The Ultimate Travel Guide

The Travel Mindset And Advice from Professional Travellers

Here is some great general thoughts on travel we got from our partners, as well as some advice from our well experienced Facebook community. We thought we would share some of the ideas that people had around traveling, advice and the travel mindset.

open mind

From Our Friends

So, you’ve decided to stuff your life into a backpack and take on the world….welcome to the club! Keep an open mind during your adventure, say YES! to as many things as you can, absorb every bit of culture you experience, and never look back. If you travel with patience, respect, curiosity, kindness, wonder and a smile, your journey will work its cosmic magic and life will never be the same. Are YOU ready to #livefree?Meagan Martin, Free and Easy Traveler
Don’t be shy, talk to a stranger. You’ll be surprised at where it will take you and who you will meet. There are so many interesting travelers all over the world coming from somewhere epic or going somewhere amazing who want to share their stories. You might meet your next traveling partner, someone famous or even your future husband/wife. Get out there and say hello!Chris, Koda Sail Croatia
It’s easy to stick out like a sore thumb when you travel.  Especially when it’s your first time travelling.  Especially when you’re American (baseball cap, shorts and hoody) or if you’re Australian (flip-flops everyday regardless of the weather!) We have two tips to make your first trip even more memorable and enjoyable:

1. Learn bits of the local language; You don’t need to be fluent, but even saying “hello”, “thank you” or “beer please” in the local lingo will make your first time in a country all the more smoother.  Not only will you get increased goodwill from the locals for trying, your attempt will almost always be emphatically laughed at due to your mispronunciation and accent meaning you will have the currency that’s richer than them all – laughter.

2. Check out some local events; Before heading on the train, plane or bus to the next place, have a quick search on the internet for local events/pop-ups in the city.  This is where all the locals will be so you can experience the local culture more and it’s these one-off off-the-radar events that will live long in the memory.Ben Lee, Ever Thought Of Trying

First of all don’t be afraid of getting lost in a new city. It’s always when you find the best coffee in Paris or the best gelato in Italy. Walking is the best way to explore a city or a town and one way to really soak in the atmosphere.

Chat to the locals and make friends along the way; Be polite and attempt a few simple phrases in their language. It’s amazing how far a hello, please and thank you in any language can get you. Almost every time they will speak back to you in English but at least it shows you made an effort and respect their culture and language. They might laugh but they will appreciate the fact you tried. Pack light; How many pairs of shoes do you really need and are you actually going to wear those heels in the cobblestones? At the end of the day everything is replaceable, except your passport – guard that with your life. Buy proper travel insurance; You never know when you will need it and there is nothing worse than being in a hospital and realizing that you aren’t covered. Accidents can and do happen so read the fine print.

Try new things; Travelling can bring out the best in people and inspire you to do things you never thought you would do. I never thought I would jump out of a helicopter, but skydiving in the Swiss Alps was one of the best things I have ever done. Step outside your comfort zone and appreciate every single second. Take it all in.Amy Elise, Topdeck Travel

Travelling is like falling in love for the first time…’ll experience, feel and see things the way you’ve never seen them before. It will shake, enlighten, scare and inspire you. And one thing is for sure…the aromas, colors, senses and excitement will stay within you forever!Nikolina Zrinski, Oh! So Croatia
If you’re travelling for the first time on your own, consider buying on a hop-on hop-off bus pass. It’s a safe, sociable way to travel with a guide and it offers the ultimate flexibility – you can hop off where you like, stay where you like and join in on activities that interest you. You can create your own adventure with other travellers on a similar journey to you.Jodine La Pere, Stray Travel New Zealand
Be the YES guy (or girl) even if something doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, just say yes. You will be surprised how open and inviting other travellers are and how sympathetic they are to your situation, say yes and you will get rewarded in return. This might sound silly but lower your expectations, don’t go into every situation expecting to have an Instagram worthy photo with a caption ‘BEST.DAY.EVER’ let experiences change you and help you grow, don’t expect every day to be the best of your lifeSarah Richard, Coffee With A Slice of Life
Often in your travels a decision needs to be made, there is a fork in the road and deciding which path to take can be tough. I like to implement what I call the ‘2 year rule’ With this you ask yourself ”2 years from now, when I look back at this moment, what decision do I want to look back and think/say I made.” Doing this is going to help you make those decisions that lead to mischief and chaos rather than taking the easy/soft road. You are not going to get the chance to make these memories and have these moments again!Ashley, Festivals All Around
When thinking about getting started with traveling it can all seem expensive, overwhelming and not really worth it. Why should I spend thousands of dollars on a plane ticket, accommodation and insurance when I could get that new toy I have been dreaming about? It can be hard to understand the craze behind travel until you truly experience it yourself. When we went on our first trip together back in 2009 we had these same initial questions buzzing through our mind, so we decided to lower the risks and travel in our own backyard. We flew to the other side of our country, stayed a week, explored and had the time of our lives. Whether it was the low cost of the trip, minimum risk or maybe it being a bite sized length we didn’t care as we had caught the travel bug. Every year we have upped the ante from a week in Bali, to a 5 week trip in the states up until today where we we quit our jobs to travel the world full time. If you are to take anything away from our experience is that you should start small, explore your country and get bitten by wanderlust because you will never again question why you would spend money on travel over a new toy, as travel will always win.Stephen and Jess,
Scottish weather has a mind of its own and life in the ‘bonnie wee Highlands’ can often be less than, well, bonnie! My top tip? Don’t forget an extra pair of socks. It might sound dull, but dry socks after a day trudging in the rain is an absolute luxury. Oh- and if you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space!Amy, Timberbush Tours
Traveling is an amazing experience, whether you are travelling solo or with a group of a friends, you are bound to have an amazing time! You learn so much about yourself and the world around as you embark on your journey. Of course, there will always be ups and downs but staying positive is the key to making the most of your trip!The Wanderlands Travel Team
First big trip away from home? Congrats on making one of the best decisions of your life!
Pack light, you don’t need that 3rd pairs of shoes.
Save hard, that extra shift will probably pay for something you’ll tell your grandkids about.
Embrace the unknown, talk to everyone, forget your prejudices and open your mind to the world, as every new experience will change you for the better no matter how crazy or scary it seems.Trent Ford, ThaIntro / Balintro

From our Facebook Community

Wear comfortable shoes, pack lightly, bring medicines for headache, fever or pain reliever meds.. then remind yourself to be friendly with the locals.
Che N

Try new things and activities. Step out of your comfort zone. Taste new foods. Try to learn the language, even if it’s only ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Talk to locals and your fellow travelers. Take time to sit and take it in, look, listen, smell. See how other people live. Leave the mobile in your bag, ignore your emails. By all means take some photos but don’t experience somewhere just through a lens. Learn something about the place you are visiting, find out why it is the way it is. Experience it your way, whether it’s visiting museums, shopping in the local market or chilling on a beach. There is no ‘right way’ to travel 🙂
Suzanne N

Wheels on your luggage is a must, and don’t pack too much. Layers is the key.
Mara M.

Dont take yourself or anything too serious. Just have fun and enjoy your life! Than you will make some new friends for sure! 🙂
Sascha S.

I always plan ahead to bring small gifts from my country to those where I am visiting. Be an ambassador for your country. Make friends. Try new things. If you have too many souvenirs, leave your clothes behind as a gift.
Heidi H.

Taste, experience, do local, look, listen, smell, sit, watch. Learning “please” and “thank you” are great words in a different language.
Amor T.

Read up about your destination before you go so that you have a rough idea of what to expect, especially transport links. Pack light – take coloured pencils and colouring books to give to children. Take non-white underwear and T-shirts you can give away before you come home. Eat local food, take local transport, meet local people and find out how they live.
Angela G.

Pack lightly. You can always find a laundrette and hand wash underwear!
Use rucksack that you can put on your back. The lack of lifts and the size of them across Europe makes it difficult lugging suitcases up stairs!
Laura D.

Take a suitcase with four wheels as the train is not wide and you have to wheel it close to your seat sideways.
Kathy B.

Have two different money sources ie credit card and a debit card do not keep them in the same place. Keep a photocopy of your passport.
Sam F.

Keep a diary, of where you go and what you see, helps when back home and sharing photos. Always research your next destination and abide by their customs. Talk to the locals, be nice I find if you give a smile you always get one back.
Marg B.

If u can’t live without something, take it with you. But, make sure you try the local cuisine. You will never be able to order or make authentic food when you get back home. And don’t be silly; take Imodium w you no matter where u r going. Nobody got time for dat.
Erica R.

My rule is that I never take something that would devastate me if I couldn’t bring it home. No engagement ring, favourite shirt, 800 dollar glasses.. I only take stuff that can be replaced or that I wouldn’t miss if it got ruined or stolen.
Sheila D.

Summary and Well Wishes

Going traveling can be exciting, nerve-racking, sometimes even plain scary, but most of all, it is to be enjoyed. While we have tried to cover the most important preparations for travel in this document, there is an infinite amount of other information out there on every style and type of travel that exists – we have tried to boil it down to these key elements you see above, that we feel will have the most positive effect on your adventures.

The world is full of good people, there is things that will happen that may set you back slightly, and there is always a new adventure around the corner.

Look after yourself, also look after others, enjoy the road, and safe travels.

The TourRadar Team

tourradar team

<< Back to Chapter 5 


You made it to the end! Have you checked out our Complete List of Travel Hacks and Tips?