5 Tips: Be a Better Traveler

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Ditch The Attitude  (You got a problem with that?)

We all know the type – defensive, argumentative, thinks everybody is out to get them.  The kind of person who can never settle down and enjoy a trip because they’re too busy acting like an ass.
Come on man, breathe.
While a healthy dose of common sense regarding theft, petty scams, and being overcharged for a cab ride is never a bad idea, I can assure you, everyone is NOT out to get you.
I have found that most locals are remarkably generous with their time and almost always eager to help a traveler in need.
That definitely will not be the case, though, if you com across as an arrogant tool.
And if you do get scammed?
Chalk it up to experience and move on.
Choosing the proper outlook as you travel the globe will make the difference between being a good traveler and representative of your own country and, well, just being a tool.

Lighten Up
Who are you, the Queen of England?
You don’t need to haul around enough luggage to fill up a stateroom on the QE2.
Packing light will result in a smoother, more enjoyable  trip for you and your companion(s).  Most people say they want to carry less but, at least from what I can tell, few ever really do.
The next time you hit the road do yourself a favor, lighten up.

Brush Up
You’ve heard this one a million times, but it’s true.
Learning just a few words of a foreign language can make a huge difference in how people perceive you.  Even if you only master how to say hello and goodbye in Japanese you’ll be ahead of the curve (assuming, of course, that you’re in Japan at the time).

Use The Internet
Why have so many travel companies gone out of business?
Because now, with a little effort, you can do everything you used to pay them to do, and more.  If you haven’t already, take a little time and familiarize yourself with booking sites like Orbitz, Travelocity, and Kayak.  Also check out Trip Advisor for hotel reviews and Via Michelin for help with driving.
The list of helpful sites is endless.  You’ll have fun and save money too.

Read Up
I don’t know about you, but I think part of the fun of traveling somewhere new is learning a little bit about the place.  A good place to start is at
http://www.state.gov,  the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Read up on everything from a country’s current political situation to its Per Capita GDP.
You’ll be glad you did.

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