The general message of this section is “don’t be a dumbass!” That’s all you really need to know about traveling. As long as you exercise a little common sense and do a little research, you will have a relatively easy time with the logistics of your trip, so you can concentrate your efforts on scooping some of the local booty. And after all, that’s what you want to be spending your time doing anyway— not finding your way around, running from hostel to hostel looking for a place to sleep or running all over town trying to change currency.
1) Never go anywhere unprepared. That means read through all of those travel brochures and books beforehand, so that you aren’t totally clueless when you arrive. It is the clueless who tend to get ripped off by those who make a living preying on the vulnerable traveler. The first stop when you arrive in any country should be the tourist office for a good map and the phone booth to call and reserve a room somewhere not too far from where the action is. Know the layout of the city and make up a game plan beforehand, but be a little flexible. Beautiful women have a way of ruining a carefully planned itinerary.
2)Be on time. If you don’t, you’ll be getting on the wrong trains, unnecessarily blowing a lot of money, winding up with no place to sleep, getting mugged because you missed the last bus and had to walk through the wrong side of town, or whatever.
3)Don’t carry around stuff you don’t need. Yes, you need soap, deodorant, razor blades, a comb and that nice set of clothes, so don’t even think about ditching that stuff. Just be smart when you pack.
4)As far as identification goes– definitely get an International Student ID or the International Youth Travel ID from the CEEE, if you qualify. You do if you are a student or under 26 years of age. It’s good for discounts, but more importantly, medical insurance while overseas. It’s a great deal for some peace of mind.
5)When asking a local where to go out, find a PB like yourself to give you some advice. Tell him that you don’t care about the music— for some reason everyone asks about this, although I could give a damn what kind of music is playing as long as there are beautiful women in the bar or club.
6)If you are traveling to Europe by train, make sure to validate your Eurorail pass before you get on. Remember that in Spain, you have to make a reservation to get on any train, even if you have a Eurorail pass. I would generally always make a reservation on any overnight train when traveling in Europe— especially in the summer time when everybody is there, or in the spring when there are tons of festivals and all the Europeans are out and about. If you don’t, you may wind up spending the night in the aisle of the train getting stepped on by conductors and anyone who needs to go to the bathroom, which is just about everybody.
7)If you are in doubt about something, ask someone. It never ever hurts to ask.