Be prepared for unexpected circumstances and some planned events not working out as you as hoped. Although this can be frustrating and often times less than ideal, keep in mind that these mishaps are not only what will allow you to learn more about how to plan your trip better next time, but will create cherished memories.

Getting annoyed or angry does not help the situation in the slightest. Taking a deep breath, evaluating the situation, and moving forward with a smile on your face is the only way to best address any unfortunate situation.

Rise & shine
Even though this is technically a “vacation,” waking up at the crack of dawn to get the day started is actually the best way to explore a new city, town or country. One huge benefit to waking up early is the simple fact you can avoid any massive crowds or long lines to important sites.

If you happen to enjoy photography, going on site to take photos in the soft or golden light provides a different perspective in the morning when everything comes across as new and fresh to the eye. So grab a cafe solo along with un desayuno tipico and head on over to the watch the sun rise over the mediterranean coast from Park Guell.

People watch
Taking the time to observe and take in what is around you is the best way to create memorable visual images in your mind well after the trip is over. Having breakfast at a cafe full of locals to asking your cab driver where the best places to visit, are both incredible ways to experience this new place with an introspective glance.

Smile & greet others
Before you head out to Kyoto or Athens, be sure to learn a few simple greetings in the local language to make certain interactions such as saying hello, goodbye or thank you. This not only shows the local people you have made an effort to learn a bit of their culture, but it also allows for easier interactions with waiters, hotel staff and cab drivers in your day to day conversations.

Don’t overplan
Give some time in your schedule to explore on your own without a set itinerary, a tour bus waiting waiting for you, or a line around the block to see the spider-like chandeliers of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Scheduling time out of your trip to explore the place you’re visiting is the most ideal way to create some spontaneity and healthy unpredictability during your journey.

Slow down
A huge mistake that many travelers make during their journey is to over schedule or attempt to cram as many countries as they possibly can in a limited timeframe. Spending even more time than anticipated in one place is never something to regret during your travels.

Pack less
Packing lightly is one of the most fundamental tips before traveling abroad from anywhere between one week to a full month. Although you think you need six pairs of shoes and a ton of new clothes to hike the Alps, it is best to actually leave those behind. This also allows for additional space to pick up some souvenirs for loved ones along your international journey.