- Eat at restaurants with picture menus
Instead, ask locals and hotel staff where they would enjoy a casual meal with their friends. If they hand you a brochure, at the hotel concierge, kindly return it back – unless you’re interested – and say you’re looking for a local authentic spot.
- Try international dishes, or a Caesar’s salad, at a traditional restaurant
You’ve gone all the way to another country, trying to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions. But, you don’t try authentic food from the country? That’s a big No! Our trips usually revolve around food and what’s on offer in a country. Yes, we’re the people that make a list of “Things to eat…” Make sure you try the country’s food as much possible, it’s a great way of understanding their history, culture and so much more.
- Eat near a tourist site
Sure, the view is great, and you want it in the background for your Instagram photo, but you’re most likely going to waste time, or a meal, eating there. Remember, Every Meal Counts when you travel – that’s the Fomo motto. Besides, these restaurants are almost always quite pricey. If you absolutely must stop-by a venue, have a beverage instead. I travelled a few years ago and made the mistake of having my last meal in Paris on Champs Elysées Avenue – I’ll never forget it! The scallops were rubber-y, meat was overcooked, and service was horrendous. Grabbed an almond croissant and macrons at the airport to make up for it.
- Drink tap water or have drinks with ice (from street-vendors)
I have about a handful of friends who travel all the time, and have suffered from food poisoning and diarrhea because they drank something with ice. If you aren’t sure about how it is prepared, it’s best to avoid drinks with ice. Also, steer away from tap water – even if the locals drink it – as your body may not be immune to it and you you could come down with a stomach bug.
- Forget travel insurance
It all started with me securing my luggage, more so my Rimowa, but I’ve heard of accidents, emergency visits to the clinic, and lost luggage so often, it’s become one of the most important things I check off my list. Should you get injured, lose your luggage, miss a flight, or get delayed for any reason, your travel insurance will cover all of this. I used to stop by the Dnata travel counters to get one until I discovered WorldNomads.com. They’re convenient, affordable and you can extend your insurance duration while on holiday.
- Exchange money at the airport
You will be hit with exorbitant exchange rates. Use an ATM or credit card, at the destination instead. If you do need to exchange money, do it at a bank downtown where you are likely to get batter rates and fewer fees. These links are quite helpful too – global Visa ATM locator & MasterCard global ATM Locator
- Play music loudly on your phone
It’s one of our pet peeves to be honest. You know who we’re talking about – the person who walks down the street, phone in hand with music blaring out of it. Please put on earplugs or headphones and listen to music, especially when you’re in a country where this may be unacceptable.
It isn’t acceptable in the UAE and most definitely not in another country. I don’t know why people think it’s absolutely normal to just throw their wrappers on the floor, or anything in the ocean. When you litter, it reveals a lot about your character and home. Keep that in mind.
- Ride on an elephant, or any other animal for that matter
It isn’t a great photo opportunity. It’s actually truly upsetting, because animals are tortured and drugged in some cases, to accommodate your photos/videos. It’s rather disturbing, and best avoided. Intrepid Travel have a comprehensive article on Why You Shouldn’t Ride Elephants
- Keep your head buried in your phone
I once went on a trip where the girl saw the city through her phone screen. It’s such a pity! All she cared about was Snapchatting and making stories for Instagram. I completely get it. However, I suggest clicking your pictures, making your stories, and then putting the phone away to really enjoy the moment. It’s the only way you will open your eyes and soul to experiences.
Do you have any other travel tips?