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Travel Tips, vol.2: During the Trip

If you’re anything like me, it rubs you the wrong way to be called a tourist when you identify more as a traveller.

In " Travel Tips, Vol.1: Before the Trip" we looked at tried and tested tips to get your travel-ready for some of the best moments of your life.

This article, Travel Tips, Vol. 2, provides helpful ways to experience authentic moments during your trip.

Let the magic of travel begin!

As a traveller, I cringe at the thought of being a tourist -glued to a cellphone screen, depending on apps to suggest where to eat, rushing around and missing the charm, being herded like a sheep on large tours, paying way too much for bad quality food and drinking cheap macro beer.

Most importantly, I refuse to be part of the mass-tourism wave, which holds no interest in protecting the beauty & resources and support a viable long-term economy for the local population. Non merci!

When venturing abroad, us travellers, wander the streets with our instincts to guide us, following local tips, soaking up the uniqueness of the place with all our senses - all the while learning to mispronounce a few words in the native language around tasty food & drink.

“To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Anderson

Travellers seek the true experience of a place. We LIVE for incredible fleeting moments which can completely take our breath away. The magic of travelling is in the details, the frame of mind in which we make decisions & key factors that ensure that you are ready for terrific moments to happen to you.

Travel has the potential to cultivate one's character, to open one's mind to possibilities, to connect people in unexpected ways, to boost courage and wisdom and to shape individuals into stellar human beings.


TOP TRAVEL TIPS for authentic travels DURING THE TRIP

The key is to allow yourself to engage your senses in the real-time moments.

Smell. See. Touch. Taste. Hear. Feel.

These, thankfully, can not be replicated digitally.

1. Buy a good road map

woman car road map
  • What could be more iconic and authentic than a traveller with an open paper map on the café table or the hood of the car?

  • This invites spontaneous conversations with those around you, can save you time, energy, plus excellent recommendations.

  • Invest in a large road map, made with good quality paper, including as many details as possible. Don't go cheap here. It's worth every penny.

  • Make sure it includes detailed sections of cities, includes landmarks sites.

  • When getting directions from locals, pull out that map!

  • Don’t be precious about it either; take notes, write on it, circle places, draw routes.

  • As a back-up if you want it, keep your phone around as a back-up only if needed for GPS usage.

  • Go full co-pilot here & embrace this timeless orientation method; you'll be amazed at how much fun you'll have figuring it all out.


hand drawn map notebook

My personal favourite...

When getting directions from someone, instead of listening to the confusing

« Take a left, then a right at the big tree, and then follow around the hill... » and forgetting everything once you've taken off, take 3 minutes to get them to draw a quick map on a napkin or in your notebook!

Not only is it fun, sometimes hilarious, a nice keepsake as well, it is far more effective in getting you to where you want to go next on your adventure.

2. Leave your phone behind

no phone sign
  • Let's be honest, this one is a challenge! So be brave. You can do it!

  • This will come with a healthy dose of initial discomfort. Be kind to your travelling self; acknowledge just how addictive your phone can truthfully be in your life.

  • Look at this as a well-deserved digital break & detox.

  • Fewer screens, more happiness.

  • Allow your brain and body to relax, to enjoy freedom, to tap into your natural rhythm.

  • For pictures? Use your awesome film camera to take pictures. (see vol.1)

  • For orientation? Build confidence using your road map.

  • Social interactions? If you want to post anything online, designate a time and place. Having no phone glued to your hand will also bring a more friendly vibe with your travel companions & all those around you.

  • It's not all-or-nothing situation. Simply, challenge yourself leave your phone behind in you room, or shut it down completely in your bag, as often as possible.

  • You'll find this will get easier, more enjoyable and more liberating every time you do!

  • This tip might be the biggest game-changer.

3. Collect keepsakes

postcard small street europe
  • Cool little unique things such as coasters, tickets from activities or ferries, museum programs, postcards, activity flyers, matchboxes, bookmarks, business cards, menus, stickers, etc.

  • Paper keepsakes are an excellent way to keep the info of the place you enjoyed, would like to remember, or may want to recommend to others.

  • These mementoes are a clever alternatives to pictures & often are beautifully designed, with a uniquely local style and charm.

  • Keep them together in your notebook or bag and cherish these souvenirs for years and decades to come.

4. Buy a soap

olive oil soap greece
  • The sense of smell is a deep, direct link into memory.

  • By the way, that’s why we spend time on our craft beer tours discovering and enjoying the unique aromas of each beer!

  • Upon arrival, buy a local soap with a scent you like. Put it in your suitcase and let the scent permeate automatically each time you open your bags.

  • This scent will become your aromatic trail and will strengthen your memory.

  • After your trip, keep the soap in a drawer or with your other travel keepsakes or use it to bathe. Each time you smell it again, you'll be transported back to that distinct place & time.

5. Send postcards

postcards greece travel blog
  • You will never, ever regret sending a postcard.

  • You've collected mailing addresses before you left (as seen in Vol. 1 article).

  • At the first chance you get to find a post office or even at the airport upon arrival, buy international stamps. Get plenty since they can be hard to come by afterward.

  • You’ll find postcards of different styles and aesthetics at tourist shops, book stores, art galleries, airports, train stations, markets.

  • Do not hesitate to buy multiple cards as you travel around; you can not have too many and might end up keeping some just for yourself as souvenirs.

  • At a café, beach, resto or bar, instead of picking up your phone (tip no.2) write anecdotes to your friends and family as the mood strikes you.

  • This allows you to gather your thoughts and emotions, to share your experiences with your loved ones in a genuine way. It gets the travel juices going like nothing else can!

  • If no words comes to mind, simply write «Greetings from Chania! Love, your Name».

  • A letter, big or small, is a common place between yourself and the reader; a world being shared on paper.

  • I can not emphasize how wonderful and connected the lucky recipients of these postcards will feel.

6. Say yes! Then Show up.

camp fire beach night sky
  • Travel Rule #1: Safety first. Always. Then go with the flow.

  • Accept invitations that spark your interest.

  • Move where the mood strikes you. Join in.

  • Art exhibition? Live music night? Theatre? Film festival? Special night at a bar? Friendly invitation? Spontaneous hike? Bonfire?

  • SAY YES.

  • Then SHOW UP for it.

  • Embrace the unknown, the things that make you buzz & being delighted by life.

  • Resist the urge to cancel or say “whatever, next time”. This IS the time. Carpe Diem!

  • Then... let the magic of travel happen to you.


Make yourself under-plan.

Embrace the traveller part of you; the one who is curious, open for adventure, inspired by the local spirit and perhaps bold to ad lib a little.

That being said, make sure to allow adequate time for rest, time slots where "nothing" is the plan, and especially to over-estimate how tiring getting around from point A to B can be.

Give yourself breathing room.

7. Follow the music

  • One of the best ways to engage your senses all at once is attending live music.

  • Find live music gigs on posters around town, cafes, public boards or ask around.

  • In Greece, if there is a panigiri (summer festival) happening, those are some of the best venues in the country! Wine, food, music, dancing & merry-making.

  • Not only will you hear live music, which strums the strings of our bodies & souls, you'll also discover a cultural part of the land through its songs and instruments.

  • It doesn’t get much more authentic than live music, folks.

8. Invest in small group activities & gastronomy tours

beer food gastronomy crete
  • We mentioned this tip in vol.1: before your trip as well and it bears repeating!

  • Make your entertainment budget count: invest in experiences worthy of your coins.

  • Find eco-friendly tours in small groups exploring the local side & less-travelled paths.

  • Look for keywords such as "craft beer tour", "food tour", "local tour", small group", "hidden gems", "eco-tourism" and “non-touristy”.

  • I especially recommend gastronomy tours; food, beer & drink tours!

  • Speaking from experience on our Craft Beer & Food Tours not only will you meet other international travellers keen on having a great time as well, you’ll also get to taste local delicacies that you might otherwise miss.

  • You are likely to find guides who are passionate and with the TOP recommendations.

9. Soak it up. Moment by moment.

  • Take a few nice deep breaths. Relax. Soak it up, just as it is.

  • Take it all in; the sun, the air, the sounds, the tastes, the aromas, the feeling.

  • Force yourself to just be here. Remember that you have nowhere else to be.

  • It can be useful to set a simple intention for your trip to ground you & focus your travelling self. Travel brings up all types of situations, from stressful to blissful and everything in-between. Your intention will be friendly reminder to stay present.

  • Embrace getting lost. It's all part of the journey.

  • Let go of expectations often & let things unfold, whole and needing no alteration.

  • Trust that even if you don’t remember the details of each moment, that they are part of your adventure, part of a new you.

  • S L O W D O W N.

Don't Be A Tourist; Be A Traveller.

Read the connected article Travel Tips, vol.1: Before the trip here.

These travel tips during trip have transformed the way I travel. I hope they enrich your travels too.

Stay in the loop on our Craft Beer & Travel newsletter here.

See you soon in Crete, Greece with Bonnie and Clyde Urban tours:

non-touristy tours for young-at-heart travellers.

Bon voyage!

- Bonnie

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Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours
Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours
Apr 13, 2023

Love that as a travel motto too! Excellent idea!


Apr 12, 2023

I especially love Tip 6. Say yes! Then Show up. This is one that I will be using as travelling motto !!

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