Traveling is one of the reasons I work so hard. I love the thrill of exploring new places, eating new cuisines, and just experiencing life in a different way for a short period of time. Ever since I was little, my parents always made sure we took one trip a year. Looking back, I can see how they had to get quite creative with our excursions because of limited finances, but it never slowed us down! As a kid, I just thought it was all magical and was up for the adventure.
In my college years, I began to save up money and take more exciting trips anywhere from Israel to El Salvador to Canada and everything in between. I learned a lot on these travels and today, I am sharing my precious insight.
Here are the 4 things I never do when traveling:
Keep all my money on my person.
This may seem odd. You want to keep a fine watch on your valuables and what better way than to watch them all day, right? Wrong. I was with a group of students traveling abroad and one of the student had her entire purse ripped off her shoulder and stolen in front of our very eyes. Besides being quite scared, she was no without an money, credit cards or formal identification (i.e. passport) in a foreign country. We spent many hours sitting at the U.S. embassy instead of exploring the land. It was rough. All of that to say that if your hotel has a safe, use it! Put your valuables and actual passport in the safe and just carry around your copy of it! It will save a lot of heartache if you find yourself victim of an unfortunate circumstance!
Drink the water
This is mostly for international travel, but also applies to some cities stateside. When traveling abroad, I don’t even brush my teeth in the water. Yes, I am that crazy. My body is not used to their filtration system (if they even have one) and I don’t risk it. I can say I have never been sick from food or drink in another country to this day but I also am incredible careful about what goes in my body. Keep a package of bottled water in your hotel room. You never know how much you actually put water in your mouth until it’s hard to get to!
Appear like a tourist
This is not only a safety thing for me, but also just a general guideline for more fun. It’s more of the act-like-a-local-feel-like-a-local. Anytime I travel, I ask the locals where to eat and what to do for fun. We have discovered some of my absolute favorite restaurants like this and had the best little excursions! People who live in the area are going to have much more insight than the travel websites for sure.
Leave empty handed
I have been known to pack clothes I am ok parting ways with then I travel. Why you may ask? Because sometimes that souvenir I found doesn’t fit in my carry-on and I really don’t want to shell out the extra bag fee at the airport. I just donate a small handful of clothing and viola…room for my purchase! I always make sure to bring something special back from each destination I visit. I have handmade lace curtains from Romania, a hand-woven blanket from Turks and Cacos, a menorah from Israel…the list goes on and on. Each time I see or use that souvenir, I am taken back to that wonderful vacation and it’s like an instant escape for me.
If you are planning a getaway and want to send a little gift to your travel buddy, see the links below for some really cute inspo. Oh, and don’t forget to message me on your travels. I can’t wait to hear about all your fun!