Traveling is one of the most rewarding life experiences; visiting foreign lands, immersing yourself in another way of living, and constant learning. I love it, but don’t get it twisted, it can be one of the most stressful if you don’t adequately plan and prepare. Ignorance has no place when exploring, so I’ve included five clutch travel don’ts for you to survive your upcoming epic travel adventure.
- Disrespect local culture: “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman. This quote sums up everything I would like to say. Please don’t be ignorant, don’t be that person. Remember that you are but a temporary visitor and it is necessary for you to adapt to a country’s way of living, not the other way around. Before traveling, it is advisable to research where you are going. Learn about cultural norms, what makes the country tick. If not, you will most certainly end up unhappy. Your purpose of visiting a particular country is to enjoy what makes it so special and unique.
- Overpack: If you are traveling internationally for an extended period, pack wisely. Nothing kills a 12 day trip to Europe more than oversized luggage. My advice is to ensure that your luggage comfortably fits into one suitcase with an additional carry on. Don’t forget airlines also charge for additional pieces of luggage. If you are traveling with a friend, my advice is to share a piece of luggage. While you do want to look amazeballs for your Instagram & Facebook pics, the real purpose of your trip is to experience new destinations. Pack light pieces of clothing that can be recycled. Tees that can be mix-matched with bottoms, light dresses, and sandals.
- Deface Historical Artifacts: Just typing that gave me an instant migraine. It always peeves me to read about tourists that have been arrested, kicked out or banned from a country because of their disrespect. A tourist was recently arrested & questioned for climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. His sole purpose of visiting was to climb the pyramids for a picture. Yes, he could’ve fallen to his death or could’ve been jailed for three years. I’m sorry, no picture is worth any of those options. Monuments and artifacts are delicate, and many go to great lengths to protect and preserve them for future generations. Don’t be that person that ruins a priceless work of art for likes.
- Miss Your Flight: Missing your flight just might be one of the worst things that you can do while traveling. It is an unnecessary stress, and it can lead to unnecessary fees, especially if you are a budget traveller. My best friend loves to almost miss flights; it’s her thing. Me, not so much. Arriving on time allows you to check-in and go through security checks as fluidly as possible – no hassle. I’m not interested in dashing through the airport out of breath trying to catch a flight. I don’t handle stress very well. Additionally, missing one flight ultimately leads to you missing another, and that leads you to losing out on booked rooms and essentially throws your trip off. So, don’t miss your flight.
- Lose Your Passport: The most important piece of travel real estate you will own is your passport, so it goes without saying. Don’t lose your passport! Without it, you can not travel, and many times it includes visas which are not only expensive but a pain in the you know what to replace. All hotels (a large majority) have safes where many store their passports, but I never part with my passport. I’m sorry, being stranded in a foreign country without a passport is a legitimate fear of mine. While it may sound juvenile, I know of countless people that have lost this important piece of identification while drunk or being absentminded. If you do lose your passport, immediately contact your nearest embassy or consulate.
With that said, remember, “travel like Gandhi, with simple clothes, open eyes, and an uncluttered mind.”
LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!