20 Helpful Tips For Any Type Of Traveller
No matter what type of travel you’re about to embark on, whether it’s backpacking, camping, travelling on a shoestring budget or a 5 star luxury tour, here are some travel tips that can be used by every single traveller!
1. Learn how to swim – not only is swimming an essential part of life, but it will open up so many activity options for you. Whether you need swimming as part of an emergency situation, or just to participate in the hundreds of different water activities around the world, you will definitely be grateful that you know how.
2. Keep an emergency stash of money – keep some of your money in the hotel safe when you go out. It’s always a good idea to keep some of your money in a safe place just in case something happens. On the off chance you lose your wallet, you don’t want to be left completely cashless for the rest of your trip.
3. Roll your clothes when packing – I always thought this was ridiculous until I started doing it. It absolutely works to create more space in your suitcase or backpack, and makes sure you clothes don’t get too creased!
4. Pack light – even if the airline allows it, you just don’t need 20kg of luggage for a week in a tropical destination. I am definitely not the best at this, I love taking lots of options, but I know I always end up only using half of the things I packed, and I could definitely do with luggage half the size. Really consider every item you’re packing. Do you need high heels if you’re going to Bali? Or three pairs of jeans if you’re only going to Sydney for the weekend? Consider the practicality of every item in your suitcase.
5. Take the time to take your photos – never skip over taking a photo of something that captures your eye, or an emotion in you. The worst feeling is when you come home and you’re looking through your photos for that place that you loved, and then you realise you didn’t take a photo. Of course it’s important to be in the moment and enjoy it while you’re there, but don’t miss out on capturing those beautiful moments and memories into a photo.
6. Be taxi smart – the best two ways to do this is by only using taxi’s with metres to avoid being ripped off by locals who like to hustle tourists, and also do some research into how much the taxi should cost. For example, if you’re taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel check the fastest route, as well as how much an average taxi should cost. You can often find this information on the hotels website. It can also be a good idea to ask how much it will cost to get to your destination before you get into the taxi, that way if they present you with an amount that’s way higher than what you expected you can keep shopping around.
7. Finding the local supermarket will come in so helpful – cheap food as well as local treats. Grocery stores will allow you to stock up on food and in the long run save on both time and money. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience where we’ve wondered around a foreign city and couldn’t find somewhere to eat dinner. Supermarkets can provide snacks throughout the day, as well as that comfort food that you like from home.
8. Keep your travel documents organised – know where they are, where your back up copies are, what travel documents you’re carrying and why. The last thing you want it to be sifting through fifty pages of printed maps when you need your important boarding pass to get on the plane. Be aware of what you’re carrying and where you’ve put it for super easy access.
9. Research the scams of each destination – some places are well known for the way they scam tourists. You can research and learn about these scams online to avoid falling into the trap. One thing I can’t stress enough is never give your passport to anyone as some kind of bond. You really don’t need to ride a jet ski badly enough to hand your passport over to a foreign stranger and risk either a stolen identity, or blackmail and having to exchange cash in return for your most important travel and personal document.
10. Keep a change of clothes and anything super important in your carry on – if your luggage gets lost or delayed you don’t want to be stuck in the same clothes for three days, or without important medication or documentation that might be in your luggage. If you’re luggage goes missing it should feel like a little inconvenience instead of a complete disaster.
11. Check if your destination has clean drinking water – if it doesn’t it is more of an inconvenience than just drinking water out of the tap. It also affect brushing your teeth, ice in your drinks, and accidentally drinking water in the shower (we all do it). If the drinking water isn’t safe in your destination than you need bottled water on hand at all times.
12. Learn how to sleep anywhere – learning how to sleep in many different situations can come in so handy. On planes, trains, buses and coaches, as well as naps during the day time, getting a couple of extra hours sleep can be a lifesaver when you’re travelling. It can give you just the right amount of energy to keep going with activities all afternoon. Learn how you can make this happen for you, even if it’s with the help of ear plugs or eye masks.
13. Eat where the locals eat – have you ever tried Western food overseas? It’s really not very good, and often no one is eating there. The best meals will always be at the local places, that are packed to the brim with happy diners, and focus on local cuisines. If you’re in Japan eat Japanese, if you’re in Thailand eat Thai Food. Not only will it make your experience so much more authentic but it will also taste amazing.
14. Learn about the local laws – you’re not immune from the legal system if you say you didn’t know about it. Some countries have serious laws that tourists can really easily break if they don’t do their research. For example, chewing gum in Singapore or drinking alcohol on the streets of Dubai can result in being arrested. Be aware of different laws in the country you’re travelling to so you don’t offend any of the locals.
15. Always take a packet of face wipes – they can come in super handy to help you feel clean when there are no showers, as well as for freshening up on/after long haul flights.
16. Use public transport as much as possible – it’s cheap, it’s easy and fast, and it gives you more of a local experience. Depending on your destination there are all different types of public transport that you can choose from. Find one that you’re comfortable with or try them all out! Living like a local in a foreign destination is always an extra thrill on holidays!
17. Dress appropriately for the plane – they are cold, and always air-conditioned. If you’re coming from and travelling to a hot/summer destination it could be easy to jump onto the plane in shorts and a singlet, but think about how cold you might get half way into the flight. Always take a jumper or a light blanket for the plane if it’s a long haul flight.
18. Carry tissues everywhere – tissues can come in so handy in so many different situations, especially if you end up in a toilet with no toilet paper! In many Asian countries you have to pay for toilet paper and collect it before you go into the stall. If you forget to do this it’s always helpful to have some spare in your handbag for these kind of emergency situations.
19. Learn how to haggle – it’s unbelievable how handy haggling can be. Many many countries will increase the price in order to haggle down to their actual price. Not haggling will result in being constantly ripped off, and spending a lot more money. Even if you don’t mind the price, why not give it a go? You can often tell when you find their bottom line. But be aware, if you request a price and they agree there is some obligation for you to buy it. Rejecting an item after the seller has agreed to your price can often be very insulting. If you’re not sure you want to buy it, maybe think twice before throwing a price into the mix.
20. Be respectful – be culturally aware of what’s going on around you, how people are behaving, talking and dressing and how they are going about their day. Pay attention to the way people are dressing to see how you should be dress – singlets and shorts might not be acceptable in every country. Being culturally aware also offers you for a more enjoyable and meaningful experience.
What are some of your most valuable travel tips? Share in the comments section below.