This list is the result of a lot of hard-earned lessons from life on the road. In other words, I wish I had known this stuff sooner!
Top Ten Travel Tips:
- Just do it! If you choose to bicycle tour, get on a bike and go. You’ll figure it out fast.
- Bring an open mind. Remember you are not the only one on this adventure. Everyone you meet may be just as excited to explore your life.
- Enjoy the ride. This may sound cliché, but I was surprised by how many people complained. Travel is not easy, but if you choose to do it, have some fun.
- Go Slow! You are not on “the amazing race” around the world. Spend more time living with the locals, say a week or two or even several months with a family off the beaten path.
- Learn the basics of the local culture. What are taboo subjects and actions? What morals would you adopt?
- Learn the basic words of the native language, such as: excuse me, please, thank you, how much, where, left, right, et cetera. And learn how to count to 20. This will save you a fortune.
- Chronicle your adventure.
- Take more photos and videos than you ever think you’ll need.
- Make lots of notes and trip updates for your friends.
- Drink lots of water. I recommend adding some fresh lemon or lime juice to keep you hydrated. They are full of natural electrolytes.
- Stay out of the sun. Bring a wide-brimmed hat for the sun, and use organic (no petrochemicals) sunscreen.
- Leave a place better than you found it.
- In regards to people: Smile. Suspend your judgments and engage new cultures with a sense of curiosity. Maybe you will discover a really good reason for why they do what they do.
- In regards to the environment. Pick up a piece of trash is an easy way to make the world a bit better. I liked to water thirsty plants and help turtles cross the road.
- Bonus tip: Create a backup plan for emergencies.