15 Practical Things You Should Do Every Time You Travel Abroad

I was fortunate enough to explore 7 countries in 2016. No matter where I travel to in the world, I find that doing the following 15 practical things ALWAYS leads to a pleasant experience!

1. Leave room for spontaneity in your itinerary.

2. Keep an open mind.

3. Write in your journal or collect mementos to trigger memories.

4.  Try something new.

My first time going horseback riding on a beach. This was at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Ghana.

5. Always bring extra cash.

6. Never keep all your money in one place.

7. Shop in local grocery stores. 

8. Always try the local cuisine.

Enjoying a Gofry! It's a Polish pastry.

9. Be curious. Learn about the history of the place you are visiting.

Touring the Elmina Castle, which stripped 30,000 people per year for 300 years away from their land. Being in the same space as my ancestors was a chilling experience and one of my highlights of 2016.

10. Don’t assume everyone knows English.

11. Speak basic phrases in the local language and practice cultural norms.

12. Talk to locals & go where they go.

13. Download offline maps of places you’re going.

14. Take public transportation. 

15. Enjoy the moment.

One of my most relaxing moments of my 2016 travels was a spa day at the Széchenyi thermal bath in Budapest!

Do you agree with my list? What would you add? What are the things you do every time you travel abroad?


This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Molly Gibson Kirby

    Now I really want to travel! These are all lovely and well-rounded tips. My favourite is to always bring home memories like photographs or ticket stubs to attractions.

    Happy travels!


    1. Jewels Rhode

      Thank you! I’m so glad you were inspired 🙂

  2. Ashley Bridges

    Love everything on this list! I also need to get better about writing in a journal. I never quite get around to it, mostly because I’ve always sucked at taking notes lol. Also, love all your outfits!

    1. Jewels Rhode

      Thank you 🙂 Yea journaling can really feel like a chore at times. In those moments maybe a quick vlog would be easier.

  3. *janded

    This article makes my wanderlust senses to tingle. I can’t wait for my first trip this year!

    1. Jewels Rhode

      This makes me so happy! Happy planning 🙂

  4. Meghan Bliss

    Ooh, I think trying local cuisine is my favorite part about traveling anywhere. These are great ideas, and I love the photos! Makes me want to take a trip. 🙂

    1. Jewels Rhode

      Thank you!! And yessss, food is always a highlight of my travels. I hope you take an amazing trip this year 🙂

  5. Neely

    I always try to try a new food and new activity!

  6. Rachel Gault

    Totally agree with you! Can’t wait to plan my next trip!

  7. Danielle N. Salmon

    I love these tips, but journaling sounds so rewarding. Would you ever do a version of vlogging for 2017??

    1. Jewels Rhode

      Thank you! You know I’ve really been considering vlogging lately. I may experiment with that this year 🙂

  8. Erica Nicole

    Love this list! It’s all totally true for travelers!

  9. Stephanie Jeannot

    All of these are actually great ideas. Don’t just go to a location, experience it and see what is in store. Mo McDonalds. Try the cuisine of the place you are at. Well said!

    1. Jewels Rhode

      Thank you! We travel to try different things, not experience what we can do at home. But, I must admit sometimes it’s worth trying out fast food restaurants in other places because it’s actually quite different. My Jamaican friend strongly urged me to try the KFC there. She said it’s so different than in the U.S.

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Jewels Rhode

Frequent Flyer. Chief Enjoyment Officer. Helping you make your travel dreams a reality!