I don’t know about your circle of friends, but the majority of mine are fascinated with the idea of TRAVEL. Travel allows us to open our minds to new culture and experience things we would never experience otherwise.
For this reason, people jump at the chance to travel. In all of the excitement and preparation for traveling, people generally tend to research as much as possible.
With all of the blogs out there that tell you what you SHOULD do while traveling, here is a list that explains the 5 DON’Ts of traveling.
1. DON’T: Travel without any cash.
In developed countries, we are accustomed to relying on our debit and credit cards. I go weeks without needing to use cash and find rare occasions where I must make a payment in cash. However, in other countries people heavily rely on cash.
Even if you plan to withdraw cash upon arrival, you might not be visiting a location near ATM machines. Be sure to travel with cash so that you are covered until finding an ATM. In addition, many banks charge for making foreign withdrawals. So to avoid paying unnecessary fees, it is best to already have some cash. (Note: This is not to say that I recommend traveling with large amounts of cash, but that you keep some on you at all times.)
2. DON’T: Eat at restaurants that sell only American-style dishes.
Comfort zones… what can I say? They’ll get you every time.
From fear of food poisoning to fear of not liking native dishes, people will make all kinds of excuses to eat the food they are comfortable eating. Branch out and enjoy your experience in a new culture!
3. DON’T: Pack your entire closet.
Take the advice from the girl who chose to take rain-proof pants and five rain-proof shirts on vacation. Yes, let’s not talk about that one. You don’t NEED to be so over prepared. Just pack clothes that you like, clothes that you are comfortable in. Chances are, if you buy some outrageous wardrobe that you wouldn’t wear at home, you’re not going to wear it while traveling.
In addition, don’t be so concerned about packing every little toiletry. Yes, it is good to be prepared. However, many toiletries can be found in small shops or stores. So, pack what you can and if you forget the shampoo, don’t worry. You will be able to find this abroad.
4. DON’T: Be afraid to stay in shared living spaces or hostels.
The idea of staying in a public space and sleeping next to strangers frightens many American travelers. Although, this is quite the common practice for European and other travelers who are seeking to travel on a budget, or without having to make reservations months in advance.
Surely, it is always acceptable to be aware of your belongings and surroundings. But keep in mind that hostels offer several types of accommodations. There are dormitory style rooms, private rooms, and shared rooms. In each of these options, hostels offer lockers, in which you may place your belongings while you are out adventuring.
Hostels are nice for travelers on-the-go and travelers on a budget. Here are some great articles about hostels:
Backpacking Europe, The Best Hostels in Budapest, Hungary. (airportsandhotelsblog)
Staying at Hostels in Europe (The Roaming Diaries)
Must-Know Tips for Choosing the Best Hostel (Calling Dr. Alex)
I even found a great article about staying in hostels in the USA! Check it out to discover the best hostels in Miami, FL – 15 Best Hostels in Miami (The Broke Backpacker)
5. DON’T: Buy an international phone plan.
Unless you are traveling to the depths of the Amazon or need to make important business calls, I don’t recommend purchasing an international phone plan. Most cafes and social spots have free internet or offer free internet access after a purchase. The truth is that international plans can be expensive and often don’t allow for much usage.
With all of the free calling and messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.), it is much more cost effective to secure an internet location and connect with your friends via the internet. Sure, maybe you will go without internet for 10 minutes before bed. However, I would recommend to ENJOY your travels firstly and share them secondly.
DO: HAVE FUN!