I’ve been travelling for over a decade now, with Adam & I also having countless epic experiences together. From climbing mountains, exploring cities, lazing on beaches & adventuring with each other, we’ve mixed together everything we’ve learnt to put together our tips to help you to travel like a pro!
Note from the author: This article has been written by me from my travel experience. I may recommend & provide links to products & services that I have used & may make commission from such links. This commission helps cover the costs of running this website & will be at no extra cost to you. Anything that I recommend is from my personal experience & belief that it is worth using. Happy reading!
Travel Like A Pro
Never Leave Without Insurance
Insurance is one of those things that you just have to have but it doesn’t always have to be costly, be sure to shop around for the best deal! 24/7 travel insurance is who we always use & they offer a variety of great deals including backpackers & longer term trips. Simple fact is you can’t travel like a pro without being covered for all eventualities.
Be Flight Savvy
We always use & love skyscanner as it’s a great way to scan loads of flights & routes & will help you to find the best deal! If you are flexible with your dates even better as you can view all flights in calendar mode & pick the cheapest date to go. It’s also a good idea to take a look at multiple flights separately as this can save a huge amount, for example flying back to Manchester (UK) via Miami when I travelled SOLO in Colombia saved me around 50% on my air fare – just taking a look at a map & play around with different places to figure out the best deal.
Do Your Thing
We truly believe in dancing to the rhythm of your own soul. People experience things in different ways & what may be right for one person may be completely wrong for another. Relating to what you do like & doing more of that will ensure that you will travel like a pro. It is your journey after all.
Once you’ve identified with what you love, it’s time to start pushing those boundaries & take travel like a pro to the next level. For us one of the most beautiful things about travel is pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. I’m super afraid of heights & try to face this fear as much as possible although it scares the crap out of me it also one of the things that makes me feel most alive.
The thing with most travel is that things can change, quickly. You might plan on ending up somewhere by the end of one day & for one reason or another things won’t turn out exactly as you thought. In our experience the worst thing you can do is resist what’s happening, just taking a step back & accepting things for what they are makes a situation far more manageable & who knows, you might even have more fun than originally planned.
Try New Things
One of the greatest & most memorable things about travel is trying something that you haven’t before. The first time I went to India I didn’t even like Indian food, partly because I was raised by a man (sorry Dad, you’re still awesome) who didn’t eat anything but traditional British food! India was the first country that I travelled to outside of Europe & when I really started getting into the cuisine there it blew my mind, imagine if I would of taken a step back & not bothered, I definitely would have not spent the next decade saying I travel like a pro as let’s be honest, new experiences are really what travel is all about!
If you’re travelling as a couple or with a friend / group talk to each other, be honest about what you do & don’t want, there’s no shame in it. Communication can be the make or break of a relationship so don’t bottle things up until you blow.
Talk To The Locals
Because nobody knows it like they do. Local people will not only give you the best insight into their culture, which will help to open your mind & really see things from their point of view but they will also introduce you to things like the best foods & places to go. If you’re going to be travelling to a country that speaks a different language take the time to learn it, even if it’s just a word or 2 as it will always be very much appreciated.
Take Time For You
Travel is exhilarating, we honestly believe that there are very few things that will make you feel more alive but with that also comes the risk of complete exhaustion which is where some much needed “me time” always comes in handy. We all need time to rest, even from the fun & we always say that after a rest we are always ready for so much more awesome stuff, so it’s a win win really.
Think Of Your Well-being
As well as being rested there are plenty of other things to think of when it comes to your well-being. Life on the road can mean that you don’t always look after yourself in the best possible way. There are quite often opportunities to have an alcoholic drink every night, not to eat a proper meal, not doing any exercise in favour of something else which is all great but after long periods this can really take its toll. Remember to travel like a pro you need to give yourself a night off too, do something that will help you to physically & mentally recharge whilst always remembering to eat well.
Do Your Research
By this we don’t mean where you’ll be staying etc. whilst we’ve covered that below what we mean here is that you really have a proper look into where you’re going before you get there. Blogs & guidebooks provide a wealth of information on the history & structure of a country & from our experience getting to know about where you go before you go only enhances your journey & really & truly helps you to travel like a pro.
We also use the Lonely Planet forums which are a great way to ask any questions you have before going to a place or country, as it is filled with travellers and a community with plenty experience answering all questions types.
Don’t Over Pack
If you’re reading our blog you are probably the type of person that will be carrying most of your stuff on your back for the duration of your trip & trust us when we say you will become peeved off rather quickly if that bag is just too heavy. Deciding what you need to take with you on a trip can be tough, whether it’s short or long it can be so hard to decide what you are actually going to need. Our advice would be to take your time, make yes, no & maybe piles – get rid of the no & maybe then review the yes pile again just make sure you really want or need to take these things with you. You will never ever need as much as you think you will & with less you are far more likely to feel like you travel like a pro.
Book Boss Accommodation
We tend to mix it up a lot when it comes to accommodation, from hostels, unique stays in tree houses, mid-range hotels & campsites. Our top tip here is to check the deals with all of our booking partners to see which comes in at the best value for you.
Wandering around aimlessly is all part of the travelling experience, however to stay safe sometimes it’s good to have an idea of where you’re going. Maps.me is an excellent free navigation app which works on your GPRS when you have no data or WIFI signal, just download the map for the area/country when on WIFI & you’re set to use whenever you need – The app will even locate your closest ATM, restaurant, supermarket etc. so you can easily find what you need.
Feel The Fear
Before you travel it’s most likely that people will be saying to you things such as “but what if this happens?!” There are always going to be what if’s wherever you go but what we’d say to this is that it’s important to stay alert & trust your gut but not be fearful of everything & everyone you come across. Before we went to Mexico & Colombia for example we had heard countless stories & whilst we admit these are countries where you have to think of your safety what we would also say is that both countries have the friendliest of any of the people we have ever met & are probably our favourite two in the entire world. Like the book says, feel the free & do it anyway!
Keeping track of your spending when travelling can be hard, especially when some days you seem to do really well & the next you seem to blow a chunk of your budget & can’t really recall how! It’s important to remember that you are travelling to have fun & not every day can be a budget day, ultimately it’s all about balance. Apps such as Moneywise can help you as you can record your daily spending & calculate what you have spent over the week/month, it also break things down into categories so you can see where your cash is going.
Protect Your Skin
Suncream, insect repellent, sun hat – this should go without saying really but being covered in mosquito bites or having a bright red face is neither comfortable or fun. We always make sure we have plenty of sun cream & repellent with us, even if it seems to be shady or there’s some other excuse we have learnt to never be burnt twice & hey we could really say that we travel like a pro if we did!
Get Your Jabs
Different countries require different vaccinations, be sure to check with your travel nurse or doctor before you travel exactly what’s advised for you. Good news is once you’ve been topped up as many times as I have a lot of vaccinations will have much longer lifetimes. These jabs really can save your life, don’t risk travelling without the ones that you need.
Be A Tourist If You Feel Like It
Big & famous sites are busy for a reason, we say you’re probably going to want to visit something like the Taj Mahal when in India or the Eiffel Tower when in Paris & you’re probably going to feel like a complete tourist doing so & so what? Go for it, take those cheesy pictures & show the whole of Instagram your travel like a pro photo skills, after all being a tourist is all part of it too!
Get Off The Beaten Track
On the same hand don’t be afraid to wander off at your own pace & see things that aren’t on the tourist map. The most beautiful travel moments are normally found in the most unexpected of places & getting off the beaten track will certainly give you an insight as to what a country is really like.
Do Nothing At All
Don’t feel guilty for doing nothing, some days you just need to stop completely & take a break from travel & that’s more than ok. If we know we’d like a lazy day we normally treat ourselves to an extra nice place to stay so that we can really make the most of it, lazing in a hammock has to be one of our travel like a pro favourite ways to relax!
So there you have it, our combined tips to help you to travel like a pro, if you have any questions or comments for us please scroll down to add them 🙂
You can also check out our Saving, Budgeting and Cost Guides page HERE for more tips and help!
Happy travelling 🙂
Kelly & Adam x