19 things I’ve learned traveling all over the world. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about how to best enjoy travel itself, things I’ve learned about traveling with other people, and things I’ve learned about the world in general. Maybe you’ll learn something new about how to enjoy your future travels!
1 – It’s about the journey, not just the destination
Find a creative way to get someplace.. Going to the “Giant Buddha” in Hong Kong is cool… but the cable car ride to get there is cooler! Hakone circle loop.. Bullet train from Tokyo
2 – Prior planning makes for the best trips
The best trips are the ones that we planned and researched well
We usually buy 3 or 4 books on an area. Yeah.. books.
But don’t plan it out minute by minute.
We live big blocks of open time for exploration and getting lost.
3 – But Flexibility is key
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rainy days, delayed flights, closed attractions.
Be patient. And kind.
And know that you’re capable of figuring it out
4 – A good hotel is worth the money
I’ve spent over 1,000 nights in hotels… to the point that sometimes I wouldn’t remember where I was when I woke up.
Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference for a good day
And not having to take a train for an hour each way
Learned to not be afraid to ask for a different hotel room. Walk in.. And walk right out.
And it’s made me really appreciate coming home to my own bed.
5 – Take tons of photos and videos
If ocgirl didn’t take a picture.. It didn’t happen.
Which means we also take lots of pictures of our food
But also know when to put the camera down.
6 – Not take a trip I can’t afford
When I come back from a trip I just want to enjoy the good memories
And not come back to a mountain of debt
We save up.. And go on trips when we have the money for them
Miles and Points really help with this.
Also not to be cheap once you’re in a destination. Spend the $10 to go in the museum
Or the $4 on the bottle of water. Enjoy the destination.. Not the memory of being thirsty
Traveling with other people
7 – You don’t really know someone until you’ve traveled with them
They also say “Don’t marry someone until you’ve traveled with them”
You really get to know someone after flying half-way across the globe, in trains, planes, automobiles, and you’re really tired.
When you’re traveling and spending that much time together, there’s really no escape.
Something about meeting up for breakfast before you’ve brushed your hair.
Great way to find out the “real” person… Extrovert, Introvert?
8 – Make sure if you’re wandering around a city looking for dinner, that somebody actually knows where they are going.
9 – Meeting at the airport to go in to the city together is usually a bad idea. Somebody’s flight will be delayed. Meet at the hotel instead.
10 – It’s OK to break away from the group and do some solo stuff. Or announce “This is what I’m doing… anybody who wants to join can meet me in the lobby at 6pm”
Solo doesn’t mean lonely
If I’m with a big group, I need my alone time. A solo walk after dinner is usually enough to recharge my batteries.
11 – I don’t like sharing rental cars… I like the freedom to be able to do my own stuff if I want to.
12 – The USA is not the “greatest” in the world at everything. Our airports are lousy.
Singapore on the other hand is amazing!
13 – Train travel can be really awesome
When it’s done right. Japan and Switzerland I’m talking about you. I am definitely not talking about Amtrak.
14 – Best way to experience like a “local” is to travel like a local
Subway, bus, etc… that’s the local experience. No group bus tours for us.
15 – Try new things
Foods, experiences. Staying in the Korean temple was definitely not in my comfort zone. I really enjoy Kimchee now.
Can’t read the menu? Pointing works really well
16 – Have conversations even when there’s a language barrier
Sitting in a Japanese hotspring, naked… talking to an 80 year old Japanese man about American politics was a unique experience.
So was talking to the Bangkok taxi driver that knew about 20 english words.
17 – “Real” people are often nice.
Although people you meet in the street, or in the tourism sector might not be.
Seek out experiences to meet the real locals. Guided tours, B&B, pub crawls.
18 – Never leave your stuff unattended
Thieves and scam artists love to prey on tourists
19 – When I come back from a trip… I need to start planning the next one
Which does make it really weird that we nothing on the books right now.. But right now the world is also kind of in a weird state