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Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Best Travel Tips

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What is your best travel tip? 

Be kind. Be humble. Be respectful. Be patient. Smile! Get off the beaten path. Push yourself. Scare yourself. Open your mind. And never take a moment for granted. Okay… that’s like, ten tips. Sorry. Bottom line: travel is a privilege that (unfortunately) so many people don’t ever get toreally experience. So above all, be thankful. And be careful out there! – Two for the Road

Never plan out every last minute of your trip, leave room for some adventure, some spontaneity, and let the wind blow you in some unexpected directions. – James Alexander Adams

Learn from the locals. Don’t just go to museums and eat at McDonalds. Travel is about living culture and the locals are the holders of most of what is valuable. Immerse yourself. – Nomadic Frames

Stay as open-minded, positive and un-structured as possible. Your best experiences will come from things you hadn’t planned on doing, on people you may never have met or talked to during the regular course of your life, and allowing adventures to happen, even if you weren’t expecting them to. Over-planning, timidness and negativity will destroy the chances of any of these things happening. – The Expeditioner

Document the things that you do when you travel, keep a diary, a blog, a photo library or video. It might not seem that important at the time, but you’ll regret it afterwards when your memories begin to fade. – Eight Miles from Home

Just do it. But never do anything while travelling you would not do at home. – Gary Bembridge

Be very open-minded and don’t be judgmental or you may miss out on potentially life changing experiences! – Etherium Sky Films

Keep an open mind. Stuff happens and things go wrong, but if you roll with it you’re way more likely to enjoy yourself. Learn about where you’re going. Educate yourself about not just the places you will see, but the culture. Take an interest in the people and lifestyle of where you’ll be traveling and respect it. – Rural Movement

Don’t judge. Take your time, and enjoy. The world is such a beautiful place and we think everyone needs to see how wonderful it is. – Mindful Wanderlust

Tripfilms Exclusive Secret Tip: Go postcard window-shopping. Not for the postcards, but for ideas on what to shoot. Guaranteed you’ll find some beautiful scenes and angles of landmarks you can go investigate for yourself. – Mike Corey

Don’t let fear hold you back. Remember that the good judgement that serves you at home will also keep you safe on the road, and the majority of people in the world want to help you, not hurt you. – Alex in Wanderland

Live each trip as if it were the last one of your life. – Rubén Alonso

Have no expectations, be prepared to change plans and be open to any possibility. – Kristen Sarah

Give yourself time, be an independent traveler. Fast travel isn’t necessarily the best. Slow travel allows you to really get to know a place, its people, gastronomy, and culture. – David Hoffmann

Trust. – Joshua Johnson

Just get out there and start moving…everything will take care of itself. It’s amazing how things always work when you’re on the road. You’ll meet new friends, have unforgettable experiences and be set for a life of fulfilling adventure. – Ryan Van Duzer

Not an uncommon tip, but one that certainly has helped a lot in the past. Learn a few local language phrases. A simple “good morning” or “how are you” in a local language, goes a long way to breaking the barrier. – Travizeo

Get out of your comfort zone. Some of the best experiences I’ve had while traveling involve breaking out of my comfort zone. Whether it was exploring one of the largest underground caving systems in the world outside of Budapest or reaching out to strangers while I waited and making new friends, the best experiences have always resulted from breaking out of my bubble. – John Piazza IV

Be respectful with other cultures, spend time with the locals, read about the place you are going ahead of time so you don’t end up saying or doing something inappropriate for the people there, don’t be afraid of trying new things, dare, be mindful, and come back safe. – Eduardo Gato

Try not to leave for your trip exhausted. I can’t count how many vacations where I’ve spent the first couple of hours decompressing with a nap in the hotel room—fail! – Gloria Powell

Open yourself up to new experiences, and don’t let the comfort of a routine hold you back from any adventure. – Patrick J. McDaniel

Trust your gut and have fun. – Cailin O’Neil

The way I enjoy the most in a trip is when I live the experiences surrounded by nice people. The best memories I have are the people I have met traveling. So the best tip I can give is to enjoy the travel accompanied and if it is possible with local people. – Josep Gutierrez

Don’t listen to your friends + meet locals, they always know best. – Justin Weiler

Talk to the locals. Leave your “holier than thou” attitude home. Smile and be humble. And try to put your camera down once in a while and take in everything around you. – Sarah Zareen

One of our family traditions is to start planning our next trip on the way home from our current trip. We’ll talk about what we liked and didn’t like. We tend to think “outside the box” and have often planned future trips that were amazing. The trip doesn’t ever happen when we first plan and sometimes a smaller weekend-getaway trip will pop up. But overall, we find talking about our next trip chases away the end-of-vacation blues. – Wesley Adventures

Research, and know where your information is coming from. What kind of person, what their motives are. Take things with a grain of salt and in the end, explore a little more than you thought you would. – Andrew Kamphey

Have fun. Prepare for the unexpected. Enjoy those little moments that are less than perfect, they will make for a great story. – Juliana Broste

Be flexible. We are big planners and usually travel ready with a huge list of to-do’s. We will always be advocates for planning ahead, because that way you can return home knowing you made the most of your time in that place. But, we’ve also had great experiences when things didn’t quite go as planned or a new opportunity arose and we took it as opposed to “sticking to the schedule!” So be prepared, but be flexible. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

Always bring more underwear than days you plan to travel. Buy a good power adapter. Have a home. – Bobby Christian

Pack light. Just a couple of changes of clothes. Wash along the way. You’ll thank yourself later if you do and curse yourself (every time you move) if you don’t. – SPESUS

Embrace every moment whether you think it’s good or bad. Ultimately it’s all about the experience of life and opening our minds. Live it! Love it! Capture it! – Gina DeGirolamo

Meet, interact and listen to locals. This is the simple philosophy that I travel by. – Gareth Leonard

Pack light! Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown! – Monique Soltani

Best travel advice? Just go with it. Don’t overthink yourself out of doing something. – Kien Lam

Eat where the locals eat. When you are searching for a place to eat dinner, take a walk in the neighbourhood. Go away from the tourist haunts and look for a restaurant packed with local people. You can almost guarantee the food is fresh, authentic, and affordable. – The Planet D

Take a cruise. There is not a more relaxing way to see several iconic destinations in a single trip. – Jason Leppert

Be yourself everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Be open-minded, approachable and outgoing and honestly treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated and go out into the world considering that this is your one and only life so live it well and see as much as you can. I try, every now and again to step back from the bubble of work and look at the bigger picture and I’m reminded of the good fortune I have to be doing this. This approach enables me to get the most out of each new place I visit. And finally, make sure that a trip to Costa Rica is right up there on your bucket list! – Adam Baker

Go with the flow. – Because We Camp

Drink plenty of water, be open to the unexpected and flexible to change. Go outside your comfort zone in all areas! – Eszter Vajda

Don’t stick to an agenda too much. I always like to go in with somewhat of a plan but I always love taking suggestions from locals or following my instinct to see what I may stumble upon. When I travel, I also find I sometimes try to fit too much in. My mom always tells me to save some things for when I come back and that they will always be there. I am thankful for this advice because it allows me to take in the moment tenfold. – Carri Wilbanks

Smile, laugh and don’t sweat the small stuff. A smile is internationally appreciated and goes a long way when there is a communication barrier. – Travelista Teri

If you have a goal to travel somewhere, make it your priority, no matter what situation you’re in. – Mark Wiens

When it comes to travelling, do it as much as you can. – Mick Hobday

I remember the first time I went to NYC I didn’t even go to Statue of Liberty, Times Square, or the Empire State Building, etc. I was just skating all over the city for 30 days. I guess just pick a place that you can do whatever you dreamed about and be happy doing what you love. – Gustavo Matias

Pack light! Use packing cubes and compression sacks to stay organized. It’s so freeing to be mobile and not weighed down by a bunch of stuff. Bring only what you absolutely need—you can always buy something along the way if you need to. – Wander The Map

NEVER eat at an empty restaurant. It’s empty for a reason. – Lost & Found Travel

Be patient and adaptable. You might have detailed, specific plans, but dealing with curveballs are part of the travel package. Enjoy the quirks when they come. – Armando Costantino

Know what you want to do and see, but don’t stick to any one itinerary. Be fluid and really open to however your trip unfolds. Sometimes, overplanning can kill the whimsical and adventurous nature of travel. I always make a list of things I want to see or do, but I don’t stress about hitting every mark. There have been many times where I change my mind once I’m there, or I find something even MORE amazing than I ever anticipated, and the trip itself changes. It’s actually fun when that happens, you just have to be open to it! – Nathalie Basha

Leave room in your schedule to wander, indulge in local culture and you’re never fully dressed without a smile ☺ – Global Lipstick