After (or should I say during?) so many years on the road, I have been wondering a few times what makes a traveler a good traveler. There are so many things you learn when traveling and even more things you will never forget.
Together with some great travelers (and my fellow bloggers) out there, I put a list of some things that make you a good traveler in their eyes … or what you should be in order to be a good traveler:
Andy of Grown-up Travel Guide says: An ability to deal with very adverse situations and come away laughing about it. As evidence, my stupidest things post.
Sebastian of Off the Path says: Don’t be a tourist and stay in your hotel/resort. Be open minded and interact with locals!
Theodora of EscapeArtistes adds: An open mind, a positive attitude and a sense of humour.
Audrey of That Backpacker thinks we should: Be willing to try the local cuisine even if it consists of questionable sea creatures. 😉
Lola of Lola’s Travels stated that you should: be openminded when traveling somewhere new!
Steve of Back-Packer advised us: Be curious, don’t be shy and please: learn at least some phrases of the language of the country you are travelling to!
Keith of Velvet Escape after a bad experience with the Russian tourists said: Don’t think you’re the only one on this planet. There just so happens to be a few billion just like you.
Dylan of The Traveling Editor made it simple: Spontaneity. Serendipity. The unexpected delights in a way meticulous planning cannot. Self-deprecate your courage – celebrate your stupidity.
Jessie of Wandering Educators adds just one thing: be kind to locals.
My funny friend Mike of Fevered Mutterings told me that you need: A willingness to be changed. If you travel and bloodymindedly refuse to change, even just a little, to fit the world you meet, you’ve missed the point of travelling.
Johnny of One Step 4ward sums it all up: actually traveling, not following the same beaten SE Asia ‘rite of passage’ route that everyone else takes!
Brian of The Travel Vlogger said: #1 can adapt and go with the flow. #2 laid back #3 tollerant of other cultures regardless of how annoying they may seem. #4 a smile. Oh ya! cleaning your clothes is a good one….smelly travelers are a downer!
Guys of The Family Adventure Project: The spirit of an explorer, the openness of a child, the resilience of a peasant? The resources of the rich would be nice but not sure they make you a better traveler!
Bret of Global Green Travel: Respect local cultures and traditions. Take time to immerse yourself in local music, art and cuisine, and embrace the differences that make it unique.
Billie of Santa Fe Travelers thinks: Be open to new experiences, spend enough time in a place to get to know it, be flexible, have a sense of humor.
Stacey of One Travels Far added just one thing: An ability to see the funny side in almost any situation 🙂
Tawny of Captain and Clark: An open mind, an open heart, and the willingness to make a fool out of yourself.
Bethaney of Flashpacker Family says her best advice is: A good traveller has to have the ability to spend time researching and making plans but be prepared to screw them up and throw them out the window and go where the road takes them.
Lindsay of The Traveller World Guide said that other travelers are good travelers if: they are willing to buy her beer. 😀
Dani of Going Nomadic said: Get away from the tourist areas and loose the guidebooks. When you get your nose out of the book and actually pay attention to the people and places around you, you learn so much more, and end up on much better and unique adventures!
Jeff of Go Travelzing said: Willingness to learn about new cultures and places. Do not expect everything to be like it is at home.
Izy of Without Izy made it simple again: Respecting the people and the environment.
Michael of Go, See, Write made it practical: No, wine. No, beer. Hmmmmm… I’ll go with being decisive as being the most important quality.
Kerwin of Cruise in Altitude: I listen to travelers. And drink the local beer everywhere I go. Also, knowing how to say in the local language goes a long way.
Personally speaking, travel taught me a lof ot things. Why I travel is obvious to me, and to many of us as well. But am I a good traveler? I hope so!
I think that to be a good traveler, you need to adapt, you need to learn from all the experiences on the road, both good and bad. You also should be patient (I am getting there … I mean, am I one day?) and not to take some things too seriously because even when you travel, you do fuck up sometimes! And Yes, there will be always things you will hate about travel too.
I am also sure you should get in touch with locals as much as possible and not to go only to the well-known cities and hike the famous trials. And as well, do not plan everything. The best traveling can be somewhere a local just told you about!
Remember, no travel, no life!
Pack light, buy local and leave all your expectations at home. Smile often and learn some of the basics in the local language; please, thank, sorry, hello and goodbye. Be kind.
@ Colleen Friesen:
Some nice tips, thanks Colleen 🙂
It’s fun to see what fellow travel bloggers think makes a good traveler. Most important, get out and do it and test your comfort zone when needed. Put down that guide book and iPhone and be in the moment. Thanks for including my comment!
I agree with no guide book! I have never read any in my life.
A few thoughts from my travels.
1. Share, share, share. I’ve gotten so much from giving with no expectation of return!
2. Hostels tend to be full of Cliques, reach out to that shy guy or gal in the corner. Help a shy person out of their shell and you’ll be amazed!
3. Don’t complain about your home country. I want to hear the cool parts about your place, not a rant on its politics.
Nice ideas 🙂 I try to talk people who seem not to talk to anyone else and I always find them interesting. I love to share everything, apart from my bed 😀
And you are right about our home country. I always say nice things about Slovakia and the only bad things I add are low salaries and pessimism.
@ Alex: I didn’t mean literally share EVERYTHING. 😉 Maybe it’s just a talent or something like that. For instance, I like to sail so sometimes I’ll rent a boat, take a group from my hostel and teach them how to sail. Stuff like that.
Ok, next time I want to be in your hostel. I love sailing too 😀