100 things i've learned after 100 days of traveling

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Today marks my 100th day on the road! Honestly, I can’t believe it. I have no idea where the time went. After traveling for 100 days, I’ve learned quite a few travel tips and I thought this would be a fun idea for a post.

Here are 100 things I’ve learned after 100 days of traveling!  

  1. Carry cash, coins, and card at all times.
  2. Some busses only take exact change. Some trains only take cards. Some machines take it all. You won’t know until you get there so have it all.
  3. Don’t bother with changing your money at the airport cash exchange places. It’s cheaper and easier to just use an ATM. Look for ones that say free cash withdrawals.
  4. You will probably have to pay a fee to get money out of a foreign ATM (usually around $5 depending on your bank). Don’t make a bunch of separate $20 withdrawals. Try to take out as much as you will need without going over.
  5. Then immediately take that cash back to your place and store it somewhere safe! Take only what you will need for the day.
  6. Get groceries and cook at home to save money.
  7. Try to bring snacks and food with you when possible to save on dining costs
  8. When you do go to the grocery store, bring your own bags. You will have to pay for plastic bags in many places around the world
  9. Use an app like Trailwallet to track travel expenses.
  10. Consider a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
  11. Better yet, look for a travel card that gives you points that can be redeemed for flights, hotels, etc.
  12. Let your bank know you will be traveling before you leave.
  13. Pack half the amount of clothes you think you need.
  14. Before getting to a new place, make a list of the things you want to do/see while there.
  15. Look at a map and plan what to do each day based on what sights/activities are near each other so you don’t lose time walking.
  16. Tons of attractions around Europe are closed on Monday. Check before you go.
  17. Do a free walking tour in each new city you visit.
  18. Try the local beer.
  19. Better yet, tour the brewery.
  20. Spend the day in a free museum.
  21. Eat somewhere with a long line out front.
  22. Read a book from a coffee shop.
  23. Go to a local sporting event and root for the home team.
  24. Walk through the countryside or a local park.
  25. Take a day trip to a smaller town or village close to the city you are staying in (like Bruges!)
  26. Take a cooking class or tour (traditional cooking, chocolate making, beer tasting, etc).
  27. Visit the local university. They are usually open to the public. 
  28. Ask a student at that university where you should go to eat.
  29. Stroll through a cemetery. (Some cities even have cemetery tours!)
  30. Research what festivals or local holidays are going on while you are there.
  31. Visiting Europe at Christmas time means Christmas markets and mulled wine!
  32. There are also tons of free Christmas themed activities going on at the aforementioned Christmas markets.
  33. If visiting the UK, visit a national trust property like the Montacute House.
  34. If you don’t speak the language of the country you are visiting, use the free app Duo Lingo to learn a few phrases.
  35. At least try to greet people in their local language. When they see you trying, they will be much more willing to help you out, even if you can’t say much.
  36. Even if it’s not your thing, go to a techno European nightclub at least once.
  37. Preferably with new friends you met while traveling!
  38. Take the train to go somewhere at least once.
  39. Busses are almost always the cheapest option, but they take much longer. If you are short on time it might not be worth it.
  40. Bring anti-nausea meds if you are traveling by bus and get carsick.
  41. Oh, and a pharmacy in Europe is called a chemist!
  42. The WiFi on busses rarely works, don’t depend on it and download any shows or podcasts in advance.
  43. If staying in a city for longer than a week and taking public transportation, get a refillable metro/bus card.
  44. Public transportation doesn’t run 24/7. Make sure you know when the metros and busses close so you don’t get stranded at three in the morning.
  45. Use Eurostar snap for cheap train tickets between London, Belgium, and France
  46. Use GoEuro to see the quickest and cheapest way to get from place to place (they compare bus, train, and flight prices).
  47. When traveling around Europe, look at Eurowings for cheap flights.
  48. Bring an empty water bottle to the airport. Fill it up once you are past security so you don’t have to buy water for the plane.
  49. Also, bring your own snacks from the grocery store when traveling. It is way cheaper than buying food at the airport or train station.
  50. Consider combining flights and buses/trains to get to your destination. For example, a flight from Glasgow to Brussels is $170. A flight from Glasgow to Amsterdam is $60 and a train from Amsterdam to Brussels is $40, making the same journey $100.
  51. Getting from the airport to the city center can be pricey unless you can take public transportation like a bus or subway.
  52. If traveling without data, take screenshots of the map directions on your phone before going out for the day.
  53. And make sure you keep your phone in airplane mode so you don’t have a million-dollar phone bill when you get home.
  54. Keep your phone fully charged and travel with a power bank.
  55. Download podcasts and music while you have WiFi if you want to listen to them on the go.
  56. Make a playlist of super happy travel songs to listen to while you walk through a new city for the first time.
  57. Netflix abroad is different than Netflix at home. The content will be adapted for the country you are in.
  58. The CityMapper App is great for learning public transit routes in a new place
  59. If you have an iPhone, you can use iMessage over wifi without having to pay for an international plan.
  60. Use Facetime audio or WhatsApp to call friends and family back home for free.
  61. And actually talk to your friends and family a lot.
  62. Ask around and see if you have any friends or friends-of-friends living in the country you are visiting. They will most likely love to show you around!
  63. Know that if you’re staying in a large hostel dorm, you might not get the best night’s sleep with people coming and going
  64. If staying in a hostel, look for one that offers free tours or other organized activities.
  65. If you’re using hotels.com, you can earn free nights for every ten nights you stay using their website.
  66. Use Airbnb to find a place to stay if you want a full apartment with a kitchen.
  67. Look for volunteer opportunities in exchange for room/board.
  68. Consider house sitting to save money on accommodation.
  69. Look for housing options that include breakfast.
  70. If you happen to stay in a place with a laundry machine, USE IT.
  71. European outlets turn on and off. If your stuff isn’t charging, flip the little switch beside the outlet.
  72. Some European doors automatically lock when they are closed. The key is essentially the doorknob you use to open the door. Don’t get locked out.
  73. If traveling somewhere with snow, bring waterproof boots and wear them on the plane.
  74. Wear fuzzy socks inside those boots to keep your toes warm.
  75. Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane if you’re tight on space in your bag
  76. Bring some comfortable sweats to wear around the house/hostel/hotel.
  77. Get Merino wool staple pieces. They don’t smell and they dry fast. My Merino wool tee shirt is basically all I wore when in Costa Rica and they make long sleeve versions too.
  78. If traveling in winter in Europe, don’t bother bringing a flowy, short dress, the wind will make it unwearable.
  79. The same goes for the maxi dress, it will drag through the water/snow and get soggy and wet.
  80. Basically, expect to wear the same basic outfit pretty much every day.
  81. And no, you really really don’t need two pairs of jeans.
  82. Using packing cubes will make it way easier to pack up quickly and move around
  83. Invest in a good bag/luggage that won’t bust when you cram it into a tiny overhead bin on a budget airline.
  84. Bring chargers for every electronic you pack.
  85. Bring an outlet adaptor so you can actually charge all your stuff.
  86. If you’re a big reader, consider traveling with a kindle so you can have tons of books without the weight.
  87. If you use a kindle, sign up for BookBub. They send you e-book deals and you can get tons of books for pennies.
  88. Pack a reusable bag that folds down really small. You can use it for groceries (as mentioned earlier) or as your “purse” if you buy too much stuff and need a bigger “personal item” on the flight home.
  89. Always look up the visa requirements for the countries you plan to visit before booking anything.
  90. Get travel medical insurance.
  91. Keep a picture of your passport and your entry stamp on your phone in case something happens to the original.
  92. Make sure someone back home knows your location and plans for the day.  
  93. Invest in a good camera.
  94. Take lots of pictures with said camera.
  95. Write. If you don’t want to carry around a journal, you can use an app like Day One on your phone or laptop.
  96. The UK is an hour behind mainland Europe. Pay attention to this if traveling between the two.
  97. Be open to trying food you never considered (aka Haggis???).
  98. Be open to going to cities you never considered.
  99. Occasionally, take a day off from being a traveler and just watch TV in bed.
  100. Then go out and do something awesome!  

If you’re looking for more travel tips, check out 31 Travel Tips from Experienced Travelers by my friend Ben Reeve of The Sabbatical Guide!

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100 things I've learned after 100 days of traveling

About the Author

Hi! I'm Nic. Let's chat about remote work and ways to incorporate more travel into your life. Whether you're here to find an online job or need some tips for planning your next trip, I've got you covered! More about me

2 thoughts on “100 Things I’ve Learned After 100 Days of Traveling”

  1. Wow Nic – there is so much valuable content here…you should write a book! Thanks for all the helpful tips…I would love to achieve the lifestyle you’ve created for yourself and am so grateful that you are willing to share all your “secrets”! Reggie


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