
By Alison February 6, 2021 - 8:21 pm
Such a brilliant list Sherry. In our 60’s/70’s my husband and I were intentionally homeless for nearly 6 years and only re-established a home 3 years ago because I needed a hip replacement. Almost everything on this list is so relatable, though not exactly everything as we all have our own travel styles. We’ve been continuing to travel for about 3 months every year so with the pandemic I’m starting to get a little antsy, and your list didn’t help lol. Hoping to at least be able to travel again by the end of the year. Going to Pin and share this list – some really good info here.
So glad to have “met” you at Bex’s zoom farewell gathering. I too have written a fair bit for Intrepid. I love them.
By Ghadir Zheman May 24, 2021 - 3:06 pm
Wow-what a beautiful article and photo. Thank you so much for sharing Valuable information.