I decided to streamline my recent spiritual travel blogging to encompass tips from ALL of my trips thus far. This includes domestic trips in the U.S. to current trips overseas. I've always been a great tourist. Here's why and how....
* Knock Yourself Out - I hate flying! I really do. I do however LOVE sleeping! Get your eye mask, antibacterial surgical mask, earplugs, magnesium pill or herbal tea, and knock yourself the F out on the plane. lol If more people did this (babies included), flights would be sooooo much better for everyone! Did you hear something? No? Ok Perfect! ;)
* Quiet - Some of us are both extroverted and introverted. However when it comes to public places aka anywhere that's not your own home, it's important to be respectful of your noise levels. Timing is everything as well. A general rule of thumb is that Quiet Hours are from 10 pm onward. This applies to your children as well. I was always a respectful child of this fact because I grew up during the 80s and 90s. This was the rule for coming home from a friend's house, playing outside, having slumber parties, etc. Kids used to play outside all day back in those days. It can still occur when families go on vacation is all I'm saying. ;)
Headphones were created for a reason as well. ;) We don't all want to hear your music. Oddly the loudest music I've heard playing from a tourist in Jeju was classical music. It's not my favorite genre of music I admit. I was amazed that TWO tourists in two separate parts of the island were playing classical music LOUD. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of what classical music is for? Keep that ish on the low low low low. The situations were handled though. :) I'll make an exception if tourists want to play some ASTRO, A.C.E, or EXO songs at the time of writing this little post. That aint no problem. hehe
* Support the Local Economy - We aren't all rich. It doesn't matter if you're staying at a local hostel (some are really nice in Asian countries) or staying at a resort (some are really nice all over the World). The bottom line is that it's important to support the local economy. Variety is the spice of life. Try and support the Ma and Pa shops to the Big Box stores. Local hipsters often know where the unique attractions and hangouts are.
* Pack Light and Be Resourceful - We aren't all Minimalists. Vacations are a great excuse to try it out though! College students may be the best at packing light due to their resourceful lifestyle. Get yourself a spinner hard-shell carry on and a backpack. My whole life has been in both! Get some handy locks for both as well if you're heading into crowds! I had to pat myself on the back for managing that. Both will come in handy for ease on flights, small "hiking" picnics, and local shopping (food, clothes, and practical souvenirs). Do your research to see what's available before you go as well.
Asian countries have amazed me with their convenience stores. They are all different with different products. They are also included in many hotels. You can easily grab a large or medium size carton of eggs, a chicken or sausage stick, bread and jam, orange juice, etc and have yourself a home cooked breakfast every morning...all from the convenience store! Cooking for yourself can help you feel somewhat in "control" when traveling to new places.
Complimentary teas and coffees can also provide multiple uses. Brew some tea for a light caffeine kick an hour or so after a meal. You can also use the leftover tea as an antioxidant skin cleanser, toner, and/or to exfoliate.
* Recycle - You will go through your share of water bottles, tea bottles, soda bottles, etc. Research the local recycling initiatives OR bag your plastics separately for housekeeping to take care of. I'm still amazed at how many locals and tourists still litter, esp on beautiful islands. :( There needs to be a litter task force that goes around every month to put up signs and/or clean up the countryside.
* Solutions vs. Problems - I'm all about Solutions! Generally speaking it's best to handle matters behind the scenes. I don't have time to protest or make a scene. We all hear stories of bad tourists...and locals. Talk to managers or just leave the situation. I grew up with a lot of Americans that were big on changing hotel rooms, changing hotels, etc without much huff and puff. You can do it in a nice way as well in 2019. Traveling can be trial and error sometimes. You live and learn and move on. ;)
* Off Season - If you're trying to get to know an area, stay for every season. Otherwise stick to the Off Season. Fall is ideally the best season to travel. The kiddos are back in school, many tourists are back at work, and Mother Nature is putting on an Art Show! Your suitcase may require more layered clothes to buy/pack. Luckily convenience stores in many countries have tshirts to camisoles if you're in a quick need for some extra layers.
* Stay Humble - Even though I know I'm a great tourist, I'm always learning from other tourists on what to do and what not to do. Sharing is caring in that regard. Learning a new language and culture from the locals on the ground is much different from online research. You have to be able to adapt to realizing that you're saying a word wrong or assuming something inaccurate.
* Take On New Ideas - I'm big on interior design. It's a big selling point for many tourists. I've been around rich people and in their large homes. Bigger isn't always better! I've seen some great modern features in Asia that are efficient in their use of smaller spaces...
- Wet Baths - The wet baths are literally my favorite! You can clean your bathroom, yourself, and your clothes all at once. haha The tiled floor all goes to one or two drains. You can find them in all types of accommodations.
- Cute Furniture - Asian countries are perfect for little people like myself (5ft). Everything is at our height! Some accommodations literally look like little doll houses with cute fridge/freezer units from Thailand, loveseats, futon floor mattresses, etc. The tiny home trend is confusing to me now. Americans just need to look at some home builds in Asia.
- Hand Towels vs Bath Towels - Hand towels are used in a lot of accommodations vs. large bath towels. It really depends where you stay though. I've been in accommodations that have both. The hand towels have been great though. I never realized how many large towels I've had over the years that were completely unnecessary! Do you realize how much water you can save washing just hand towels? Shorties can save their money and the environment! It's also easier to gather used hand towels together for housekeeping. Some of yall leave hotels a complete mess for no reason. :?
- Shoes off and Slippers on - I've been around American families that had the shoes off in the house rule. I wasn't really surprised with it in Asia. The bathroom slippers that you may find in Japan and Korea are just a matter of sanitation, esp if it's a wet bath. It's a great thing to adapt to. Just provide guests with house slippers at the entrance of your home or apartment. Rubber slippers can easily be cleaned. I've seen the rubber slipper the most. One Japanese hotel had two sets of complimentary disposable thin cloth slippers all wrapped in plastic. I'm wearing the other set right now. They're really comfortable! :)
- Eco Modern Clean Transportation - This really depends on where you are in Asia. Korea and Japan has had some great public and private transportation. You can find every type of eco transporation (electric cars, electric bikes, electric scooters, etc). A lot of the vehicles are a cute size as well. You'll often see a cute poodle (may or may not have clothes on) hanging from a vehicle's window or someone's lap. That literally made my day in Jeju when I saw the first furry child of a tourist. The doggy haircuts alone are enough to make you smile. Any stroll into nature around wildlife will also do the same. Bird life is a guaranteed variety show. :)