You backpacked around the globe in a footloose and fancy-free manner in your youth, and now you consider yourself to be a savvy traveller loaded up with tech gadgets and a healthy wallet. The rules change once you decide to be a travelling grown-up. The unwashed hair, unkept grotty clothes with holes in them and maybe a whiffy body odour will not endear you to your travelling compatriots. It's time to hold the sacrificial burning of the scabby backpack taped together with duct tape.
Time is probably an issue now that you have shrugged off your backpacking persona and hold down a permanent job. You probably only have a certain number of holidays to indulge your wanderlust; so make the most of them.
- Invest in good luggage with wheels, so that you don't have to walk around bent over with your life precariously clinging to your body.
- You don't have to go all out and stay in plush five-star hotels; there are plenty of two or three-star hotels that won't have you sleeping with bedbugs or in a coffin-like bunk bed. Glamorous hostels will give you your own room, plus the benefits of still being a part of a travelling tribe if plush hotels make you shake in your shoes.
- Replace those stinky and dirty old runners with a decent pair of walking shoes that implies you have a sense of style. Only wear your flip-flops when it's appropriate.
- Packing a bag full of tracksuit pants, shorts and t-shirts will put you in an embarrassing situation when you front up for a table at a decent restaurant. Remember, you don't have to survive on curb-de-cuisine.
- Split those credit/debit cards up and don't carry your worldly wealth around with you. This is a no brainer for any hardened travelling soul, as are many other travel tips.
- Use the safe in your accommodation instead of having a carefree attitude.
- Do take showers and wash your hair more than you did when you travelled in a nomadic trance.
- Eat in decent cafes or restaurants, not just fast food joints where the nutritional value of the food is questionable.
- Do some overseas volunteer work that you have to pay for the privilege of doing, instead of maybe picking oranges and doing dishes for a bed for the night.
- It may be a foreign concept, but when you are on time constraints, it's wise to book ahead, so that you are not arriving without an idea of where you are going to stay. Forget about that couch-surfing habit of your twenties or bedding down on the beach.
- Don't just hang out at a tropical beach in a drunken haze. Head to the big cities and discover a new culture, explore museums or take in an adult pleasure such as wandering around an art gallery.
- A private car can wait until you have the gold Rolex watch, but hitch-hiking should be a thing of the past.
- If you don't have a gaggle of friends to travel with or a significant other, take off in solo mode.
- Take out travel insurance, as shit happens no matter what age you are. Make sure it covers you and your possessions for wherever you are going.
- Do be a tourist nerd and take that city bus tour to familiarize yourself with where you are.
- If you are not sure where you want to go, then book into a lush spa or go to a yoga retreat and get your brain or body back in working order.
- Do invest in a Kindle; sit under a palm tree or look mysterious in the corner of a cafe reading.
- Be adventurous about what you shove in your mouth and try the local cuisine.
- Take a class on something that interests you such as cooking, learning a foreign language, or how to scuba or ski.
- Go to the tourist attractions that you may have to pay an entrance fee for, instead of squirming at the price and walking away.
- Travel to somewhere exotic and amazing that may have been out of your reach financially when you were younger.
- Be responsible and stay in contact with those that love you.
Splurge on yourself and make the moments count, as you may have to wait another whole year for your next adventure.