Things that I have learned while planning and traveling:

Get a map for everyplace. Its very difficult without one.

Check the free food shelf at the hostel before going grocery shopping.

Flights weigh your carry-on so plan accordingly. They also dont typically give you a snack and drink for free either for domestic (or even australia to new zealand on a 3 hour flight).

Hostels vary drastically. Read reviews and fine print of what they include/exclude. Location is the most important.

Couch surf. Its not really about saving money but rather cool locals you will meet who will give you a better experience.

Remember no one does something for nothing. If you dont book directly, chances are you’re paying a hidden fee even if they say free booking.

You’re probably the only one who doesn’t speak more than one language.

Everyone knows, or thinks they know, everything about America and Americans. (they know more than I do about their countries but are wrong about so much)

A watch is a neccesary traveling tool. So is a way to track budget.

Dont get travelers checks, no one accepts them.

Use no fee ATM cards or no foreign fee credit cards. Best currency exchanges. Dont use a currency exchange place.

Know the weather of where you’ll be traveling. Nothing worse then being outside all day freezing.

Pack light. You only need sneakers and sandals. You’ll regret taking a lot and end up leaving it behind. Buy a smaller bag to help with this because a larger one you will fill.

Research flights and compare. It was cheaper for me to fly from Naples to Paris to Rio rather than Naples to Rio so Im able to see another country for less money.

Put trip savings into a high interest rate account. They are typically online only accounts but its not like you need a local branch.

Put someone else in charge of you money and monitoring payments. This has helped me get cards unlocked when frozen by weird activity and keep me from logging into my accounts on public wifi.

Create a budget and keep track. I use a daily calendar that I record all expenses in to keep totals and cross check charges. It also is an easy way for me to have all my confirmation numbers and booking stuff written down in one place.

Freeze your credit. I had to do this anyway but it gives you more piece of mind while youre away.

Epipen. You never know what youll be allergic to and I think its worth it to buy you time to find a hospital.

Pockets! I wish all my clothing had tons of pockets. I have secret pockets in most of my clothes for stashing cash or card but pockets are just helpful to carry your camera or even a room key when youre going to the bathroom.

A lock. I have locking zippers so I can lock things in my bag even if I dont get a locker. Lockers are usually bring your own lock so its nice to lock up valuables and have piece of mind.

Bring a sarong. I have used my sarong as a dress, towel, and blanket. Though I chose black to call attention to myself, its very hot when sitting on the beach in the sun.

Bring quick dry clothing. I have very few items that arent quick dry. If you get caught in the rain or wash your clothes, you need them to dry overnight so they can be repacked.

Pack layers. Especially if youre going to be changing climates. Ill start out wearing 3 layers, go down to one and back up to 3 in the same day. But layers help you pack less for varying climates.

Zip lock bags. Any plastic bag really (people collect as many grocery bags as they can because they’re so useful) A must for any liquids. Also helful in sorting dirty clothes or just to put dirty shoes in when they have to go in your bag.

Dryer sheets. They’ve helped me keep my clothes smelling fresh and hopefully will keep mosquitoes away in Asia.

Strong sunblock and bug spray.

Umbrella and/or sunhat to get out of the sun in non-shaded areas.

Download Viber! I use it almost every time Im on wifi to chat with people back home.

iPhone/iPad/Laptop – I have my iphone and laptop. I ask a lot of people what is the best thing that they have packed and commonly, I get one of these as a response. Mainly for listening to music and booking the next location. Just dont forget the charger and universal adapter.

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