5 Skills to Have While Traveling

Having these basic skills can help you become a master traveler.

By Mathew S. Chan
June 08, 2016


Traveling is a great activity, but it is more than just booking a ticket and finding a place to stay. There will be a lot of planning involved, and just like any sport or activity, you need a certain skill set so you can be sure that it turns out well. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, here are a few skills you may want to have at your disposal.

1. Communication Skills
In order to get what you want or to reach your desired destination, you need to be able to communicate properly, be it with the hotel staff or the strangers you encounter along the way. Proper communication skills can come in handy especially when you are in a foreign place with a language barrier. You may not know the words to say, but because you know how to communicate in other ways like using sign language or even drawing on a piece of paper, everything becomes a piece of cake.

2. Navigation Skills
This is particularly important if you are heading to a place for the first time or going on a hike. There won’t always be a guide with you or even signs that can lead the way, so knowing basic navigation skills are essential. You’ll never know when you’ll get lost, and being able to find your way through the stars or wind direction can save your life. Even if there are map apps and GPS on your phone, they can’t always be reliable, so you should arm yourself with the ability to read a traditional map from scratch.

3. First Aid
In one of your travels, you could find yourself injured or encounter someone who is. Knowing basic first aid can save a life—and that could be your own. It’s good to have basic CPR or even getting certified. Be prepared as well by having a first aid kit with you at all times. There won’t always be a hospital or medical practitioner close by, so in case you get stung by a jellyfish or fall into a bush of poison ivy, you’ll know exactly what to do.

4. Self-defense
Let’s face it, the world can be a scary place. Though most places are generally safe, a lot of unexpected things can happen from time to time. Having self-defense skills can save you from getting mugged or harassed. It also allows you to help a friend if they are in trouble. Consider it simply protecting yourself and not really learning to fight so you can hurt someone.

5. Adaptability
The only thing constant in life is change, and there will always be adjustments when you travel. Even if everything appears to be going as planned, you still have to be prepared to quickly adapt to changes. It’s a key skill in self-growth, and the more fine-tuned it is, the more you’ll be prepared, not just for traveling, but for the challenges it may have in store for you.
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