Even after having been to 23 countries, I still am learning new and exciting tips for traveling around the world. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom that I’ve gathered from my experiences, which I will update as I travel more!
- PACK LIGHT – whatever you think you will need clothes-wise, you probably need about 2/3 of it. If you’re staying in hostels, most of them have cheap/free laundry service, so you can do laundry if you need. Although you can never pack too much underwear… I recommend either a large carry-on or a small suitcase that is easy to wheel around!
- TENNIS SHOES – most cities in Europe have a lot of cobblestone roads and/or hills, so tennis shoes are a MUST if you don’t want your feet to fall off at the end of every day.
- TOWEL/SHOWER SHOES – again, if you’re staying in a hostel, some places may provide you with a towel, but I personally trusted my own rather than theirs. And shower shoes are much needed to avoid gross shower floors.
- TRAVEL BAG – definitely pack a good across-the-body bag that you are able to hold at all times. I had a Kipling bag that had like 5 zipper pockets, and it was cute and comfortable. I kept my passport in a small, hidden pocket.
- CAMERA – yes, iPhones are awesome, but having a real digital camera was super awesome and took way better photos. And you can still get an awesome selfie if you know where to aim it!
- GOOGLE MAPS – if for some reason you don’t have it, GET IT on your phone. This is my absolute best friend while traveling. My tip: if you’re walking/taking the bus/subway somewhere, pull up the directions when you have wifi and leave it up. Even without wifi, if your location services are on, Google Maps’ satellite will follow you so you can follow the map. It is GENIUS! Plus, the app also has bus/subway schedules!
- TRANSLATION APPS – if you look in the app store, there are a bunch of different translator apps that you don’t need wifi to access. Very helpful for learning a few easy phrases to help you get by, even though most people will probably speak English. Still, better to be prepared!
- ALCOHOL – be careful of getting TOO drunk while traveling abroad, especially if you’re alone. Make sure that you know how to get back to where you’re going and that you can get there safely. If possible, check out your routes during the day and see if you would be ok doing the walk in the dark.
- TRANSPORTATION – when going to new cities, check to see if it’s cheaper to fly or take the train. It is definitely easier to take the train, as you don’t need to go through customs and you can keep your bag with you. Plus, the scenery along the way can be very pretty! Within cities, subways/undergrounds are usually the easiest to figure out because they stop at every station. In some countries, the buses don’t stop unless you tell them to.
- ACTIVITIES – most cities offer free walking tours, so check to see if that’s available at your travel destination! They’re a great way to get acclimated to a new location. Other than that, make sure to NOT pack your schedule too tightly. Traveling, while fun, is exhausting. Leave yourself some down time to take a walk or have a day with nothing planned. Your body will thank you later!
- BLOG/JOURNAL – I am so glad that I kept this blog while I was away. Years from now, I’ll be glad to be able to look back and see all of my experiences. Not a must, but definitely nice to have!
Take a look at all of the countries I’ve traveled to for a look at my favorite things to do! If you have any other questions or want more suggestions, feel free to ask me in the comments or on my contact page!
-Girl Traveling the World 🙂