1. Wake up early
Reason number one of why you should wake up early in the morning is that you get all the attractions for yourself. People normally sleep in and start walking around in the mid morning, if you wake up early it is all yours. Sometimes it is even safer in the morning because pickpockets or scammers go when there are more tourists. Plus, the light is a bonus for your photography.
2. Do not be shy, ask questions
If you do not know where to eat, drink or even visit ask locals, they will recommend amazing places where you can eat for way less and more typical than the tourist traps. When visiting a new country try to get into the culture and you will have a more fulfilling experience.
3. Do a little research before your trip
Even though it is cool to just hop on an airplane and discover a new place, it is always better to do some research of what that specific place have to offer. You will avoid the overwhelming amount of information when arriving to the new destination, plus you will know exactly how to spend your time and avoid missing places that interest you.
4. Keep your valuables in a safe place
The worst thing that can happen to you is not missing a flight or mess up the hotel/hostal reservation, the worst thing is to get robbed or lose your valuables. Always be careful and leave your valuables either in a safe, locker or even at the front desk. This type of accident can ruin and ultimately end your new adventure.
5. Separate your money
Let’s be honest having some cash always makes our vacations more enjoyable because we can visit more places or buy that souvenir we really fell in love with. So let’s be smart and split our money in 2 or 3 ways so we always have enough cash to get back to the airport or in case of an emergency. This is not just for cash, it applies to credit cards as well. Leave one set with your passport and carry the other with you. No need to have it all in one place.
6. Always carry a lock
Believe it or not a lock can save your whole trip. We got robbed in Sweden because our lock did not fit on the lockers and we procrastinated, never buying another lock. We regret it until now. So please once you buy your ticket and book your hotel/hostal make sure to pick up a lock, it is part of the drill. If you can, bring a smaller and larger lock, to make sure it works with all varieties of lockers.
7. If something goes wrong relax and let the moment pass by
If something goes wrong, like missing a flight, it might feel like your world is breaking down around you. Relax, there is always a way to fix things. You will always find nice people along the way that will without a doubt help you.
We would like to share a story that happen to us when visiting Santorini, Greece. Jazmin bought a flight that was supposed to depart at 12:05 am, we got mixed up and we went the next day losing our flight, along with a dozen other people.
There was Brazilian girl who was scared because she had no more money, as this was her flight home and now she would be missing her connecting flight from Athens. I told her to calm down, this has happened to us countless times, and that everything was going to be OK. Talking to everyone who had missed the flight we asked for a small donation, quickly collecting enough money to buy her a ferry ticket to Athens so she can make her flight.
Remember two things: there is always a way and do not underestimate people. People like helping others, escpecially when traveling, as you never know when you will be in a pickle on the other side of the world. Also, make sure to double check any flights that leave around midnight so you do not show up on the wrong day!
8. Take photos as a tourist and embrace it
No one knows you when you go somewhere new, so don’t be shy, take as many photos as you wish. The perfect photo might come after 50 shots. The photos and the memories will stay, everything else goes away! Photos are free and they are the best way you can share your adventures and inspire others to visit this destination and the best thing is that the only weigh as much as the camera!
While getting a great photo can be important, do not forget to stop and enjoy the view and atmosphere while you are there, otherwise you may as well Google it. So on your next adventure take advantage of your digital camera and start capturing moments.
9. Never stop looking for what you want to see
Do not just take a “no” on your first try when trying to visit something you want to see. I remember that when we went to Alaska to visit the Mendenhall Ice Caves, none of the tour guides wanted to take us as it is a full day hike and it was not worth the whole day for two of us. At the same time the only guy who did offer, was an unlicensed “tour guide,” who had never actually been there in several years, No Thank You!
Obviously do not try pushing yourself into someplace closed, private property, or that’s dangerous. Never put yourself in a situation where you will not feel safe, but if you are just a little scared of doing something new, give yourself a little push.
10. Keep an open mind
The beauty of traveling is to learn more and open our horizons, which often requires being out of your comfort zone. The best way to get into a culture is by learning the religious beliefs, local customs and politics. Even if you do not agree just listen, you might learn something new that would never have crossed your mind. Try new food, new clothing and even learn a little bit of their language. If you look like a tourist locals appreciate it if you show effort to be part of the culture and they will treat you with even more respect and appreciation.