27 Golden Rules For Learning to be a Master Traveler (Updated 2020)

Every industry has its “guidelines” – proven rules and standards that guide the industry and the people in it. Travel is no different. There are numerous “rules to live by” that will help us navigate the unknown world with fewer mistakes.

I’ve my very own golden travel rules.

In the last a decade, I’ve learned a whole lot of guidelines which have helped me thrive when I travel. When I first lay out in 2006, I made a whole lot of mistakes. (Ok, I still make some mistakes.)

And that’s not really a bad thing. In the event that you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t trying new things and pushing yourself out of your safe place.

Mistakes are likely to happen.

But, through the years, I’ve developed a listing of 27 golden rules for travel. These guidelines help me spend less, make friends, remain safe, and fit into the neighborhood culture.

In the event that you follow them, you’ll turn into a master traveler, in a position to travel the world with swashbuckling zeal and expert ninja-like knowledge… all without breaking the lender to help you keep cutting a path forward through the world for longer:

1. Be adventurous – You merely live once. You’re likely to get chances to accomplish wild things you’ve never imagined doing when you travel. Don’t restrain. Count to three, say “screw it,” and take the leap. You didn’t come this far for nothing. Say yes when someone asks you to go climbing, salsa dancing, spelunking, or try the world’s hottest pepper despite not liking spicy food.

There’s no-one around to guage you. No-one cares everything you do. No rumors will be spread. Push you to ultimately take action new and daring at least one.

2. Get yourself a no-fee ATM card – Why give your cash to the banks? Get an ATM card that doesn’t charge any fees and use that extra cash for more traveling. Over the future those $2-5 charges really accumulate. I take advantage of Charles Schwab as my bank, nevertheless, you can also find numerous others offering no-fee accounts – or use a one which is section of the Global ATM Alliance, and pay no fees within that network.

This article can demonstrate how to prevent bank fees when you travel (and can give you a set of suggested cards too).

3. Get yourself a rewards credit card – Why purchase travel when you’re able to get it free of charge? Use a travel rewards credit card to earn points and miles which can be redeemed free of charge travel.

You’re already spending the amount of money anyway why not get rewarded for this?

Travel bank cards come with a great deal of perks and huge bonuses which can be redeemed free of charge flights immediately. Plus, they get you the very best exchange rate on your own purchases.

Having one can be an absolute must.

Wish to know how I get thousands of points each year and fly free of charge? Join my free primer on the art of travel hacking and I’ll demonstrate.

4. Always carry backups – Always carry a backup bank and credit card in the event one is lost, stolen, or hacked. That way when you are fixing the problem, you still get access to your money. Rather than the problem crippling your trip, it merely can be an annoyance. This has happened certainly to me before and, I could make sure you, you’ll be thankful you followed these suggestions!

5. Only carry the thing you need – When you leave to venture out for your day, only care the money you will need and one credit card. You don’t need to get robbed and lose everything. Leave the backups and further locked back at your hostel!

6. Join a frequent flier program – Get rewarded for all those flights you’ll be taking by joining a frequent flier program. That way you’ll earn miles, perks for flying, and free flights. Miles are like money – and you wouldn’t throw away cash, would you? No! So, join a loyalty program, and collect points. Even if it requires you years to obtain a free flight, at least you aren’t being wasteful!

7. Travel alone at least one time – Few things are as liberating as solo travel. As a solo traveler, you’re absolve to do whatever you want. When you travel solo, the world is your oyster. You’re absolve to do whatever you want, once you want. If you ask me, it’s the purest sense of freedom there is.

But beyond that sense of freedom, solo travel actually explains a whole lot about yourself. Travel can be an amazing personal development tool in the end, and solo travel is among the best methods to learn and grow and challenge yourself.

Without anyone around you, you need to solve the issues you face on the highway. You have to work out how to get from point A to B, cope with individuals who speak a different language, get comfortable eating alone, find things you can do, and work out issues that arise. It’s you as well as your wits. That forces you to grow with techniques you won’t in the comfort of your house or with an organization.

Although it won’t be for everybody, I still encourage everyone to try solo travel at least one time. In case you don’t think it’s great, you’ll learn quite a bit about yourself along the way.

8. Learn basic phrases – Locals don’t expect you to be a specialist in the neighborhood language, but learning a few basic phrases will go quite a distance to endearing you and making them go the excess mile for you. It’ll bring a smile with their face that you tried! “Hello,” “how are you?” and “many thanks” go an extended, long way irrespective of where you go.

9. Stay static in hostels – Become familiar with other travelers and go through the communal spirit of traveling by residing in hostels several times. They aren’t all of the dirty party places you see in movies. Most hostels have become clean, offer breakfast, have comfy beds and Wi-Fi, organize events, and know the neighborhood area very well. In addition they aren’t simply for young backpackers; you’ll find folks of all ages (and even some families) staying there. Try them out. You might enjoy it.

This is a set of the very best hostels on the globe to truly get you started!

10. Use tourist boards – Local tourist offices certainly are a wealth of knowledge. When you can a new destination, go to the tourist office and have the staff an insane number of questions about the area. They exist solely to obtain the the majority of your visit and it’s their job to learn everything and everything in regards to a place. Plus, they often times have a great deal of discounts not found somewhere else.

Visiting one is often among the first things I really do in a fresh city.

11. Try new foods – Culture is often best experienced through food. Don’t hesitate to try new things. Escape your safe place and experiment. You may actually enjoy it (those fried caterpillars in Zambia were delicious!).

12. Be flexible together with your plans – Travel is some happy accidents with way resulting in way. Don’t skip likely to that random city with the friends you merely met because your itinerary says different things. You’ll regret it.

Go with the flow and become available to new things.

This can make your travels much more stress-free.

12. Pack light – Take it from a former over-packer: you will never need half the stuff you take. Put all you think you will need in a pile and remove half of it. The lighter you travel, the simpler you travel.

Here’s our suggested packing lists:

  • What I Pack for My Travels: Your Packing Guide for 2019
  • THE BEST Packing List for Female Travelers

14. Take extra cash – Something always happens that you never planned for which will cost you extra cash. I never thought I’d fly last-minute to Fiji, have to replace my camera in Italy, or buy a supplementary iPhone cable in Australia. Always take extra cash just in case. You might not require it, but you don’t desire to be with out a little extra when something bad happens.

When you begin planning your trip, reserve a $300-500 emergency slush fund set for accidents.

15. Get lost – Meander through a fresh city with out a map. Get lost – because ultimately, you aren’t really getting lost, you’re just discovering new experiences. So deposit the map and wander. Eventually, you’ll stay on course.

16. Call home – Your parents miss you. Don’t forget to call and say hello.

17. Get yourself a phone – It will be far easier in which to stay touch with friends (and call home), experience other travelers, and contact hostels with a phone. SIM cards and prepaid phones are cheap, so there’s no excuse never to stay connected.

But don’t be glued to your phone. I see way too many people addicted to their phone nowadays. But it continues to be smart to carry one for emergencies, particularly when they are so accessible and affordable now.

18. Travel slow – This isn’t a race or a competition. I understand you want to get yourself a lot in together with your limited time, nevertheless, you see a many more when you visit a lot less. Travel slow and experience each place. Don’t race from place to station; that may establish you for a stressful, unenjoyable time. With travel, less is more.

19. Live somewhere once – Visit least once. Become familiar with a location. Learn the language. Make local friends. Explore. End up being the local. Surviving in a foreign place offers you a different perspective on life and a genuine sense of what it’s prefer to be an outsider.

Plus, living a foreign place and surviving can help you gain a whole lot of confidence.

20. Avoid taxis – They just are expensive. Don’t use them if you don’t don’t have any other option.

21. Bring a reusable water bottle – Not merely are those disposable plastic water bottles harmful to the environment however the cost adds up as time passes. A water bottle here, a water bottle there, and you’ve spent $50 on water alone. Get yourself a reusable bottle and drink the plain tap water together with a SteriPen or LifeStraw water purifier.

22. Buy travel cover – You never know very well what could happen on the highway – but something always does. I’ve had to cope with lost baggage, broken gear, delayed flights, and even some pretty serious injuries. Without travel cover, I would have not merely had to spend of pocket for these expenses but I’d have already been left to navigate them alone.

Buy travel cover in order that if you’re injured or you break your camera, you’re covered. Plus, you’re family and friends can relax realizing that, should something happen, you’re covered. It’s just a few dollars a day. It’s worth the satisfaction.

Here’s the hyperlink to your resource page with all our articles about them!

23. Bring basic first-aid – Cuts and scrapes happen, and you may get the thing you need most all over the world, but it’s still good to transport bandages, antibacterial cream, plus some hydrocortisone cream in your medical kit in the event. Also, carry duct tape – you’ll never know when it’ll can be found in handy.

Below are a few easy methods to pack a suggested first add kit.

24. Log off the beaten path – London, Paris, and the temples of Kyoto are amazing for grounds, but log off the beaten path, disappear completely from the crowds, and explore by yourself. Find something new, stand out, meet the locals, and find out. The street less traveled is generally a good one.

25. Take photos of friends and family – Years from now, you’ll want to look back at your younger self and see all of the people who changed your daily life. Nostalgia could be a wonderful thing. Be sure you take photos of friends and family. You’ll want them later.

26. Utilize the sharing economy – The rise of the sharing economy has made backpacking so easier and cheaper. From ridesharing, house sharing, and meetup websites, there are so many methods for you to log off the tourist trail and experience day-to-day life with locals! Below are a few suggested websites:

  • Couchsurfing (free shared accommodation with locals)
  • Airbnb (paid accommodation with locals)
  • BlaBlaCar (rideshare app)
  • EatWith (share meals with local cooks)

And lastly, the main tip of these all….

27. Ignore all my tips and do whatever you want – It’s your trip. Go where you want, when you wish, and for how long you want. Don’t worry relating to this or that. Make mistakes. Learn. Make more mistakes. Have a great time and become an improved traveler. By the end of your day, you won’t look back and think “only if I had more miles” but instead “damn, that was lots of fun.”

So get out there and also have some fun!

You deserve it.

How exactly to Travel the World on $50 a Day

My NY Times best-selling paperback guide to world travel will educate you on how exactly to master the art of travel spend less, log off the beaten path, and also have a far more local, richer travel experiences. It’ll teach you all you need to learn about travel!

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