10 Things I Have Learned From Traveling

Venturing out into the big wide world this summer?

Maybe you are traveling to another country, or maybe you are just exploring your own. In my travels around the world I have discovered many interesting truths, and today I am sharing with you

10 Things I Have Learned From Traveling.

All in white, boat day in Portofino last year

1.) Don’t Rely On The Internet.

We all have smartphones and iPads, laptops and other media devices, and most of us store travel information on them. Always, always have a hard copy of your itinerary and flight and rental car details, as well as your hotel information.

Devices freeze, lose power, can’t make internet connections, or maybe there is no internet available where you are. You never know what’s going to happen, so travel smart and have a papercopy of everything you may need.

2. Arrive With Local Currency

Wherever you are going, make sure you have cash in pocket.

Plenty of places don’t accept credit cards, and sometimes ATM machines don’t work or aren’t available.

I like to have at least the equivalent of $100 in local currency, in small denominations.

(When I leave a country, if I think I may come back I will keep my change and some paper money)

Balat, Turkey

3. Learn The Lingo

Simply learning how to say “hello”, “goodbye”, “please” and “thank you” in the language of the country you are in goes a really long way. 

4. Always Have A Plan B

Things go wrong. Museums/roads/tourist sites etc get closed. The weather doesn’t play ball. Life happens.

If you always have a backup plan, the day is not lost.

More often than not Plan A not working, or you getting horribly lost, leads to something far more fun and exciting anyway. Some of my most fantastic travel discoveries and experiences have happened because Plan A failed. And it doesn’t hurt in life to stay mentally flexible.

5. The Road Less Traveled Can Make All The Difference

I love getting away from the tourist traps. There are treasures to be found along the road less traveled.

Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Sicily

6. Some Of The Best Things You Will See Won’t Be In The Guide Books.

This works with #4 and #5. Simply wandering around a little and keeping your eyes open can lead to amazing experiences. 

7. Ask The Locals

Ask the locals where they go out to eat. The food will be more authentic, the price will be much better, and the experience will be amazing.

Unless I am maniacally starving or thirsty I don’t go to restaurants near the main tourist sites. The food is never as good, and the prices tend to be ridiculously inflated.

8. Don’t Try To See Too Much.

Slow the pace down, take time to relax and enjoy the place you have come to. You don’t really get to experience a town or its people if you are running around madly photographing everything and then racing on to the next place. 

You just can’t beat taking your morning coffee or an early evening prosecco and antipasti in the piazza, chatting with the locals or just watching the world go by.

9. Talk To The Locals

Ask them about local things to see. Some of my best travel experiences have been when locals have plotted out my day and told me wonderful places to go. 

10. Always Take a bottle of eater, a light snack and a light sweater or jacket. Weather changes, sometimes it’s hard to find water, or there’s nowhere around to eat anything. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.. 🙂