25 International Travel Tips I’ve Learned from Traveling Different Countries

I’ve traveled to 6 countries so far. India, Sri Lanka, UAE, USA, Belgium, Mexico and Jamaica. Not a big deal compared to some of the more avid travel friends I’ve got.

But here are few interesting lessons I’ve learned from my travels so far. In no particular order.

  1. Carry change with you wherever you go.
  2. Learn to say the basic Hi, Hellos in local language.
  3. Don’t smile to everyone like you do in your home country.
  4. Learn and follow the local rules.
  5. Secure the nearest Police station/law enforcement contact numbers and write it down somewhere you won’t lose.
  6. Keep your basic whereabouts written in a card, saved in your pocket/wallet.

    Related: Business travel tips to India

  7. Save a a secret stash of emergency cash somewhere hidden in your luggage/body.
  8. Don’t eat from everywhere.
  9. Get vaccination.
  10. Get travel insurance wherever possible.
  11. When taking flights, keep your fragrance, moisturizers, water bottles (anything liquid) etc in the luggage and not in hand bag.
  12. Keep snickers/protein bars in your luggage all the time. You never know when you’ll go hungry.
  13. Keep lip balms and chewing gums handy – never know when you’ll need it.
  14. Keep soft copies (email them to you) of your essential documents like Passport and Visas. Also keep photocopies.
  15. Always find out where your countries embassy is in the country you’re visiting and save contact numbers.

    Related: Top 5 South India travel tips

  16. When choosing hotels to stay, don’t go for the most popular ones, instead dig deep into online reviews.
  17. When booking hotels, first find an online deal, then call up the hotel and ask if they can match. Most hotels will either match the online price or throw in freebies like free breakfast or Airport shuttle.
  18. Get a trusted friend/family member on WhatsApp and keep sending your current location to them randomly. You send photos, anyways.
  19. Pack lite. You don’t want to spend more on additional weight.
  20. Do online check-ins if you are running late for your flight. They will contact you and perhaps also wait if you can make it rushing.
  21. Keep a set of must-have medicines ready with you. Like something for migraines, cold and perhaps a stomach upset.
  22. Always try to book Ola/Uber slightly away from the rush point. You can get away with surge pricing if you get lucky.
  23. In an Airline, if you want something extra, like an extra pack of snacks, do not call the hostess pushing the button. Instead, walk up to the back where they are and request it. You’re more likely to get it there (and perhaps more stuff).

    Related: Tips when traveling India by Train

  24. Give and share with locals. As tourists, you’d have a default mentality to grab as much as you can, experiences and the like. Instead, try and share with locals. Not money but thoughts, ideas, conversations etc. You’ll be surprised to see what you learn.
  25. Try to visit interesting places and people. Connect with them, learn with them. Avoid boring places like museums.

So, what are your travel lessons?

Please comment here.

About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. This blog is read today, by more than 200K people world over! I'm basically from Kochi, Kerala and spend my time between Los Angeles and India. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). :)

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