I'm gonna save you guys the pain in the butt of having to deal with these horrible situations where you mess up, massively, so you can have the best holiday ever! No beating around the bush, let's get straight into it!
I always recommend just taking carry-on baggage. That's it, no check-in.
You do not need a lot of stuff when you're on the road, it is far more enjoyable having a few things then having to worry about dragging your bags through cobblestone streets in Europe for example.
Overpacking is one of the biggest mistakes most people make, so whatever you have, half that and then half it again, and that's roughly how much you should be taking when you're traveling.
2. DON’T OVERPLAN
The adventures that you can have when you don't plan too much, it's the best!
Whenever I travel, I generally plan the first night of accommodation and then I let the rest of the time happen spontaneously. You don't know who you're gonna meet, you might want to change direction and go on an adventure with those people.
If you have everything set in concrete it's really going to take the spontaneous nature out of travel and that is one of the greatest things, so don't over plan.
3. TO CONTRADICT MYSELF… PLAN!
Whenever you're traveling, make sure that you plan the top places to go.
I shit you not, I have gone to certain destinations and have missed the most important things to see all because I didn’t plan.
4. RESEARCH THE HISTORY
I know some people might be scared about this but if you go to a location and you're looking at a building (nice pile of bricks isn't it?), but if you know the history behind it, how long it's been there, what important events have occurred inside that building, all of a sudden everything starts making sense and it's very, very interesting.
Even if you don't love history, research a little bit, you will absolutely get more out of your travels if you do.
5. GET TRAVEL/HEALTH INSURANCE
It doesn't sound glamorous and when I started traveling I didn't really have the desire or I didn't think there was a need for it. However, as I kept traveling I started to realize that things go wrong. I have actually had my stuff stolen, I've lost some stuff, I've broken stuff on the road like my lens for example - that’s $1500 gone - unless you have travel insurance.
Or overnight delayed flights, lost baggage, all of this stuff. It seems like such a petty expense that isn't worth it, but it's worth it honey.
6. SHOP SMART
This is for all my shoppers out there. I would like to remind you that if you have H&M in your own country, you shouldn't go to H&M in a different country. The exact same things are in that store, so if you're gonna go shopping, just buy stuff that is so freakin unique and maybe representative of that country like a kimono from Japan.
7. LUXURY ISN’T THE ONLY WAY
You probably see it all over Instagram, everyone saying in these luxurious places. I kind of want to debunk this because I recently discovered something about myself that I don't know if I'm such a humongous fan of traveling in luxury anymore.
I actually somewhat miss the days of hostel life, when you've met so many amazing people and you had the weirdest, funnest nights with the locals or random people staying in the hostel. It's just so much fun and you spend much less and you experience things a lot more real and raw instead of the polished luxurious feel.
Book a little bit of luxury, but make sure you it in with the mix the raw and local experiences. You're gonna thank yourself because travel is all about adventure and not sipping cocktails next to a pool, which you can do right in your own country - maybe, unless you're in Alaska.
8. DON’T FORGET THESE THINGS
I'm not gonna go into much detail with these things, because you guys are smart cookies and you can work out for yourself as why all of these points are important!
- Check in early because you want the absolute best seats.
- Pack earplugs, eye mask, a little dry squiddy towel and a lock for your hostel.
9. TRY THE LOCAL CUISINE
This is an embarrassing story of mine... I have been to Japan about 14, 16 years ago. I haven't had sushi in Japan. I literally said to myself “I've had sushi before, I'm not gonna bother”. Oh my good - try the local cuisine!!! Do not stick to the usual, I guess you guys know that. I didn't know that, so i’m telling you guys, just FYI in case you're silly like me.
10. DON’T BOOK LAST MINUTE
You should be aiming for the sweet spot for about six weeks outside of the travel time, or over three months if it's a really busy season.
I remember hearing those beautiful stories of people saying go to the airport last minute and just booked a ticket and see where you go. That shit doesn't exist anymore, it's so freakin expensive!
Humans, enjoy your trip! I'm so excited for you to go and explore the world. It is so much fun, my favorite thing in the world is traveling. Make sure wherever you go, do adventurous things, meet the locals, do modern things, ancient things, historic things and this is going to give you a fulfilling trip.
Traveling for Instagram photos is so empty and I can tell you that from experience so drop that have fun travel properly, experience life properly, not through the social media screen.
Until next time guys, PEACE!