There are a few things I have to share with you. And I’ve been waiting to do it. Why? Because some secrets get better with time.
Now, not too long ago I was a novice traveler. I had done a lot of reading on travel websites and blogs. I had a lot of knowledge, but limited real-world travel experience. As my job took me around the world, I started compiling a mental list of the greatest travel secrets that had revolutionized how I planned and thought about travel. Here they are in a concise list. Trust me, you’ll love them!
- Hide your cash! Buy a money belt from Amazon. Most cost under $25 and do an amazing job protecting your cash, credit cards, and passport. Hint: move a few dollars from the belt to your pocket when you are still in the hotel room. That will keep you from pulling our your money belt when you see that Guatemalan trinket you’ve been dying to buy. There is no point in protecting your money if you pull the belt out at every store, broadcasting to the world that you’ve got a lot of money tied around your waste.
- Call your bank. That’s right, call your bank. On more than one occasion, the good people at Bank of America have put my debit and credit cards on hold when they noticed international purchases. Only problem is that I was traveling at the time and needed access to my cards. Since then I’ve learned to call my bank and notify them of any upcoming travel outside my home state.
- Make friends fast. Whether you are staying at in a hostel or at a five star hotel, there are friends to be made. Local people–the pool boy or bartender at the hotel–have an intimate knowledge of the customs, food, and culture of a place. Get to know them. They’ll be able to tell you what sights are must-sees, and what tourist traps to avoid. And friends make any travel experience better.
Now that you’ve got my secrets, go out and explore the world.