29 Pieces of Life Saving Travel Advice

by | Last updated Nov 17, 2017 | Nomad Life, Travel Tips & Resources | 1 comment

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I came across a post on Reddit in r/solotravel where a traveler posed the question, “What piece of advice has saved you while traveling?” I thought some of the answers were so valuable that I wanted to share some of the highlights with you below. You can read the full post here. I edited the quotes just a little for grammar and punctuation to make it easier to read and also linked to a few things mentioned for your convenience. After you read this list, leave a comment with advice that has saved YOU while traveling.

“Learn a few words in Russian, especially in non-Russian speaking areas. It's great for making people leave you alone. People have learned to pester the oblivious English speaking tourists, but a few gruff words in Russian usually makes them move on to their next mark.” – u/ChIck3n115

“Bring a roll of your own toilet paper or pocket pack of tissues, even if you're going to a modern place. I've had situations with bathrooms being empty and only realizing too late, being charged per sheet, people not willing to share.” – u/RubyRoyale

“Have a spare debit card! That's already saved my ass since I've had my Schwab card eaten by ATM's twice.” – u/air-

“Going off trusting your instincts, don't be afraid to change your plans last minute based on your gut. Hanging out with a group of travelers who are repeatedly culturally insensitive? Make up an excuse and ditch them. Your maps app tells you to walk down a sketchy-ass street at night? Find a street parallel that is more populated, get an Uber or skip that destination entirely. Arrive at a hostel that doesn't quite look like the photos and the staff makes you feel like they're always trying to rip you off? Find a different accommodation and GTFO. As a traveler you usually have many options, so be flexible in making quick decisions that will give you more peace of mind and enjoyment on your trip.” – u/pokemonyellowversion

“If you're travelling with cash, don't carry it all in the same wallet / pocket / whatever. Disperse your physical funds over a few different points on your body to mitigate losing a lot when you might only have to lose a little.” – u/nolearnsnoprobs

“Every time you stand up (bus, train, restaurant, etc.) ALWAYS look at your seat. My wallet once fell out of my pocket on the train in Egypt. I would have been screwed.” -u/ScienceAteMyKid

“If you're sick, go to the fucking doctor. I travel a lot and I also get sick a lot. Weak immune system in general. I've learned that if I'm not feeling great, it's best to just go see a doctor and get fixed up. I didn't do this once and ended up in a Thai hospital for 10 days then another week of daily IVs when I returned home to Japan. The doctor in Thailand cost me like $150 total. I might have avoided the whole thing if I'd just went in earlier.” – u/Emnems

“I throw a handful of kind bars in my bag for every trip. Usually don't need them. Sometimes they are the only thing I can eat for a day or two. I also got a Katadyn BeFree water bottle and it is my new favorite ever. It's soft sided and the filter is literally life saving. I could drink from a puddle or a sketchy mountain pond and be OK.” – u/seanmharcailin

“Always keep a photocopy of your passport handy in case you lose the original. It'll save you lots of trouble!” – u/monkey_doodle

“If you fall asleep on a train without locking compartments, make sure your backpack is physically attached to you somehow. I stashed mine under a seat without doing this and it was stolen.” – u/hound_dog_pope

“Beptobismol or Imodium, or anything that helps the unexpected runs.” – u/supapaesunaperra

“Don't take out money from the bank beforehand, go to an ATM when you arrive. It'll save you some coin.” – u/baked_potato_

“Buy carbonated bottled water if available. In developing countries some unscrupulous vendors will refill a used bottle with tap water and reseal the cap.” – u/gilamnstr

“Don't panic. There are very few problems that can't be solved by money and time.” – u/zorkmids

“Some days, you'll have shitty days. May be tired, may be hassle from street sellers, may be you got a little ripped off, don't let it colour your whole experience, don't get up the next day still mad it happened, learn from it and move on.” – u/Not_invented-Here

“Carry a pen.” – u/onwardtraveller

“Always have a back-up emergency stash of cash.” – u/Kananaskis_Country

“No matter what happens take it all in stride. It'll make a great story over a beer.” – u/electricsheep12345

“Please, please do your research on passports and visas prior to travel. I nearly had to cancel a trip to China because I was living in a third country and getting a visa was proving to be a difficult challenge. And of course I left it till the last minute. Last thing you want is to lose thousands of dollars in airfares because you don't have the correct visa or have onward travel etc.” – u/expatlassinSEA

“Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. I avoided a really scary and potentially dangerous couch-surfing encounter by listening to my gut.” – u/onceuponanadventure

“Use a credit card that has travel insurance to pay for your flights.” – u/eyecandy808

“If somebody comes up and touches you in any way whatsoever – they are likely attempting to pick-pocket you. Had a guy perform a dance next to me in Berlin and I caught him mid-way. Funny enough, he just smiled and handed me back my wallet.” – u/AccountSky

“Keep your passport in a ziplock bag. There's nothing worse than taking your trousers out the laundry and discovering that your passport is still in them.” – u/WurzelGummidge

STEP program told me to get the fuck out due to a storm. I got the fuck out and the storm was pretty bad.” – u/ScootLif

“Tell the driver your destination and then ask how much the fair will be BEFORE you get in.” – u/daringK

“If somebody is too eager to help, be careful and pay attention. Sometimes people actually want to help you with your bags and sometimes people want to steal your stuff. If somebody is too pushy with tourism deals, it's usually not the best service.” – u/mpf315

“Don't be a jackass, respect the people and laws of the nation you are visiting. Prison sucks. Turkish prison sucks worse.” – u/PureAntimatter

“Only book a new room for one day to start. Then if you don't like it you can easily move to another place without worrying about getting a refund or losing money on extra days.” – u/Addicted_to_chips

“Shop around if you have the time. Use sites like Travelocity and Hostelbookers to find a place/ticket you like then call the carrier or hotel/hostel directly for better pricing.” – u/Theperfectool

More Money Saving Travel Advice? Read: How I Rent $1000+ Airbnbs for Half Price: Plus Other Ways I Negotiate While Traveling to Save Big Money

What other advice do you have for travelers?

Drop a comment below with a piece of advice that has saved YOU while traveling!

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1 Comment

  1. Agness

    These pieces of advice are simply astonishing, Paul. Exceptional and very practical tips which every traveler should read. I am definitely saving your post. 😉


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Paul @ Travel is Life

Paul @ Travel is Life

Hey it's Paul Drecksler the founder of Travel is Life. Thank you for being here (wherever you are). Be sure to join my Friends List for some exciting things coming soon on this website. If you're a travel blogger, vlogger, or photographer, join our Travel is Life Creators community. Happy travels!