Traveling is one of life’s greatest gifts. It can be nerve recking, but it is most definitely necessary to learn about the people and the world around you.

Wondering what to expect when traveling? Want to blend in with the locals? Here are a few tips that has worked for me while traveling and that may help you avoid trouble in paradise!

1. Have an Open Mind:

You are traveling to a new and different place from what you use to, so it is normal to be nervous, but be sure to get on that plane with an open mind. Remember to never judge others for living differently than you. It is always good to ask questions to things that you may not understand. Listen to the views of others around you, even if you do not agree. You can learn so much in the process!

2. Travel Comfy:

It is not a fashion show, trust me you will thank me later. Whether you are crossing state borders or traveling internationally passing through security can be a pain, so wear easy to slip-on shoes, minimal jewelry, and comfy bottoms. A sweater or blanket  at hand is always good, because it can get a little cold on that plane ride.

I find that buying the right neck pillow is key to guaranteeing a pleasant ride. Last thing you want is arriving sore, let alone grumpy from the lack of sleep, from the excitement of the night before.

3. Don’t Pack Everything:

Don’t stuff your whole life in that suitcase. Pack what you need, and maybe an extra outfit for a special occasion. You don’t want to risk losing your lucky pair of shoes from over packing. Plus you need to leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs!

4. Read Up On Your Destination:

Going to non-english speaking country? Make sure to brush up on your French! Don’t stress yourself out, trying to learn a whole language overnight. That is impossible! Just familiarize yourself with the simple greetings and how to find the restrooms. Plus, you just scored brownie points with the locals. They love when people try to integrate themselves into their culture.

It is also good to know a little bit about what your vacation spot is about. Emergencies happen even on vacation, so it is good to know where you are located, and let someone know back home just incase anything were to occur. Safety first!

5. Bring Extra Cash:

It is always beneficial to carry a little extra cash on you! Do not carry more than you are willing to lose. You are in an unfamiliar place, and you will stand out to the locals. In a perfect world, I would say put in your back pocket. Unfortunately, some may take advantage of the fact that you are different, so be mindful and be careful.

Most countries will accept card in most places, so if you are more comfortable carrying your plastic, then call you bank and let them know that you’re traveling out of the country. The last thing you want, is making a collect call to the States asking them to grant you permission to use your card.

6. Try New Things:

Don’t stay cooped up in your hotel room! You are on vacation for crying out loud! Act like it! Get to your destination, throw those bags down and go on an adventure, try local foods, and emerge yourself into the new culture. You are already trying out a new place, might as well try some new things along way!

7. DO NOT WAIT:

What are you waiting for? The time is NOW! Are you still using your pets as an excuse to why you can’t travel? Take them with you or leave them with a good friend. Go and see what’s out there! Most people who wait to travel, usually never do. One of the most common regrets in life is people who wished they had traveled more in their lifetime. Don’t be a part of that stat, and hop on the next train or plane! Your adventure awaits!

Having trouble finding the right vacation spot? U.S. News and World Reports shares the world’s top 25 vacation spots!

Please share some of your favorite travel tips. Comment below some of the greatest trips you have been on!