We’ve all got a few travel tips up our sleeves – here are some you might not of heard before (and some you might have!).
1. ALWAYS pack far less than you need. You WILL buy what you need.
It’s silly to think you won’t shop. You will see countless things you want to buy, simply because it is different to what you can get at home. As well as that, all the essentials are generally able to be purchased anyway, so stress less ladies!
2. Backpacks with wheels are a traveller’s saviour. Truly.
You can wheel them through an airport. You can backpack up the stairs. Backpacks with wheels are the best of both worlds! Skip the sweaty mess you become running to catch your plain and revel in the ease of making your way up the
steps of the metro.
3. You don’t NEED a sim! Internet is (mostly) incredibly easy to find!
The world is increasingly interconnected. You can get WIFI in malls, at bus stops, in restaurants, hostels and even at some random tourist attractions (Dracula’s Castle anyone??). Use Skype/Viber/Facebook to connect with your loved ones and save yourself a tonne of money at the same time!
4. Pick accommodation that has a buffet breakfast included (and wrought the system by packing your lunch) Ha!
Make that sandwich and love that sandwich, for it represents that extra night in a hostel/entry fee/airport transfer cost.
5. Hostels have private rooms as well as communal. Private rooms in hostels are significantly cheaper than hotels.
If dorm rooms just aren’t your thing, but you still have a budget, consider checking with hostels anyway – most of them offer private rooms for significantly less than the dingiest hotel in town!
6. Have two wallets – one with expired cards (or empty accounts). Keep a bit of money on you in this wallet and if you get mugged hand that one over.
Don’t let a thief ruin your holiday. Have a wallet for use in public that you can give to anyone that threatens you. Get the money you need out and then conceal that card in public. That way if you are robbed, the thief only gets away with your days’ worth of funds, rather than your whole trips’ worth.
7. If you’re stuck out after dark look for a group of relatively safe looking people and make it look like you are with them so it’s not obvious you are alone.
Stick your head down and start channeling your inner ‘sulky friend’ persona. No one would know you’re not actually with your temporary, adopted friends!
8. Screenshot addresses and show whomever you are asking for directions.
This is one of the best timesavers in countries where you don’t speak the language. Then again – sometimes the language barrier is half the fun! As an aside – “Choo Choo” is universally understood to mean ‘Train station’ – tried and tested by yours truly!
9. Break your shoes in BEFORE you leave (learnt this the hard way!) Ouch!
Do you want blisters? Do I really need to ask?
10. Ask taxi drivers how much it is to get to your destination before you commit to paying.
Don’t let them get away with charging you exorbitant fees! Ask them the price before you even get in the car – this is a good tip for home as well!
11. If you feel unsafe, don’t speak unless absolutely necessary so you can avoid making it obvious that you are not a local.
If you don’t feel comfortable where you are, don’t draw any more attention to yourself than is necessary, it will just make you more nervous. Oftentimes we might feel unsafe even when we aren’t in a particularly unsafe situation, but even so, this tip will at least help you to feel a little less noticeable.
12. Mix your trip up – tour, solo, travel with friends – variety is the spice of life!
The best trips are the ones where you have memorable adventures with like-minded people, grow individually as a person, and remove yourself from your comfort zone. The best way to do this is to do a lot of different sorts of travel! Plus, you know, it’s FUN!
13. Take a handbag that doesn’t make you a target. It might be fun to ‘look the part’ and wear your Kathmandu merch, but it certainly attracts more attention.
Yes, there is a certain appeal to looking like a backpacker, but fighting off the approaches of people who identify you as a tourist will get old. Really fast. Especially at the Eiffel Tower where you can’t take three steps without someone asking if you want to buy a keyring. Trust me on that.
14. Take the time to learn how to say the basics in each language locals will be much friendlier and willing to help!
R e s p e c t, find out what it means to me… well, to locals in a foreign land, it means making the effort to speak the language. Even if it is just hello, thankyou and goodbye! (Toilet may also be a good one to consider…)
15. Take snacks with you on walking tours.
Because walking for hours = over-ordering later and wasting your money!
16. After you’re finished taking photos, put your phone/camera away and savour the moment.
Don’t take a snap and move on. Put the camera away. Focus on being present in the moment. Commit that time and place to your memory.
17. Read reviews of activities/hotels/restaurants. They can save you having to endure unpleasant (IE. Bedbugs) experiences.
Get that phone back out now ladies, and use the internet for something useful!
18. Walk everywhere! Discover the whole area, not just the tourist attraction.
There are always a few hidden gems off the beaten track. Plus, if you’re walking everywhere then you can eat ALL the delicious local food. Win-win?
19. Neck pillows are the most amazing invention.
Dorky and comfortable – what could be better?
20. Things won’t go to plan. Embrace it. The best stories are the stories that come from the unexpected moments. Try to remember this when you turn up at your hostel and it is overbooked…
What unusual tips have you picked up while travelling? We would love to hear them!