10 Principles to Create Awesome Travel Experiences (Every Time!)

I sat down to write a travel manifesto and struggled.

Not struggled for something to say, but struggled with too many things to say. Sometimes too much sage advice can overwhelm and paralyze.

I decided to pare my travel wisdom back to 10 principles. These are the guiding principles that will help you have incredible travel experiences no matter who you travel where, where you travel too, and how much money you have to travel with.

It’s guaranteed happiness and life changing moments.

Our Travel Manifesto

The following 10 principles taken from my manifesto will help you stay on track to overcome challenges and create those memorable travel experiences you are hoping for.

These 10 principles will affect your life positively, both in the moment of travel and for many years after.

Our Travel Manifesto - 10 Principles to Make Your Travels Memorable
Travel Manifesto

10 Principles For Memorable Travel Experiences

We have recorded a video sharing the following principles, if you prefer that format.

1. Open Your Mind

people sitting in the sand

Be open to new cultures and different (sometimes better) ways of being. Your life has the potential to grow in unlimited ways just by being open to learning new things.

If you find something confronting, or you don’t agree with, instead of being judgmental and hurtful simply say, “It’s not better or worse, just different.” Or “Isn’t that interesting? Tell me more.” And then open your mind to understand.

2. Stretch Your Boundaries. Experience Something New. Discover Yourself.

Try something new every day to expand your horizons and get out of your comfort zone.

Head to nature and sleep under the stars; try exotic and strange foods; attend a religious ceremony; throw tomatoes at festivals; teach English in the middle of Borneo; do something that scares you; and talk to strangers.

You’ll soon discover strengths and talents you never knew existed. True growth comes from stretching our boundaries.

3. Interact. Engage. Listen. Embrace.

meeting people on your travels
With friends in Thailand

Our most important discoveries and memorable experiences come from those we meet on the travel road.

Interact with the local people and other travelers. Ask questions to dig deep into cultures and beliefs. Listen attentively. You have two ears and one mouth. Make it your mission to learn as much as you can and engage with those around you. Share your own culture as well.

Help bring the world closer together and show how similar we really all are. You are an ambassador for your home country; represent it in the BEST light. Expand your horizons and embrace those who are completely different to you.

You are an ambassador for your home country; represent it in the BEST light. Expand your horizons and embrace those who are completely different to you.

4. Travel with Awe, Wonder and Gratitude

Misery Ridge Trail, Smith Rock State Park
Misery Ridge Trail, Bend Oregon

The only luck I believe in is the one which determines where you were born. If you are traveling the world, you are privileged. Be grateful for this and use that as a means to wander the world with the eyes of a child.

Look at how beautiful the planet is. See how amazing every thundering waterfall, dancing gazelle, unconquerable mountain, and smiling, toothless market trader really is.

How lucky are you to witness it? Take time to think about how the planet works and what your place in it all is. Use that awe as inspiration to create your best life, which in turn helps to create a better world. It all starts with gratitude and awe.

5. Take Moments and Memories Over Possessions

people running in the desert
Masai Warriors

Possessions wither away and die. Moments shape our character and the memories stay with us forever.

In 20 years’ time, that Gucci handbag will not have made a difference to your life and will be a distant memory. The night you spent in a tent guarded by a Masai warrior while lions roamed outside, however, won’t ever be forgotten.

Experience life instead of experiencing things.

6. Be Present and Passionate

There is no past and future; life only exists now. Be present and experience every moment.

Step away from the computer and the lens and allow your five senses to soak up the world. Get excited and live every moment with passion. Remember how lucky you are–rejoice in that! You planned and saved hard for this adventure, you don’t want to miss it by living in the la la land of your mind or other people’s business. (You know what that stalkbook does?)

Be attentive in your conversations and aware of everything that is happening around you. You want to stay safe on your travels? Being present is the best way to do it. It prepares your body to know what to do.

7. Sloooow it Down

It does not matter how many countries you have travelled to, it matters how deep your footprint was.

Have you really travelled to a place if you raced through and didn’t get the time to appreciate and understand it? The best way to travel is slowly. Stay longer in fewer places. It costs less, you’ll see more, you’ll learn more, you’ll grow more, and you’ll form amazing friendships.

8. Swing in Hammocks at Sunset Often

Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat - Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia
Enjoy the simple things

Enjoy the simple things. It doesn’t always have to be about the Must See sights, the adventure and the bucket lists.

Go for an early morning walk on the beach, have a picnic in the park, attend a yoga retreat, sit on the sidewalk of a café and watch the world go by over a cup of steaming coffee, or my personal favorite, swing in hammocks at sunset. (I pair that with a mojito. And you?)

9. Love That it is Not Like Home

Why go away if you want everything to be like home? You are simply wasting your money and it won’t be long before you find yourself on the next place home.

Sameness is boring. Different cultures, traditions, languages, money, and beliefs makes the world a vibrantly, exciting place. What would there be for us to learn if everything was the same?

LOVE the diversity of the world. Get addicted to it.

10. Give Back and Share What You Have Learned

Using travel for positivity
Walking the Wilmington Riverfront

Give back to the local businesses and communities as you travel. Buy their local products, volunteer, help a stranger on the street. Sit with them in restaurants and homes and chat. Banter and play when you barter.

Travel will teach you so much about the world and yourself. Don’t keep those memories and lessons locked away. Share them to keep them alive and to inspire and help others do the same.

How can you take this travel privilege of yours and use it to make the world a better place? You should now have a much better idea of what that looks like. Do as Gandi said, “Be the change.

TBEX Keynote

I share more about my sharing what you have learned in this keynote speech on the 3 Principles to Creating a life you love.

Our Gift to You

Life is better when you share it, so as a way to say Thank You we are giving you the Travel Manifesto as a gift.

Just click and fill in the form (opens in a new windwo) and you’ll receive it as a gift in our welcome email!

Print it out, put it on your wall, or carry it around in your pocket.

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44 thoughts on “10 Principles to Create Awesome Travel Experiences (Every Time!)”

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience and for giving useful advice. Will try to follow them during the next journey! Wish you new memorable adventures!

  2. I love this! Such a great idea and just reading it makes me so excited for my travels! Love the thought of swinging in hammocks at sunset 🙂

  3. Caz, great reminders. Thank you. As an expat living in Italy numbers 1 & 9 are my daily mantras. We will be home before we know it, so we try to love every moment of difference, even those that make us laugh in puzzlement.

  4. Thank you so much – this holds great value for Robert and me as we prepare for our 18-month adventure… We are leaving North Carolina in mid April to meet new people and share stories all over the USA and Canada. This piece will have a special spot on our 5th wheel (trailer) wall!

  5. This is great advice for anyone setting off on an adventure! I agree with you about slowing down and being present and open to different experiences. Before I’d done a lot of travelling I wanted to race around the world and “do” every country and city on the map, but I now realise that I much prefer exploring smaller areas and fewer places in greater detail… and there’s nowhere I’ve visited yet that I feel like I’ve properly “done” and wouldn’t want to return to some day!

    I love travel planning, and the sense of personal accomplishment and the dream-like moments when plans become real, but many of my most vivid memories (and character building!) travel experiences have been those times when I’ve been wandering around aimlessly and hopelessly lost, or talking to people on the train, or facing the most stressful and ghastly situations.

    Point number one I definitely agree with, but I’ve seen people take it to extremes and become so enamoured by a particular place or culture that they see everything there through rose-tinted glasses and kind of lose their grounding and sense of reality for a while!

  6. I love these principles. Thanks for posting them. Everywhere I visit, I try to put many of these into practice; I don’t often have a specific phrase or name for them. I think stretching your boundaries and challenging yourself to experience something new is very important.

  7. Sorry E-tablet wanted to post before I was ready.

    My partner and my mantra as we leave for holiday is “be kind to each other”
    So often we get caught up in the planning and excitement we forget to consider our travel companions, remember to respect each others wishes and dreams.

  8. I love this post. It so truly sums up what I also believe is the best way to travel. To me, travel is not about racing from one place to the next to tick all of the ‘attractions’ off the list. Travel is about so much more than that! Taking the time to learn about, experience and live in another culture/way of life. Eating the food, and enjoying it because it is so different from home. It is not about just looking at a place and moving on, it is about engaging all the senses, interacting with the people, and embracing the differences compared to what you are used to. Oh, this makes me so excited to head off on my next trip!

  9. An excellent list! Also, make sure you ‘give it time’. I find it takes a while to unwind and slowly but surely you’ll adapt to your new travelling lifestyle. You’ll know when it happens, as you’ll discover that you’re filling your days with interesting and exciting things and start to wonder how on earth you could possibly fit ‘work’ into your schedule! Again, thanks for the list.

  10. Great list! I especially love the poster version of your manifesto. A lot of travelers seem to forget these little things these days. It’s really just a matter of perspective 😉

    Safe travels!

  11. I love this list of travel principles, in particular No. 6. Too many travellers skim over the highlights of a destination and don’t really take the time to immerse themselves in the culture or even dare to get off the beaten track.

  12. Thanks for sharing your memorable experiences for journey. After two or three weeks I and my friends are planning to go some beautiful places in holidays. Your post will help me in traveling. Thanks again for sharing…

  13. i appreciate your work for helping others who are going to travel..and amazing tips …..i am working in travel company…and occasionally visits some places…your ideas will help me in traveling….thanks for sharing..
    Hammersmith Taxi

  14. This is just what I needed to read today Caz! I am traveling with my family in Colombia right now and have found I have been preoccupied with capturing the memories (with a camera, or video or Facebook) instead of enjoying the travel itself. This is the catalyst for my slow down, thanks so much.

  15. I live this. Before I left for china I decided to be yoga-like and set an intention for the trip. I decided to it was to learn to truly grateful for everything that came my way. Its actually helped a lot when I remember to grateful for the things that make me grow and the things that will be hilarious stories down the road… I think I may take your advice and write a manifesto. I love the idea of a hammock and a mojito….

  16. Wow Caz, great post. I think a lot (including myself) forget about these points sometimes. It is great to be reminded. Recently being present and passionate is our lacking area. We have been so busy with our site and other projects that we forget to smell, touch, hear, see, and taste things or places sometimes. We need to be more mindful. After being home in Australia and saving every cent, some people didn’t understand why we weren’t fans of clothes shopping or why we prefer to ride our bike or get public transport than buy a car and pay for gas. There was only a handful of friends that fully understood why we are tight on our money and didn’t want possessions. And the words “tight a##es” were used a lot, but we didn’t care as we had a goal to travel. We are so lucky and privileged that we can travel and definitely the more you travel the more wiser you become in all that you have said above. Thank you for sharing. We settle for a refreshing cold local beer at sunset. 🙂

  17. thank you very much for such a wonderful initiative to inspire your fellow travellers across the globe.It’s amazing to see what you have experienced through your journey and how you are helping others to such a great extent.Look forward to see many more write ups from you and wish you all the very best for the upcoming journeys.

  18. Thanks so much for sharing this, you’ve provided some awesome tips! We shared this on our travel website! Check us out at readyroamer.com!

  19. Thanks for this post! I am currently on an around the world trip.
    I enjoy the people most and learning about their different culture and way of life. Will definitely take your tips to heart!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing, these are such important principles especially since maintaining inspiration for travel is really challenging right now.

  21. This post was truly inspiring. I am bookmarking this post so that I can refer back to it when we are planning our next road trip. Thank you!

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