Be organized. You may spend days looking for the best airline tickets, searching the highly ranked hotels or spend a little fortune in a picture guide, but everything loses its purpose when you forget where your passport is. Wallet, watch, cell phone and camera should always be in the same place. It doesn’t matter if you chose the first drawer on your right or the chair beside the door, the important is to turn that corner into the only certainty you have inside that room. In every messy place things get lost and they take with them the right to blame others.
Watch out. You may get fascinated, but those who get dazzled will get careless: notice the place around you and the people nearby. Check your pockets and never use the backrest of the chair to place purses or bags. Whenever you leave the restaurant ask yourself what you brought in and what you’re taking out. Camera, cell phone and wallet won’t be forgotten for more than 2 minutes in public places before they go for good. Prevent yourself even in the hotel: never leave unlocked luggage behind.
Know the place you intend to visit. Never travel without learning the least about the local culture: Is Denmark a monarchy? What is the currency in Ireland? Those who are interested in the local culture are warmly welcomed and well treated. Know what to expect from each visited place and don’t ever make the mistake of looking for LA in a trip to Paris: respect your destination.
Have a schedule. There is nothing more disappointing than taking a cloudy Tuesday to visit the Louvre. Know what to visit, when to visit and how much this is going to cost you. If you need or not to search how to get to the desired place will depend on how much time you have available, on the flexibility of your budget, and how essential for you the visitation is. Other than that, keep in mind: unlike museums and galleries that usually close on Monday, the Louvre closes on Tuesday.
Be financially responsible. You already know where you’re going, what you afford to buy and how much you may spend. Respect your limits. The best way to make a good trip last is piling up new experiences – but you can always negotiate the charges on your monthly statement. Include in your plans adequating yourself to the local culture: things can be more or less expensive than what you think is regular to you.
You’re not in a working trip. All kinds of people will ask you to bring all sort of things – tell them ‘no’. The responsibilities involved in dealing with others’ money, unexpected credit card expenses, wrong buys, and worries about transportation do not go well with pastime trips.
Take appropriate clothes. Everyone likes to be well-dressed and to look good, but worry-free traveling usually include long walks which start in the morning and finish at the end of the day. Dress accordingly: be glad to be part of the crowd – believe me, this is golden.
Make reservations and keep them with you. Traveling aimlessly doesn’t match with the worldwide traveling desire and installment possibilities: New York has more than 70 thousand hotel rooms registered in the city’s lodging association, but in 2010 alone Manhattan welcomed more than 48 million tourists – believe me: you were not the only one with the wonderful idea of watching a Broadway debut this summer.
Have a good health insurance. It’s not enough to pay for an insurance policy: you must know what number to call in case of emergency and what your ID code is. Even though the unpredicted might happen, being prepared is always an option.
Let go of fixed ideas asap. Different places are made of different people. Get used to the idea of being in a place where people talk, dress, and have habits different from yours – wherever you are, lunch will never be the same. It’s a waste of time trying to adequate a restaurant, hotel or tourist attraction to what you believe to be more or less sensible. Try local cuisine, use public transportation, and get to know the city at street level. Be a good traveler and a good trip will follow.
This is a guilt-free translation of the original 10 dicas para ter a melhor viagem de todos os tempos. Rodei is a Portuguese written blog with some English written charm. To know more about the blog, please visit rodei.com.br/about