The 10 Commandments Of Travel
1. Thou shalt make a list of desired trips
When God made airplanes and delivered them to tarmacs around the world we should have responded by making lists. A good list will contain things you want to experience and places you want to go. If an opportunity arises to go to one of these you will have already researched it. And there is something powerful about speaking something into existence, believing it will happen. This one made the 10 commandments of travel because it is essential to know where you want to go in case a chance to go there arises.
2. Thou shalt not travel with wack friends
Let's be honest, sometimes it's not about where you go, but who you go with. You can make it to one of the top destinations on your list and have that experience ruined by a co-worker who wants to argue the whole damn time. Or you can go to a local bar and laugh your behind off all night #ROTFLMBO with good friends and strangers alike. If possible, determine if someone will be a good travel companion BEFORE you go on a trip with them. Here's a simple point system that I use (not really, but I may start) to gauge travel-worthiness in a 1 week observation period:
- +1 point for doing something admirable (being clean, organized, generally pleasant, etc)
- +2 points for handling tough situations well (getting laid off and not flipping out, not cussing out the drunk person at the bar, getting lost and finding their way back home, etc)
- +3 points for displaying great character (paying for your lunch if you forgot your wallet, having your back, warning you about potentially harmful situations, etc)
- -1 point for simple wackness (not calling you back, not waking up on time, not taking personal responsibility, etc)
- -2 for handling tough situations poorly (yelling at a waiter when the food ain't right, freezing up when stressed, etc)
- -3 for displaying bad character (laughing at poor people, cheating on significant other, stealing tips at restaurant, etc)
Observe them for a week, introducing situations here and there. 7+ is good, 3-7 is ok, 0-3 is bad, and under 0... well... unfriend 'em on Facebook too. This one made the 10 commandments of travel because taking trips with people will strengthen or weaken your relationship.
3. Thou shalt amass great sums of points and miles
Sure, finding a great deal on a flight is sexy and you can boast about it on social media; but having enough miles to travel anywhere in the world whenever you want to will always be better. If you don't know about points and miles and want a 1-on-1 lesson to get you on track, contact us. There are tons of different tactics and new opportunities all the time! This one made the 10 commandments of travel because mastering this skill is the beginning of free/cheap world travel.
4. Thou shalt take all PTO and sick days, even when not sick
Black folks... some of us are terrible at taking time OFF. We've learned how to be such an integral part of the system that we forgot how to disconnect from it. Many of us desperately need to do a lil corporate-weaning and escape the 9-5 teat (or even 9-9 for some).
Planning is the first step. You'll be surprised how liberating that little step can be. Stop letting those sick/PTO days rollover, or worse yet, get deleted! This made the 10 commandments of travel because I never want to hear a brotha/sista bragging about working for 10 years without taking off, again.
5. Thou shalt seek experiences not items
There is an infinite amount of space for experiences but a very finite amount for things. Your experiences in life will make you a better and more complete person. Many years from now, laying on your deathbed will you be glad that you bought that rolex, or glad that you traveled the world? No shame if you want to do both but don't let that Rollie keep you from having life changing experiences. This one made the 10 commandments of travel because many of us are caught up on retail therapy but the memories will last much longer than the things.
6. Thou shalt not wait to purchase price mistakes
A price mistake is when an airline or online travel agency prices tickets too low on accident. Maybe they forgot the fees, maybe someone didn't carry the 1, who knows... what I DO know though, is that if the price mistake is for one of the locations on your list from #1, book it now. Don't call anyone, don't put it on Facebook, just book it now, here's why. If this is a price mistake, chances are many people know about it or are about to be introduced to it. If you suffer from analysis-paralysis you will likely miss out on it. I've been to South Africa/UK/Kenya/Spain/Thailand/etc for under $300 roundtrip all because I learned to pull the trigger on price mistakes when they come up. Just book it, then call people to see if they can make it on the trip with you. You're welcome.
7. Thou shalt plan life around trips not vice versa
Book a trip, put it on your calendar and plan life around it. If a hot new restaurant opening comes up during the dates you will be in Egypt... SO WHAT YOU'LL BE IN EGYPT. This one made the 10 commandments of travel because if you don't do it like this you may never be able to "fit in" that vacation.
8. Thou shalt find inspiration on instagram
Even if you're not big on the gram you can still use it as a research tool. Either follow some good pages or simply search through the hashtags, like #blacktravel. A recent find of ours has been the @blackvoyageurs page, they have great photos! But don't stop at only using iG, make sure to hit up tripadvisor, Facebook groups, etc too.
9. Thou shalt master the carry-on game
With a carry-on as your only luggage you typically won't overpack. But also you will save time not having to go to baggage claim, won't have to worry about lost/damaged luggage or items, you will save $ on bag fees and you'll look & feel like a real traveler. My personal carry-on luggage of choice is more like a wear-y-on... a travel backpack, that you wear, get it? You can easily squish a 63L bag or less into that carry-on sizer at the airport and you won't have to worry about someone snagging your bag because it's buckled to you. Also, free leg workout :)
10. Thou shalt stay ready so you ain't got to get ready
Just take your list from #1, non-wack friends from #2, miles from #3, tell your boss in #4, and follow new people in #8 and you are well on your way. So the next time a deal pops up to destination-X you will already know things about the country, what you'd like to do there, etc. Or just plan the trip now using your points and miles. And please keep a valid passport handy! And make sure to App-up with good mobile apps such as:
- Trip Advisor (reviews)
- Lounge Buddy (find lounges worldwide)
- Flight Stats (flight routes/info)
- Seat Guru (identify which seat to pick)
- Mobile Passport (breeze through customs)
- AirBnB (alternative to hotels)
- Tripit (consolidate your trip)
- Award Wallet (mileage bank)
- And many more...