The Traveler’s Ten Commandments

by SharonKurheg

I was perusing the internet the other day, and I found a meme called The Traveler’s Ten Commandments. I really liked it. Take a look:

a list of things to do

The Traveler’s Ten Commandments

1. Thou shalt not expect to find things as thou hast them at home, for verily, thou hast left home to find different things.

2. Thou shalt not take anything too serious for a care-free mind is essential for a care-free holiday.

3. Thou shalt not let “tourists” get upon thy nerves, for thou art paying out good money to enjoy thyself.

4. Remember to take half of the clothes thou thinks thou needs – and twice the money.

5. Know at all times where they passport is, for a person without a passport is like unto a person without a country.

6. Remember that if thou hadst been expected to stay in one place, thou wouldst have been created with roots.

7. Thou shalt not worry, for he that worrieth hath no pleasure – and few things are ever fatal.

8. When in Rome, thou shalt be prepared to do somewhat as the Romans do.

9. Thou shalt not judge the people of a country by the one person who has given thee trouble.

10. Remember that thou art a guest in a foreign lands, and he that treateth his host with respect shall be honored.

It’s listed as Author Unknown. I tried to find out who wrote them, and it MAAAAY be a travel journalist/blogger/tour company owner named Carole, from In an undated post on her blog, she refers to the above as “hers.” So maybe it is (and if so, I hope she doesn’t mind that I posted it here).

I did find some other versions of The Traveler’s Ten Commandments, though. Some are similar and some not so much.

The Ten Commandments of Travel (Taylor Oddino, Wanderlust and Lipstick)

I like this one because each entry is quick and to the point.

1. Thou shalt be flexible
2. Thou shalt be open-minded
3. Thou shalt have a budget
4. Remember to talk to people
5. Honor thy eyes, not thy camera
6. Thou shalt be kind
7. Thou shall be gracious
8. Thou shalt trust your instincts
9. Thou shalt plan ahead
10. Thou shalt leave a place better than you found it

Regarding Travel (Megan and Mike Jerrard, Mapping Megan)

This one has some nice “real life” examples

1. Thou shalt not expect to find all things precisely as they are at home.  Thou has left home to find things different.
2. Thou shalt travel in a spirit of utter humility. The fact that people may think, speak and act differently does not make them inferior.
3. Thou shalt not let thy travel companions get on thy nerves, for thou art paying good money for this experience.
4. Thou shalt not worry about things at home while thou art away, for he or she that worrieth hath little joy.
5. Thou shalt not judge all people of a city or a country by one person with whom thou hast had a problem.
6. Thou shalt remember that endless waiting lines, delays, cancellations and bad food are a part of traveling, and thou shalt smile and not complain.
7. Thou shalt not expect or demand that everyone speak English.
8. Thou shalt carry thy passport on thy person only when necessary, for it is a valuable document and prime target for thieves. When in possession of said document, it shalt be hidden under thy clothing; it shalt not be carried in purse, pocket or backpack.
9. Thou shalt not litter or in any way spoil the places thou shalt visit. Take away only thy memories; leave behind only thy smile.
10. Thou shalt not make promises to the people you meet unless thou can follow through.

The 10 Commandments of Travel (Marisa Martin, The Traveling Storygirl)

Another set of traveler’s commandments that has nods to “real life”

1. Thou Shalt Not Underestimate Street Food
2. Thou Shalt Make Copies of Documents
3. Thou Shalt Use Public Transportation
4. Thou Shalt Learn a Few Local Phrases
5. Thou Shalt Respect the Local Culture
6. Thou Shalt Always Have a First Aid Kit
7. Thou Shalt Not Let Other Travelers Get on Your Nerves
8. Take Half the Clothes as Thou Thinkest and Twice the Money
9. Thou Shalt Not Judge Other Travelers for Traveling Differently Than Thineself
10. Thou Shalt Continue to Learn and Experience

The 10 Commandments of travel (John Frenaye, NBC News)

Posted in 2007, he started with 10, but wound up making it 12, thanks to the members of the Tripso Forums (which appear to be gone). I think it’s my favorite one, so I saved the best for last.

1. Thou shalt promise to be a smart traveler and shalt not succumb to the temptation of phony “last-minute travel deals.” Neither shalt thou fall for the “become-a-travel-agent-and-travel-for-free” deal. Remember, also, that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is. (mtp51)

2. Thou shalt promise to ignore all those seemingly friendly people in Cancun who want to give you a “free ride” to your hotel. (DCTravelAgent)

3. Thou shalt promise to understand (and look up in the dictionary, if necessary) the meaning of “nonrefundable” as it pertains to your travel bookings. (DCTravelAgent)

4. Thou shalt promise to remember that your safety is not the responsibility of the cruise line, the FBI, the Aruban government or even your flight attendant, James Wysong. Your safety may be his priority, but it is your responsibility.

5. Thou shalt understand that the people in the brochure are not going to be vacationing with you. Corollary: If ye seek beachgoers in thongs, ye will likely find overweight, hirsute seniors in thongs — and they will be equally proportioned between genders.

6. Thou shalt understand that weather happens and that yelling at your travel agent, front desk clerk or the bus driver will not change it. If a climate-controlled vacation is what you want, stay in your living room. (wrp96)

7. Thou shalt not complain about Mexicans speaking Spanish in Mexico, Italians speaking Italian in Italy, or Japanese speaking Japanese in Japan. Thou shalt further promise to learn a few phrases in the local language yourself so as not to come off looking like an ignorant American.

8. Thou shalt exchange your currency for the local currency and use it. Aside from much of the Caribbean and some places in Mexico, most of the world does not want U.S. money — it really isn’t worth that much! (Kairho)

9. Thou shalt promise to be polite to all travel workers you encounter, including hotel staff, airline staff and cruise staff. (msnovtue)

10. Thou shalt promise to keep your papers in order. Passports need to be acquired before you leave. Confirmations and vouchers should be kept handy and not packed in your suitcase. (Priscilla)

11. Thou shalt remember that when something does go wrong, you should complain about it immediately — not after stewing about it for weeks after you get home.

12. Thou shalt control thine offspring. Traveling with your kids is a lot of fun, but please, try to keep them in check.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


madian November 4, 2022 - 4:13 am

Thou shall not engage in business with third party booking sites.

geminigirl789 November 4, 2022 - 3:15 pm

OMG this x 1000.
Also, no backwards baseball caps or stupid slogan t-shirts. And shouting slowly at someone who doesn’t understand English isn’t going to miraculously change that.


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