My 100 Best Travel Tips From Ten Years of Travel


A hundred tips for traveling the world, safely, wisely and adventurously!

On the 17th July 2011, a very timid version of myself stepped onto a plane with a one-way ticket in hand. I hadn’t travelled alone before, and never for more than two weeks at a time. Travel was brand new and I had no idea what I was doing.

I made a lot of mistakes over the past eight years.

I’ve been scammed in Russia, China, Laos, the Maldives, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka.

I managed to lose half the things I was originally travelling with.

I’ve got lost more times than I can count. Homesick, too.

I fell down the largest sand dune in Africa.

Caught cholera in Borneo.

Had a rabies scare in India.

Got caught up in a tsunami in Thailand.

Was stranded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

But I’ve learned a ton from my experiences, too. To celebrate a full decade since I stumbled my way out of the U.K. and began a life of full-time travel, I’ve compiled an enormous list of my biggest and best travel tips. These are all things that I wish someone had told me before I started traveling, so I hope you’ll find them useful, inspiring, educational, and entertaining.

Brace yourselves, because this is a long one! It’s time to start learning from my mistakes :-)

Lauren with her passport

1. Eat the local food

One of my biggest regrets from the first year of my travels was that I wasn’t brave enough to try any of the local food. I was raised a picky eater and that, combined with debilitating anxiety and an eating disorder, led to me believing that I would either hate or be allergic to anything I hadn’t tried before.

I was so, so wrong.

Food is now my absolute favourite way to get to know a place better.

I love trying new things, and I’ve found a thousand amazing dishes that I never would have discovered if I’d continue to eat from supermarkets around the world. Trying new food isn’t scary, and you’ll build your confidence up as you fall in love with more and more things.

Try everything, even if you have no idea what it is. I promise you won’t regret it. Or fall straight into anaphylactic shock.

2. Plan as little as possible

One of the first lessons I learned on the road was that your plans will nearly always change. You’ll arrive in a place and hate it and want to leave immediately, or you’ll fall in love with a destination and want to spend longer there. You’ll make friends with a group of awesome people and want to change your plans so you can travel with them for longer, or you’ll find out about an amazing-sounding town that’s nearby and want to head there instead.

Sure, you should have a rough plan for your trip, but don’t book everything in advance or you’ll likely feel too restricted and end up regretting it.

Book a one-way ticket and your first few nights of accommodation — you’ll figure the rest out along the way. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you’re in a tourist destination there’ll always be someone who’s willing to take your money by giving you a place to stay.

3. Travel insurance is everything

Seriously.

If you do only one thing before you leave, make it getting travel insurance. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of travellers injuring themselves in remote places and ending up in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you, because you know those travellers thought that, too.

I’ve use World Nomads for my travel insurance provider for six years and recommend them to everyone I know. They were fantastic to deal with when making a claim.

4. Carry around spare passport photos

People laughed at me when I said that I was carrying around a dozen spare passport photos, but they’ve been incredibly useful and saved me a ton of time and hassle.

Who wants to wander the streets of some rural town in Cambodia searching for someone who can take your photo? Friends of mine had to do this!

I’ve used them to apply for visas around the world, to get a new passport when mine expired while I was on the other side of the planet, and I even needed one to buy a local SIM card in Nepal! Having spares in my backpack meant that I didn’t have to waste a day researching and then wandering around a city to try to find someone who could take a passport-sized photo of me.

5. Keep everything important in your daypack

I’m fortunate to have never had to deal with lost luggage, but I did have my backpack ripped open on a flight and I was grateful to have not had anything valuable in it at the time. I’ve also been on dodgy buses in Southeast Asia where we’ve arrived at our destination and people have had items stolen by someone hiding out in the luggage hold while we were transit.

If there’s anything I’d be upset to lose, I keep it in my daypack, which is always by my side on travel days. For me, that’s my passport, laptop, camera, external hard drive, a debit card, and some spare cash. As long as I have all of these, I can survive indefinitely.

Lauren in a clog
Hanging out in a clog in the Netherlands

6. Wear sunscreen every day

When you travel, you’re in the sun more than most people thanks to months of island-hopping and beach time, as well as entire days spent outside exploring. Wear sunscreen every single day, regardless of the weather and temperature, because you really don’t want your trip of a lifetime to result in skin cancer or a body that’s blanketed in leathery wrinkles.

I wear sunscreen on my face and chest every day, even in the middle of winter.

7. Take more photos of yourself

There have been so many times when I’ve been too shy to ask someone to take my photo in a place and I’ve almost always regretted it. After eight years of travel, I probably only have around 200 photos of me around the world. Photos of the beautiful places you visit are great and all, but when you get home, they’re not all that different to the ones everyone else has taken there, too. Photos with you in them are special and they’ll mean a lot more to you when you look back at them.

Or maybe I’m just a narcissistic millennial.

8. Learn a few words of the language in every country you visit

You’ll gain more respect from the locals if you can at least say hello, please, sorry, and thank you. On that note, remember: if you don’t speak the language, it’s your problem, not theirs. And please don’t start speaking louder to make yourself understood. Try miming instead, or using a translation app on your phone.

9. Bring ear plugs and a sleep mask

Travel isn’t conducive for sleep, whether it’s snorers in dorm rooms, early risers rustling plastic bags, or drunk backpackers stumbling around in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t stay in hostels, you’ll still have to deal with street noise from outside, loud bars nearby, and uncomfortable overnight journeys. Pack some ear plugs and a sleep mask in your bag to help improve your sleep. I’ve been using Sleep Phones to block out light and listen to podcasts and I love them.

10. Space saver bags will help you fit more in your backpack

I’d always been all about the packing cubes, until I discovered vacuum-sealed versions of them! You throw your clothes in, seal the bag, then roll it up to push out all the air. I can literally fit twice as many clothes in my backpack when I use these! Even if you don’t want to carry more things in your bag, it frees up so much space that if you need to pack in a hurry, you can just chuck everything in.

lauren at angkor wat
Catching the sunset at Angkor Wat

11. Bring several debit and credit cards with you

Sometimes your bank will block your card, sometimes your card won’t work in an ATM, and sometimes you could even lose it or have it stolen. Bring at least three debit/credit cards with you that are all linked to different accounts (with money in them!) Keep one in your backpack, one in your daypack, and one on your person.

It’s being a little paranoid, sure, but you’ll be glad you did it if you happen to misplace your card.

12. And a stash of emergency cash

I carry a spare 300 USD that’s split up in various places in my backpack, daypack, and occasionally, my shoe when I’m nervous I’ll be robbed. It means that in a worse-case scenario, I can pay for some food, a dorm bed, and a Skype call to my family to get an emergency wire transfer until I can get back on my feet again. I went with U.S. dollars because it’s the most widely accepted currency around the world and easy to change.

13. Don’t be put off a destination if you can’t find much information about it

When I decided to see if it was possible to visit the Maldives on a budget back in 2014, information was so sparse that I couldn’t even find a photo of the islands I’d decided to visit. Well, that trip was one of my highlights of the past eight years and I’m so glad I went, despite not being able to find any information online. And the advantage to that lack of information was getting to be the only tourist on an entire island — I had the whole beach to myself!

If you know it’s safe to travel somewhere, but can’t find out much else, go for it. It’s probably far easier to get there than you think. And if not, it makes for a good story.

14. Expect everything to go wrong

I’m definitely testament to that! But expecting everything to go perfectly on your trip is only setting yourself up to fail. Nobody goes travelling and comes back without any stories of mishaps. No matter how prepared you are, at some point you’re going to get lost, get scammed, miss your bus, get food poisoning, injure yourself… the list is endless! Expect it to happen, and don’t beat yourself up when it does. In a month’s time, you’ll find it funny rather than frustrating.

15. And don’t lose your temper when it does

It achieves absolutely nothing and makes you look like an asshole. Instead, calm down, put a smile on your face, think of how this will make a great story one day, and rationally figure out an alternative plan.

This too shall pass.

Lauren in the Maldives
A beach to myself in the Maldives!

16. Write down the address of your accommodation before you arrive

What happens if you arrive in a city, go to grab your email confirmation for your accommodation, and your phone and laptop are out of battery? I always make sure I have a hard copy of my guesthouse name and their address, as well as directions if I won’t be taking a taxi. Once I arrive, I’ll grab one of the hotel’s business cards, so I’ll always know where I’m staying, and can show it to locals to ask for help with finding my way back.

17. If you live in jeans normally, travel with them, too

So many people will tell you not to travel with jeans, but if you wear jeans all the time at home, you’ll want to wear them while travelling, too. I didn’t start travelling with jeans until my second year of travel, and man, I missed them so much! They’re not *that*  bulky so you really don’t need to worry about the extra space and weight. And in many cities in Europe, you’ll want to wear jeans to fit in with the locals — you don’t want to look like a grubby backpacker in Paris!

18. Back up everything in multiple places

Imagine how you’d feel if you lost every single photo from your trip. You really don’t want that to happen, so back everything up, in multiple places. My tech journalist boyfriend always reminds me that anything that’s stored in one place is something you don’t mind losing.

I keep copies of my photos on my laptop, back all of my photos up to an external hard drive, and use Crashplan to backup the entire contents of my laptop to the cloud. I highly recommend using the latter!

19. Visit the touristy stuff in a city

The main tourist attractions are popular for a reason. While getting off the beaten track can be fun, the things you’ll see are rarely as impressive as the popular sights. Don’t be a travel snob — hit up the famous stops as well as the lesser-visited stuff. Going to random places normally just shows you that they aren’t well known for a reason.

I’m thinking about my 10-day road trip around the Mekong Delta as I write this — we went to some obscure places where locals looked at me as though they hadn’t seen a white person before, and while that was pretty cool, there was also a reason why tourists hadn’t ventured to this tiny village before: there was nothing to do there.

20. Have a routine when checking out of a place

Checking out is when you’re most likely to lose something. Whenever I check out of a place, I check the bathroom, I check under the beds, I check the desks, and then I make sure I have my passport, laptop, camera, money, phone, and external hard drive. I’ll be fine if I leave anything else behind. Having a routine that you go through every single time will help you keep track of everything. I learned my lesson with this one when I left my passport behind in a guesthouse in Bagan, then left it in an apartment in London two months later.

Lauren at the Grand Canyon
At the Grand Canyon

21. Let your bank know you’ll be travelling

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my bank blocked my card something like 30 times in the first three years of my trip. Practically every time I arrived in a new country, I had to call them up to get it unblocked.

And then I discovered that I could fill in my travel plans in my online banking. They’ve rarely blocked my card since.

22. If you’re not sure if you should bring it, don’t

The lighter your backpack, the better. If in doubt, leave it behind. Trust me, you can buy pretty much anything you could possibly need in most places around the world. You’ll soon learn that all you need when you travel is a change of clothes, some money, and a passport. Everything else is adding to your comfort.

23. Don’t be shamed into not buying souvenirs

So many travellers preach that it’s all about experiences not possessions, but you know what? Sometimes possessions can offer beautiful reminders of the experiences you’ve had. I only started buying souvenirs from every country I visited in the last year, and I wish I’d been doing so from the start of my trip. And if you’re worried about space in your backpack, just mail them off to a friend or family once you’ve bought them and your pack will be none the heavier. My friend Jaime collects magnets from every place he visits and I’m so jealous of his collection!

24. The smaller the menu, the better the restaurant

That’s why street food is so delicious! While you’re travelling, look for places that only do a handful of dishes rather than offering 500 options. There’s a better chance of stumbling upon an amazing dish when someone only makes that one single thing all day everyday!

25. Travel in shoulder season to save money and avoid the crowds

Shoulder season is my favourite time to travel. The weather is usually mildest, everything is more affordable than in high season, and there are fewer people visiting, too.

Lauren tubing in the Tatai River
Tubing in the Tatai River, in Cambodia

26. Use a VPN

You’ll be connecting to a whole range of unsecured Wi-Fi networks on your trip, so you need to a use a VPN to protect yourself from hackers, malware, and all that good stuff. It’ll also allow you to change your location so you can watch your favourite TV shows online! I pay for a TunnelBear subscription and have been happy with it.

27. Solid Toiletries are the Best

Especially if you want to travel carry-on only. I use a bar of soap instead of shower gel, solid shampoo and conditioner instead of the liquid equivalents, and have even used solid sunscreen and solid insect repellent! LUSH is the best for solid shampoo and conditioner, so make sure you pay them a visit before you leave!

My solid shampoo and conditioner bars are small, lightweight and last me around three months at a time, so they’re great for travellers! Oh, and grab a tin for them as well, so they don’t slime up your toiletries bag.

28. Leaving your comfort zone is the best thing you can do for yourself

I cite leaving my comfort zone as the number one way in which travel has helped me. It was leaving my comfort zone that gave me confidence in my abilities as a traveller. It helped me to overcome my anxiety disorder by showing me the things I was panicking about rarely happened — and if they did, they were never as bad as they thought they would be. And it introduced me to new experiences — most of which I unexpectedly loved!

29. You need a travel towel

I love travel towels so much that I even use mine when I have actual bath towels as an option! Travel towels are quick-drying, incredibly lightweight, and fold up so small! I never travel without mine.

30. But you definitely don’t need a money belt

Money belts are dumb. They’re uncomfortable to wear under your clothes, every time you need to pay for something, it looks like you’re rummaging around in your underwear, and thieves are well aware of their existence. When someone robbed a friend of mine in Brazil, the first thing they did was lift up their top to check for a money belt. Just do whatever you normally do with money at home: put it in your pocket or your purse/wallet.

Lauren china
The Great Wall of China!

31. Go for several test walks with your packed backpack

It’ll likely be much heavier than you think. When I first went for a walk with mine, I went straight home and took out a third of the things I had in it. This will really help you narrow down what are essentials and what you don’t need. I even have a rule when I travel that I try to throw out three things from my backpack every time I travel to a new destination. It sounds like a lot, but I include things like the paracetamol tablets I haven’t taken in nine months or my spare pair of tweezers or the pile of receipts I’ve been lugging around.

32. Give family and/or friends copies of your itinerary

From a safety perspective, it’s good to have several people back home who know where you’ll be. I forward any flight or accommodation confirmations to my family and Skype with them several times a week to let them know what I’m up to. That way, if ever I disappear for a few days, my family will know immediately and will be able to know where I was staying at that time. It takes just a few minutes but really improves your safety.

33. Don’t change your currency at the airport

That’s where you’ll get the worst exchange rates.

34. If there’s no internet, embrace it

Play a card game with someone in the hostel common room, read a book, lie on the beach, go for a walk, talk to a stranger, think about life. Some of my favourite travel memories are from times when I didn’t have an internet connection to suck me out of the moment.

35. Wear flip-flops in the hostel showers

Imagine several dozen people standing in a shower every single day — keep your feet protected from nasty stuff and wear your flip-flops every time you shower.

Monument Valley viewpoint
At Monument Valley

36. Always, always pack your things the night before your early morning flight

The people I hate most when I travel are those who set their alarm for 4 a.m. and then proceed to spend the next hour packing their bags and rustling what sounds like forty thousand plastic bags. Don’t do this! Pack your bag the night before, so you can slip out without disturbing anyone’s sleep.

37. If an item of clothing can’t survive being worn for five days in a row then being washed in a sink/crappy laundry room, leave it behind

Space will be tight in your backpack, so you’ll want everything to be essential. If your clothes require ironing or will get destroyed easily, don’t pack them. I brought a fancy dress around the world with me and not only did I never wear it (because I was a backpacker and nobody was wearing stuff like that) but I felt guilty about throwing it out, so carried it around with me for an entire year! Don’t do this — bring clothes you don’t care about and replace them for cheap on the road.

38. Start saving early and bring more money than you think you’ll need

It’s good to have a budget to stick to, but most people tend to go over. Start saving as soon as possible (like, now) and aim to bring more money than you think you’ll need. The more money you have, the more you’ll be able to treat yourself to nicer accommodation, splurge on fun tours, and not spend your entire trip worrying that you’ll run out of cash.

39. Get your phone unlocked before you leave

With an unlocked phone, you’ll be able to buy local SIM cards and access cheap data as you travel. Cheap data means getting to use Google Maps when you’re lost, being able to Snapchat your way around a city, and being easily contactable by your new friends.

40. Don’t be afraid to splurge

It’s necessary every now and then. If you’re feeling exhausted, check yourself into a nice hotel for a few nights. If it’s a special occasion, splash out on a fancy meal. These splurges will mean so much more after months of hanging out in cheap hostels.

Lauren eating duck beaks in Bangkok
Eating duck beaks in Bangkok

41. Open your mind and hold the judgments

If you don’t like a country’s customs, remain open minded, rather than immediately jumping to conclusions that you’re right and it’s wrong. Ask questions, research more, and listen to other peoples’ point of view. And don’t let your bad experiences taint an entire country — if you had a crap time somewhere, it doesn’t mean that the country sucks or it’s not safe. Maybe it was just bad luck.

Don’t judge other travellers, either. Don’t judge people for visiting the most touristy cities in the world, don’t judge them for travelling with a backpack or a suitcase, don’t judge them for being a budget or luxury traveller, don’t judge them for carrying a selfie stick, just accept that everyone’s different, travels for different reasons, and likes different things.

I once met a girl in a hostel in Washington DC who told me that her parents were funding her trip. There I was thinking she was a spoilt brat, until she told me that she was slowly losing her sight and would be blind within a couple of years. Her parents were paying for her to travel the world while she was still able to see it.

42. Invest in a good camera

Your photos will be some of your best memories, so invest in a good camera. And, of course, take the time to understand how it works before you leave.

43. Have a health checkup before you leave

Visit your doctor and dentist for a checkup before you leave. The last thing you want to happen is for you to set off and discover two weeks later that you need to get a filling in India. Not that I’m speaking from experience here…

44. Visit fewer countries so you can work in rest days

So many people email me for advice on their itineraries and I nearly always go back to them recommending that they visit half the number of places. You’ll enjoy your trip more if you work in rest days, and you’ll get a better taste for a place if you spend more time in it. Don’t plan a trip that has you jumping from capital city to capital city every few days. And take account of travel time! Don’t be like two nights in Bangok, two nights in Phuket, two nights in Koh Phi Phi, when it’ll take a day to travel between them all, leaving you with one day to actually see those places. Oh, and you’ll likely be jetlagged, too, so you’ll want to take that into account too.

45. And slow down when you’re in them

If you only have three days in a place, it can be tempting to rush around like a madman to try and see absolutely everything, but that’s just a recipe for a nervous breakdown. Slow down, go to a coffee shop and people watch, wander down alleyways, and chat to locals. Sometimes the best way to get to know a place is through sitting and observing.

Madrid drinking
With travel blogging friends in Madrid

46. Keep a journal

You think you won’t forget anything, but you will. You won’t remember the name of that lovely girl from Oslo you hung out with for a day in Marrakech, you won’t remember the name of the hostel you loved in Beijing, you won’t remember the conversation you had with that dude in a pub in Sydney. Keep a journal to remember those small details because you’ll treasure them in a few years.

47. Eat healthier every now and then

Here’s a confession: I gained around 20 pounds over my first few years of travel, mostly thanks to eating out for every single meal. While it can be tempting to treat yourself to junk food, and Pringles and Oreos will fuel your every travel day, resolve to have at least a few days every now and then when you go for the healthier option. Your body and mind will thank you for it. Aim to cut out the rice, bread, and beer to keep your calorie intake low if you’re feeling as though you’re gaining too much weight on the road.

48. Wear your normal clothes

You know those ugly travel-specific clothes? They’re shapeless and made of quick-drying, breathable material, and covered in zips and pockets. Well, they’re great for travel, but you’ll also hate them. You’ll hate every photo of you wearing them. You’ll stand out immediately as a tourist in any place you visit. Instead, just bring the same clothes you’d wear back home. You’ll feel comfortable, you won’t stand out, and you’ll actually like the way you look.

49. Get lost on purpose

Sometimes getting lost is the best way to make awesome discoveries about a place. Sometimes it just plain sucks, that’s true. But if you’ve got a spare day in a place and don’t know what to do, start by picking a random direction and following it.

50. One-way tickets are better than round-the-world

I’m all about travelling on one-way tickets, because they give you the freedom to be spontaneous, change your mind, and extend your trip, if needed. My original itinerary had me heading to Australia after six months, but I ended up going to Thailand instead and stayed for seven months! You can’t get that kind of freedom on a round-the-world ticket. Plus, with so many budget airlines around, one-way tickets don’t have to even be that pricey.

Lauren on the beach in Tulum
On the beach in Tulum, Mexico

51. Get up early

You see that photo of me on the beach? Half an hour after it was taken, there were at least a hundred people there. I managed to explore the ruins of Tulum on my own and without the crowds simply by being there when it opened. Arrive early for everything and you’ll get to experience major attractions at their least busiest. Plus, sunrises are pretty.

52. The best activities aren’t necessarily traditional tourist ones

Some of my biggest highlights are things that sound so normal: it was drinking and singing with newfound friends in the Philippines, hiking alone in the mountains surrounding Taipei, trying to guess what everything was at a wet market in Saigon, dropping my travel plans to fly home and surprise my mum for her birthday, and spending six weeks in Madrid because that’s where my friends were spending the summer.

53. Scan your important documents and email them to yourself

Scan a copy of your passport, any visas, and any debit/credit cards you’re traveling with. Password protect the documents, and email a copy of them to yourself and to a family member . If everything you own gets stolen, you can access them safely from your email account, take your copies to your embassy as proof that you’re who you say you are. Plus, you’ll be able to buy flights home and pay for accommodation with your debit cards to keep travelling/go home in an emergency.

54. Try travelling alone

I believe that everyone should try solo travel at least once. It builds your confidence, shows you what you’re capable of, improves your social skills, gives you time and space to think, and helps you learn more about what you like and need in life.

55. Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights

I book all of my flights through Skyscanner, because it consistently finds cheapest deals. The key here is to keep things flexible: I look at flights to an entire country (or search for “everywhere” if I’m not sure where to head next) and look at prices over a whole month. I don’t collect points and miles, but I still rarely spend more than $500 on a long-haul flight.

Lauren in Bergen
Overlooking Bergen, in Norway

56. Go to the places that interest you most

I’m often emailed by people who are taking a year off to follow the typical backpacking trail: A bit of Western Europe, a lot of Southeast Asia, and a stint in Australia and New Zealand. And yet, they don’t know anything about the places and are asking me what you can even do in Laos.

Don’t follow the beaten path that every traveller takes, just because you feel like you should. What interests you? What do you want to see and learn about? One of the first stops on my trip was Chernobyl — not exactly a popular tourist destination. I didn’t know anybody who had been there, but it sounded fascinating to me. This is your trip: go where excites you, not where you feel you should go.

57. Practice your miming

Traveling in places where you don’t speak the language is surprisingly easy, but get ready to mime a lot. You can mime eating to ask someone if they’re serving food, mime sleeping to ask someone if there are any beds available in the hostel, and I even mimed that I needed to go to a train station by saying, “choo choo!” and drawing a picture of a train in my notepad for a taxi driver in Taiwan!

58. Google Translate’s camera is so incredibly helpful

Download the Google Translate app before you leave and use the camera feature for translating menus, signs, posters, and anything else you need to read. You simply press the camera icon, aim your phone at the text, and it translates it all in real-time for you. This was so unbelievably helpful for menus in Taiwan, where I had no idea what anything was.

59. Travel with a toilet roll

Grab half a roll, squash it up, and keep it in a sandwich bag in your daypack. Long bus journeys in developing countries often stop at squat toilets where there’ll be no toilet paper. At which point, you’ll be unbelievably grateful you have some of your own.

60. And a supply of Imodium

If you’re suffering from food poisoning, it’s best to let it run its course rather than clogging yourself up with Imodium, but there are some situations where it just isn’t possible to do so. I’m talking flights, long bus journeys, booked tours, and anything that requires you to leave the bathroom. A large supply of Imodium is something I always have in my backpack for these emergencies.

Lauren in Bagan
Temple hopping in Bagan

61. Use HERE Maps for offline navigation

Don’t have data? You can download entire country maps through HERE Maps and get walking directions for anywhere you need to go. I’ve found it works better than caching Google Maps.

62. Visit the local markets

Local markets are my favourite way to get to know a place better. I love checking out the strange foods, seeing how the locals shop, and discovering what’s popular in a particular country. Night markets in Asia are especially fun!

63. Don’t forget about your friends back home

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your travels and forget about the friends you have back home. It happened to me and took a lot of work to repair my friendships. Let people know you’re thinking of them: arrange Skype dates, send postcards, chat on Facebook, and buy them gifts from the places you visit.

64. Say yes to random invitations

I’ve never regretted saying yes to an unexpected invitation, because it’s always led to something fun happening! Make the most of your travel experience by saying yes to more things than you would at home — you’ll discover new things about yourself, meet new people, and build wonderful memories!

65. Be polite and smile often

You’ll be more approachable, you’ll find it easier to make travel friends, and the locals will warm to you. Being rude and looking grumpy will bring nothing good your way.

Taking a lagoon cruise of Aitutaki is one of the best things I've ever done!
In paradise: the Cook Islands!

66. Travel slow to save money

The slower you travel, the more money you’ll save. You can negotiate long-term stays at your accommodation to save money, you won’t have any transportation costs, and if you have a kitchen, you can buy food from the supermarket and cook.

67. Try turning up without having anything booked

This is the best way to build your travel confidence and is especially easy in Southeast Asia. There are many benefits to it, too: you’ll get to discover cool places that aren’t listed online or in the guidebooks, you’ll be able to look at the rooms before you commit to staying, you can negotiate on price, and you’re not tied to a specific schedule where you need to be somewhere because you’ve booked your accommodation already.

68. Make the most of your layovers

I love getting to explore a new place during a layover, and will almost always extend my travel day so that I can spend three or four days in a new city. Some of my layover highlights from the past five years include 48 hours exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland, spending a few days getting lost in Muscat, and when I spent 24 hours in Abu Dhabi just so I could take photos of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

69. Drink more water

You’re probably not drinking enough, especially if you’re traveling through hot, humid countries. If you can drink the tap water, make the most of it and get your two litres of water a day. If not, help the environment by bringing a Steripen along, rather than buying dozens of plastic bottles of water — a Steripen kills more than 99.9% of harmful microorganisms, including giardia, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, making tap water safe to drink.

70. Pack a Vapur water bottle

Vapur water bottles collapse down so they take up barely any room in your bag, making them perfect for travel.

Paddleboarding in New Zealand
Paddleboarding in New Zealand

71. Don’t put anything in your back pockets

You’re basically asking to be pickpocketed.

72. McDonald’s and Starbucks nearly always have Wi-Fi

If you need to check emails, get directions, or do anything online, you’ll find a McDonald’s or Starbucks in practically every city around the world. They’re almost guaranteed to have free usable internet.

73. Use a pill bottle instead of blister packs

When I first set out, I had six months’ worth of anti-malarials that took up a ridiculous amount of space in their blister packs. I popped the pills out into a bottle and stuck my prescription onto the outside. It freed up so much room in my bag! Pro tip: stuff some cotton wool into the top so you don’t rattle while you walk.

74. Mark your luggage so it stands out

You don’t want to accidentally take someone else’s luggage or have someone run off with yours at the baggage reclaim. Stick some stickers on it, put some duct tap along one side, tie some ribbons to the handle — make sure it stands out from a sea of similar backpacks!

75. A power strip will making charging easy

It’s still common to turn up to a dorm room and find you only have a couple of power sockets to share between eight laptop-toting backpackers. Bring a power strip to ensure you can charge what you need to, while allowing everyone else to charge their tech, too.

Drinking in Thailand
Drinking buckets in Thailand

76. A dry bag is more useful than you think

Dry bags are amazing for keeping your valuables safe on boat trips and for protecting any electronics you have in your daypack when it starts to rain. I even take mine to the beach when I’m travelling solo so that I can take my stuff in the ocean with me and not have to worry someone’s going to steal everything.

77. Be skeptical of TripAdvisor reviews

If you’re looking at reviews on TripAdvisor and every five star review is from someone who has only ever left one review, they’re probably fake. Take TripAdvisor reviews with a grain of salt and look at the person who’s leaving the review before you trust them.

78. It’s worth paying to get your laundry done

Washing your clothes in the sink is time-consuming, a pain in the ass, and never very effective. Just pay to have your laundry done instead — it’s worth it.

79. Read up about local customs before you go

You don’t want to offend anyone while you travel, so make sure you’re aware of any offensive gestures or behaviour before you arrive. As an example, in Thailand, women shouldn’t touch monks or hand them anything, you shouldn’t touch the local’s heads, say anything bad about the royal family, use your right hand for passing people things and paying, or point your feet at someone… Do your research!

80. Trust people

Some people will want to take advantage of you, but the vast majority of people you meet when you travel are good, decent, and will want to help you. Don’t let bad experiences prevent you from trusting anyone again. As long as you have your wits about you, expect that tuk-tuk drivers or anyone who comes up to you with amazing English and wants to be your best friend for no reason at all is out to scam you, and be most wary of the people in the most touristy places, you’ll be all good.

Cuddling a koala in Sydney Australia

81. Colour coordinate your outfits

You won’t be able to bring many items of clothing with you, so maximise the amount of outfits you can wear by checking everything goes with everything else.

82. Check your passport’s expiration date

You won’t be able to travel if you have less than six months’ validity on your passport! Friends of mine have been turned around at the airport because they didn’t realise their passport was expiring soon.

83. Charge your devices whenever you have the chance

Whenever you see a spare power socket, charge your tech. You’ll wish you’d taken the opportunity to when you eventually run out of battery. And you’ll always run out of battery

84. Pack a portable battery for your phone

On that note, picking up a tiny, lightweight charger for your phone is a good idea. You can even get ones that fit in your wallet.

85. Protect your technology

I used to be disastrous with my tech, but now that I have cases for everything, I’m doing much better. It’s worth getting a shell for your laptop, a keyboard cover for accidental spills, a sturdy case for your Kindle, and a waterproof case for your phone. Replacing tech is expensive and spending a day trying to figure out which island you need to fly to in the Philippines in order to get your laptop repaired is frustrating.

Lauren at Whistler

86. Pack contraception

You don’t want the biggest souvenir from your trip to be an STD. Or a baby. Pack contraception, have safe sex, and be aware that you can buy birth control pills over the counter in a ton of countries.

87. Merino is king for cold climates

It’s tough to pack for a trip that’ll take you through warm and cold climates. If you’ll be doing just that, pick up some clothing made of Merino wool. It’ll be lightweight, keep you warm in cold temperatures, cold in hot temperatures, and won’t smell if you wear it for several days in a row.

88. Use an incognito window to book anything

I’ve personally experienced this! If you’re booking flights or accommodation, open an incognito browser window when it’s time to make your booking. I’ve seen prices gradually increase for flights as I kept checking them, only to watch them drop when I used an incognito window.

89. Find photogenic spots with Instagram

Follow local instagrammers in the places you’ll be visiting to find the best spots for taking photos. I also search through hashtags relating to the place I’m heading to to check out the popular photos and see where they were taken.

90. Take a class

Travel is the perfect opportunity to try something new. I loved taking a cooking class in Seoul, a surf lesson in Bali, and both a paddleboarding and fishing lesson in New Zealand. It’s a fun way to learn a new skill while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!

Surfing in Bali
Surfing in Bali!

91. Make a playlist for memories

One of my favourite things to do is create a Spotify playlist for the music I listened to most in each country I visited. Now all I have to do is listen to one and it takes me back to a specific place and time, along with all the emotions I was feeling then.

92. Embrace your nerves

Because they’ll never go away. Those nerves you get the night before leaving? I still experience them, five years on. Whenever I’m visiting a brand new place, I get nervous. Whenever I’m trying something new, I’m nervous. I even get nervous when I’m returning to a place I love! Embrace these travel nerves and accept them as normal — even experienced travellers get them!

93. Lose your inhibitions

The great thing about travel is that nobody knows who you are. If you do something really stupid and embarrassing in a hostel, you can just check out and move to a new place where nobody knows who you are or what your story is. It’s liberating and allows you to actually figure out who you want to be.

94. Take advantage of your youth

If you’re under 25, there are a whole heap of student discounts you can take advantage of. You can get cheaper flights through STA Travel, cheaper train passes through Eurail, free access to museums, and more. Take advantage of your age and check if student discounts are available before booking anything.

95. Practice packing before you leave

Have several trial packing runs before you head off to get the hang of fitting everything into your bag. It’ll help make finding things easier, because unpacking your entire backpack to find something every few days gets old fast.

Kaohsiung statue temple
Temple hunting in Taiwan

96. Take into account jetlag and travel fatigue

Let’s say you’re flying straight to Bangkok, where you’ve given yourself three days to see the main attractions. You can plan it all out, but you’ll most likely end up jetlagged and sleeping away a chunk of that time in the city. When you’re planning how long to stay in a place, take jetlag into account, as well as general travel fatigue. Remember you won’t want to be outside exploring for 12 hours a day every single day.

97. Track your spending

It’s annoying and time-consuming, but you’ll be better off financially if you’re aware of how much money you’re getting through and how it compares to the amount you budgeted for. You can make adjustments if you’re spending too much or allow yourself a small treat if you’re doing better than planned.

98. Accept that you won’t be able to see everything

Nobody will. Even if you travelled every single day for the rest of your life, you’d never see it all. This is a hard lesson to learn, but it makes travel easier on your heart once you accept it.

99. Ask permission when taking photos

How would you feel if some random tourist turned up at your house or work and started taking photos of you? Ask for someone’s permission before you start taking photos of them — it’s the polite and respectful thing to do.

100. Don’t forget how lucky you are

If you can afford to travel, you’re luckier than an enormous chunk of the world’s population. Be grateful that you were born in a country that’s safe and stable. Be grateful you have a passport that allows you to easily travel. Be grateful that you have your health. Be grateful you were able to get a job; that you had the ability to save up enough money to travel. Yes, you worked goddamn hard to get to this point, but you’re still unbelievably privileged. Never forget it.

Phew! That was a long post! What do you think? Do you agree with all of my tips? Do you have any others to share? Let me know in the comments! :-)

100 helpful tips for travelling the world safely, wisely, and adventurously!

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243 Comments

  1. Leonie Parker
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    These really are great tips. Thanks for sharing x

    • July 18, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Leonie! Glad you liked them :-)

  2. Jub
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome list here Lauren. Massssssive list!
    9. Just wore a sleep mask for the first time last month, will always try and keep one on hand now. Magical.

    13. Despite all the travel blogs etc. out there, have to agree it can be hard to find info about some spots. If you’ve had some experience of travelling, definitely make the jump. Wouldn’t recommend a first timer go ‘off track’ though :)

    25. Shoulder seasons. The exact reason I didn’t head to Europe in August this year. Last year the crowds were insane!

    29. Will disagree with this one. I have found the get stinky really fast. I’ve been using a towel, the size of a regular tea towel. Does the trick, although for those with long hair, maybe a travel towel is best.

    47. Yes! No harm in having a couple pieces of fruit for breakfast, to get your health quota in.

    61. Another offline maps alternative, Maps.me have just introduced bike routes in addition to driving and walking.

    65. Smiles make the world go around. They are contagious too!

    80. It’s hard to trust strangers, but hitchhiking is the ultimate way to test your trust levels in my opinion.

    84. Pokemon GO has seen the sales of these go through the roof haha. If you get a black one, put something bright attached to it, easier to find it that way. Lesson learnt the hard way.
    Enjoy the next 5 years!

    • July 23, 2016
      Reply

      Ah amazing! Thanks so much for all of your comments/feedback, Jub! :-)

    • James Castle-John
      November 15, 2019
      Reply

      These are absolutely fantastic tips thank you so much. Am so looking forward to south east Asia more now 😀

  3. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    I am loving this! So many good tips, many I wouldn’t have thought about. And wonderful that you go against the mainstream and say travel in jeans, not travel clothes and be comfortable with how you look.

    • July 18, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Maria! I feel strongly about those points because I followed the advice to not bring jeans and wear all of this *outdoor gear* and ended up hating all of it. I feel so much better when I just dress as I used to at home :-)

  4. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    I have no idea how you managed to come up with a 100 tips but every single one is spot on and so helpful!

    Thank you for sharing! <3

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      It’s funny, because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to reach 100, but I managed to come up with them all in only a few hours! And ever since publishing the post, I’ve been thinking of *even more* tips! Turns out travel has taught me an awful lot! :-)

      • Chelsea
        August 10, 2016
        Reply

        Post the extras you’ve thought of!!! :):):)

  5. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    I really appreciate this post. There are so many things I wouldn’t have thought of or known, so this will potentially make my life easier. #41 was really good. It is a great reminder for life in general, too!

    Also, I was seriously considering traveling with a money belt – hahaha!

    • July 20, 2016
      Reply

      Hahaha :-) My mum bought me one just before I left and it took about two hours of wearing it before I realised it was irritating, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and useless! Glad you enjoyed the post! :-)

      • January 1, 2019
        Reply

        I always thought money belts, neck wallets, and bra purses were for carrying “extra” cash or so you didn’t have to leave money behind in your room or lose it all if robbed. For example, I have $50 in my regular purse. If I spend all of it, when I have some privacy, I’ll pull $50 from my hidden stash in my bra purse (attaches to the strap or side of a bra) and put it in my purse. There are comfortable bands that can be strapped around the thigh. These aren’t meant to be accessed during transactions.

        • January 1, 2019
          Reply

          Yeah, the problem with the original money belts is that all thieves know that they exist. When my friend was robbed in Brazil, the first thing the attacker did was to lift up his shirt to search for a money belt. The other options sound like they’d be better and less likely to be discovered, though.

  6. Andrea
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Great tips! I’m traveling for the first time in a few years and am a little nervous, but these helped me feel a little better about it!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      So happy to hear that, Andrea! It’s perfectly natural to be nervous, so what you’re going through is completely normal. I almost cancelled my trip the day before I was due to leave because I’d been so anxious about it!

  7. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    This is epic, Lauren!

    I had no idea you can get things translated in real time through the Google Translate camera function – that’s amazing! Would have saved me a lot of hassle when I was in Berlin…

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Right?! When Dave whipped his phone out in Taipei and translated the entire menu for me, I was amazed! It’s been so helpful in so many situations!

  8. Fantastic post and really helpful tips! This must’ve taken aaages to write!! I for one really appreciate it (so much so I have also shared on Facebook). Really useful for my 10 week trip to Asia later this year! Thank you!

    • July 20, 2016
      Reply

      It was about 15 hours of solid work! But surprisingly easier to write than I expected — even after finishing, I keep coming up with more and more tips! :-) Thanks so much for sharing it on Facebook — I really appreciate it!

  9. Loved these tips! You’re much more tech-savvy than me with your Spotify playlists and google maps and photo translators – I’m very old fashioned but the good thing is my phone’s battery lasts longer haha!

    I can’t emphasise slow travel enough! I’d rather spend a month in one place with a base to travel around than squeezing in 4 or 5 countries, as I’m doing now here in Sicily- but then, travel is different for everyone ?☀️

    • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      Ha! My boyfriend runs a travel technology site, so I’ve definitely become more tech-oriented through him!

      Yes, to slow travel! Every time I’ve booked a fast-paced trip (which is nearly always because I have a fixed amount of time to travel in a certain area and I want to see everything), I’ve regretted it, because I’ve ended up too tired to even see the things I was there for!

  10. Nancy
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Your list is a wealth of information. I have followed your posts since day 1 and saved everyone of them for future reference. My husband and I are nearing retirement with plans to travel the world. You have inspired us!! We want to live your adventures, minus the scams, dead body, being ripped off, etc :-)

    • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      That’s amazing! Thanks so much for letting me know, Nancy! :-)

  11. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Love this list and even after years of traveling myself I learned something useful. Also no 41 is everything!! Thanks for the reminder :)

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Annika! :-)

  12. Diana Edelman
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    First, YAY I’M IN A PHOTO. Second, the tip about not judging is the BEST THING I HAVE READ ALL MONTH. These are fantastic tips!!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Awwww, thanks so much, lovely! That means a lot :-)

  13. Sam perry
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Great tips. Nearly 50 but desperate to do some travelling after flying out to Thailand for just one week to meet my son who was travelling. Best week of my entire life.

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thailand’s a special place! I thought I’d be there for two weeks and ended up staying seven months. And I somehow seem to work my way back there at least once a year :-). Best wishes for getting out and seeing the world!

  14. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Fantastic… and most we already followed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on 5 years on the road.

    • July 18, 2016
      Reply

      Great to that, Rhonda! Happy you enjoyed the post :-)

  15. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    This is quite a long list, Lauren. But all your tips are great!
    I would add to the “battery discharging” tips – Buy a solar power bank charger. It recharges itself by daylight. I found it VERY helpful on several occasions.

    • July 18, 2016
      Reply

      I wanted to be thorough :-)

      I’ve trialled a few solar power panels over the years, and just not been that impressed with them! I could see how they’d be useful on multi-day hikes, but for me, they just charged too slowly, even in direct sunlight. But hey, maybe it’s time to try a newer version! :-)

  16. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Ha, this is the most complete post about travel tips I’ve read so far! :) I can’t think of anything more to add, and I agree with most of them! Great post!

    • July 18, 2016
      Reply

      Yay! I’m thrilled to hear that. Thank you! :-)

  17. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Fantastic tips! Especially the ones about doing it your own way, and not being pressured to travel the way that everyone else does.

    Some of my top bucket list places are countries that definitely aren’t on the tourist trail (Tokelau doesn’t even have a tourism infrastructure, and though Antarctica is a bit more tourism-focussed, it’s not exactly your everyday destination). I don’t want to just come back from my trip having had the same adventure as everyone else!

    And you’re right, of coursee it’s fine to buy souvenirs – it doesn’t make you a ‘less genuine traveller’, which some travellers seem to think. I buy all sorts of things to remind myself of my experiences, often small things like magnets and postcards. And I keep ticket stubs and maps too.

    Thanks for such a great list! :-)

    • July 18, 2016
      Reply

      Tokelau! That’s right at the top of my list as well! Haha, that’s so funny. It sounds like such a fascinating place :-)

  18. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    This is awesome… thanks for these! Big time helpful as my girlfriend and I plan our around the world year trip that’s happening next year. This post and all of your posts continue to be a great source of advice – you’re awesome, thanks!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      That’s so great to hear, Mike! Thank you for the kind words! :-D

  19. Steph
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome list!! I’d love to know how much money you would suggest to save for a years worth of travelling on a budget?

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Hmmm, it really depends on which countries you’ll be visiting and how you’ll be travelling. During my first year, I stayed mostly in hostels, spent the majority of my time in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe and was on a tight budget and spent around $11,000. Last year, I was travelling on a mid-range budget — lots of Airbnb apartments and a few splurges in luxury hotels — and spent my time in Western Europe and Australia/New Zealand and spent $20,000.

  20. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Fabulous List!! I collect shot glasses from all my travels. High Five for putting in Pokemon Go. I plan to use it for my Instagram for local places in my home city.

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Pokemon Go has been so great for introducing me to cool little spots all over my Lisbon neighbourhood. It’s a pretty cool tool for travellers to find little-known places as they wander around :-)

  21. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Very informative post Lauren! I use most of these tips myself but there were a couple that I hadn’t thought of before – I especially love 89. I google image places to see what they look like too. I have also always used Skyscanner but have started looking on Momondo a lot more as there have been a lot of times when flights are cheaper on there. I also recently discovered Secret Flying which publishes error fares and great deals for flights – some of the deals on here are unbelievable!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      The first few months of my trip, I mostly decided on where to visit based on a Google Image search! I ended up in some pretty obscure places because of it… :-)

      I’ll have to check out Momondo and Secret Flying. I think I’ve used Momondo a few times in the past but wasn’t too impressed with it, so maybe it’s improved since then.

    • July 20, 2016
      Reply

      I’m trying to find Secret Flying on AppStore and no luck. Now I’m frustrated :D

      • July 20, 2016
        Reply

        Oh I see, it’s not an app, it’s a website. Sorry, my bad :)

  22. Lauren
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,I just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me.Im so scared of everything but I really want to see the world!My journey will start summer 2017 in the Western Carribian.After that I have plans to go explore more of the U.S.A,See Nothern Europe,China and the United Kingdom!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      You sound exactly like me when I first started out, and we have the same name! :-) Travel has been the single best thing I have done for all of my irrational fears and worries, and I’m certain it’ll help you in exactly the same way. Leaving your comfort zone day after day after day definitely helps!

  23. July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Haha, I liked the use of Pokemon Go. I do have one tip which has served me well, and a friend who is now adventuring; to combat the loneliness, anxiety and homesickness, share selfies with your people. I started doing this with my Mum when I was at Dublin Airport and I’m now preaching it. I’m also opening up to booking one way tickets so thank you Lauren. You are an inspiration.

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for the tip, Brian! I’ll have to try that when I’m next feeling anxious and homesick :-)

  24. Atanas
    July 19, 2016
    Reply

    Great list, Lauren!
    Especially liked the souvenirs part, the Wear your normal clothes part and the one about being open minded and not judging other people.
    Already downloaded Google Translate and HERE Maps apps. Should be very useful for my next trip.
    Thanks for sharing :)

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Awesome! I’m so happy to hear you got some use out of it! :-)

  25. July 19, 2016
    Reply

    Such a great post, Lauren. Just returned to the UK after 15 months on the road and your list rings so true. I made the mistake of buying plenty of hideous (and expensive) travel clothes only to replace them with cheap local items which I ended up wearing all the time. Best of luck with the next five years!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Right? Travel is uncomfortable enough as it is without throwing annoying clothes into the mix! Glad to hear my post resonated with you :-)

  26. July 19, 2016
    Reply

    This list is incredible and so unbelievably helpful to me – I just wanted to say how happy I am to have discovered your blog and your book! I’ve been battling anxiety my whole life and am five days into my first ever solo-backpacking trip for in SE Asia. Two days ago I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, so I googled how to deal with travel anxiety and stumbled across your work. It made me feel so much better and I’m doing my best every day to follow your example and push myself far beyond the limits of my comfort zone. Thank you for being you and for all of the inspiration you’ve given me in just a few short days – can’t wait to finish your book and catch up on the backlog of posts I’ve missed!

    • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, thanks so much, Julie! I’m so, so happy to hear that. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone really is the key to overcoming your anxiety — it shows you that the things that you were worried about are never as bad as you think they’re going to be :-)

      P.S. I just subscribed to your blog. I love it! It reminds me of when I first started out :-)

  27. Kate
    July 19, 2016
    Reply

    So many great tips – thanks so much for sharing!

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      No problem! Happy to help! :-)

  28. Rosh
    July 19, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren

    That was awesome.
    Thank you so much for such informative information.
    I will be doing some traveling in the coming months too
    Hopefully this will be a new start of my adventure.
    Keep up the good work and enjoy traveling.
    The tips and apps to download. Thank you again.
    Will keep in touch

    • July 19, 2016
      Reply

      Best of luck on your travels, Rosh!

  29. July 19, 2016
    Reply

    This is by far the most complete list of helpful tips I’ve ever seen. Great work, Lauren. I will obey a lot of them during my world trip next year.

  30. These are some great tips! No matter how long you’ve been traveling it is great to remind yourself of these sometimes, too. :)

  31. Sam
    July 20, 2016
    Reply

    wow these are great tips that called experience. these are amazing tips for me and photos of different location are looking so good.

  32. Robert Rown
    July 20, 2016
    Reply

    Great post..!! It took time to reach all 100 points….:)
    Some are new for me, will keep in mind for my future travel!
    Thank you!

    • July 21, 2016
      Reply

      No problem! And yep, this is definitely the longest post I’ve written! :-)

  33. Travel North Peru
    July 20, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, that was a long list. But a great one !! I read every single point of it and I wouldn’t have done better :) You definitely are a pro ! Thanks for sharing these travel tips.

  34. July 20, 2016
    Reply

    Definitely one of the best travel lists/posts I ever read and I read a LOT! :) Thank you so much for the work you put in this. I travel, too, and have my own tips but for example I never realized my pills take up a lot of space in the blister packs (plus I’m not English so I just learned new words “blister pack” :D) and that I could take them out to save the space. I love tips like these :)

    I love Lush bars, too, can’t imagine travelling with a normal shampoo anymore. I have a small soap in the tin, too, so only when I have a LOT of space and go for longer time, I take even liquid shower gel, but usually I only wash myself with the shampoo bar or the soap.

    I also have a tiny sample dose from Lush in which they gave me some conditioner to test. I used that up and now I use that tiny dose for toothpaste. When I go for a week or two, it’s more than enough.

    Another thing I can’t be without is a dry shampoo. Again, if I have a lot of space, I bring the spray, but in my carry-on I always have a powder one in a tiny zip-lock. It’s actually not even a dry shampoo, it’s just some baking soda mixed with cinnamon and cocoa (learned that it takes away the “white finish” plus smells epic).

    I can’t get used to the eyepatch, I’m to excited so I need to watch everything around me and can’t sleep anyway. When I wear it, I feel the urge to take it off all the time to check what’s going on. Especially on the plane where I don’t want to miss any free food or drinks :D
    But the earplugs are my new “thing”. Also when going camping, I don’t know how could I ever live without them before.

    And instead of a normal wallet I take a tiny leather pouch with a zip with me on travels. It’s probably meant for keys and maybe for some coins (has two sides and it fits into palm of hand) but I use it even for notes and it’s much lighter and smaller than my normal wallet. When I’m back home and switching to it, I’m like “why the hell do I even have a wallet this heavy?” :D

    Definitely roll-the-air-out plastic bags! I have a big vaccuum one for my big suitcase but when traveling light I always have the roll-out one. Again, can’t imagine how could I have lived without it. It saves a great amount of space, especially the vaccuum one, but then again you don’t always have access to hoover so the small roll-up is cool too.

    I’m sure I will think of thousand more tips when I hit the “submit” but whatever :) There are always more tips on the internet, people just have to google a bit.

    Btw, speaking of saving space, I watched some video about rolling up your clothes vs. folding. It proved that rolling up didn’t really save much space. Just saying. People, get a roll-out vaccuum bag, that’s so much more working.

    • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and tips! I definitely agree that dry shampoo is great for travel :-) and like you, I’ve probably come up with another 100 tips in the time since publishing this post!

  35. July 21, 2016
    Reply

    This is such an incredible list! Thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts!

    Definitely picked up several things — like I really should get better at packing – I’m a packing procrastinator and I pack too much. “When it doubt, leave it behind” should be my mantra. :) And I should check out those solid toiletries. Got a bit curious about the jeans thing though. Why do people say don’t travel in jeans?

    • July 21, 2016
      Reply

      They take up a lot of space in your bag (imagine rolling a pair of leggings up compared to jeans), they’re heavy, and they take ages to dry.

  36. July 21, 2016
    Reply

    I love this post Lauren! So many useful tips. I definitely need to buy some packing cubes to help me pack my backpack. The more I travel, the less I carry though. On my last trip to SE Asia I had a 12 kg backpack and I realized that I could have carried even less.

    And I hardly carry jeans when I travel. They aren’t exactly comfortable to walk around. They don’t keep me warm if it is cold outside, and they make me sweat if it is hot. Much better to have good hiking pants, leggings and a few pair of shorts.

    • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      I was the same when it came to carrying less and less until I hit the three year mark. Then I just got fed up with not being able to buy anything without having to throw something else out. Either way, packing cubes are great for organising your bag, and I definitely recommend the vacuum ones I mentioned in the post for freeing up space.

      I guess with jeans it depends a lot about where you’re travelling. I rarely wear them in Southeast Asia, but I would struggle not to have them in Europe.

  37. July 22, 2016
    Reply

    Great list! I’m curious as to why you don’t collect flight points? With all the flying you do, you could be getting tons of free flights.

    • July 22, 2016
      Reply

      Unfortunately, UK residents (and basically anyone who isn’t in the US) just don’t have access to the crazy amount of points that Americans can get with credit cards and whatnot. It’s not much of a thing in the UK — there are rarely signup bonuses, and if there are, they’re crap. I’m really not loyal to one particular airline, either — I fly with budget airlines 99% of the time, which don’t have rewards programs, and I only take one or two long-haul flights a year. Also! Because I spend a lot of my time in developing countries, I very rarely pay for things with a card, so I probably wouldn’t meet spending requirements.

      I signed up for an American Airlines AAdvantage account before I left (with a signup bonus of, I think, 1000 points), and I type in my account number every time I book a flight with a OneWorld airline. After five years of travel, I recently racked up enough points to take an economy one-way flight from Nashville to Miami with them. It was worth $100, lol.

      So, yeah, travel hacking isn’t much of thing for Brits, unless you’re willing to put in a ton of effort. I’d just rather be lazy and book cheap flights instead.

  38. Kristie
    July 22, 2016
    Reply

    Great tips! Useful list!!!

  39. Such an amazing collection of tips, this should the ultimate bible of travel tips! Well done and cheers to five more years of travel! :)

    • July 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Bruno! That means a lot to me :-)

  40. Thank you for such a detailed list! And congrats on your five years of travel :)

    • July 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Brooklyn! :-)

  41. angela germano
    July 23, 2016
    Reply

    In general, good advice and info but I sure disagree with #7. Why you need a photo of yourself in all your pix, I don’t know, but I was tired of all your portraits of yourself rather than the places and the people in the places before I was 1/4 thru the list. Not to mention how annoying people who ask strangers to take their photo can be. Take photos of the people and places you see. That’s what I want after my trips and what I’d prefer to see on your blog posts.

    • July 23, 2016
      Reply

      To each their own! I would rather have photos that differ to the million identical photos that other people have taken of a place. It’s a souvenir; it’s something to send my family and friends, so they can see I’m safe and happy (my mum definitely wishes I’d take my photos of myself to send her when she misses me!); it’s something I can one day show my grandkids, so I can teach them the importance of travel and show them what I spent my twenties doing.

      I don’t know why you’d read a personal travel blog about someone’s personal travels, where they’re celebrating one of the biggest achievements of their life, and then complain about seeing photos of them doing so. It seems like you’d be better off reading a guidebook.

      Also, there are plenty of ways to take photos of yourself without asking strangers to do it. I’ve asked someone to take a photo of me exactly twice over the past five years. Buy a tripod, use a selfie stick, balance your camera on something. Regardless of that, being annoyed by someone who could be on a trip of a lifetime and wanting to capture a special moment, is kind of sad to me. As I said in the post, I really recommend not judging people because they travel in a different way to you. Or in this case, wish to capture their travels in a different way.

  42. July 24, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, what a list! I’m working on “Take more photos of yourself”. We are terrible when travelling and always forget – and then come home and wish we had taken more photos!

    • July 25, 2016
      Reply

      Same! Dave and I regularly talk about how, if we wanted to get me a spouse visa for New Zealand and had to prove our relationship was genuine, we’d only have around a dozen photos of us from five years of being together! I’m also wishing we had more so that we could have a big memory wall in our apartment — it’s not quite the same when it’s just a load of landscape shots.

  43. July 25, 2016
    Reply

    I can only imagine the time and effort that must have gone into this post. Thank you for sharing your tips Lauren. May the next 5 years be even better!

    • July 27, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Priyanko! It took a while, but definitely worth it now I’ve seen how much it’s helped people :-)

  44. July 25, 2016
    Reply

    This is literally one of my favourite blog posts I’ve ever read. It’s not just filled with amazing tips but with amazing experiences too. I hope I get the opportunity to travel the world like you have!
    Thanks again for sharing your experiences with everyone.
    Sophie x

    • July 25, 2016
      Reply

      I hope so, too! Thanks so much for reading, Sophie! :-)

  45. Hey girl!

    That was an amazing post – I read every single trip and pretty much agree with you on absolutely everything.

    The things I really took away today were 1) Google translate app with its CAMERA FUNCTION! What a great idea!! I’ve already downloaded it.

    2) It’s definitely more respectful to ask people for permission for photos. In fact, I need to do that more often instead of sneakily trying to ‘capture the moment.’

    3) I like the idea of sending your family members the itinerary – such a good in case something goes wrong.

    4) I had NO idea that an incognito window could be the way to get my flight prices down. I’ve experienced airline companies increasing my prices as I’m clicking around & getting interested in their flights. I think it’s downright criminal so your suggestion is something I’ll be trying next time.

    5) Just recently I discovered Skyscanner’s “everywhere” function. Such a good tool for me! I’m a freelancer and can travel anytime, anywhere. So I’m not bound whatsoever.

    What I wouldn’t agree with on your post was:

    53. Scan your important documents and email them to yourself

    Scan a copy of your passport, any visas, and any debit/credit cards you’re traveling with. Email a copy of them to yourself and to a family member. If everything gets stolen, you can take your copies to your embassy as proof that you’re who you say you are.

    I used to work at a Consulate here in Germany for around 3 years. In my experience dealing with people and their lost documents, I can tell you that a photocopy/scan means nothing. We can only take originals. If they don’t have any (because of theft) we have ways to verify their identity through questioning and online electronic methods of checking their facial structure etc.

    Otherwise, amazing post! Love it!

    Phoebe

    • July 29, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, amazing! Thanks so much for letting me know about the scans of documents! I’ll edit my post to reflect that :-)

  46. July 26, 2016
    Reply

    Great tips, thanks for sharing :) Love them all but packing the night before is an ultimate MUST!!!

    • July 26, 2016
      Reply

      Yes! I learned that lesson very quickly :-)

  47. July 26, 2016
    Reply

    What a super helpful list. The VPN tip and bringing solid shampoo and soap is so true. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures!!

    • July 27, 2016
      Reply

      No problem! Glad you found it helpful :-)

  48. a lot of great tips! I think you covered all:)

  49. July 26, 2016
    Reply

    I’ve literally been note taking through this post! Great tips, especially on what to pack. I’ve been to China and more recently Thailand and completely love Asia so have booked my one way ticket back there for a year of adventures in 160 days time! I can’t wait. Happy travelling :) x

    • July 27, 2016
      Reply

      That’s amazing! You must be so excited :-) Asia is one of my favourite continents, so I definitely understand the pull to return.

  50. Jen
    July 26, 2016
    Reply

    This might be one of my favorite post of yours! I loved the tips, they were fantastic

    • July 26, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, that’s amazing! Thanks so much, Jen! :-)

  51. July 27, 2016
    Reply

    An awfully lovely write that you have summed up all your experiences here for others. Lovely tips and I like the point number 81 that is color coordinate your outfits. Cool. :)

  52. July 28, 2016
    Reply

    This was fun to read! I’m a (relatively) experienced traveller and I still found a bunch of really useful tips in here. I completely agree with you about souvenirs. They seemed useless and tacky to me for the longest time but the more places I went, the more I regretted not having small reminders to keep :)

    • July 28, 2016
      Reply

      Right?! I really wish I had more of them to treasure.

  53. July 29, 2016
    Reply

    i cannot agree more with number 9. Spent a night in a hostel in Singapore with a snoring Japanese guy. OMG. I got like 2 hours max of sleep that night!

    • July 29, 2016
      Reply

      Every time I have to share a room with a snorer, I end up swearing off hostels for the rest of my life! And then I inevitably forget how bad it can be…

  54. Sam
    July 29, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this amazing list of tips Lauren. I’m going out on my first rtw trip in three days time and I now feel better prepared to face the world after reading this article.

  55. Anthony
    July 29, 2016
    Reply

    My biggest tip is to travel with a portable lock. It’s always smart to keep your things locked up when you’re out of your hostel.

  56. July 30, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, just found your blog and I love it! You’re literally life goals haha
    Thanks for all the tips. I graduated a few weeks ago and now I’m planning to travel to Japan / Asia ALONE so I bookmarked this post for future reference.

    Creepers & Cupcakes

    • June 3, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you! Hope you have an amazing time, Kristina :-)

  57. August 1, 2016
    Reply

    Such incredible advice! I think, of all of them, getting up early is my favorite. People always associate sleeping in with vacation, but the early hours of the morning are so unique and special. Animals, lighting, and just the peaceful quiet of a new place… It’s my favorite time of day and a great way to get to know a new place!

    Wonderful list.

  58. August 2, 2016
    Reply

    #56 YES. I have gone to places you are “supposed” to go to, that I did not like. Once I stopped doing that and only going to places I am interested in, my trips improved greatly. I am obsessed with China and people find it so weird I have not visited Beijing. I don’t want to, so I am not going to. I am going to places that interest ME.

    I also need to get a dry bag. No matter where i am in the world, I am caught in rain storms.

    This is such a great post.

  59. August 2, 2016
    Reply

    Great tips! I was a diehard traveler from the age of 22 to 30, and now that I’m older (40), married, and have kids… I do still remember those days with fondness.

    I WISH there’d been affordable laptops and roaming phones back then, but then.. maybe not. I spent a lot of time NOT online, and it was amazing to unplug.

    I LOVE the tips about travel fatigue. It’s exhausting doing 12 hour days sightseeing day after day. I am a planner, so as I got more experienced with traveling, I did schedule days for doing nothing. I’ve done nothing in some of the finest cities in the world!! lol..

    Paying for laundry is a good one too. It can take a big chunk of your day – which is fine, if you planned on doing nothing that day anyway – but when you’re tight on time – having someone wash and dry (and sometimes fold) your stuff, is awesome.

    Aaah, I don’t think the wanderlust will ever leave me… I’m already thinking of where I’ll bring my sons when they’re old enough to remember and appreciate it!

    This was a wonderful post…. thanks!

  60. Rajkumar
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Hello Lauren,
    Thank you for sharing your five year travelling experience via these travel tips :)
    Some of these really essential for the every traveller like
    Be polite and smile often and use a VPN.
    Happy Travelling..:)

  61. Neeraj
    August 3, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    Amazing list for amateur travellers.
    I’m Neeraj from India ??
    Why you don’t try to be here in next few months? You ll definitely going to love India, Indian culture, Yoga and Meditations,

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Neeraj! I’m actually starting to put together a big trip to India for next year — I can’t believe I still haven’t been!

  62. Audrea
    August 4, 2016
    Reply

    My best travel tip is to travel with a wifi extender! They’re so good for improving connections at hostels, cafes, etc. I used to spend way too much time battling to get online and this makes it much easier.

    Love your tips though!

    • August 8, 2016
      Reply

      Oh man, yes! Dave travels with one of these and I can’t tell you the amount of times he’s been able to easily connect and I’ve struggled to. Definitely worth it if you work online and need a consistent connection in order to get things done :-)

  63. Gabbi
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    Hey Lauren, great post. I appreciate the effort that must have gone into writing this.

    One question. I noticed you haven’t spent much time in Latin America – why not? It’s my favorite continent and I think you’d really enjoy it.

    • August 8, 2016
      Reply

      No real reason, Gabbi! I’m just one person and I only have a limited amount of time in which to visit different places — if it wasn’t Latin America, it’d be somewhere else. There’s no real reason why I haven’t made it there yet — I actually planned a trip there a couple of years ago, but got my book deal and had to cancel it to work on that — and I definitely hope to see the region soon! :-)

  64. Joni Luci
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    LOVE that last point! It’s so true!

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      Right? It drives me crazy when bloggers are all like, “you can do this, too!” and “stop calling me lucky; I worked hard for this!” Not everyone can travel and yes, you’re ridiculously lucky.

  65. Keri
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    I am going to be taking my first round the world trip on October 9 and this helped calm my nerves so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      You’ll have the best time ever! And remember that nerves are perfectly normal and not something to ever beat yourself up about having :-)

  66. Reinaldo
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    I can’t imagine how long this took you to write. Thank you for doing so. Very helpful.

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      Not as long as you’d think actually! I started writing it the day before publishing. Turns out I’d learned so much that writing it all down was easy!

  67. Jeanie
    August 5, 2016
    Reply

    I loved reading your tips – many I learned for myself through the years and several new ones I’ll use the next time we’re on the road. Thank you for sharing!

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      That’s so great to hear! Glad you found it useful :-)

  68. August 6, 2016
    Reply

    This is probably my most favorite blog post I have read on traveling! (except for the travel journal article I came across) I love this so much! I have it bookmarked! Too many great tips!

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      That’s amazing! Thank you so much for the amazing compliment! :-)

  69. Sandvelder
    August 6, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren
    I envy you for the opportunities you have to travel. You are truly blessed!
    I live in a country with a less accepted passport. I have been to Europe only once to visit my brother. I would love to travel more, but another restriction is my home country’s weak currency. It is so expensive for us to travel!
    Thank you for sharing the above tips. My sister should have read them before traveling to Europe in June!
    Take care!

  70. Mariza
    August 7, 2016
    Reply

    Hello Lauren, great tips. thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been doing lots of searches as well for travel tips and your tips are very helpful. I’m not new in traveling, but end August I will be taking for the first time a 6 months trip and yes with a bag pack for the first time ha ha. I just lay out all the clothes that I want to bring with me. I still have to sort out what I actually need to avoid overpacking. Considering I’ll be traveling around in S.America where weather varies a lot from one country to another , packing is a little bit tricky I find. But you are right when in doubt do not bring them! I need to check out the solid shampoo and conditioner. i have dry shampoo as well but they only come in 200ml, was looking for something smaller. Will also check out HERE maps and make use of the camera on google translate! As you can see your post is really helpful! thanks a lot and keep sharing ;-)

  71. Meghan
    August 7, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren!

    I just recently discovered your blog and I want to thank you! This blog posting is the most helpful one I have read yet. On most of the other blogs that I have read, the tip are all very repetitive and not very descriptive. Many of your tips I have not heard of and are the kind that one would only figure out through pure experience. For someone with not that much experience traveling, but with a desire to do so soon I found all of these travel tips extremely helpful! Thank you!

    All the best,
    Meghan

  72. August 8, 2016
    Reply

    I’m loving this guide! It has absolute almost if not everything in here that all travellers, nomads and tourists needed to prepare before and during the travel. Looking forward to your next adventure!

    • August 8, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much for that huge compliment, Rosemarie! :-)

  73. Lakita Leverich
    August 10, 2016
    Reply

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.
    regards,

  74. August 10, 2016
    Reply

    Amazing tips, thanks so much for writing this! I’m going to save it and call it my travel bible from now on :) Nice work!

  75. Chelsea
    August 10, 2016
    Reply

    This is amazing and the best post ever!! You should be very proud. Big fan! :) x

  76. Felicia
    August 16, 2016
    Reply

    Excellent really useful article. Thank you !

  77. Sarah
    August 16, 2016
    Reply

    Just started using Lush solid shampoo and conditioner so that I can find the ones I like before my next trip – I never travel for more than a month, but it’s still a pain to carry big bottles that might leak.

    And just used a “private window” for the first time to book flights to Iceland :-)

    I still laugh about one of my first trips abroad to Barcelona in my early 20s. I was so worried about pickpocketing that I put all my euro notes in my bra. Which was fine, until I needed to pay for something in the tourist info office and had to dig around in my top to find my money!

  78. cathyfangmeier
    August 19, 2016
    Reply

    wooowwwwwwwwww…………its really superb article you rocking buddy maldives the place i like more but you are really superb and superb……….

  79. August 21, 2016
    Reply

    Great advice thanks so much!

  80. Tom
    August 22, 2016
    Reply

    These are the best travel tips I’ve discovered along the way. … I’ve just hit 5 years abroad and would absolutely agree with all of them.

  81. August 23, 2016
    Reply

    I set off for a RTW trip in a dozen days and this is really super helpful! A few of those tips I wish I’d thought about earlier into my planning, but a few will still come in handy so I’m really glad I found this. Thank you!

  82. Steve Durfee
    August 23, 2016
    Reply

    I love your suggestions, but I want to strongly caution against #73. I’m a retired chemist from the pharmaceutical industry, and I can tell you that prescription drugs sold in blister packs are that way for a very good reason; not simply because pharma likes higher manufacturing and shipping costs. They are that way because the drugs require them for stability, generally because of moisture, UV, or even atmospheric oxygen. Best case, they lose potency. Worst case, they create toxic degradation products. I personally take drugs out of the box, but not the blisters, and store them where they won’t get a lot of light and heat.

    • August 23, 2016
      Reply

      Oh, interesting! I actually had both my GP and my travel doctor recommend that I do that to save space with my six-month supply of anti-malarials. They would have taken up half the space in my backpack otherwise! Regardless, I’ll add a note to the post about it. Thanks for letting me know :-)

      • Steve Durfee
        August 24, 2016
        Reply

        Lauren, I don’t know which specific drug it is, but you should go with your own Drs’ recommendations anyway. I’m just saying that it can be a bad idea for many drugs, and for a few it can be a very bad idea. Guidance should be available in the prescribing information a doc or pharmacist has so people should ask them before repackaging.

  83. Rick Stevens
    August 27, 2016
    Reply

    Great suggestions and I have learnt many great tips

  84. September 23, 2016
    Reply

    Woewh. That’s one hell of an extraordinary list, with some really great tips Lauren!

    • October 1, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Jellis! :-)

  85. Thom
    October 10, 2016
    Reply

    In my travelling experience, I learnt a few things. Body language is important even you don’t know local language. Don’t carry with cash, get travel insurance. Be polite with local people. Enjoy your trip!!

    • October 14, 2016
      Reply

      Yes! Body language can make a huge difference to the way you’re treated when you travel :-)

  86. Afzal Zaheer
    October 14, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    I am glad that you have really put forth the choicest of travelling expression of all your life, right here at one place.

    Especially for me, these ideas are quite an awesome way to cache them, since I might be travelling early next year.

    Thanks

    • October 14, 2016
      Reply

      So happy you found the tips useful, Afzal! :-)

  87. April Yap
    December 2, 2016
    Reply

    I am sorry to hear the you got scammed in your travel. That is a very awful experience. But what is inspiring is that you were able to survive and manage such ordeal in your journey. I can’t believe you even experienced Tsunami, that is so scary. Thank you for sharing all of your travel tips it is very helpful. I think that I will keep in mind all of your tips especially travel insurance. It would be hard if you would get injured and get forced with spending thousands of dollars, especially if unprepared. I want to avoid that situation.

  88. Parker
    January 24, 2017
    Reply

    I just stumbled across your blog and have read a few articles already. I absolutely loved this list. You achieved a good balance between being cautious and accepting that things will happen. I can definitely see myself referring to this list often

    • January 28, 2017
      Reply

      Yay! Thanks so much, Parker :-)

  89. Bree
    March 17, 2017
    Reply

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! At a moment when I was feeling insecure about my plan to take a year off work to travel, your writing has infused me with strength and a renewed sense of adventure. Not only can I make this happen, I can thrive! :)

    But now, I have a very practical question: I’ve read that many countries won’t allow foreigners to enter without a booked departure flight, yet you tout one-way tickets. How do you get around that? What do you say to the Customs official upon entry?

    • March 21, 2017
      Reply

      99% of the time you won’t be asked for an onward ticket. I have only been asked for them when flying into the Philippines, so that’s three of 300+ flights to 70+ over the past six years. No other country has ever asked me.

      Also, you won’t be asked by the customs official. I never have and have never heard of anyone ever being asked upon arrival. You’ll be asked by the airline when you check in if you’ll be asked by anyone, which gives you time to buy a quick onward ticket at the airport if you need to.

  90. Samantha
    March 17, 2017
    Reply

    Great tips! Thank you so much! Definitely copied a few of these down :)

  91. May 1, 2017
    Reply

    Ever since I read this post, I have been wearing flipflops when I shower in hostels. Can’t imagine all the body fluids from thousands of people…

    • May 6, 2017
      Reply

      Oh good! Yeah, you definitely don’t want to be standing around in that, and there’s also the risk of getting foot fungus too.

  92. Sayinath
    May 10, 2017
    Reply

    Great tips combined with amazing photos .I wondered how you travelled many countries in just 5 years.I always had the dream of going to different countries and expeience things,you have become an inspiration to me.Dow much did you spend for each trip??

    • May 14, 2017
      Reply

      Around $10,000 a year when I was travelling solo on a backpacker budget to $20,000 a year when I was travelling on a mid-range budget with my boyfriend.

  93. Bishal
    July 8, 2017
    Reply

    Awesome Experience!!! This is by far the most complete list of helpful tips I’ve ever seen. Great Job.Thanks for sharing.

    • July 8, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you!

    • August 4, 2017
      Reply

      I also feel the same. This article is well organized and informative for any traveler… Thanks.

  94. Darren Rowse
    August 17, 2017
    Reply

    Fantastic tips from a very well-traveled family. I especially like the cheap flight tips;Its great to see how flying and travel is becoming more accessible and affordable for people. Thanks for sharing and keep enjoying life as you have been until now!

    • August 23, 2017
      Reply

      lol, definitely not a family.

  95. William Carman
    August 21, 2017
    Reply

    I liked your 100 best travel tips. It’s really amazing you have more the 4/5 years traveling experience. I also want to visit the wholw world. I learned a lot from your article. I found some good information on your blog. Thank you very much. This article is a really help us

  96. August 29, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, loving the tips – especially about the dry toiletries! I’m quite good at packing light but hadn’t considered bars instead of liquids. I love Lush anyway so will give them a go. Also the VPN tip is useful, but what is an incognito window? And what is Dave’s travel tech website called?

    The one thing I really have to disagree on though, and think you’re mad for not doing, is collecting points and airmiles. I cottoned on to this a few years back and every single trip I’ve taken since then has been by using airmiles and reward flights. I’ve travelled to Thailand, Finland, Croatia, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Germany, Norway and more – all with points and just paying the taxes in cash. It saves a tonne of money and even if you use budget airlines most of the time, if you pay with a points-earning credit card then you can still collect points to use on airlines where you may want a better quality experience, for a longer flight for example. I would seriously recommend American Express – I’ve had the Amex Gold, BA Basic and BA Premium Plus cards. I’ve also just applied for the Lloyds Avios rewards visa and mastercard combo for when we spend a year abroad, which also comes with 0 fees on foreign spend and earns you points. If you want more info, I find this really useful:
    http://www.headforpoints.com

    Best wishes,
    Hayley

    • August 29, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing the link, Hayley! I’ll check it out. The flights I buy are usually super-cheap, though, so I don’t feel as though I’m spending a ton of money on them as it is. As an example, this year, I’ve flown Lisbon to Cape Town for $250 return, Copenhagen to Los angeles for $100 one-way, and Rome to Tokyo for $200 return. So I’m not like, oh man, I really wish I wasn’t spending this much money on flights. But as I said, will check it out nonetheless!

  97. Shari
    January 11, 2018
    Reply

    Awesome! I discovered your blog last week, when I was planning my travel to Mozambique. I really love reading everything you’ve experienced everywhere!
    What did your route looked like?
    First Maputo, as I read and then? Immediately Tofo beach? And how long have you been in Mozambique?

    Best wishes and thanks for sharing so much relevant information. I admire you!
    Shari (Belgium)

    • January 14, 2018
      Reply

      Yep. Maputo to Tofo Beach to Vilanculos and out.

  98. amol joshi
    April 5, 2018
    Reply

    Don’t try and see everything at one go. Plan your itinerary because you need to choose among the larger towns and the smaller, more quaint ones. As said before, you can’t see it all in one go.

    If your a student take your student Id. ( College, school ID ) with you. Because if you are a student carrying your id. Some places will give you discounts if you are able to show a valid student id.

    Avoid the crowds and queues. Ask the locals people for all the times when the crowds are less and plan accordingly.

    And many more travel tips to follow.

  99. Moushumi
    April 10, 2018
    Reply

    Before travelling make a list of your items, learn different language, bring camera, bring mortuaries, take extra clothes, separate your personal items, take money, take phone and camera, take credit card, take care of your budget.

    • April 11, 2018
      Reply

      Very important to bring mortuaries, yes.

  100. Jaylin Addilyn
    May 7, 2018
    Reply

    Wow excellent travel tips. i am happy for you share the useful travel tips. I read your blog and i get the some valuable info on this blog. Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I appreciate it very much!

  101. Limo Chauffer
    June 6, 2018
    Reply

    Useful travel tips. Really great to know that you have more then 4/5 years traveling experience. I learned so much from your article. Thanks for sharing :)

    • June 6, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

  102. Wackford Squeers
    June 24, 2018
    Reply

    Knowing that you have the facility to travel so widely and so often makes me feel that you have a limited perspective into most peoples holiday regimes. Not everyone can afford to get themselves so comfortably into as many destinations as you have, your advice is very much of interest to a niche market of youngsters that do not work in factories or building sites. 100 tips just spread it out too thinly.

    • June 24, 2018
      Reply

      Not true at all. For the past two years, I’ve been living in one place and only taking 1-2 week trips away before returning home. Which is, y’know, how most people in the world take holidays ;-). So, uh, not such a limited perspective after all, hey?

  103. Bob
    July 6, 2018
    Reply

    What I always recommend to cheap travel lovers is to look for airplane tickets and book hotels using an incognito mode of the browser or change your IP address, as there are different prices for different locations.

  104. Andrew
    July 10, 2018
    Reply

    This was a beautiful and truly inspiring article! Thanks for these tips!

  105. Reinout
    July 12, 2018
    Reply

    I’ve read dozens of these articles and these by far the best tips I’ve ever read. Honestly. Thank you.

    • July 13, 2018
      Reply

      Oh wow! Thank you so much :-) That means a lot

  106. September 11, 2018
    Reply

    100% agree on the “don’t try speaking louder to make yourself understood. Try miming instead” that’s the worst when you’re near people doing that.
    Although, I once had to mime going to the toilet in Myanmar and that wasn’t my favourite thing to do. Great Post! I think I try do all these things too. Especially the sunscreen (Australian) – Sarah (cerealsarah.com)

    • September 14, 2018
      Reply

      Hahaha, I had to do the same in Tonga recently! It was definitely awkward.

  107. Eric
    September 11, 2018
    Reply

    I love that you put try the local food at the top of the list. I have friends who love to travel but will never venture outside of restaurants like McDonald’s and the Hard Rock Cafe. These are also the friends who have gotten sick more times traveling then any person I know. Best advise is to look for the long lines of locals outside a restaurant or food stall and get in the line.

    • September 14, 2018
      Reply

      Oh, that definitely used to be me in the past. I cringe when I think about how I used to eat in the early months of my travels. Fortunately, I know better now :-)

  108. October 12, 2018
    Reply

    Simply wonderful – Couldnt agree with some of them as i have experienced not following the rules – especially about keeping your bank informed Would like to add two from my side
    Turn off mobile data when you leave home – Latch on to Starbucks/ hotel wifi/other free wifi Ensure to log out when using public computers
    In some airlines boarding passes are almost post card size – Unless you want to use it to introduce yourself to casual onlookers hold them face down
    Great tips thank you – A good checklist even for an ex[experienced traveller

  109. Lawrence Vandervoort
    October 31, 2018
    Reply

    Pretty useful list, even if one has been travelling for a bit (I’ve always wondered about whether to give the money pouch ago, obviously for the fashion).

    One tip I’d add is to bring a deck of cards. It can be a huge amount of fun to play with a group you’ve met anywhere, by some candlelight on a rickety wooden table.

    • January 8, 2019
      Reply

      That’s a great tip! It means it gets everyone away from their screens, too, which is always a good thing :-)

  110. Humayun
    December 1, 2018
    Reply

    “I wanted to be thorough :-)

    I’ve trialled a few solar power panels over the years, and just not been that impressed with them! I could see how they’d be useful on multi-day hikes, but for me, they just charged too slowly, even in direct sunlight. But hey, maybe it’s time to try a newer version! :-)”

    Yes, New version is fast charger power bank for a traveler. What are you using now? Anyway, your smile is very beautiful.

    • December 1, 2018
      Reply

      Nothing! No solar panels for me — I still don’t find them useful.

  111. Mariana
    December 4, 2018
    Reply

    Really nice tips!! Thanks for sharing!!

  112. Zane
    December 8, 2018
    Reply

    Thank you so much Lauren for this amazing travel tips. You really did a lot of time to put this up and to make this something that would be really helpful. Glad I have found your blog, these tips will be really helpful for my future travels!

    • January 8, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you! Best of luck with those travels :-)

  113. joy butler
    December 13, 2018
    Reply

    I am planning a month-long backpacking trip around Europe. It’s good to know that changing your currency is not recommend at the airport. I wouldn’t have known that, so thanks for the heads up.

  114. Sachin Shah
    January 8, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks a lot LAUREN. This was the only site i had referred before my family vacation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We followed most of the Tips and guess what all of them really worked. We took lot of pictures. Had given copies of important documents to relative, expected to go things wrong (It did!) and did not loose patience. Everything worked out well in the end. We took insurance (We almost forgot and realized when we read this article) We used to pack things before night, so many things to mention which you mentioned here in your 100 Tips. These tips were Saviors. Thanks a lot again and appreciate all your tips which you have given based on your vast experience….

    • January 8, 2019
      Reply

      That makes me so happy — thank you for letting me know, Sachin! I’m thrilled to hear you had such an incredible adventure :-)

  115. Niko Lutes-Stein
    February 10, 2019
    Reply

    Hello Lauren, my name is Leandre (Niko) L-S. As solo deaf traveler in last 18 months, I went 17 countries in 4 contents. Yes, there’s lot I am still to learning. I am impression and found some great tips on your lists.
    I hope you can contact me through the email, [redacted]. I will like to directly contact you through email relate number 24, 46, 53 and 97.

    Many thanks!

    • February 10, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks. You can just email me through my contact form on the site.

  116. vahid shokoohi
    February 13, 2019
    Reply

    Hello LAUREN,
    thank you very much for these useful tips.
    I was wondering how many countries did you travel and curious to know your favorite countries.
    continue your travel and enjoy it.

    • February 13, 2019
      Reply

      I’ve been to around 85 countries, and my favourites are Mexico, Portugal, New Zealand, Thailand, and Namibia!

  117. March 17, 2019
    Reply

    This is a treasure trove of wisdom. It’s great that you touched on sensitive topics like contraception too.

  118. Kusum
    August 10, 2019
    Reply

    Hi..really usefull tips u shared..thanx…m travelling 1st time wid my hubby n kids..surprising ryte..its not dat I explored my own country India beautifully..ur tips I kept in my mind..thnx again..wish me luck :)

  119. Marianne
    September 22, 2019
    Reply

    Two more when you want to add a bit of luxury to your travel:
    When exploring a city, bars are not always pleased when you walk in only to use their toilets. Search for a 4*/5* hotel instead. They always have clean(!) toilets on the ground floor and the best have hand lotion in addition to good soap to wash your hands.
    Looking for a really good restaurant to eat. Start exploring during the day. Walk into a delicacy shop and ask the owner for recommendations. They know good food!

  120. Margaret Sidique
    October 6, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks for shearing. Your list saves lives and reduce or eliminate frustration that one might experience if you are not aware of the preparations and precautions you must take when travelling.
    Thank you and what is next for your adventurous life?

  121. James
    November 23, 2019
    Reply

    Some great advise in this post my suggestion is to swap the backpack for a suitcase. Apart from trekking there are not many situations in which a backpack is going to be better.

    • November 23, 2019
      Reply

      Hard disagree. What about countries that don’t have a sidewalk? Countries that have open drains in the middle of the street? Islands that don’t have roads or paths, just sand? Busy, crowded metros where you need to cram in during rush hour? European old towns that are blanketed in cobblestones?

  122. December 13, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks for the tips!

  123. Mohdsuhel
    February 3, 2020
    Reply

    Hi..really usefull tips u shared..thanx…Amazing tips, thanks so much for writing this!

  124. March 3, 2020
    Reply

    Hello Lauren, great tips. thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been doing lots of searches as well for travel tips and your tips are very helpful. Your list saves lives and reduces or eliminates the frustration that one might experience if you are not aware of the preparations and precautions you must take when traveling.

  125. Phi Phi
    March 27, 2020
    Reply

    Great tips! Some really useful advice here! Especially the Google translate one! That’s epic I wish I’d known about that sooner!

  126. April 15, 2020
    Reply

    I couldn’t believe there would be 100 tips in this article, a great deal! Thus, I came in and read them all. These will definitely be my new checklist for the next trip. Thanks a lot, Lauren for writing this post. Prayers for your good health.

  127. April 23, 2020
    Reply

    Hay LAUREN, Thank you so much For shearing this awesome tips. This is a treasure trove of wisdom. It’s great that you touched on sensitive topics like contraception too.Thank You

  128. John Batt
    May 18, 2020
    Reply

    Great tips Lauren, thanks for sharing. What size travel towel
    and dry bag do you use?

  129. Andrew Lynn
    June 10, 2020
    Reply

    Awesome! Especially I like your point “42. Invest in a good camera”. I lost a lot of photo during my honeymoon! Lol :)

    Thanks for sharing this nice post!

  130. harman
    July 16, 2020
    Reply

    yes this was a long post but its very knowledgeable and helpful.i read it even single line of your post that’s was awesome.i learn many things from this post.i m 22 years old and i m very fond of travelling and i want to make my profession in travelling.what i don’t know how i start first.

  131. Gustavo Woltmann
    October 14, 2020
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Hundred tips… that’s a lot. Hope I can remember all of them. But even if I remember some of them, that will be very helpful.

  132. freddy joe
    March 5, 2021
    Reply

    Have to say, those are some handy tips. Thanks for the share.

  133. Chris Marler
    March 7, 2021
    Reply

    What a fantastic post. I liked it so much, I read the comments too. Have copied a lot of your findings, and am looking forward to ramping up the travel, after everything opens up again. Cheers.

  134. Michael
    March 27, 2021
    Reply

    Loved reading through this Lauren, brought back so many memories from a long trip a few years back, every tip is spot on and reminded me all that travel savviness is still lodged back there somewhere!

    Jeans though. Absolutely the best of the lot, I’m cringing right now picturing those first few months of me in cream cotton trousers and a pair of flip flops inside a club haha, I’d add a pair of converse into the mix too, good for any event.

    Gearing up to embark on a long term / life long trip of my own again which is how I came to find your post, so thanks for adding to the excitement.

    P.S Keep asking for those pictures, something I’m equally terrible for!

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