Patience is important. Don’t sweat the things you can’t control. Make the most of difficult situations that come up whether it’s that you forgot something you can’t go back for or the line ahead of you is super long. Even in the most frustrating situations you can find something to laugh about. Breathe deep and remind yourself that it could be worse.
Communicate. This goes hand in hand with patience. It’s easier to remain calm and patient if you have the information you need. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask questions and when you do, really listen. It will go a long way and make your journey flow more smoothly. Also, feel free to use a map openly and ask for directions. Most people are friendly and willing to help.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking. Enough said.
Pack light. In general, we tend to pack with worst case scenario in mind when in reality, we end up using way less that we expected. Also, depending on where you’re staying in your travels, you may have access to a washer and dryer, stores for basic necessities, or decent consignment or thrift shops to make up any unexpected lack. A little extra research on this will go a long way. That being said, don’t forget some of these essentials in a bag or backpack that you keep with you at all times.
At least one full change of clothes in case your checked luggage is lost and you get stuck somewhere overnight.
A charging cable for each electronic device you carry.
An extra credit card and some cash stashed in an inside pocket in case your wallet/purse is lost or stolen. It’s even better to carry these on your person in a money belt or lanyard.
Ear plugs to drown out crying babies, arguments, music, noises through hotel walls, and more.
Take lots of photos. Even if it makes you feel like a stereo-typical tourist, you may be seeing places and meeting people you’ll never see again. Even or especially at times with your family when you’re tired or you’ve worked all day and you’re all a bit bedraggled, take pictures anyway. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.
Back everything up. Phones, laptops, and other devices can be stolen any moment, so be sure you back up all of your important documents, photos and videos to an external hard drive and/or online with free software like Google Photos.
Have fun! Take time to slow down and enjoy the trip itself. Have meaningful conversations with your friends and family (new and old) and break out of your comfort zone. Open yourself up to experience new things. This time will only be here once. Even if you visit again you, whoever you’re with, and wherever you are will be different. Enjoy every moment.