Female Manggaraian dancers at Melo village, near Lubuan Bajo on the island of Flores, Komodo Island National Park in the Republic of Indonesia on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel iain-mallory_indo-1-27

A Smile – The Ultimate Travel App

“Only the very coldest heart fails to melt for a genuine smile”
I recently added a tip to the GotSaga website for a competition they were running. The particular tip was to always pack a smile when travelling, once posted it had me smiling myself so I decided that after a suitable time it would worth posting.

Female Manggaraian dancers at Melo village, near Lubuan Bajo on the island of Flores, Komodo Island National Park in the Republic of Indonesia on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel iain-mallory_indo-1-27

A genuine. beaming smile

Technology is taking over the travel experience in the modern World. Cameras have always been a travel necessity, but today we need laptops, iPads, and smartphones with a multitude of applications all of which not only enhance the travel experience but are often considered essential. We even accessorize our accessories, with all manner of personalised cases and colourful protection for our beloved gadgets.

Learn about my other travel staples here: The Real Essentials of Successful Travellers

I am convinced most of these devices do make travelling easier, but most are expensive, possibly heavy, take up luggage space, and require security awareness or risk losing them. These are the disadvantages of a ‘hi-tech’ travelling life.

A smile however has none of those disadvantages but can ease the journey in a several ways and best of all is free.

The enigmatic smile of a 'Saint', an exiled Zulu princess on the Island of St Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel iain-mallory-helena310

An enigmatic smile

Expediting bureaucracy

Passing through customs or crossing a border often brings us into contact with an over officious public servant and the difficult challenges it can provide. It is surprising how even the most unco-operative of these can become helpful if confronted with a traveller who remains polite, friendly and wears a continual smile.

Smile, it’s the Universal Language

Even the most difficult of language barriers is broken down by a smile, it is a universal language and its meaning is obvious. People are much more likely to persist in attempting to communicate after being greeted with a smile; bringing people together and building friendships.

Travel tips from the military: What the Army taught me about travel

A sincere smile is also very effective in demonstrating our approachability, people are much more likely to say hello and what to spend a little time with somebody who appears happy and pleasant.

A happy, smile from a man in the Sultanate of Oman at the Muscat Festival on Mallory on Travel adventure, photography iain-mallory-307

Happy to smile

Viral qualities

A smile is infectious, helping put others at ease. It is amazing how one person’s smile can spread throughout a whole group of people and lead to laughter.

Smile: Worth a thousand words

It can become a short cut to expressing pleasure. Smiling after a meal, informs the waiter the food was good, checking out of a hotel that the stay was a pleasant one, or just that you are having a good time. A genuine smile will also reinforce any words of praise, emphasising sincerity.

The power of a smile

A smile has a ‘feel good’ factor for all parties involved, both smiler and recipient will walk away feeling better. Not enough people use it enough, sometimes the stress and pressures of the very activity we enjoy, travelling can become overwhelming.

Hopefully a natural smile is possible several times every day, whatever we are doing especially when on the road. Walking around with an inane grin however will probably be mistaken for something inappropriate. Most people will avoid the wearer like the plague, smiling needs to be natural.

Travel style of 007: Travel tips from James Bond

Whatever you may forget to pack on your next trip, don’t fret about it just be glad you can still smile.

“A smile is a gift that is easy to give, coming easily and naturally to those that enjoy life”
St Helena's Participation in Enterprise (SHAPE) on the remote South Atlantic island on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-10 SHAPE

Eyes that smile


Comments 14

  1. Lisa @chickybus

    Cool post! I agree with you re: smiling. It can be powerful, especially in certain situations. And if you know some of the language spoken in a particular country, then it’s even better.

    Being a woman, however, one must sometimes be careful with smiles. In some countries they’re definitely misconstrued as being an invitation to more. In those places, it’s better (for a woman) to have a neutral sort of look, one that’s not exactly a smile but that’s not a frown either. Accompanied by humility and a few words of the language, this can go a long way.

    In many cases, though, a smile is a great ‘travel app.’ And it’s free! 🙂

    1. Post

      Thanks Lisa and I understand what you are saying about women and smiling it is an unfortunate state of affairs, and to be honest probably not just in some of the normal countries we expect. Even in the ‘western’ culture a smile is often accepted as an invitation to a more personal relationship. Thank you for taking the time from your travels to both read and comment.

  2. Don Faust

    We were surprised the first time we traveled to Thailand. Our guide had said it is in their culture to smile and they are know as “the land of smiles”. No wonder – we thought everyone there was so nice and welcoming.

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  3. John Wilson

    A smile and laugh have gotten me through some difficult times with border crossings and police.
    It is also very difficult to be sad or angry when you wear a smile.
    Funny the affects a smile has on the wearer.
    Good post.
    John D. Wilson
    aka – The Big Mozey

    1. Post

      Thanks John, glad you liked it just thought it was time for a little feelgood factor and a smile definitely brings out plenty of that

  4. Sherry

    They say a smile can often easily change an attitude or perception and I totally agree. I think if we all smiled more often, it makes things easier and you become more approachable. And that, I think, is advantageous when traveling around the world, because you want so much to be perceived well by others, especially the locals. So, yeah – smiling is the ultimate travel app 🙂

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  5. lara dunston

    Great post! All terrific tips. I’m a big smiler when I travel too. It never ceases to surprise me how something so small and so easy to give can reap so many great rewards in return. Sometimes the images I remember most from places are people’s smiles.

    1. Post

      Very happy to hear you are a smiler Lara as you say so simple, so easy and yet so many people seem to struggle with it. It is also very true that a broad, beaming smile can be very memorable. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. Cynthia Simpson

    Super post and very true – nobody can resist a smile, and you can give this travel app a dry run in your everyday life, smile at your local shop assistant, the person behind you in the line at the grocery store, the postman etc, see what happens……

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  7. Mariella

    Smiling opens so many doors for ya… Can’t count the times it made it all better for me and the people around me just to give it all a good laugh 🙂 very smart writing here! Thank you!

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