I have been (serious about) traveling for over 10 years now and I still feel like I have not seen and experienced enough. When I was a kid, I used to travel with my parents, but I must have been about 16 years old when I started to travel without them, with various groups and to take my travels to another level.
It was a big thing for me back then. Paying with my own money, for my own trip to another country. It felt liberating, empowering and crazy at the same time. After a few trips, I felt like I knew things about travel and about how to get the most out of my trips.
Even so, I was still a noob.
But here is what I have learned: you never know enough and that’s the beauty of it.
I was not always comfortable going out when traveling or visiting certain places that were away from the city centre, for example.
But the more I traveled, the more I learned and the less I feared the unknown. As a matter of fact, I started to develop a passion for the unknown and for all that there was out there to be discovered. With every trip, I tried to push myself further away from my comfort zone and to challenge myself to do certain things and interact with different people.
But now, 10 years from then, from all my travel experiences so far, I have created this post, featuring 14 travel habits to develop in your 20s. I hope you will enjoy the post!
Here is my list of 14 travel habits to develop in your 20s:
#14. Do your research
You will be surprised to find out how many people that travel only do some superficial research before visiting a new country or new place. Don’t be that person.
I’m not saying that you should obsess about it, but always have an idea about where to go and where not to, points of interest, connections to and from your hotel, the currency exchange rate, some basic commands of the country’s language and the local laws and customs.
#13. Visit a new place at least once a year.
Don’t fall into the ‘That comfy place that I know’ trap. Discover new travel destinations. I know people that have been going to the same place each year, and nowhere else.
Don’t get me wrong, visit that place you love, but also make sure to go to other places, that are new to you.
For example. I have been visiting Tenerife each year, for the past 7 years now, but I always visit other islands or countries during that summer and year.
#12. Adapt to the country and place you are visiting.
This is linked to number #16.
Don’t forget – you are a guest wherever you travel. You are not there by popular demand. Do your research before visiting a country, try to blend in and try not to offend the locals or break the laws.
Always say ‘Hello’ ‘Excuse me’ or ‘Sorry’ before asking someone for directions or for pretty much anything. I am surprised by how many tourists simply ask locals for things when they travel like those people are there to help them. No, they are not and if you are rude, they probably won’t.
Wherever you go, try to learn something from the locals and understand their culture and country – it’s fascinating! I always try to go where the locals go and not only for the food but for the social activities that happen there.
#11. Explore nature.
Appreciate the glory of nature. Don’t just stick to the urban areas but if you have to do so, at least check the parks.
For example, when going to Las Vegas, don’t just stay in the city – go out in the desert and explore the colorado River, the Red Rock Canyon, the Clark County Wetlands Park or The Valley of Fire.
#10. Don’t keep all your money in one place
Okay, you’ve probably heard this before, but this needs to be a habit. So many people get stranded in foreign countries just because they got robbed and they have kept everything (cash, cards, etc) in one place.
Heck, it almost happened to me as well a few years back.
#9. Keep a copy of all your documents and travel info in the cloud/email.
On the same note as #12 – have fun, but take that extra caution measures – have a copy of all your documents and travel documents stored in your email or in the cloud.
In case they get damaged/lost/stolen/whatever, you will always have your copies there that would prove your identity and make the processes smoother if it ever comes to that.
#8. Pack light
When I travel I see so many fellow travelers burdened by their luggage and their stuff. I used to pack tons of things with me in my early travel years and bought extra stuff on the trips as well so I always ended up going back home looking like a Christmas tree!
Plan smart and pack light. Don’t bring a shower gel if you can buy it for 2£ at your destination, don’t bring 15 pairs of trousers if you are only going to be on holiday for a week, etc.
Here is an easy to understand guide and infographic on packing light. Hope it helps!
#7. Take solo trips – Don’t be afraid to travel alone
Discover new places and discover yourself. Face your fears. Become more confident.
People hesitate to travel alone and there are pertinent reasons behind that, I will not deny it. But I think we all owe ourselves at least one solo trip. Try it – see if it’s for you.
If it is, it will totally change the way you see travel and if it’s not, you will at least know that and there will be no ‘what ifs’ in the future.
#6. Look into volunteering opportunities
If you have more time on your hands when visiting a country, look into local volunteering opportunities.
There are so many great causes out there and this is such a lovely way to give something back, better understand the culture and meet new people.
#5. Document things
This is a good habit that I have kind of lost and I want to pick it up again.
I used to document everything – with photos, product wraps, nature, restaurant checks, receipts, etc. Everything that I have collected was stapled to a notebook, each day. It looked amazing!
Looking at those notebooks now and reliving those moments is such a relaxing experience.
#4. Learn more about photography & take photos along the way
I’m not saying that you should become a professional photographer (but you never know, right?). Try to read a bit about photography, composition and start practicing!
#3. Experience the local food and drinks – But don’t get too wasted.
Try the local food and the local drinks (unless it’s tap water you’re thinking about while you’re in India). You might not like everything but the experience is totally worth it.
In my travels, I have discovered so many fruits, spices, ingredients, and dishes that I am now a huge fan of so don’t be shy to try new things.
#2. Make friends along the way
Traveling will introduce you to a huge diversity of people and will help you remove some of the biases and prejudices that we all develop in our daily lives, without even realizing.
When I travel, I try to meet new people and learn more about their country or about their travel stories. Sometimes people ask me if I am not afraid to socialize with people while traveling and my answer is always no.
Socialize with people when you travel, but take a good look at them first. Make friends, travelers and locals alike but don’t expect all these friendships to last.
This is something else that traveling will teach you: to learn to let go – of things, of old habits, of what you thought you knew, and of people.
#1. No matter what happens during your travels, stay calm and positive.
Bad things can happen when you travel – not everything goes as planned – get used to the idea.
Don’t stress, don’t jump to conclusions and keep your calm. If you will keep your calm you will find more ways to get out of any situation.
Many of my trips did not go as planned or even worse, bad things have happened. Now they are all memories – some of them are actually fun to remember but some of them still feel a bit bitter. Regardless of what has happened I always tried to keep my calm and to find the best solution out of that particular situation and I recommend this to everyone.
I have also created a visual representation of the 14 travel habits to develop in your 20s.
Feel free to share it you have enjoyed the read!
I would love to hear about the good travel habits that you have picked up along the way. Don’t be shy and leave a comment! 🙂
Which habit would you like to pick up, out of the 14 travel habits on my list?