During the last 30 years I've travelled to many countries, both for leisure and work. Most of my experience is before the Smart Phone / GPS era but anyway, here you have how I'd recommend you to travel:
Hitch-hiking in Brittany, 1993
1. Avoid planning too much your travel and it will become an adventure. Talk to other travellers and local people. They will suggest you the best places so visit.
2. Learn local habits: language, food, traditions, etc. Try to behave as them. Stay in their hotels and eat in their restaurants, not in places for tourists. You will spend less money and have more fun. Learn cultural differences. For fun and to avoid offending people.
3. Share a room when possible. In Youth Hostels (for me YHA is the best hotel chain of the world) you can always do it and you will make new friends.
4. Don't use taxis except for urgencies. On the other hand, hitch-hike and use public transportation.
5. Eat local food, when possible at the street.
6. Spend less money and you will have more fun: take it as a game (try to do more things with less money)
7. Write a diary or a Blog: you will enjoy doing it and maybe one day you can publish it. Your friends will want to follow your footsteps and in the future your kids will read you.
8. Learn some local words: hi, please, thank you, good morning, the numbers, etc. You may end up studying the language in an Academy or travelling with a dictionary like this ones from lonely planet
9. Travel on your own, at least try it once. You will get surprised by the number of people you meet and how easy it is. Never cancel a travel because you don't have someone to travel with.
10. Don't use GPS, except for urgencies. With a map and a compass, or even a lonely planet guide, you will enjoy it more, have more fun and use more your brain. After a while you will be able to move in the city on your own.
|Making friends in Zhongzanlin, 2001|
Read it in Spanish
More recommendations - in Spanish
My friend Ana always complains that I don't recommend a hair dryer in the list of important travelling items. Just for Ana, I recommend this one:
JATA SC371 - Secador de viaje 1.100 w