Since I’ve travelled a bit in my time (Europe, North America), and since I have a couple of friends who just recently travelled/are still travelling AND my sister is getting home from two years in France tomorrow (lucky biatch) I thought I’d do a little tip post on travelling etiquette.
1. Stay off the drugs.
When I was staying in a hostel in Vancouver I picked a mixed dorm (possibly a mistake) and one of the guys in the room decided to snort speed (in front of two of us in there – he was gracious enough to offer us some. We declined). He then decided to go party – which was fine. At 4am he arrived back in the room, climbed into bed with my friend (they’d met once) and when she awkwardly pushed him away he stuck his head out the window and screamed for his friend who was assumedly wandering somewhere on the main street 6 floors below. Not so fine. If drugs make you do stupid shit, seriously just lay off. Or get a single room.
2. Don’t lie in bed all day.
YOU ARE NOT AT HOME! It’s uncomfortable for everyone if you lie in the room all day and emerge only for the bathroom. Explore the amazing city you’re in dammit.
3. And DON’T for the love of God come home at 4am and turn on all the lights.
So. Much. Hate.
4. Clean up.
It’s not your bedroom. I’m not your mother. Clean up your bloody clothes. And if you’re cooking in a shared kitchen CLEAN UP. Other people want to eat too.
5. AND OHMYGOD IF YOUR SHOES/UNDERWEAR SMELLS THEN DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT JUST LEAVE THEM.
Air that shit out or burn it. Either way get that smell outta here.
6. Actually talk to your roommates.
The amount of times I’ve stayed in a hostel and the 6 other people in the room don’t mutter even the tiniest of squeaks is phenom. Seriously, just talk. We are all travellers, we are all poor. We could be best friends.
7. Carry a map on you, and always carry cash.
Seriously, you’ll get caught out. And you’ll probably need to tip people – in America pretty much anything you do requires tipping. So carry at least $2 on you at all times.
8. Buy a watch.
You can thank me later.
9. Call your mother.
While you’re out meeting new people and getting ridiculously drunk she’s distraughtly waiting for the phone to ring. Give her a quick a-ok message. You’ll save the poor thing from biting her nails to the bone.
10. And lastly be smart.
My first trip to New York my friend and I were so tired we jumped into a mysterious looking van, got locked in and then realised we weren’t actually in a taxi. Worst. Feeling. Ever. Never have I prayed so hard.
I also spent a night in the Grand Canyon jumping through a toilet window to escape the security men because I was under 21 and drinking and they were asking everyone for passports. Fun times.
So have a blast, be courteous, know things aren’t going to go exactly the way you planned, be open to new things, travel cheaply and travel far. It’s only going to happen once.
You can read my travel blog here!