If you're in an Eastern country, make sure your water bottle is SEALED. Sometimes they'll re-use water bottles to make a little extra money... using regular tap water to fill them!

When travelling by bicycle and train, make sure that your train has a space for bicycles. Generally there will be a bicycle car at the end or beginning of the train. French trains often have a specially marked car on them. Otherwise it may be only a cargo car. Overnight trains often do not have space for your bike, you may have to pay for one sleeper to yourself, as your bike may have to "sleep" on a bed. Oh, and lock your bike up at all times!

Although those "travel" backpacks make great luggage, if you're backpacking it through a country or continent, and may have long distances to carry your load, they WILL get heavy on your back. Even the most efficient of packers will begin to notice the weight. I suggest that you get a quality backpack, like the kind outdoor enthusiasts use. The top-loading style will save you from erupting your zipper from all those souvenirs you'll pick up. To make access easier, pack your things in Ziploc slide'n'seal bags. You may lose a little efficiency, but your things will stay dry and folded/rolled and separate. The Osprey line of packs are my personal favourites.

Make sure that you pack at least one item per weather possibility. It's no fun being cold and shivering when summer nights cool down. Or soaking wet in a Bulgarian rain storm! Personally, if I were to do more long term travel, I'd equip myself with good quality outerwear. Arc'teryx makes some great lightweight gear that can keep you totally warm and dry in any weather.

Keep a little bit of currency for the next country with you when you're in transit between countries. You may need it for that unexpected bus trip, or a transit visa, or even just a bite to eat. Although the Euro has made travel easier in Europe, it also makes you forget that perhaps you'll need a different currency in the next country.

If the spicy food doesn't agree with you, don't alternate between Immodium and Ex-lax. Your body will work itself out, and if you try to keep your system functioning THAT way, you'll just end up with more problems. Trust me, I've seen people try!

Instead of eating at bistros or restaurants as you travel, try to find the outdoor food markets. Or in France, hit the bakeries, pastry shops, cheeseries,and delis. I'm not sure if cheeseries is the right word, but they're fromageries in French. The food at these places will generally be cheaper for you to put a meal together with. And if you gt tired of eating smoked meat, bread, cheese, veggies and fruit, go buy yourself a little fuel stove. You can buy the fuel bases (non-refillable) most anywhere in Europe, and you can cook quickly and easily on them.

Don't forget your clothes at the hostel.

If you like to fly by the seat of your pants, the best way to find out what to see and where to stay in a town is to hit the Tourism centre. They can give you all the tips you need.

Camping can be far cheaper, and you don't have to worry about reservations! Just watch out for those sudden Parisian rain storms that rain THROUGH your fly!

There are bonuses to travelling alone. You can meet up with people along the way, and if they start to drive you nuts, you can part ways. The only thing is making sure that you don't get yourself into dangerous situations.

Always carry a roll of toilet paper with you. Kleenex also makes nice little tissue packs that'll do in a pinch, not as bulky.

Make sure that even if you do want to travel by the seat of your pants, that you research whether or not you'll need a visa for the country first!

Don't make jokes about bombs or terrorists or anything like that in airports. They don't find it funny. At all. Ever.

Try out some of the local cuisine, even if you're not quite sure what it is, what it's made of or what it will taste like! That's part of the whole experience. And most of the time you won't get sick. I make no guarantees to that side, though.

Having a week and half's worth of underwear is handy. You can wear your shorts and shirts several times, but underwear is a no! Packing some kind of mild hand soap to do laundry with in sinks along your travels is handy.

Don't be an Ernst Mantler. For those of you who haven't met Ernst or heard of his blunder, he lost his passport. Not a good thing.

Money belts... Well, I'm of two opinions on these. I highly suggest you keep some cash just in your pockets. If you wear a coat with an inner pocket, keep your main stash in there. Or wear a money belt with your main stash in it, but definitely keep some outside of it.

Make sure that you're changing the right currency. For instance, Latvia and Lithuania have the same named currency, but one is worth ten times the amount of the other. Ten "dollars" may not be ten "dollars", it depends on the country. Australia, Canada and the US have the same named currency, but ten isn't equal in all of them!

Have sandals for wearing in the shower. Plantars warts (verucas) are not pleasant, and they're difficult and painful to rid yourself of.

Many hostels perfer for you to use your own bedding. I wouldn't, if I were you. I have friends who've picked up bedbugs from one hostel and carried them to another by using their sleeping bags. I'd suggest using a hostel sheet. You can make one by sewing a flat sheet together on the bottom and partway up one side. If you like your bedding to be roomy, buy a king or queen sized sheet to make it with. It's easier to wash between places. Myself, I didn't use my own bedding ever, even a hostel sheet. I'd prefer to pay the little bit extra. It's not that hostels are dirty, just that not everyone using a hostel is clean. Some hostels prefer that you do NOT use your own, mainly to stop things like bedbugs.

Hostelling International hostels may appear to be the cheapeast to stay with when you look at the lists provided by Tourist Info centres, but are not listed as HI on the list. When you arrive at the hostel, you'll discover it's a HI hostel, and that if you don't have a membership card, you'll have to pay an additional cost. This can be a mild frustration, as they are usually located away from the other hostels, and by the time you're there, the cost it would be to get yourself back to the other hostel that was only a little more will be just as much as to pay the non-member fee. So you have two options. Suffer the non-member fee, or buy a membership!

Bring a book with you to read on those long train trips. You can usually trade it in at hostels if you're tired of it, or with other travellers once you're done with it.

Buy a travel towel, one of the fast wicking ones. MSR makes them in several sizes, buy the biggest. You can hang it off the outside of your pack, and by the time you reach your train station, your towel will be dry and ready to stuff back inside your pack.

With the new airport laws coming in about liquids and gels, shampoos and all that will HAVE to go in your checked baggage. Who knows at this point if they're going to stop carry-on luggage all together or not! So have your liquids sealed into a Ziploc bag or two. I've seen it oozing all over people's bags, not a pretty sight, and it renders you clean clothesless. Not cool.

Have a few ideas in mind of what you'd like to see when you get to your destination, but leave yourself wide open to possibilities. Who knows when you might get the chance to spelunk in Budapest again, or canyon in Interlaken? Or even just relaxing in the sun and surf. Sometimes relaxation is the best way to appreciate that particular place. Whether you decide to join the crowd around you in sunbathing topless is up to you!

Use your brain. God gave it to you for a reason. If you think something looks dodgy, and your instincts are telling you to get out of there, pay attention.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I'm not suggesting you change yourself to become just like the world around you, but I am suggesting that you respect their culture (particularily dress). Yes, it may be different, but isn't that part of the adventure of world travel?

If you're thinking of making a trip, make it! Don't make up excuses as to why you can't make the trip now, just stuff some clothes in a rucksack, buy that ticket and get your butt to where you want to be!

Have fun! Enjoy yourself! But remember to drop a note now and then to remind your family and friends that you're still alive. And to let them enjoy your travels, too.