Ten "Always Ready" Travel Tips
October 25, 2016
We're fortunate to travel often, and to some pretty stellar locations. Be it an active, outdoor destination or a foreign city, we've picked up a few travel tips we'd like to share after a great summer where Vaughn went to Portugal, and Luc to Colombia.
(1) Eat Like the Locals
The best, authentic, local food rarely appears at the top of the list on Tripadvisor or yelp. Many of the best things I ate in Colombia were on the street, or were in restaurants clearly crowded with locals. Its worth trusting them, and if you don't understand the menu, I like to ask what's popular or what the couple at the table next to me is having.
(2) Wake Up Early
When Vaughn was in Porto he noted how calm and peaceful the city was in the morning, before the hustle and bustle or local life and tourism begins. See the city unobscured, have breakfast with the locals and beat any lines by getting up early. As in business, cycling, surfing or chasing powder, the early bird definitely gets the worm when it comes to international travel. A good sunrise is icing on the cake. (3) Be Flexible
Everyone knows what kind of things they like to do when they travel, so it helps to have a list of museums, monuments, markets, or whatever your fancy may be. But travel often goes awry if you stress to much about keep to a schedule. Be flexible, and willing to change your plans if something comes up.(4) Get out of the city center
For great food and hotels, as well as untouched neighborhoods, it helps to get out of the city center. There, the infrastructure isn't made for tourists, and you're more likely to have an authentic experience, be surrounded by locals instead of tourists, and most likely get a better deal.
(5) Take Public Transit
Without a doubt, a sure way to immerse yourself in local culture is to skip Uber and taxis (not to mention guided tour buses) and jump on local transport. Taking the public bus or metro will force you to interact with locals, ask questions and get an understanding of your environment around you. Plus, it offers a glance at the daily life of everyone that lives where you are traveling. Or...
(6) Rent a Bike
(6) Rent a Bike
Rental bikes get a bad rap in San Francisco, but if you love to ride a bike, you know it is one of the best ways to see somewhere new. Many cities have services that offer bike tours, but you're likely better off grabbing a map and exploring at your own rate.
(7) Take Risks (Try to learn the language)
A little effort goes a long way with this one. In a foreign country, to be able to greet, say please and thank you and count a few numbers will likely make locals much more likely to help you out and speak with you. Plus, it is a ton of fun, asking locals how to say certain phrases and then sharing a laugh with you as you louse it up. This is the number one way to endear people to you, earn some respect and make some friends. (8) Pack Light
Especially if you're traveling from city to city, the lighter your luggage the better. Versatile pieces, merino fabrics, and focusing on the essentials will lighten the hassle of any bit of transport.
(9) Screenshots and Stars
Its a great challenge to be without data while traveling, and we could all use the break from our phones. But it helps to screenshot itineraries, mark spots on the map, save translations and more in one convenient spot.
(10) Conduct Some Business
We're lucky. We can work from almost anywhere around the world, answering emails, arranging photo shoots, visiting factories and discovering textiles. If you're work offers you the opportunity to travel, take it. Doing business among the locals ingrains you in their culture. Working remotely allows you to extend your trips and feel like you're still handling your business.