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  • Writer's pictureKatie Wright

100 Things I Learned in 100 Days of Travel

It’s been 100 days since I left home on my year long adventure around the world and I’ve already learned so much more than any class has ever taught me.

  1. Take LOADS of pictures and videos. Just when you think you have enough, take double what you already have.

  2. Buying food from grocery stores will alway be cheaper than eating out.

  3. Buy a reusable water bottle. You’ll save hundreds.

  4. Make connections: some of the best days of travel were when we reached out to friends of friends or people through social media or even just other travelers in the hostel.

  5. Things abroad are not always going to be the same as they are at home. You left home to see new things, so embrace it.

  6. Good wifi is a blessing.

  7. But no wifi at all has its perks too.

  8. You’re not going to get anything you don’t ask for. Want a discount? Ask for one.

  9. Have a playlist ready for any occasion. Check out my Australian playlists here!

  10. Be prepared for wherever your adventure may take you! See what I take around in my day bag here.

  11. Do as the locals do: if you see loads of locals heading to one part of the beach or lining up outside of one cafe… there’s probably a reason.

  12. Talk to people! I got so many good tips just from speaking to waiters, cashiers, receptionists etc.

  13. Don’t be afraid to get a little lost, that’s how you’ll find the cool stuff.

  14. If you have Amazon Prime you can get nearly all of the Lonely Planet guidebooks for free on your iPad or Kindle: major key 🔑.

  15. Make sure you have a solid supply of first aid type things. Have you ever heard of sea lice? No? I hadn’t either and I sure as heck wished I had packed an antihistamine.

  16. Tampons are different in different countries… pack accordingly.

  17. Things that are worth the investment: comfortable walking shoes, a good day bag, a raincoat that actually does the job, polarized sunglasses and something that takes good pictures (even if that is just your iPhone).

  18. And buy a GoPro if you can afford it.

  19. Keep in touch with your friends back home. Even if you don’t realize how much you miss them you’ll realize how much happier you are after a 5 minute Skype catch up.

  20. Keep in touch with your friends you met on the road! Travel friends are always willing to meet up and it’s so great knowing people all over the world.

  21. Bookmark Groupon on your computer and always do a quick search for deals and coupons when heading to a major city. You can save big $$$ on popular tourist attractions and random food deals.

  22. If you want to get to know a new place, walk everywhere. You miss loads if you only take buses and underground trains. (This is especially true in London).

  23. Always allot more time for transportation than you think you’ll need. Delays are common.

  24. Double check the little sign on the front of the bus that says where it’s going and make sure that’s actually where you want to go. Just trust me on that.

  25. And OH MY GOD use the bathroom before you get on a bus ride that may take longer than 20 minutes. Don’t make me tell my Bondi Beach bus story. 🙈

  26. Clean and freshly washed clothes while traveling ARE THE BEST THINGS EVER.

  27. People have the same core experiences all over the world and for that reason, you can always make new friends. Their traditions and customs maybe different but everyone has embarrassing moments, first heartbreaks and best friends.

  28. Have a bottle opener keychain and be the hero when no one else has got one.

  29. If there’s more than one of your Uber can be cheaper than public transport.

  30. Youth travel agencies like Happy Travels, STA and Peterpans will sometimes let you use their computers/wifi or even print for free if you say it’s travel related.

  31. ^^^ Those places are also 100% worth a try if you’re looking for student or youth (under 25) fares on flights and other travel packages.

  32. If you didn’t wear it at home you’re probably not going to wear it while traveling: leave it behind.

  33. If you do use something every day at home even if it’s not the most “travel friendly” thing to bring (like a hair straightener) you’re going to miss it. If it’s worth it to you bring it anyway and toss the extra hoodie or whatever.

  34. Your plans will change. Hourly, daily, weekly. They’ll change to things you could never have even dreamed of before.

  35. Be wary of things that seem too good to be true.

  36. Turkish towels really do have 100 uses and are definitely worth some space in the backpack.

  37. You can use them as table clothes for your make shift Thanksgiving dinner abroad.

  38. Or you can hang them to make a little shelters if you’re on a bottom bunk at a hostel.

  39. Or as a spare towel/blanket/scarf.

  40. Buy the souvenir. You’re only gonna be here once and if you really want it this is going to be your only time to get it.

  41. It’s also a good idea to pick one souvenir type thing to search for in each place you go. Lewis and I picked patches and they’re making a pretty cool collection.

  42. Trying new things gets way easier.

  43. And taking risks becomes less scary.

  44. Most people (or certainly more than you’d think) really do want to be helpful and will be kind.

  45. Traveling has its seriously high-highs…like partying on a boat in the middle of the day underneath one of of the world’s most iconic landmarks…

  1. But it can also have some surprisingly low-lows…like completely running out of money and having literally no place to sleep…

  2. Listen to the announcements at airports, read the update boards!

  3. Learn what “911” is in other countries. It’s different all around the world and this is really not something you want to be asking Siri about in the moment you need it.

  4. Traveling will not get traveling “out of your system.” Just the opposite actually, sorry guys.

  5. A good sunrise is worth the early start.

  1. But put down your phone and GoPro and actually look at it.

  2. If you didn’t like wine before traveling you’ll probably learn to like it while you’re abroad.

  1. Local booze is going to be cheaper than the brands you’re used to from home.

  2. Don’t leave your valuables lying around. Most of the time your things are safer than you think in hostels but don’t be stupid.

  3. Wet One or some sort of wipes are great to keep in your backpack or day bag. Especially if you’re on a bus tour.

  4. An extra plastic grocery bag can also come in handy.

  5. Snag a bunch of rubber bands from the hostel kitchens those come in handy too.

  6. I found it easier to make friends with other travelers and harder to make local friends.

  7. If somethings not working out where you are, leave and move on to the next place, you’re only here for a little while don’t make major compromises…that’s not what you’re here for.

  8. If you’re going on a bus tour make sure you pick a good seat on the first day-That’s probably going to be the seat you’ve got for the rest of the tour.

  9. Find the closest food and produce market and go during the last hour and all the prices will plummet and you can get an entire tray of strawberries for like $3, true story.

  10. You’ll never miss a simple deli sandwich or regular iced coffee more in your entire life.

  11. You get super good at simple math while traveling because you’re constantly calculating time differences and money conversions.

  12. You learn how little belongings you actually require to lead a fulfilled and productive life.

  13. And that things are just things and you can only allot them so much importance.

  14. Try and carry a little cash at all times because countries outside of America are a little less lenient with small charges on cards.

  15. 99% of time TV in other countries is just old seasons of American shows.

  16. You become a lot more self-aware.

  17. Don’t forget that you too have an accent!

  18. Oatmeal is the PERFECT hostel breakfast: beyond cheap, easy, SO filling and minimal clean-up.

  19. Keep it simple for hostel cooking but there are healthy options out there besides just pasta.

  20. Stir-fry is a good one.

  21. You learn to be more grateful of the opportunity of traveling and the things you have back home.

  22. All the pictures in the world don’t do justice to the real thing.

  23. 50 cent McDonalds cones for the win.

  24. Keep a little folder with your important documents (visa info, bank info, flight itineraries, etc.) so that you can easily and quickly find all that stuff when you need it.

  25. Anywhere you go, anyone you meet along the way you are helping to form their opinions of Americans (or whichever country you’re from) and travelers in general. Try and be the best example.

  26. Different people have different standards and needs when traveling. That’s OK.

  27. All of the screw-ups that happened while traveling will eventually become hilarious anecdotes of your time abroad, there is some comfort in that.

  28. Always make sure you have your key!!!

  29. Keep a bucket list of things you want to do while traveling.

  30. Make the most of your free time and do something off your bucket list!

  31. Tourists and travelers are two different things.

  32. Food and accommodation will be your greatest expenses when traveling.

  33. Do a little research about major events happening during the dates you’ll be going to a place. We didn’t know about a major triathalon happening and almost couldn’t find housing for an entire weekend.

  34. You learn to be a lot more confident/aggressive/forward in going after what you want or need.

  35. People will treat you unfairly. You will probably be discriminated against. This is all part of the learning.

  36. Your parents will worry.

  37. You learn that it’s OK to not do what everyone else is doing.

  38. And that sometimes the bigger the risk the more worthwhile the outcome.

  39. You will survive being very dirty and most insects and reptiles won’t actually kill you. Although some may. 

  1. You learn that you don’t always get to say goodbye to people. Friends become transient and it’s weird but it’s ok at the same time.

  2. Traveling friends are amazing. 

  1. Comparing things that are the same and different in other countries with new traveler friends is always interesting.

  2. It’s going to be really weird to go to a bar or party at home and not have all the conversations be “where are you from,” “how long have you been on the road,” and “where else are you/have you travelled?”

  3. You kind of can’t understand people who aren’t interested in traveling.

  4. A good nights sleep is the most supreme of all luxuries.

  5. Driving 3 hours to go see something random is not a big deal. Or a waste of time.

  1. You can’t believe how little you explored of the area you live in back home.

  2. You get to know yourself a whole lot better. 

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