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Travel Tips

When you’re visiting a place where dozens of travelers have walked the same streets before you, it’s easy to think you’ll know what to expect from reading a few blogs and seeing the recommended spots in a guide book. But for every city, even in the most touristic of spots, there are always hidden treasures and secret stories tucked away in plain sight that you might just miss – unless you have someone in the know showing you the way.

I hope to do just that with Salzburg: if you’re planning a trip, here are some inside tips to make visiting the top attractions that extra bit special.

St Peter’s Abbey (and the world’s oldest restaurant)

Known for being one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking area and one of the only ones with a continuous history dating back to its very beginning in 696 (yes, that’s a three-digit birth year), St Peter’s Abbey is often top of visitors’ lists in Salzburg. The green domes of the church are an integral part of Salzburg’s skyline and the graveyard and catacombs surrounding the abbey are the resting places for many famous names, including many of Mozart’s close relatives.

YoorTip: As you stand in front of the church, admiring the view, you might spot some arches to your right. Duck through them and you’ll find the world’s oldest restaurant: St Peter’s Stiftskeller. It’s first referred to on paper in 803 (did we mention it’s old?) and has only ever closed periodically for inconveniences like the Napoleonic Wars. The two oldest dining rooms are actually carved into the enormous stone cliffs that support the Hohensalzburg Castle. Pay a visit for traditional Austrian, with service and entertainment from people in period clothing playing classics from Mozart.

Mirabell Palace (and the dancing dwarf statues in the gardens)

Mirabell Palace is one of the most beautiful sights to see in Salzburg, both inside and out. Built within just six months, the yellow walls and green roof are a sight to see in both summer and winter. The interior has been converted into a museum today and the grounds are free to walk around. The steps at the northern end by the Pegasus fountain (identifiable by the huge horse statue in the middle) are a great spot to recreate a scene from The Sound of Music. Prizes for who can guess which scene before I reveal all at the end of this article.

YoorTip: There are many statues throughout the gardens of Mirabell Palace but some of the quirkiest are within the Zwerglgarten, or the Dwarf Garden. Built in 1715, it’s said that these figures were modeled on real-life dwarves who lived at court with the then Prince Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach. Their stoney counterparts were almost lost to the world when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria had them removed out of a superstitious fear that the mildly creepy statues would come to life and place spells on his pregnant wife. One hundred years later, they were returned and still stand today, dancing and gardening among the trees.

Hellbrunn Castle (and water stories dotting the grounds)

A little way out of the city, on the banks of Hellbrunn River, stands a castle sharing the name of the river. Once a pleasure palace for Salzburg archbishops, now the palace is a calm and peaceful spot to see some stunning architecture amongst the woods and hills of Salzburg’s countryside. Back in the day, plenty of feasts were held during the day, before everyone trickled off home; there are actually no bedrooms in the palace, so it was one-day summer parties only. It’s definitely one way to make sure no guests outstay their welcome.

YoorTip: We have the pleasure days of Hellbrunn Castle to thank for our extra tip here. As a surprise for guests at feasts, Markus Sittikus, archbishop of the city in 1619, had special fountains made that would spray water out suddenly, usually timed for just after dinner had ended. Soaked guests would then be lead through the gardens to admire the various fountains depicting stories from legend. Individual grottos even play music to mimic birdsong. Every now and then, Markus would spray water once again, surprising his guests while he stood in the safe, dry spots that only he knew the location of. A prankster after my own heart – but it’s a wonder he needed the excuse of a lack of bedrooms to encourage people to go home at the end of one of his feasts.

Hohensalzburg Castle (and the entry to hidden tunnels under the city)

You can’t miss Hohensalzburg Castle from its prominent perch atop Salzburg’s highest mountain. The name literally translates to high Salzburg, and whoever named it certainly wasn’t wrong. It’s the largest fully-preserved castle in Central Europe and a definite sight to behold, from afar and from close up. Plus, if you make it to the castle itself, you get fantastic panoramic views of the city down below.

YoorTip: The base of the cliff directly below the castle also reveals a lesser-known secret feature of the city: the Almkanal of Salzburg. This hidden network of underground medieval canals snakes its way throughout the city, just below our feet. The alpine water emerges to sight after a 1300-foot tunnel throughout the cliff on which the castle perches. You’ll know you’ve got the right stream if you see it turning the mill wheel of St Peter’s Abbey, as it has done for hundreds of years.

Now you’ve got some insider tips under your belt, head out and find some favorite spots of your own in Salzburg. If you find any of your own hidden gems, be sure to share them with us in the comments or tag us in your social media snaps. For still more local tips and a guided tour throughout the city, download the YoorToors app on Google Play and the App Store to buy curated tours written just for you by locals. 

And for those waiting for The Sound of Music trivia answer, it is, of course, the final dance sequence of Do Re Mi. Happy dancing!


Travel Tips

Whenever you’re exploring a new city, there’s that desire to do it all. You want to make sure you hit its biggest attractions and see the main features of a city, but you also want to do the things that not everybody does, to find the secrets that not every traveler knows about it.

If you’ve got a trip lined up to Berlin, then this list will make sure you get the best of both worlds. We’ve got the five unmissable highlights the capital has to offer and how to make the most of them, along with five lesser-known spots that are sure to complete your trip. Enjoy!

Berlin’s Top Five Highlights

The Brandenburg Gate

The classic Berlin view, the symbol of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and one of the most spectacular sights in the city. The Brandenburg Gate is truly unmissable, but do your best to go early in the day. The rest of the time, the square is packed with people and you’ll be hard-pressed to get a good photo in front of it without nearly being run down by a rickshaw taxi.

YoorFact: Look up at the chariot statue on top of the Brandenburg Gate. This figure, known as the quadriga, is a likeness of the Goddess of Victory and was taken from the gate by Napoleon after defeating Prussia, as the area was then known. When the Prussians defeated Napoleon, the statue was restored to Berlin. During refurbishments, the quadriga was removed once again – and allegedly put back up at a slightly different angle, so it is now looking down at the French embassy just across the square. A last show of pettiness after centuries of war between the two countries. Take a look for yourself and see where you think the Goddess of Victory is looking.

The TV Tower

Another iconic part of Berlin’s largely flat skyline is the TV Tower. Having lived in Berlin for two years myself, I used to joke about the tower being an easy place to orient yourself in the city, no matter how lost you might feel. Walk until you see the TV Tower, head towards it, and you’ll come out on a major road eventually.

Don’t feel like you need to go up the tower to get the best experience. Views from afar, such as from across the square on Spandauer Strasse, often do the lofty tower more justice.

The East Side Gallery

Berlin is known worldwide for its street art, but the East Side Gallery takes this to a new level. Not only is it the longest stretch of the original Berlin Wall remaining, it also bears the skill and artwork of dozens of urban artists. Many of them have political messages relating to the times of division in Berlin, some even with modern messages relevant for today. Regardless, take your time to walk down this street and take in each work of art. 

Once you’re done, wander around to the other side of the Wall. You’ll find one of the most picturesque stretches of the River Spree in the city, along with a view of my favorite bridge, Oberbaumbruecke.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

More simply known as the Jewish Memorial, these columns of different heights make up a huge and affecting memorial. The designer, Peter Eisenmann, wanted to create something that gave a taste of what the Jews of Europe went through during the Holocaust. As visitors walk further into the memorial, it becomes easier and easier to lose your way. At the very center, with huge, dark columns all around you, isolation, dread, and even panic can set in. 

Although not on overall pleasant experience, it is certainly worthwhile to pay respects to one of the worst genocides that Europe has seen. If you are looking to learn more about the Holocaust, there is also an excellent museum dedicated to the subject below ground underneath the memorial itself.

YoorFact: While building the memorial, the engineer Buro Happold wanted to make sure that no one would be able to graffiti on the columns. In a twist of irony, the chemical they coated the columns with to protect them came from the same basic ingredients as were used to create the poison gas used in the Holocaust’s gas chambers.

Museum Island

If you’re anything like me, your first thought when you think of museums might be, too stuffy, too dusty, not for me. Berlin might just surprise you with its offering, then. The city’s Museum Island is open and filled with grassy courtyards. The paths leading between the different museums are lined with impressive columns, and the island itself, as you might expect, is surrounded by calmly flowing water. Even if you’re not a museum fan, it’s worth heading over to the island purely for its calm atmosphere.

Berlin’s Top Five Hidden Gems

Volkspark Friedrichshain

Berlin has a reputation for its grungy, grey, urban feel – but there are select areas where nature still shines through. Volkspark Friedrichshain is one of the most charming city parks, with frequent mini-festivals in summer At any time of year, the rolling grass makes for a scenic stroll or perfect picnic spot. Grab a few beers from a nearby Späti (off-license) and enjoy the greener side of Berlin.

Street Art Alley

This spot is so hidden that you can’t find it on Google Maps. It’s just off Hackescher Markt; if you follow directions to the Anne Frank Center, you’ll find it – and you’ll immediately be glad you came. Every inch of wall along this narrow but winding alley is covered with stickers, graffiti, and huge murals. It’s constantly changing and adapting, so every time you visit, you’ll find something new. Venture in far enough and you’ll find a tiny outdoor bar at the end to get a drink or a snack to go along with the unique view.

Prenzlauer Berg’s Water Tower

Bang in the middle of one of Berlin’s most aesthetic-looking neighborhoods, Prenzlauer Berg, this red-brick water tower sits perched on the top of a park that spreads across two levels. Follow the winding paths around in circles to reach a flat stretch of grass on the top and you’ll be rewarded with picture-perfect views of pastel buildings. Bonus tip: the area around the park is full of amazing brunch cafes. Once you’ve had your fill of the view, head back down for a fill of the food.

Tempelhofer Feld

When I tell you that next up is an abandoned airport, that’s going to sound scarier than it actually is. The city has converted this old airport into a huge park, even leaving the concrete runways for people to play around with scooters, bikes, and segways on. There are community gardens dotted throughout the park and dedicated spots to have a barbecue, so stock up on some snacks and drinks and enjoy the enormous leisure space.

YoorFact: The airport buildings have more recently been used to house the refugees that Germany opened its borders to in the last few years.


This final recommendation takes you a little way out of the city, so it will be easiest to reach if you have a car, although it does still have bus routes. Teufelsberg (or the Devil’s Mountain) is not actually a natural mountain, but is a huge hill made out of piles of old rubble from West Berlin after World War Two. These man-made hills are quite common across Germany, but this one is extra special because it has an old Nazi college buried underneath as well. Today, you would never think that the grassy mound has such history buried below and would only admire the stunning view of the city as you stand at the top.

Those are some of my top tips on what to do in Berlin, but if you are looking for even more ideas, why not listen to some local voices? Download the YoorToors app on Google Play and the App Store to buy tours written by locals. Explore the most Instagrammable locations in Berlin, or be walked through more of the main highlights step-by-step.


Travel Tips

Offline travel has become something of a trend. We’ve all seen the holier-than-thou blog articles from travel influencers and bloggers who have gone on extended trips with nothing more than a Nokia 3310 for emergencies. They claim to come out the other side enlightened and more mindful from the process, detached from the terrible drain of the mobile device that had ruined their lives beforehand. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to read through the article and think to myself, I should spend less time on my phone. But when it comes to my next trip, the ease and practicality of having a mini-computer tucked in my pocket, ready to assist me in navigation and research, is just too handy to give up on.

Spending less time on screens and more time in the present is, undoubtedly, a good thing, though. So can’t there be an in-between? A way to have all the useful apps and tools that a smartphone offers, without mindlessly scrolling Instagram instead of being present in the place you’re in? I think I’ve found some tips and tools that might set you on just that path.

Make Your Smartphone Smarter

You don’t have to get rid of your smartphone to travel offline. I won’t lie, the apps and features of modern phones are just too good to get rid of, especially on longer trips. I don’t want to stop video chatting with my family and friends when I go away for weeks at a time. I don’t want to use disposable cameras to save my memories. I love the benefits of having a smartphone while traveling – but I do want to cut down on my screen time. Here are some apps and tricks that can help you stay more present without leaving your phone at home.

Don’t Buy A Data Plan

One way to really make sure your scrolls are limited and you use your phone with the essentials is too simply not buy any data abroad. If you can only use internet-based apps when you have a WiFi connection, it means that when you are out and about exploring, you’ll be forced to get your eyes away from your screen. It still gives you the option to stay connected, share your travels, and use your phone as you please when in a WiFi zone, like your hostel or a local internet cafe, but means that your time will be strictly limited.

Of course, you should always make a decision like this with careful thought. If you are going trekking alone and will need data for navigation or in case of emergencies, then this might not be the way forward. Staying offline is great for your mental health; getting lost in a forest somewhere with no way of contacting civilization is not! Make sure you will have a means of communicating with people in case of emergencies if you are going to a location where a WiFi-connected cafe won’t be nearby. WiFi Map is also a great tool for finding WiFi locations nearby, just in case you might need an internet connection while you’re on the move.

Learn The Art Of Wandering

A lot of my exploring time when I’m traveling is my standing on a street corner, looking at my phone, looking back up, starting in a direction, noticing my little blue dot is moving the wrong way, then retreating. It’s embarrassing, makes sure I annoy the locals by getting under their feet, and has meant that I’ve had my phone knocked out of hands by an irritated passerby on countless occasions. I’ve had enough.

I’d encourage you to learn the art of wandering. Even if you have a location in mind, try and head towards it without a map, just by knowing the rough route you need to get there. You can always ask for directions, which also helps you to get to know the locals, and although it might take longer, you might find something exciting along the way.

If you are seriously clueless with directions (aka me), then try looking for an offline city guide map. HereWeGo is a great option for downloadable maps that you can use on the go, without needing an internet connection. That way, you can still have a navigation aid without Instagram notifications and WhatsApp messages popping up constantly.

Have A Local Tour Guide In Your Pocket

No, we’re not advocating ant-sized tour guides. With our app, you can have locals give you unique insight and information about wherever you are. Their tours will take you to hidden gems around cities and discover little-known wonders in the countryside. Even better, you can take them offline and focus just on the tour, with precise directions and easy-to-follow landmarks to make sure you won’t get lost. Download the app today on Google Play or the App Store and reap the benefits of self-guided travel.

Take Everything Important Offline

When you go offline, make sure all your important documents go offline with you. An offline city guide is great, but if you can’t get on your flight or train because you can’t download your ticket on the move, you’ll still be stuck. TripIt is a useful app to make sure everything important is saved and easily accessible, whether your phone is connected to the internet or not.

Change Up Your Habits

We’ve likely all become well-accustomed to traveling heavily online. My memories of travel are heavily influenced by what snaps I shared on my Instagram, what restaurants I found through Google; it all has a connection to what media I was consuming and sharing online. Downloading a few offline city guides and pushing myself to try self-guided travel more won’t do much in the long run unless I also change up my long-standing habits. Here are a few that might help your switch to offline travel easier and longer-lasting.

Experience First, Post After

I went on a three-week trip a while back and got into the habit of sharing snaps to my Instagram Stories the day after it had actually happened. Not only did this mean I didn’t need to be writing captions and thinking up witty travel puns on the move, but it also meant that truly the best parts of my day were shared to my Stories, rather than a mad dash of everything that happened in a very long digital stream of consciousness. 

I was able to really pick the highlights and share them with the hindsight of the full day. Plus, I think my friends and followers were relieved that it made my travel highlights remarkably shorted, so they didn’t have to tap through dozens of exciting selfies.

Dedicated Catch-Up Sessions

I am also a big advocator of setting aside half an hour or so at the end or beginning of the day to catch up with family and friends, instead of texting or calling on and off throughout the day. Of course, you don’t have to stick to this religiously. It does help to keep you off your phone, however, and also means you have some downtime that helps keep travel relaxing and fun. 

Sometimes I think I give myself travel burnout, always rushing from one thing to the next. Taking even 20 minutes to lie on my hostel bunk and let my mum know I’m wearing sunscreen and update my friends on wherever I am at the moment is also a healthy time-out, leaving me refreshed to head back out again afterward.

We hope these tips are helpful – and achievable, rather than waving goodbye to having any sort of online life at all. Have you got any of your own? Drop them down in the comments below! 


Travel Tips

One of YoorToors’ key values as a young travel company is diversity and inclusion. Because we are at the beginning of our journey to revolutionize the travel industry, we see it as our responsibility to play our part in making the world of travel a more diverse and inclusive place for all. With our tour guide app, we hope to make travel accessible and more appealing to a wide range of people.

This responsibility does not just apply to businesses in the world of travel, however. You too can play a role in making sure that marginalized groups and individuals are welcomed and able to engage with travel in the same way that you can. The best part of this? Travel is surely all about meeting new people and exploring different areas of the world. Once we welcome more and more diverse people into our community, this experience is made all the easier and more enriching for all of us. Let’s take a look at what we can all do as individual travelers to bring diversity and inclusion to the travel community.

Aspects to consider when it comes to travel inclusivity

Intersectionality is key here. When we talk about accessibility, that doesn’t just mean wheelchair access – although that is vital too wherever possible. But let’s think about the bigger picture too. 

Native culture of the places you are visiting

If you’re anything like me, once you get to a place that you’ve never been before, the excitement of so many new experiences can be intoxicating. There’s obviously nothing wrong with loving the feeling of exploring a new place, but make sure you act in a way that is respectful to the people already living there. Whether we know it or not, once we enter a country, we are also stepping into the culture and traditions that already exist there. 

Here are some great case studies from the World Travel & Tourism Council that show places of religious significance that are sometimes treated with less than the appropriate level of respect. Religion is just one aspect of this, however. As a general rule, always try to show respect and appreciation of where you are and follow the locals’ lead on how you should behave. If it’s not something that you feel comfortable doing yourself, that could be a sign that this place is not meant for you.

Respecting spaces that are not made for you

Along the same vein, be aware of what your identity might bring to a location. A great example of this is heterosexual travelers entering traditionally queer spaces, like LGBTQ+ nightclubs or other areas. London’s nightclub, Heaven, is the first openly LGBTQ+ nightclub in the capital and so obviously attracts a large number of tourists to its eclectic Monday night raves. They welcome people of all sexualities and identities, so that’s completely fine to attend. 

What’s important to be aware of here, though, is this space is not designed for you. It’s designed as a safe space for queer people and any straight or cisgender presence there shouldn’t endanger that. Make sure your actions do not detract from what a place or culture is there to achieve.

Acknowledging the privilege you have as a traveler

Being able to travel in itself is a huge privilege. Did you know that 190 million Europeans (37% of EU citizens) have never left their home country? And that’s the population of one of the most well-traveled continents!

Whether you travel once a year or live on the road, remember to appreciate the fact that you can explore the wonderful world we live in. Acknowledging this privilege and seeing how it affects the way you can live your life will make it much easier to see how your actions as a traveler might affect those around you, whether that’s other travelers or the locals themselves.

One smart way to make sure you get local tips and insight when visiting a new place is by using YoorToors’ city guide app. Our tours are written by locals with intimate knowledge of the locations we offer. Download it today from Google Play or the App Store.

Actionable tips for inclusive travel

These ideas are all well and good, we hear you say, but what can I actually do with this new inclusive mindset? Here are some decisive actions that you can start doing now to make the world of travel a more inclusive place wherever you go.

Put your money where your mouth is

Travel and tourism contributed roughly 2.9 trillion USD to the global economy in 2019. Yup, you read that right. We are part of a huge amount of money being spent and earned around the world. Shouldn’t we make sure that when we spend our money, it’s going to the right places?

Look for tour and travel companies that hire locally and support local enterprises. Do some research into companies and services to see what locals think about them. For example, Airbnb is really popular and useful in a lot of places, but in certain cities, like Barcelona, is not only unpopular but really damaging to the locals’ housing market. Instead, think about staying in a hostel or finding locally-owned accommodation.

Educate yourself before you fly

Along the same vein, if you’re heading to a place for a particular purpose, then educate yourself on the impact before you go. Voluntourism is a great example of this, especially for Western European and North American travelers. While you may think that you are doing a good deed by paying to go and volunteer in an impoverished destination, you might be doing just the opposite. Local communities often actually suffer after voluntourism teams leave. Whatever your reason for visiting a new place, while you’re researching your hotel and travel options, take a look at the impact you might have on the area.

Think twice

Trust your gut. If you see an activity or hear of a tourist practice that gives you a funky feeling in your stomach, don’t ignore it. Unpack it. Could this be something you should avoid or actively work against? Ignorance is not an excuse, with a world of information at our fingertips at any moment. Remember what every teacher taught us in school: just because someone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should too.

Mix up your feed

This is one of our most fun actions to take. Mix up your Instagram feed! If you have more diverse people and accounts on your ‘gram, you’ll be exposed to a whole range of different ways to travel, places to go, and actions to take. You’ll also see a bunch more fantastic content to get you amped up for your next travel adventure. Seriously, you would not believe the number of talented individuals who are out there paving the way for diverse and inclusive travel.

To get exposed to some new people and accounts, why not follow our Instagram series, #WhyDoWeTravel? Each week, we interview a new person who brings a unique angle or perspective to the world of travel. Have a read of one of our recent features below.

View this post on Instagram

We are excited to welcome @mobilistaeu to our #WhyDoWeTravel features. Timo and Adina's account documents their travels as a couple, as well as Adina's experiences as a wheelchair user traveling the world. Read through their musings on travel in general and be sure to look at the first comment to read the rest of the interview, especially their valuable advice on how the travel industry can be more accessible. ⁣ ⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐲 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥?⁣ ⁣ Traveling is one of our favorite things to do. We are both very curious at heart. We love to discover new places, stories and tastes. We don't travel just for wasting our time at the beach resort.⁣ ⁣ 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞?⁣ ⁣ Every journey left something in our life. Just a few examples: Since our Ireland road trip we celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and we have a small fairy garden in an old flower pot. Thanks to Sicily we make our own Granita during the hot summer days and we go crazy for a good Cannoli. And our Aloe Vera Plant from Curacao cures every insect bite or sunburn. And, more than that: We met so many wonderful people all around the world – just to meet them was worth every step we took.⁣ ⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐛𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭?⁣ ⁣ Due to Corona our travel plans for this year changed dramatically, as you can imagine. We plan to travel within Germany – there are still so many beautiful spots here.⁣ ⁣ After that, we want to visit the Baltic Sea (Helsinki, Riga, Tallinn) and we want to discover the hidden gems of Slovenia. But our travel bucket list is so much longer…!⁣ [See more in the comments] 👇

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Do you think you have a viewpoint that we’ve not covered or that people should hear about? Get in touch with us via Instagram DM – we would love to chat with you further!

Let us know in the comments if you have any tips for making the world of travel a more diverse and inclusive place, or if you have any thoughts on the above!


Travel Tips
Arriving in a new city is simultaneously daunting and exhilarating for any traveler. If you’re like me, then you’ll probably have already spent hours on a day trip planner creating a wishlist of sights to see that would take approximately three times longer than you’re actually there for. But no matter how much you have planned, you’ll likely still spend the first couple of hours in a new place in a state of confusion (or longer, if you have my sense of direction).
You might not speak the language, the train and bus stations always seem to have inexplicably complicated exit routes, and the hostel you thought was nearby is actually on the other side of the city. So what should you do? YoorToors’ efficient checklist for arriving in a new city has you sorted.

Before you get there

Learn some key phrases in the native language. My favorites are ‘Where is ___?’, ‘hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘excuse me’. That is normally enough to at least ingratiate yourself with the locals before having to embarrassingly slip back into English.

Work out an actual route to your accommodation. I don’t pack light, so I will nearly always topple off a train or bus with a bag twice the size of me slung on my back. I immediately want to get to my accommodation to ditch it, so I always have my route planned in advance. I prefer not to have my head buried in a city guide app as soon as I arrive, and it’s also handy for having a realistic journey length. Remember that booking a hostel that looks pretty close to the train station isn’t worth much if the transport links aren’t in your favor. Have your route clear in your head and even write down which mode of transport you’ll need and in which direction. If you have certain accessibility needs, like wheelchair ramps or similar, there is also often information made available online to make your arrival in a new place as smooth as possible.
BONUS TIP: Buy tickets online, especially if you don’t speak the local language. Often, they’re actually cheaper than buying in-person and you can slide past the queues like a breeze.

Have all your travel documents in order. If you’re entering a new country where you’ll need to have a visa checked or go through security, make sure you have everything you need easily to hand. You don’t want to be scrambling as soon as you touch down in a new place.

Establish your phone situation. Do you have free cell service here? Mobile internet? Do you need to buy a new SIM card? These are all questions you should work out before you pull out your phone to search for your route – and realize you’ve got zero connection and your city guide app doesn’t work.

Check the weather for your first day and dress accordingly. I remember being ridiculously excited for my first trip away with a new partner to Athens. It’s Greece, my British brain told me, it’ll be warm. Reader, it was not warm. At least not on the first day. My first outdoor experience in Athens was power-walking towards the nearest building as the wind whipped at my bare legs. It was far less than ideal, so plan for the actual weather, not your dream weather!

Another top tip for making sure you feel prepared once you arrive in a new place is to have a local tour guide contact in your back pocket. Literally. With YoorToors, you can have access to local guides giving you inside tips on their city. Plus, you can view tours offline, so you don’t have to worry about cell connection. Download our city guide app today from Google Play and the App Store and see where you could explore.

Upon arrival

Exchange some cash. The first waypoints that will be signposted are going to be the inviting cashpoints that promise easy withdrawals. Don’t fall for them! Google for a nearby bank or ATM that takes your card; this is something to be sure of before you arrive somewhere, so you can avoid paying any fees. International cards, like Revolut or similar, are also handy in allowing free withdrawals. By leaving the bustle of the station or airport, not only will you likely get a better deal but it’s also an easy task to start off with that will help to orient you slightly.

Let someone know you’ve arrived. If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed easily and especially if you’re traveling alone, touch base with someone back home or someone you’re close with to let them know you’ve arrived. A dash of the familiar can quickly help you feel more comfortable.

Use public transport where possible, rather than be tempted by a cab.
If you can, try to reach your accommodation using public transport and explore the streets around the station or your accommodation on foot. This helps you get the lay of the land much better than stuck in the back of a taxi cab and also means you can identify useful essentials for later, like a supermarket or a cafe.
BONUS TIP: If you do need to take a cab for any reason and it’s tricky to keep peeking out the window, open up a city guide app on your phone. Even if you don’t have an internet connection at the time, you can still use the GPS to orient yourself on the streets. You can also look back at your route when you have internet later and see what you passed and whether there are any handy stops along the way.

Keep your head up. Remember what you came here for! If you’ve done your prep right, you should know roughly what direction you’re heading in and have the essentials, like money and a phone signal, sorted. So look around you, drink it in, and see as much as you can. Happy exploring!

If you want a little reminder while you’re on the road to help you out with this list, then we’ve got the perfect thing. Here’s an easy checklist, perfect size for your phone screen so you can have it saved in your photos or even use it as your lock screen for quick access while you’re on the move.

Have you got any tips of your own? Let us know down in the comments!