I just got back from my United States roadtrip of seven weeks. In that time, I learned a lot. Not only about myself but also about other people and just some travel hacks that could make your trip even more enjoyable!
- Make sure you always bring a map with you. It doesn’t matter if you use a paper one or just Google Maps (which saved me a lot of times). In case you get lost, you can find your way back or at least get close to a more well-known area. Don’t get me wrong, being spontaneous and maybe even a little careless is a huge part of traveling. But there is a difference between getting lost in Brooklyn and getting lost in some park in Arizona when it’s about to get dark.
- When you are staying in hostels like I did, it’s very important to be open-minded and flexible. Sure, if it makes you happy you can do the ten things Tripadvisor suggests you to do in that city. Or you can socialize with people during breakfast and just ask what they are up to. Maybe you can go with them. Maybe they know a good place to get coffee. Maybe they have other recommendations. But if you don’t put yourself out there and stick to your plan, you will miss out on a lot of amazing people, places and memories.
- Bring scissors and band-aids. Believe me, you are going to need them.
- Coming back to my first lesson, I have found studying a map before you leave your hostel to be very helpful. In my mind I made up this route, because I didn’t want to be the tourist who looks down at her phone all the time. Especially in huge cities like New York it is important that you know your way around a little bit. I have had New Yorkers asking me for directions and even the cab driver, who was born and raised there, had to look up the address.
- Always be on time. It doesn’t matter if you’re about to meet your friends or maybe you have a plane to catch. Keep in mind that the bus could be late, there could be traffic, and maybe your friends have to go home at a certain time. A ‘rule’ I like to follow is to leave ten minutes before you think you have to go. That way, missing your plane for example will be unlikely.
I hope you learned something today!