Time Travel: What Would You Write to Your Younger Self About Travel?

time travel
Photo: Matt Hobbs, Public Domain Archive

If time travel existed, my life would be perfect. I could go back and undo anything stupid I’ve ever done including most of high school, bad choices, and dumb things I’ve said. That’s right — I’m the one without a filter! But if I could go back through time travel and change things, would I also have the ability to improve anything? What if I could tell myself how to be a better traveler? Whether you’re a new traveler or an experienced traveler, we’ve all learned ways to improve our overall travel experience. But what if I could go back in time and tell the inexperienced traveler some of my travel tricks, would I?

If I could time travel, here’s some of the advice I might offer myself:

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new, be it food, a hotel or a destination. While it’s easy to play it safe and go somewhere comfortable, pushing through discomfort and coming out on the other side helps you to grow as a person.
  • Pack lightly: No need to bring your entire closet and every pair of shoes with you. You’ll feel better about being able to move about freely and unencumbered vs. looking like the crazy person with excessive luggage.
  • Don’t go crazy and eat everything all at once! While this definitely may not apply to everyone, it does for me. I have a sensitive stomach and while I enjoy trying new food, too much can leave me feeling sick. Everything in moderation!
  • Monitor your alcohol consumption: Speaking of moderation, no one wants to see you drunk in public so watch how much you consume. You definitely don’t want to land yourself in jail, especially a foreign one.
  • Choose what’s important to you and spend your money on that. If you like to have your morning Starbuck’s, shop for designer clothes, eat at fancy restaurants, or maybe have lots of tech gadgets, then don’t complain when you see someone else traveling often. Decide what’s a priority in your life and pursue that. Then stop second guessing yourself.
  • For long haul flights, pack your own travel blanket and pillow, good headphones, and something to watch, read, or music. Don’t rely on the airlines to provide you with soft blankets (especially for free) so bring your own. Entertainment options might be limited as well.
  • Don’t have random sex with strangers on your travels. Ok, just kidding. I wanted to see if you were paying attention. Now move along… If you are going to, make sure it fulfills your greatest fantasies from adult sites like fulltube.
  • You don’t need to go to the bank and exchange money into the currency where you are traveling to in advance. Lots of new travelers do this, but you can visit the exchange booth at the airport or simply use an ATM machine, save yourself time and skip this step.
  • Research your destination, but leave some room for spontaneity. I used to try to learn every detail about every destination that I was traveling to, but I found that added some unnecessary stress. Sometimes simply walking around, grabbing a coffee, buying some fresh fruit, watching a sunset, or random strangers playing chess in a park is more gratifying than planning out every second of your itinerary. If you do, you leave no room to relax and enjoy your new destination.
  • Sign up for Global Entry or at least TSA Pre-check: Nothing makes me crazier than having to wait to go through a ridiculously long security line at the airport. I love whizzing through the line without opening my bag or having to take my shoes off now. Even better is when I travel internationally and head right to the Global Entry kiosk past dozens and dozens of weary travelers.
  • If you like to take pictures of people while traveling, ask the person or persons you’re photographing for permission to photograph them. Even if you don’t speak the same language, you can gesture out your request instead of making them the subject of your images or video without their permission.
  • Don’t wait to travel and see the world! Life is so short not to enjoy every minute on this amazing planet we live on. Don’t you want to see every nook and cranny that exists? Whether it’s somewhere close by or halfway across the world, get out there and explore.

So what kind of advice might you offer yourself if you could time travel? Did I miss anything?