Lessons Learnt on the Road
Planning ahead prevents stress and arguments with one's travel partner.
Always have a map. Or a compass (that works).
Earplugs are invaluable.
Always read the reviews section in accommodation research. And even then, they can sometimes fail to prepare you for what lies ahead.
Never plan a quiet night in if you are staying in a hostel dorm.
32-bed dorms are never a good idea. Ever.
Be prepared to sleep on any type of pillow (or interpretation of a pillow) possible.
The definition of a 'mattress' is loosely interpreted by some hotels to be a bunch of inner springs with a thin fabric coating (would you like some more mattress with those springs?). You may also find yourself sleeping on plastic sheets.
Lifting your toes off the ground can make a filthy shower feel cleaner.
A Swiss Army Knife corkscrew will always open the bottle of wine, no matter how many pieces the cork breaks into.
The outside windowsill can be a useful refrigerator in colder climates.
Never bring salami into an enclosed environment and try to eat it, e.g. on trains, planes, buses... Unless you want to be known as 'that sausage guy' of course.
Learning how to navigate public transport systems is essential for preserving your legs/feet.
The scale of food portion sizes does vary between continents. When in doubt, choose 'medium' and try not to be surprised at the gargantuan serving that arrives.
An escalation box is essential.
Listen to the locals when they say 'avoid that area, it's pretty dodgy'.
Adaptability to a great number of coffee styles and flavours is critical for maintaining a healthy coffee addiction.