How to Be a Better Traveler
Traveling is one of those things that makes us grow and expand our horizons. But do you really know how to do it properly? Unfortunately, not everyone does. So below I will give you some advice on how to be a better and more successful traveler.
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Wherever you are going, it’s always good to do some research first and be prepared for the type of people you will encounter, weather, how to get around, the local customs, currency, visas, etc. In order to have a more seamless trip and enjoy it to the fullest while you are there, all it takes is a few hours of searching the web and getting the best advice. Think of it as part of the excitement and anticipation for your trip. Then, when you actually get there, you will have a good idea on where to go, who to speak to and what to do. By doing this you will be enjoying more hours of your trip instead of being mostly lost, clueless or stressed.
Learn a bit of the local language
I’m not asking you to learn a whole new or few languages before you depart. But it does help when you learn how to say “thank you”, “excuse me”, “please”, how to roughly ask for directions or order something. Don’t assume that everyone will speak English as in many places they don’t, and this attitude may appear very patronizing in some countries as well. It also shows a sign of respect for the local culture when you do so, and people will definitely appreciate your effort and will be more willing to help you.
Respect the local culture
Sometimes when we travel we feel very tempted to criticize what is different from us or what we are used to. That being said, some people tend to not to respect the local way of doing things or laws, and act like they are superior or don’t belong to that environment. An example is when you travel to a predominantly muslin country where the majority of the people covers themselves up, and you wear shorts and miniskirts. You may not agree with some of the things you see when you travel, but it is not in your position to start a revolution and create chaos in that place. People follow these customs for a reason and in order to be a good traveler your mission is to learn from the differences and grow as a person. If you do have something to say, do it with your counterparts in a respectful and discrete manner. Also, that is what makes each place unique - imagine if everyone was just like you? There wouldn’t be any fun in travelling then.
Take good memories
Wherever you will go, try not to complaint too much about things that annoy you while you're there. Instead, try to see the good side of things. Then later, when you think back about that trip, you will have better memories and a sense that you enjoyed what there was to be enjoyed, rather than having regrets because you were in a bad mood. In addition, never forget to bring some kind of souvenir or local item, as well as take pictures, which helps you remind of those special moments you had on your trip.
Don’t be naïve
It doesn’t matter where you are, be it in a developed country, or a poorer place, you should always watch your belongings and be careful. Some countries are worse than others in this department, where you often have to watch your back. As a general rule, do not trust everyone you see and take some good advice before you get to the place you are going. I am not saying you should become paranoid with everything, but just use your gut feeling when it comes to tricky situations. Some examples I can give you is when you are booking tours – try to avoid the rip off places, look out for pickpockets (this happens everywhere, even in developed countries), avoid taking shady types of transportation, watch your luggage, don’t show money or valuable items everywhere, etc.
And don’t forget to smile guys! When you smile people tend to warm up to you more and receive you with more open arms. Try to have a good time and connect to the people around you, and soon enough you will realize that you are not that different from everyone else there.
And don't hesitate to share your thoughts! And follow me on Instagram for pictures and tips! ;)