firstname.lastname@example.org | Still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.
If there’s one thing I am absolutely thankful for in this day and age, its our generation’s ability to pick up and go if we feel like being a little irresponsible. Planning is out. Spur of the moment is in. With great power, however, comes great responsibility. How do you ensure that we don’t fuck this up for the rest of us? By being courteous travelers, that’s how. Here are some tips for the adventurous millennial forever on the go.
1. Do your research.
If you’re heading into some unknown territory with a culture vastly different from your own, be sure to read up on what is and isn’t acceptable. Your full sleeve tattoo might be the height of fashion in Venice Beach but I assure you that if you’re heading to Japan, you might find yourself being kindly asked to leave an establishment.
2. Pay extra for that international data.
You never know what bullshit you might get yourself into, but having a working phone while you’re out and about will definitely be a game changer. Be prepared for worst case scenario, and being able to actually reach out with that line of communication can alleviate that stress.
3. Pack light, buy extra luggage there if you need to.
Baggage fees are the worst. I said it. If you’re going somewhere for a prolonged period of time, it’s often best to pack the bare minimum and then purchase baggage when you are there as needed. You’ll breeze through lines at the airport and it’s one last thing to worry about when you arrive to your destination. Being able to subtract any amount of stress is a huge plus in my book. If you do need to check a bag, make sure everything is nice and secure, and it can stand out from the other masses of black square things.
4. Learn some of the language.
I’m not saying learn how to communicate effectively. Figure out your “please”s, “thank you”s, “excuse me”s and your “Es tut mir leid, aber ich spreche Deutsch nicht”s .
5. Be polite.
Treat everybody with the utmost of respect. Enjoy a drink or two, but don’t get shit faced. Be excited about the Eiffel tower, but you don’t need to yell about it. You’re a visitor. People there are living their day to day life. They are not on vacation. You are. You are the minority. As much as I would like to believe that the world does revolve around me, it does not. Unfortunately. That’d be rad as hell.
6. Do as the locals do.
Make sure to plan out at least one day to walk around and do things that you would probably do at home. Go to the hole in the wall restaurant down the street. Head to a bar and have a few beers. Go eat lunch at a park. Do something that isn’t immediately sight seeing, and get a sense for what daily life might be for the people there. If you’re feeling spry, head to the internet and do some quick research. In my opinion, these mundane experiences are the ones that stay with you the most.
7. Ask somebody to order for you.
If you’re out to eat with somebody from the area, have them make the food decisions. My most recent trip to Japan, I just asked for nobody to tell me what I was eating so that way I could try it out with no mental block. Not everything was my favorite (intestines), but there were some insanely delicious finds (beef tongue).
8. Only buy things you cannot get at home.
This saves you a ton of money. Chances are, that H&M carries most of the inventory as the one at your local mall. Save those cool $20 for something you absolutely could not get anywhere else.
9. Clean up.
Before you leave, take the time to clean where you have stayed. Even if it is a hotel. You’ll feel better about yourself as a person.
There you have it. Traveling. Fun stuff. Take my advice or don’t. I don’t run your life.