6 Travel Rules to Be Broken for a More Enjoyable Adventure

If you did what everyone told you to do when you traveled, you’d never leave the house

You’re ready to go on a mind blowing adventure.

Everyone you’ve told keeps telling you what you should do and most of all… what you shouldn’t do!

You want to have an amazing trip so you listen and try to sort through everyone’s recommendations.

There are a lot of rules for travel. If you follow every one of them, you’ll probably never leave the house.

I’ve spent 32 months of the last 12 years traveling over 5 continents. There are definitely rules that should NOT be broken, however many are optional!

Use these recommendations to pick what suits your travel style and make the most of your adventure!




1. You Should Never Travel Alone


Byron Bay, Australia Photo by Donna Kos

You have already asked everyone remotely interested if they want to go on a vacation. Nobody can get the time off of work or they have commitments that make it impossible.

Go by yourself.

Be prepared though…

Everyone will ask, “Why are you going by yourself?!”

You don’t need their approval.

You’ve made up your mind.

You’re going!

Forge ahead and start planning an epic adventure!


2. You Should Always Pack Everything You Think You Need
Photo by Donna Kos

Pack light!

Do not pack everything your want for every imaginable situation.

Practice the 80/20 rule. You’ll wear 20% of the clothing you bring 80% of the time. Make a concerted effort to leave most of the things you think you’re going to want to bring at home.

Do a practice run.

Pack all the clothes you think you’re going to need.

Now, play “Let’s pretend you’re on vacation”. Visualize how your day starts. What are you going to wear that day? What are you doing that night?

Put these items to the side. Will you wear them a second time? A third time? Can they be easily washed in the sink?

Start  the exercise again the next morning.

Do this for 3 days and you’ll significantly cut down how many clothes you bring.

Pack your essentials in a carryon. If you check a bag and it gets lost you still have the most important things you need. A nice outfit doesn’t need to go in your carryon because you’ll be wearing it. (See #3)

My essentials are:

-1 bikini

-my favorite shorts.

-1 tank top

-my iPad & iPhone

-Charging essentials

-passport, any travel documents, drivers license, credit cards, cash, chapstick, Thyroid medicine, eye drops, face cream, travel toothbrush and toothpaste.

-ham sandwich with mustard and cheese. It can sit a long time without making you sick and can get you by in a pinch.

-empty water bottle you can refill after security

-flip flops

-journal & pen

-ear plugs

If you know you’re going to wear a bikini the whole week, don’t pack 7 pairs of underwear just because you think you’re supposed to.

If you only have one bikini, buy a second one when you get to your beach destination. It’s a great memory of your awesome vacation.


3. You Should Always Wear Something Comfortable When You Fly
Photo by Donna Kos

Do NOT wear your pajamas or sweats!

Wear a nice skirt and high heels when you fly. If you’re a guy, khakis or nice jeans, a button down shirt and nice shoes will do.

I’m not saying wear “cruel” shoes! My short heels are as comfortable as anything I own and look better.

You feel sexier, have a commanding appearance and you might get upgraded. When those high dollar seats are empty the airline personnel look around for someone sharply dressed to fill them.

When I got upgraded to first class for a 10 hour flight it was quite nice!

As mentioned in #2, always have flats or flip flops in your carry on.


4. You Should Never Hitchhike


Elephant Sanctuary, Bangkok Photo by McKinnon

Elephants, planes, trains, scooters, tuk tuks, bicycles and walking, are all great ways to travel.

You haven’t hitchhiked in years. Or maybe you’ve never thrown your thumb out.

Some destinations, such as New York City, aren’t a good place to hitchhike.

But, others lend themselves quite well to this mode of transportation.

If you’re dream destination is a remote island in the South Pacific you may find hitchhiking is the best way to get around.

All sorts of locals throw their thumbs out.

After picking you up, they’re happy to offer their opinions on the best ways to catch a ride. Day time is best and parking lots are the fastest way to get picked up. Nighttime isn’t as good because you’re harder to see!

You meet nice, interesting people who will often go out of their way to drop you off at your destination.

When you’re walking to the Lighthouse in Byron Bay to catch the sunrise you can get there quicker by hitchhiking. It’s a small town and no one else is going up there at that hour, other than people eager to witness the earliest sunrise on the continent of Australia.

It’s helpful to know how many kilometers you’re going in case you don’t share a common language. Holding up 3 fingers and saying “three kilometers” will be understood. Or just the word, “Lighthouse?” Accompanied by a smile.

Consideration for what environment you’re in is key. Weigh your options and do what works for you.


5. You Should Always Plan your Full Itinerary


The day I learned to “skull” a beer in Byron Bay


If you have must see places, put those on your itinerary. Popular ones may sell out plus there might be time slots you prefer. Otherwise, see what the day brings.

Planning a whole trip with a full itinerary is stifling.

Seeing a sight a minute is exhausting.

“I have no idea” is a perfectly acceptable answer to a question regarding your itinerary. Although it may be met with a look of confusion.

This is your time. Some of your best adventures will happen when you least expect it.

Relax and do it your way.


6. You Should Always be Extremely Cautious When You’re Not Staying in a Resort
Victoria St, Melbourne Photo by Donna Kos

Part of the reason you travel is to experience new cultures. You have the best guides right at your finger tips. Tap into this valuable resource.

Venture out and go to small local cafes.

When you sit down for food or drinks strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you.

Do they live in the area?

What restaurants are their favorites?

Do they they have any recommendations for places they think are really awesome?

Questions as simple as these can spark up all kinds of interesting, informative conversations.

They can let you in on spots that aren’t in the guide books.

If you’ve spent a lot of time talking with them, you might even get invited to their place for a home cooked meal with their family.

Go immerse yourself in a true cultural event!



Now, you have some guidlelines to help pave your way to a more enjoyable adventure.

You can plan, or not plan it your way.

Whether it’s laying in a hammock all day with a cocktail in hand or touring at whirlwind pace, it’s your adventure.

Break the rules and make your travels just that…

Your travels!


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