Life on the road can be exhilarating, awe-inspiring and eye-opening but can also be chaotic, stressful and taxing. Keeping the following in mind can greatly help and keep you happier and have a more enjoyable and rewarding trip:
Talk to locals and your fellow travelers - Meeting fellow travelers and locals is one of the great pleasures of any trip and are also the best source of information and tips. They can keep you informed of the latest news, tell you what to see and what to avoid.
Be Patient and understanding - things don’t always work the same way as you are used to at home, customs and ways of doing things are different. You won’t get far by demanding western standards, it is best to be persistent, patient and most of all polite. A smile will many times work wonders.
Trust your instincts - Always take your security seriously and if something seems wrong to you, or unnerving - then get out of there. Also remember the old adage; “if something seems to good to be true…”. Keep your wits about you and learn to judge people and situations out there. There are thieves and con-men in all countries and you need to be careful.
Enjoy Yourself! - Let yourself enjoy the wonder of the world, laugh, be happy and enjoy life! Don’t take everything too seriously; you are supposed to be having a good time after all.
Slow Travel: Slow travel gives visitors a chance to see the local sites and absorb the culture.
Border Crossings: Borders vary greatly from continent to continent. All borders crossings, no matter how relaxed or strict, deserve your respect.
Culture Shock: It is normal for travelers to experience some degree of anxiety when arriving in a country for the first time, with even the most seasoned travelers not immune to culture shock.
Bargaining: Bargaining is a time-honored tradition in much of the world. Travelers who aren’t familiar with bargaining may find themselves greatly overpaying, or stressing themselves out with not getting the best deal.
Transportation: Transportation in the rest of the world is very different then what we’re used to at home. Your options for transportation are quite varied and the longer your trip, the more different type of transportation you will probably end up using. It’s not just a means of getting from one place to another, it is part of the essence of travel.
Food: One of the pleasures of traveling in foreign countries is enjoying the variety of different foods that a culture may offer. But what many travelers don’t realize is that, like water, certain foods can also make you very sick. Remember the old addage: “If you can’t boil it, peel it or cook it, forget it!”.
Water: Because travelers are usually quite active, and may be in hotter climates, their re-hydration requirements increase. Unfortunately, not all water found internationally is clean and can lead to health problems including famous travelers diarrhea.
Language: The struggles of effective communication are what make doing almost anything in a foreign country that much more memorable. And if you know a few words (or more) in the local language, then it can greatly increase your interaction with the locals, enjoyment of the trip and great memories.
Beggars: Unfortunately for travelers, the need to deal with beggars and begging will arise eventually as they tend to congregate around tourist areas.
Embassies: Embassies provide critical services for their countries citizens when traveling in foreign countries and are indispensable in emergency situations. You should always register with your embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting, and especially if the country in question is unstable or you are on an extended visit.