9 Habits of Successful Travelers

We were all beginners once, you know? Even the most well traveled person began their journey with a first trip ever. I like to keep that in mind whenever I write my blog posts! But no matter when or where or how long anyone takes their first trip, we all get better at it the same way: by doing it over and over and over again—until it becomes a habit! Since most people’s travels this year have been put on hold due to COVID-19, here are nine non-traveling habits that travelers have. Take a look and let me know which one you want to become a habit for you!

1. They’re Savers

This is a life habit that’s helpful for any occupation, lifestyle, or age. We could all stand to save a little for a rainy day, no matter what our goals are! Travelers tend to think of all purchases in terms of travel. For instance:

  • How many venti Starbucks beverages equal a plane ticket?
  • I could go out to eat tonight, or I could cook at home tonight and go out to eat in Venice next month.
  • I could buy a new car now, or I could keep driving what I have for another year and buy 30 plane tickets!
  • I could buy this new outfit, or I could put that money in my travel savings account and take a trip in a few months!
Skipping a few meals out and making my own coffee at home helped me save enough money for my trip to Cambodia!
Must read: The Ultimate Guide to Saving for Travel

2. They Read

Travelers have a lot of time to read: long flights, waiting to board flights, ferry rides, train rides, road trips, etc. They choose to read because they want to know things. They want to know everything about where they’re going next. They want to read a novel set at an exotic destination. They want to read about people who are from a place they plan to visit. They want to read about other people’s experiences traveling! Whatever interests you, start reading about it!

Historical fiction inspires me to visit new places!
Find all my Travel Reading Lists on my Shop Page!

3. They’re Organized (even just a little)

Here again, this is a life skill! It’s important to be just a little bit organized so you don’t lose things—something that tends to happen when anyone is jet lagged. When I travel, I keep my passport in the same easily-accessible pocket of my bag every time; I keep my phone in the same place so I always know where my boarding pass, flight information, and schedule are when I need them; I keep my TSA-approved carry-on liquids bag in the same place so I can just grab it and take it out for security instead of digging around for it and wasting time!

To get into this habit at home, try keeping your phone in the same charging spot whenever it’s charging. Keep your keys in the same place so you always know where they are when you’re ready to go out the door. Take a few minutes to organize one drawer or one set of clothes (just your shirts, just dresses, just pants, just scarves) and see what organizational methods work for you: by color, by season, by how often your wear those things, etc. Just try a little organization and see what works for you!

We are both organized, travel-loving savers. It’s a match made in travel heaven!
Read next: The Top 10 Travel Hacks

4. They’re Flexible

If you want to travel at the most convenient times, at peak seasons, or to the most popular destinations, you’re going to pay more, and that goes against #1 on this list! But if you’re willing to be a little bit flexible, you could save hundreds—even thousands—of your hard-earned dollars. You read that right! If you just move your flight time by a few hours, move your departure date by a day or two, or are willing to fly into a different city nearby and take a train, you could be richly rewarded and potentially travel more often!

Similarly, if you’re willing to just stay calm and go with the flow on travel days, you’ll be far less stressed if flights get cancelled or your plans have to change. You’ll be happier, you’re enjoy your travels more, and you’ll honestly just be more pleasant to be around! Work on flexibility and you could literally go far!

Our willingness to get up early means we often have beautiful places all to outselves!
More here: 5 Habits of Flexible Travelers

5. They Can Blend In

I don’t mean you need to become someone else, just don’t stick out too much if you can help it. Successful women travelers are willing to wear dresses instead of pants in conservative countries (such as the Middle East or Southeast Asia). Successful male travelers are willing to wear pants instead of shorts in countries where shorts are considered underwear (such as the Middle East and Northern Africa). Bikinis and flip flops are fine in Hawaii, but in Nantucket actual clothes are more appropriate. Just do a little Googling if you’re not sure, and use common sense!

I didn’t have to wear the abaya and hijab when I visited friends in Qatar, but to show respect I wore light, full-coverage clothing instead of sundresses and shorts!
Related: What Men and Women Wear in the Middle East

6. They’re Friendly but Cautious

Travelers are some of the friendliest, most accepting people you’ll ever meet, but typically they don’t want to be classified as “naive” or “trusting.” They’re smart about their drinks at a crowded beach bar. The choose water or fruit juices instead of wine or beer when their gut tells them to be on their guard. They are happy to ask locals for help, but they trust their gut when someone offers them a ride or tries to mis-direct them. It is possibly to be friendly, kind, and helpful without putting yourself in danger. Successful travelers learn where the line is located!

Don’t be afraid to meet people when you travel. You might just marry one of them! Steve and I met in Prague in 2012!
More here: How to Travel Safely

7. They Pack Smart

Notice I purposely didn’t say “They Pack Light!” While I am the world’s biggest advocate for traveling carry-on only and think it’s the smartest way to travel, that’s not always possible or practical in 100% of situations.

Successful travelers pack smart by putting liquids in a sealable bag, even in their checked luggage. They know what can and cannot go in their carry-on luggage. They keep a change of undies in their carry-on luggage. They pack solid toiletries when possible. They pack smart!

This girl knows how to pack light and pack smart!
Get all my best tips and hacks on my Packing Page!

8. They are Teachable

No one gets it right 100% of the time, and no one knows everything, no matter how often they travel. There are plenty of different travel styles, loads of personal preferences, and tons of information that changes quickly! Successful travelers are willing to learn something new, willing to read an article for updated information on their typical travel practices, and willing to listen to others who have been somewhere they haven’t visited themselves yet. They’re teachable!

This cutie has been teaching me more about travel every day for the last 8 years!
More here: Travel Planning Resources

9. They Move Every Day

A body in motion stays in motion; a body at rest stays at rest. Travelers don’t have to be athletes, but they do need to have a healthy body that’s able to support all the things they want to do in their travels! Whether it’s a daily walk around the block, a HIIT class, Zumba, or full-on weight training, travelers want their bodies to be able to carry their luggage and walk famous cobble-stone streets. Travelers keep their bodies ready to take on anything their travels throw at them!

Views like this don’t just happen; travelers have to put in the work!
More here: Travel Health and Wellness

Ready to take on your own travel dreams? Check out my Travel Tips Page for everything you need and more!

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7 responses to “9 Habits of Successful Travelers”

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  3. That cover photo is breathtaking!

    1. Oh, thank you! So sweet of you!

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