We all love to travel, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult if you don't know what you're doing. Or in gamer terms; if you're travelling with a n00b. So we've put together this awesome list of 21 tips we've accumulated over the years of travelling so you can have a much better experience when you head abroad.
1. Wake Up Early.
Nobody likes to wake up early, unless you're a freak, but we highly recommend this when travelling for one reason only. You can fit much more into your day. And there's nothing more beautiful than seeing an amazing sunset on a beach in a foreign country.
2. Don't keep your money in one place.
We've all heard horror stories of people being robbed when travelling. Whether they get pickpocketed or held at knife point - things happen. We recommend keeping money somewhere safe and in different spots. Keep some money on you. Keep even more in your hotel/hostel or your bag and keep cards and passports somewhere very safe in case of an emergency.
3. Send Postcards
This has gone out of fashion ever since tech took over our lives. But there is nothing cooler than receiving a postcard from someone out travelling. Not only do you have that postcard for life, but it also makes the people you sent it to know you're thinking about them and wishing they were there with you (even if you don't wish they were).
4. Pack Light
Don't bother bringing too much stuff. You can buy a lot of things on the cheap in either duty free or in the country itself. It's much more fun and easy to pack light because you can just up and go within minutes and you don't have to worry about forgetting loads of things. Bring the essentials. That's it.
5. Don't Plan
Plan a few things, like how you're getting to places. But once you get there just take things as they come. See a segway on the strip by the beach? Pay the few euro to get on one and drive around. Go parasailing if some guy offers you a deal. These are the things you will remember, the spur of the moment things.
6. Slow Down.
Stop rushing everywhere. You're travelling, not running a marathon. Take in the sights, take your time and relax. You'll appreciate it a lot more once you're home.
7. Take A Load Of Photos
Memories fade, but photos don't. And I don't mean take them on your phone and forget about them for life. When you get home make backups of the photos, print them off. Put them in an album. You'll appreciate all the photos you took in a few years when looking back on all the great times you had with friends and family.
8. Eat Local
Fuck McDonalds and the chipper. Go to local resteraunts and try the local cuisine. It's much more fun and you can go home and brag to your friends about that one time you ate a kangaroos testicle and then a scorpion for desert.
9. Ear plugs!
You'll thank us for this. Especially if you're staying in a hostel with some loud people or worse, someone who snores. Ear plugs are a godsend.
Couchsurfing.org is a website full of people who offer up their couches to travellers to stay on for free. This is one of the best ways ever to get immersed in a local community and see how the culture there really is.
11. Meet the locals
Forget heading to the pub that looks the most tourist friendly. They're full of crap and overpriced. Head to a pub that is full of locals and who look like they're having a good time. They will embrace you with open arms for trying something new and you'll have a way better (and cheaper) time.
12. Spend Money
We're all for budget travelling. But every once in a while up your budget a bit. Go on that big ferriss wheel for no reason other than to get those amazing photos of the city. Go to a fancy restaureant and treat yourself. You deserve it.
13. Get Lost
We mean get lost on purpose. You'll discover the local area a lot better and once you're done exploring you can just hop in a cab or Google Map your way back - provided you didn't end up in the woods somewhere. In that case, maybe try and navigate yourself a bit better. But still explore to your hearts content.
14. Back It All up
There is nothing worse than having your stuff stolen. So backup everything on an external hard-drive in the sad case you forget your laptop in a cab, or it gets robbed. Always back up your stuff. We had to learn this lesson the hard way.
15. People Watch
Grab a coffee at local cafe and sit outside. Watch everyone walk by on their daily commute, or just going about their lives. It's both relaxing and fascinating and you get a much better feel of how the local people opperate.
16. Be Patient
This is very ironic for any of my friends reading this because they know I am a very impatient person. However when travelling and if you can't control something don't fret. Life is too short to worry about things out of your control. Grab a pint. Relax. As the irish proverb goes "few naggins, be grand!".
17. Laugh At Yourself
Don't take things too seriously. You're a tourist. You're going to look like an idiot for the majority of the time. So just laugh at yourself and take things as they come. Like I said above, life is just too short.
18. Step outside your comfort zone.
Like above with trying local cuisine, try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. You will have a much better experience overall and you'll thank yourself later looking back for doing so.
19. Don't Be Afraid
Ok if you're off to a warzone you probably should be a bit afraid. But for the most part the world is not as scary as both the internet and tv makes it out to be. Most people are lovely and yes of course you will come across an asshole here or there. But you'll meet those people anywhere in the world.
20. Say Yes.
Not to drugs, or anything dodgy. But if a local invites you for dinner at their place - say yes! The kindness of strangers is amazing and they will treat you amazingly and you'll have a much better time if you say yes to a lot of things.
21. Take Notes
My memory is absolutely terrible. So whenever I travel I take notes, almost like a journal. Add these notes to the back of photos and date them for later down the road when you're looking back on them.