I’ve officially been traveling overseas for over a decade. A decade, people. Not full-time or anything, but still. I’ve hit every continent (save Antarctica), sometimes volunteering in groups, sometimes traveling solo, occasionally traveling with Roommate #1 or my favorite aunt. And over those long years, I’ve honed my traveling style. Today, I thought I’d share my rules of the road. Or some tips for traveling like yours truly. Ready. Set. Tips.
1. Always pack something nice. You never know when you’ll be whisked off to a party on a yacht. Or just a nice, cozy restaurant in Florence. A dress (made of non-wrinkling fabric), a cute skirt-top combo that can be dressed up or down with jewelry, or, if you are a dude, nice pants and a button-up top will come in handy if this happens. Also, whatever gender you are, don’t wear sneakers with your nice outfit. Please and thank you.
2. Make a plan, but don’t make reservations. Especially if you are traveling alone and on the cheap. You’ll feel good knowing what you want to see and do and where you want to see it and do it…but leave room for the unexpected!
For example: five years ago, I planned on spending a week in Rome and three days in Tuscany. But I didn’t love Rome, so I spent two days there and headed to my next destination, which I fell in love with and stayed in for almost a week. I knew where I wanted to go next (eliminating stressful mid-trip planning), but I was only booking one or two hostel nights at a time, so I was free to leave with no financial ramifications.
I do usually book a hostel before I come into town (that way there is no lugging my bag and then having to re-lug my bag when I find out the hostel is booked), but only one day in advance.
3. Pick places that are close together. Going from Amsterdam to Paris and then Paris to Barcelona and then Barcelona all the way to Portugal is going to eat up your money and your time really fast. But going from Rome to Florence and then Florence to Venice and then Venice to Verona will save your days (and gobs of moolah) for wandering and sightseeing and eating tasty local food, and you’ll still get the wonderful European train-riding experience.
4. Stay awhile. If you love a city, set up camp. Some of the best adventures happen on days three or four or ten. Plus, if you stay for a week, places might give you a discount. And if you stay for a month, that gets even more likely.
5. Don’t just hit the major cities. Sure, Vienna is delicious and Venice is stunning, but some of the most interesting places in the world are outside the main cities. Like Tavernelle, Italy or Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Not to mention Botswana’s Okavongo Delta or mountaintop Cuzco, Peru. While I do spend some time in major cities, I also try to get outside them and take a peek at the surrounding countryside, wilderness, and whatnot.
So, there you have it. That’s how you travel like I travel. Go forth. Enjoy.
Disclaimer/boring legal crap: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, which means I get a little commission.
So when you click on a link, you're probably supporting my travels and writing and all that jazz (thank you!).
(Don't worry, I still won't promote anything I don't love.)