Lonely Planet Writer

What Star Wars can teach you about travel

Image by JD Hancock

May the 4th be with you. Today is Star Wars day for many fans, thanks to a clever bit of punning on the series' best-known catchphrase: 'may the force be with you'. See what they did there? So, to celebrate George Lucas' classic films (by which we mean episodes 4, 5 and 6), here are some travel lessons I've learned from Star Wars, as well as some from Lonely Planet's resident sci-fi geeks:

1. How far you are off the beaten path can be measured with the Dagobah Scale (Yoda's planetary retreat). Dagobah is 10, while Tijuana's rating is 0. Come to think of it, on this scale even Uzbekistan would be about a 0.02.

2. Nothing says you're a tourist like flaunting gaudy possessions (such as gold droids). They may also attract the attention of the police. 3. If you're on the run from authority, avoid hotels in the clouds.

4. Some of the best travel companions are profoundly hirsute.

5. You might think that having friends who speak the local language is helpful, but sometimes they can get really annoying.

6. If you travel with a woman expect her to be a princess and/or your sister. Do not enter into a holiday romance until you know which.

7. You can wear white plastic suits in any weather conditions.

8. Some forms of transport may frequently break down, whether they're a Millennium Falcon or a chicken bus, but they give a more authentic experience of the universe.

9. Pay your debts before travelling, or you may end up in a nasty foreign prison. (Lesson submitted by Amy Gray.)

10. When choosing a destination, avoid anything being orbited by menacing foreign military forces.

11. Tusken raiders are not from Italy and do not accept Euros. Likewise, TIE fighters are not from Thailand, and do not kickbox. (Lesson submitted by Andy Murdock.)

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