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Photo: Ross Borden

Tips from experienced travelers, for newbies and veterans alike.

HINDSIGHT IS 20/20, right? Well, foresight can be near to it when you have the expertise of some seriously savvy travelers at your fingertips. Like the Matador team. If you’re starting out on your first trip, this is for you. Hell, even if it’s your 20th trip, this is for you too. I know I learned a lot putting it together.

On preparing for your trip

1. Print your entire itinerary and flight tickets/confirmations. Store these with your passports. You can’t always rely on Internet access or electricity to pull this info off your phone or laptop.

2. Keep a copy of your passport and never have all of your forms of identification or access to cash (ATM/credit cards) in the same bag. If that one gets lost or stolen, you are SOL.

3. Check in with friends and family from time to time, especially when traveling alone. It’s a good idea for someone to always know where your next movements are, just in case.

On talking to airline agents

4. Always be patient and polite. This person could be the difference between you getting the flight that night or having to spend it on the airport floor.

Travel in low season. In places like Thailand and India, food and accommodation can be half the price.

Bad: “Can you get me on the next flight out – I can’t miss my connection to Europe!”

Good: “Excuse me, Barbara. I totally understand you guys are slammed right now, but if you have one minute, I’d really appreciate if you could try to get me on that next flight out, otherwise I’ll miss my international connection. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.”

5. Call the airline if you’re getting stonewalled, and find an agent that is willing to help you. Keep calling until you get the answer you want. Many times agents are trained differently and some are better than others.

On budgeting abroad

6. Travel in low season. In places like Thailand and India, food and accommodation can be half the price. And there is still plenty of sunshine.

7. Use the Share-a-bill iPhone app when traveling with friends. It helps to track who spends what so no more arguing about money.

8. Track your spending. If you have a laptop, use a spreadsheet and set up some simple formulas to automatically add up your purchases. Or simply write it all down in your journal. Be vigilant.

9. Set up a new account to pull from on the road. Limit yourself to that, so when it’s gone, you come home.

10. Check your bank account options. Withdrawing overseas can be a huge cost, so make sure you know the fees. It might be worth it to upgrade to a premium account that includes international ATM withdrawals (and sometimes your service fee can be waived if you keep a minimum amount in the account).

11. Know the exchange rate of your destination countries ahead of time.

Photo: Z17R0

12. Don’t use traveler’s checks. These are a pain in the ass to cash in, and the fees can be very costly.

13. Have local currency when you arrive (preferably small denominations). Having to exchange money at the airport when you land is expensive. If you do have to exchange at the airport, shop around a bit if possible. The first one you encounter is likely to be the most expensive.

14. Try your hardest to avoid currency exchange places. The exchange rate at these are the worst, especially in airports and train stations. Always better to get the local currency from an ATM.

15. Buy food and booze at large grocery stores, instead of going out to bars and restaurants.

16. Do research ahead of time and book a reservation at a hostel that is both nice and inexpensive. Walking around with a backpack on looking for a cheaper place to stay isn’t fun when you’re exhausted from traveling all day.

17. Check out Craigslist, HomeAway, Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO), and AirBnB for apartments to rent in the places you’re visiting — these are often cheaper than hotels and hostels.

18. Use Couchsurfing for free accommodations. [*Note: Never use this site solely for free accommodations. The main purpose is cultural exchange and to meet people. Reciprocate if possible when you return home.]

19. Don’t book domestic flights at the same time you get your international flights. Booking close to the departure dates from inside the country can be much cheaper. For example, flying into Kathmandu from New York is really expensive if you make that your destination and book from the US. It is much cheaper to fly from JFK to Bangkok, spend a night or two, and then book the flight from BKK to Katmandu on a local Asian airline.

On meeting people when traveling alone

20. Use Couchsurfing to meet folks for coffee or tea or to join in a group event. If you’re hesitant about it, check out Overcome Your Fear: How to Practice Safe Couchsurfing.

Photo: casers jean

21. Sit at a bar and strike up a conversation with the bartender. They’re possibly bored, know a lot about the town, and might introduce you to other regulars.

22. Stay in a hostel, even if you want to stay in a private room. You can always meet people in the common areas.

23. Share information with other travelers. What goes around comes around. When you give others a leg up, it comes back to you down the road.

[*Note: Meeting people is never compulsory. Don't feel bad if you're not up for it.]

On researching a trip vs winging it

24. Be flexible, situations can change very fast and you don’t want to miss out on things if you have a rigid plan.

25. Research Couchsurfing and similar sites to find forums for cities you plan on traveling through. Ask locals and expats questions. You might even make some contacts before you go. Don’t forget to check the Matador Travel forums!

26. Understand you never have time to see EVERYTHING. And be okay with it.

27. If you don’t have time to research or buy a guide, at least have a map, whether it’s downloaded to your handheld, printed, or bought.

On adapting to a new country

28. Get out and about as much as possible. Orient yourself as soon as you can, and learn at least some basic expressions of the language ASAP. Taking a course locally can help with meeting people, too.

29. Talk to the front desk staff at your hostel (if you’re staying in one), they will have all kinds of advice for you. They know what they’re talking about, so reach out to them.

30. Find a room in a shared house with locals.

On food

31. Learn food words in the local language. You’ll be eating three times a day in whatever country you’re in.

32. Have snacks (e.g. nuts, fruit) handy. There’s nothing worse than settling on something because you’re too hungry and annoyed to keep looking for the perfect restaurant.

33. Carry a couple Cliff Bars with you. The train might be late, the bus ride might last four hours longer than you thought. Keep your mind working at its best by staying nourished.

34. Avoid fruits and veggies that can’t be peeled or cooked when in developing countries. For more info, read Robin Esrock’s How to travel in India and not get sick.

35. Eat street food. In many places, this is how the locals eat on a regular basis. It’s a great opportunity to get an inside peak into the culture.

On taking taxis and other transport

36. Find out the procedure and price for getting a taxi. You will most likely get ripped off at least once, but don’t worry about it. Let it be a learning lesson.

Carry a “dummy” wallet with some expired credit and bank cards. Hand that over if you get robbed.

37. Pay attention to how things are done, like observing how the locals get on the bus and pay. Every place has their own system.

38. If you’re driving in “sketchy” places, make sure the back doors are locked, keep your bags on the floor instead of on your lap, and be vigilant when stopping at intersections.

39. Always negotiate the price of a cab BEFORE you start towards your destination. If the cabbie is unwilling to agree on a price when you get in and he’s not using a meter, get out and find another cab.

40. If you’re on a long bus trip and there’s a break, always make sure you keep an eye on the driver – when he/she gets back on the bus, they’re going to leave.

On staying safe

41. Don’t keep all your cards and cash together. Use multiple pockets so if your cash gets ripped off, your ATM card doesn’t have go with it.

Photo: matiasjajaja

42. Carry a “dummy” wallet with some expired credit and bank cards. Hand that over if you get robbed.

43. Don’t carry your passport with you. Keep it locked in a safe if possible or hidden away. Carry a copy of the passport.

44. Keep your eyes peeled. Stay aware of your surroundings. If you get the feeling that something isn’t right, pay attention to it. That feeling is real.

45. Don’t get drunk. This is when you’re at your most vulnerable and can make poor decisions.

46. Wear a jacket with an upper-breast zipper pocket where you can put passport/docs, even camera/wallet. Pretty impossible to thieve from.

47. Don’t travel with a laptop unless it’s necessary (e.g. your work). There are cyber cafes all over the world for easy Internet access.

48. Don’t wear any jewelry, don’t carry your dSLR in a brand new bag that screams CAMERA, don’t carry a fat wallet in your back pocket, and don’t pull out a big stash of money when you are paying for something at a counter.

49. Keep all your valuables and documents close to you when taking long distance bus rides. Not in your backpack that’s in the luggage compartment.

Read How to NOT Get Robbed When Traveling in a Dangerous Country for more tips.

On health while abroad

50. Drink lots of water. To help with jetlag, drink at least three liters in the 24 hours before your flight. Don’t let yourself get thirsty.

Photo: anaulin

51. Pack some Ciproflaxin (aka Cipro). This is a miracle anti-biotic that is used to treat all kinds of things, from a bad stomach bug to a bladder infection or UTI.

52. Always bring Neosporin and bandaids. Neosporin is another miracle medicine. It’s a simple over-the-counter ointment that will fight off infection in open cuts. It will also fight off any sort of rash or skin irritation and it can be tough to find in local pharmacies.

53. Carefully consider bringing malaria pills or not. Many places the health office says you need them, you don’t. Inoculation/immunization is big business and they want to sell pills. Do your research carefully and read forums with advice from other travelers.

On connecting with locals

54. Learn some of the local language. It will not only give you confidence, but will give you a ready-made excuse to talk to anyone (to ask for help or practice).

55. Avoid getting trapped in expat bubbles — tap their knowledge but don’t use them as a comfort blanket.

ABC. Always Be Charging. Whenever you can, plug those electronics in and keep those batteries juiced.

56. Keep a “promise book” with you (can just be the back of your travel journal). Use this to help keep the promises you make to the people you meet on the road (e.g. sending the photo you took of them). Be good to your word.

57. Don’t just seek out conversation with your peers. Some of the best connections you can make abroad are with the very old or very young, even if all you get out of them is a warm smile.

On carrying electronics

58. If you do decide to take a laptop, get a cheap and light netbook. You have the benefit of having a familiar keyboard and if all the computers are taken at the cyber cafe, you can just find wifi somewhere.

59. ABC. Always Be Charging. Whenever you can, plug those electronics in and keep those batteries juiced.

60. Find out what adapters you need for your trip and make sure those are packed. Also make sure your electronics meet the electricity standards of your destination (110V AC, 220V AC, etc).

On taking photos without being obnoxious

61. Smile. This is key; it will make you seem approachable and non-threatening.

62. Make an effort to communicate even if you don’t speak a common language besides “hello”, “thanks”, and “goodbye”. Hand gestures work as good as verbal conversations.

63. Observe their work and, if possible, momentarily partake in their work with them to let them know it’s not insignificant — whether helping a porter take down the tent, or lending a hand to a baker. This also builds a quick transient level of trust.

64. Respect and sensitivity should always trump the perfect shot. Let people pray or meditate in peace. Stop following that monk or little kid around. Let people pull you into their lives when they are ready.

65. Make eye contact with the people you are photographing, even if you are taking pictures of their merchandise. Make eye contact with parents when taking photos of children.

66.Show your photos to your subjects. Make good on your promise if you tell them you will send them copies.

On haggling

67. Haggling is not a competition — it’s a way for the buyer and seller to agree on a price that is acceptable to both parties. Humour goes a long way in defusing heated situations.

68. Try to learn a few sentences like “How much” or “That’s too expensive” in the local language. It’ll make the vendor smile and often will agree to lower the price.

On border crossings

69. Know well in advance the visa requirements for all your destinations. Some can take weeks to obtain.

70. Have solid and prepared answers when crossing borders, especially between the US, UK, and Canada. Check out these tips learned from an experience crossing from the US to Canada.

71. Always check that your passport is stamped with a correct date before leaving the immigration center. If there’s a mistake, you can get in trouble (not the immigration officer).

72. Never say your purpose for entering a country is “work” if you are a journalist on a press trip. You can avoid the 20 questions game this way and also ensure they don’t try to charge you extra for a different visa.

On packing

73. Bring cable ties and ziplock bags. Cable ties for holding things closed or tying bundles together. Ziplock bags for things that are wet (damp clothes, stuff that is stained, etc) or things that might break and mess up other things (suncream, that bottle of snake wine, etc).

74. Always pack a headlamp. You will be surprised at how often you will find a use for it.

75. Bring a sarong with you (men too). It can be useful for so many things like covering yourself in holy places, a bedsheet in shady hostels, a towel, a beach/park blanket. Tip: to keep cool at night in a hot place, soak the sarong and wrap it around you while you sleep.

On relationships

76. Sex with random people while you’re traveling won’t make you feel less lonely or forget the (ex)partner you have (had) back home.

77. Sometimes a stroll with someone you’ve just met, holding hands (with optional “make-out” session) in a plaza somewhere in Costa Rica or Mexico, feels better than anything.

78. You can’t expect it, but it’s possible to meet your life-partner while traveling. She or he could be right there on the bus with you.

79. Have reasonable expectations (or, better yet, none at all!). If you take a trip to heal a broken heart, be aware that you could potentially feel worse.

On place

80. There’s a tendency sometimes to think “this place will always be here. I can do more here later.” Places change a lot faster than you can imagine. Whatever it is you need to do, do it now.

Community Connection

What do you wish you’d known before you started traveling? Share below.

 

 

About The Author

Carlo Alcos

Carlo is the Dean of Education at MatadorU and a Managing Editor at Matador. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. He lives in Nelson, British Columbia.

  • http://kharlamovaa.wordpress.com Arina

    This is AWESOME. I can’t wait to read this over before I go on my trip. :)

  • hnoi

    Thank you. Great to refresh your do and don’t every now and again, particularly before you take off for another trip. I’m bookmarking this.

  • http://www.farawayeyes.org darmabum

    I knew practically nothing – definitely much less than 80 things – before my first trip, other than I was going around the world for twelve months. In retrospect, I liked it that way :)

  • http://the-reviewer.com TheReviewer

    budgeting and bargaining is always #1 on my list

  • http://www.thetravelchica.com The Travel Chica

    This is a great list and many apply to long-term travelers as well as vacationers! I’m 6 months into my travels, and I wish I had seen this list before I left.

  • JD

    i think this is a really usefull resource but i do disagree with some of the tips here. to everybody who’d bother reading my comment, i recommend getting your info from as many different sources as possible.

    bad tips for example 1. travellers checks can be for emergency use and you can hide them in odd places around your body incase you get robbed(you probably wont get robbed).

    2. an atm may not have the cheapest exchange rate.

    3. you shouldn’t book your accomidation beforehand unless its during peak season or there’s an event etc. music festivals or football match. arrive early in the day so you’ll have planty of time to look around and take note if there’s no busy road outside your window or night club next door. ALWAYS ask to see the room before giving them your money and check that there’s running water. some cheap hotels will have dodgy door locks so bring your own light chain and padlock(that is if you’re alone in a single room. in a hostel you can chain your bag to your bed). its always better to get a first hand impression of where you’d be staying.

    there are other things so i suggest you buy this book where i got this info from –> Vagabonding An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel. not that you’d be travelling for that long but still, this book gives you advice and good reasons for that advice.

    • http://vagabonderz.com Carlo Alcos

      You know what’s even better than hidden traveler’s checks? Hidden cash. Seriously, traveler’s checks are a waste of time. But, of course, do whatever you’re comfortable with. A lot of lessons need to be learned first hand. All the tips won’t be applicable to all the travelers. Pick and choose, we just hope at least some of them are helpful.

      Good call on the check your room before you take it…I’d also give the bed a quick test to see if it’s acceptable (I always seem to forget to do this and then am disappointed when I lay down for the night)…and checking the running water is good too.

      And I agree, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts is a must-read/must-have book for any traveler…it goes beyond travel, and into more of a lifestyle. Thanks for your tips!

  • amaia07

    Great article! Cant wait to travel again and review this before i leave!!!

  • http://www.Savvy-Writer.com Rebecca

    When in doubt, leave it out! You can always buy toiletries and other necessities at the airport or local stores. It’s fun to shop when you travel. You’ll find items you won’t find in the U.S. or your country of origin.

  • http://southbayfoodies.com Michael / South Bay Foodies

    You should make this into a sort of pocket bible, complete with chapters and verses so they can be memorized and quoted when needed. Very nice list!

  • http://positiveworldtravel.com Anthony

    Great article and tips on travelling. Love inparticular the tips on haggling. its important to know that it isn’t a competition and agree in a fair price is the intended outcome. Not getting angry at each other :)

  • http://www.kephsenett.com Keph Senett

    I learned the lesson about carrying granola bars the hard way and I’ve never forgotten it. Unlike many other travel adventures borne of necessity, being hungry and exhausted in a place where you don’t speak the language has never ended in a happy gustatory story for me.

    I’ll add that I always carry a glue stick with my travel journal. It makes saving that wine label or show ticket super easy.

    Cheers – great article,

    K-

    • http://vagabonderz.com Carlo Alcos

      Glue stick! Nice one.

  • http://www.bohemiantraveler.com Stephen

    Good list. But I’ve found 14 is not always the case. Sometimes it is better to bring cash and exchange it at a currency exchange place. In Thailand for example, I was getting slammed $5 ATM fee plus $5 from my own bank every time I used the ATM. An every ATM I used was link this.

    • http://vagabonderz.com Carlo Alcos

      Yep, which is why #10 is important!

  • http://ianmack.com ian

    Excellent roundup Carlo. One addition I would add: ACE Always Carry Earplugs. I can’t remember the number of times earplugs have allowed me to actually get some sleep in a noisy hostel or tent in the jungle (next to an impromptu dance party).

    • http://vagabonderz.com Carlo Alcos

      No doubt Ian. Toss in an eyemask too.

  • Bob

    One more – when you can go to the bathroom, do it. You never know when the next chance will be.

    • http://vagabonderz.com Carlo Alcos

      VERY good point.

  • http://www.landcruising.nl Karin-Marijke

    Saved the best for last (maybe because I hear an echo of my mind…):

    “There’s a tendency sometimes to think “this place will always be here. I can do more here later.” Places change a lot faster than you can imagine. Whatever it is you need to do, do it now.”

    So true.

  • Carolina

    Omg, I really loved this! Found it really useful. I spent a week in Barcelona and Paris alone, and I’m planning to go back to Europe next year when I turn 18, I’m planning on practising all of these tips!!

  • wally zebco

    Leave empty handed. There are toothbrushes on the airplane. When you land go to the market and buy a few things. in a couple of days you’ll have a backpack with what you need at a 10th of what it would have cost from home.

  • Ursa

    I would also say, if you are traveling with a group, make time to go off on your own so you don’t get annoyed with each other and try to be as flexable as possible. When backpacking with my brother, sister and his friend, we all got annoyed of each other and eventually my brothers friend ended up leaving us with 2 weeks left in the trip!

    Have Fun!

  • Roberta

    For doing laundry on the road, I always bring a rubber sink plug, a tiny bottle of laundry detergent, and a couple of shoelaces tied together that I string from whatever is convenient to hang my laundry on it. The shoelaces can also be used for securing things, as well as for their intended purpose.

  • http://www.guidegecko.com Ruby

    Yea i think this definitely is a good list even for seasoned travellers. Stuff like the visa.. id probably wouldve turned up and expected to be let through! lol.

  • http://www.intothewideblue.com(comingsoon!) DonnaH

    Love the tips and even learned a few things. Thanks!

    When my husband and I travel together we always carry different credit cards. That way if his wallet gets stolen, my cards aren’t compromised and are still usable. We also store another credit card in a hidden place.

    We carry a Pac-Safe purse, wallet, camera strap, fanny pack and backpack. These can be locked to anything (like the arm of my chair at a restaurant or the handle of a cab door) and saves us having to carry a chain. Our backpack has a separate removable safe inside of it that can be secured to some immovable object (like the base of a toilet or plumbing fixtures). Our passports, extra credit card, laptop, and cash get stored inside when we are out. I’ve also secured my fanny pack to the metal brackets that attach the van bench to the van and to a bed-frame. Pac-Safe products need a bolt-cutter to remove. All I have to carry is a pad-lock.

    We email a copy of our passport, itinerary, and other important documents (like all the phone numbers to your credit card companies and banks) to ourselves and store them in an email file. I guarantee that the American Embassy will have a much easier time helping you if you have access to a copy of your passport and travel docs.

    We carry a “potty bag.” Which includes a small roll of toilet paper, individual wipes, and a small hand sanitizer. This is especially helpful in Central and South American and critically important at bus stations in said areas (yuk!).

    We always carry a small role of duct-tape and a sharpie. I don’t know why we carry the sharpie, we just do. Happy travels and hope to see you on “the road” sometime.

  • Samuel Thompson

    Usual traveller’s “I know everything bullshit”

    Be honest, the best way to travel is to 1) do some research so you dont get screwed 2) enjoy yourself.

    Efficiency and fun are inversely proportional to one another.

  • http://www.mykonoshotelsmykonos.co.uk alan gorrell

    When travelling around the world its always best to do some home work before setting off. My niece has just returned from a world trip,she had travelled a bit defore but never spent time in India. Mumbai was her first stop and I new this would scare the life out of her as she had booked a cheap hotel/hostel. I suggested she check out some eating options before arrival, she didn’t and was so freaked out by the place she never left the room for 2 days. This is true and just shows that if you check out stuff in advance it helps bundles.
    She needed to loose a few pounds so maybe helped in some way!

  • Eileen

    this is great! thanks

  • Anis Salvesen

    Love this post! One other thing I wish I had known before I started traveling was to keep my camera and my memory cards separate. Also, I wish I had realized I need to to back up the photos online every day. It’s very upsetting to get your camera stolen, but it’s even worse to lose your photos!

    I did a lot of traveling alone, so I wish I had known about the Tripping.com, which is a site that makes it easy for travelers to connect with locals. It’s great for budgeting abroad and cultural exchange since you can find friendly locals who will host you free. It’s also a great way to meet other people when traveling alone; I love meeting other travelers in hostels but I also like to meet locals, so I use both. I also like to get tips from locals using Tripping.

    Also, when I’m in a country that has a lot of dodgy restroom facilities, I make sure to never pass up the opportunity to take some napkins and put them in my purse for future – you know emergencies. And if a little shop or kiosk looks like its packaged foods and snacks are from the previous decade, resist the temptation to buy that tantalizingly-packaged tasty snack because you will be disappointed. Reminder to self: the packaging does not keep the cookies or candies or salty snacks magically fresh for years.

    Last one: never get in a tuk tuk when the driver says they can take you where you want to go for a really low price. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.

    • http://vagabonderz.com Carlo Alcos

      Some great tips there Anis! Thanks.

  • Erika

    Number five has some truth to it, however don’t call back until you get the answer you want. I know someone who works as a booking agent, and quite frankly sometimes the customer IS wrong. When customers are overly persistent about things that are unreasonable (like, a full refund on a ticket where the travel dates have already passed or you know, you’re snowed in and so is everyone else), it honestly makes it more of a hassle. Remember that the booking agents and customer service representatives are people too, and they aren’t trying to make traveling extremely difficult for you!

  • http://www.usair.asia Uli

    Awesome post, but also scary, but I really must admit, the dummy wallet with expired ATM Cards…. never thought of it before

  • Taylorcdorn

    This list is great!

    Check out why you should take a gap year to travel at…

    http://www.listsofshit.com/2011/6-great-reasons-to-take-a-gap-year/

  • Glenn

    Great post with lots of valuable travel tips.

  • ToddCo

    great post – Tripping.com is also a great alternative to CouchSurfer for CouchSurfing. I’m about to post an extensive pro/con of these two sites. http://50and50by50.com

  • Sarah Armstrong

    Good Tips! Knowing the border protocol is extremely important, as I found out when crossing the Rwanda/DRCongo border recently. 

    Note to self: You cannot bring plastic bags into Rwanda.

    Knowing the requirements for each country goes a long way, but so does a smile and a sense of humor. 

  • http://www.mauritiusprestige.com/ Mauritius Travel Guide

    Excellent tips very useful indeed

  • katy_82

    You’ve got some pretty unsual tips for travellers! Have you been in all these  kinds of situations?!?!

  • johnst_30

     loll , loved some of the tips … really helpful for  first time travellers ( like me) .  But my plan  of travel is a little bit less “Hardcore”. i chose to make a vacation rental  in London  and enjoy the trip comfortably and at my own pace , thanks for the info !

  • http://twitter.com/mappingwords Sarah Shaw

    Great tips! I’ve also never thought of the dummy wallet. Thanks. ^^

  • Abbie Hoffman

    If you are crossing a border and want to smuggle something put it in your underwear. I’ve gone through customs everywhere and the only place I got strip searched was in Israel and they didn’t make me take my underwear off.

    If you are buying drugs in a weird place make sure you have a few hundred dollars to pay off cops and get out of a situation fast. 300 dollars can get you out of most bad situations in a developing country. If you get into trouble leave fast. Pay if you have to and just walk away.

    As far as sex goes… if it’s with a local, watch out for prostitutes. Sometimes you don’t know you are having sex with a prostitue until afterwards… which is totally fucked. Not that you can do anything about it but its a good thing to keep your head up about so you don’t get robbed / beat up by a pimp or “boyfriend.”

    Never, ever, get into a car if it feels sketchy. If people are mad at you do not get into a car. Do not feel obligated if someone says “come with me.”

  • Abbie Hoffman

    If you are crossing a border and want to smuggle something put it in your underwear. I’ve gone through customs everywhere and the only place I got strip searched was in Israel and they didn’t make me take my underwear off.

    If you are buying drugs in a weird place make sure you have a few hundred dollars to pay off cops and get out of a situation fast. 300 dollars can get you out of most bad situations in a developing country. If you get into trouble leave fast. Pay if you have to and just walk away.

    As far as sex goes… if it’s with a local, watch out for prostitutes. Sometimes you don’t know you are having sex with a prostitue until afterwards… which is totally fucked. Not that you can do anything about it but its a good thing to keep your head up about so you don’t get robbed / beat up by a pimp or “boyfriend.”

    Never, ever, get into a car if it feels sketchy. If people are mad at you do not get into a car. Do not feel obligated if someone says “come with me.”

  • The Unemployed Life’s Travel Site

    Also great Tips are to.
    * keep cash in your soles of your shoes.
    * to make a “money belt”, get a normal belt a buy a long zipper and get it sewn to the belt, then you roll up your notes and keep them safe in case of a emergency….
    * When arriving in a new location, and you have to find your way around, find where the local map is and Take a picture of it, it will come in handy when walking around and trying to navigate your way around.
    Great tips overall!

  • Bianka Martinez

    80 great traveling tips from Matador Network.

  • Bianka Martinez

    80 great traveling tips from Matador Network.

  • http://GreenGlobalTravel.com/ Green Global Travel

    You make some great points! I think this list would be different for everyone who spends some time on the road – particularly those of us who do so on a regular basis or for longer periods of time. I really appreciated some of your practical advice (like the suggestion of a dummy wallet) though I think one of the most important ideas that you reiterate in a few different lessons is to go to great lengths to connect with people – other travellers and especially locals, because so much of life and travel is really all about the people that we share it with!

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The tips we'd give ourselves if we could go back in time.
Consider food blogs as travel guides that give you another angle through which to...
Ordering Nigori will instantly put you in many Japanese drinkers’ good graces as it is...
As an alternative to going out every weekend, sit by the lake and enjoy a bottle of wine...
Having a plan is key to ensuring your well-being while traveling abroad.
If you're heavy, male, and comfortable in a loincloth, sumo may be the sport for you.
To travel alone is to find the answers you've been seeking.