My Top 20 Travel Tips

travel-tips

This holiday satisfies a couple of firsts for me – the first extended holiday I’ve ever had and the first time I’ve ever travelled solo. To bring some of my anxiety in check, I did a bit of research on experienced traveller’s tips. These include tips that I find helpful for my particular situation and some that I thought might be helpful to others.

  1. This one is for the girls: When travelling in locations where safety might be an issue, add pockets to your bras. This can be done on a normal bra by adding a small piece of fabric or if your bra has removable padding, you can take the insets out and add a couple of stitches. You can put a bit of cash in here, or hotel keys etc.
  2. Be prepared: Do your research! There is nothing more liberating than going on a whirlwind holiday last minute, but to make sure you make the most of your trip research travel guides, read travel diaries (I’ve found travelblog.org really informative and most importantly – ask people that have been there! They can tell you special places they found that aren’t listed in guides, what to expect, how much you will pay and more. Even if you don’t know the person well once you start talking about the travels it will be hard to get them to stop! I have already picked up so many pieces of information for my travels from people I hadn’t talked to before. It is even a good way to strike up conversation with strangers whilst there.
  3. Make sure you have a couple of ways to access cash in case something happens and your credit card is lost/ stolen. I’m thinking of taking a travel card, cash and a credit card and never taking all three out with me at the same time. You don’t need a lot of cash – ATMs are everywhere.
  4. While we are on the subject – take copies of EVERYTHING and keep all your information all together. If you are anything like me, you will lose and forget stuff (constantly). I’m taking a diary with me and writing all necessary information on each day, such as flight information on the day of departure. I’ll also have all my itineraries and booking confirmations kept all together in the diary. If you are a bit more technologically literate than I am, use your phone to store everything – this will also save space in your luggage.
  5. If you are travelling alone like me and want to socialise, keep an open mind – easier said than done I know, talking to strangers is a big fear for a lot of people. If you fancy a drink go to the bars earlier rather than later as it will be easier to talk and get to know people (although everyone is friendlier after they have had a few!). Also utilise hotel and backpacker bars, there will always be people in the same situation as you. 
  6. To save money, time, and space buy an international adaptor rather than having to pick one up in every country. Mine cost me $19 (AUD) on a sale website recently. You might also want to consider taking a four-plug power board if you have multiple items requiring charging.
  7. Don’t plan everything. I always want to do this but if you don’t it means you are more flexible to do something you are recommended whilst there or join a group of people you have met along the way.
  8. Walk as much as possible! You will find little corners that you wouldn’t have found otherwise and get a feel for how the locals live and what this place is all about. It will add to the authenticity of your holiday.
  9. Don’t pack something you have never worn at home – if you don’t wear it there, you will definitely not wear it on your trip!
  10. If you are travelling alone, be careful of who you ask to take your photos – so many cameras are stolen this way. I suggest getting used to selfies. Practice them at home – you might not think selfies are acceptable when scrolling through your Facebook, but if you don’t have photo evidence of you on holidays you will most certainly regret it later.
  11. Try to fit in to the local culture so as not to draw attention to yourself, but don’t be afraid to be a tourist – take LOTS of photos (you can delete some later), ask loads of questions and ask for a coffee terribly in another language.
  12. Without a doubt you will forget something when packing – don’t worry, there will be somewhere you can buy it later (and probably cheaper!)
  13. Pack too much underwear – you might not get to do a wash that often and although you can reuse clothing, it’s a different story with underwear. They don’t take up much space either (stick them in your shoes!)
  14. Buy a Mircrofibre towel – they are cheap, light and dry quickly. Nothing worse than a heavy, wet and smelly towel!  
  15. Always ask for an emergency exit seat on a plane – if you get there early enough often they are free (monetarily and physically). On a long flight this makes the world of difference. Don’t be afraid to ask for your preference in seat though. I generally go with an aisle seat so I can come and go as I please, but then you have to get up for other people which is annoying, especially when you are trying to sleep. It’s a tough one!
  16. Budget hotels often offer free wifi but nicer ones generally charge you for it – go figure!
  17. Always take a metred taxi (especially in Asia) otherwise you will be overcharged.
  18. Never assume you will have a working TV on your flight – take some sort of entertainment (or sleeping pills!)
  19. If you are arriving somewhere late at night make sure you have already booked your hotel – it’s not nice being exhausted, not knowing where to go in the taxi and having to find somewhere to stay.
  20. Last tip and my personal favourite – it is your holiday – be selfish for once in your life. You are making your own memories so do whatever the hell you want!

I’d love to hear any of your tips!

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Categories: Musings, Travel tips | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “My Top 20 Travel Tips

  1. Great tips – especially the final one. So many people get obsessed with seeing the things they think they should or that everyone sees, or that the guidebook says. It’s your trip and your money, so do as you suggest, and do whatever the hell you want!

    • My first ever comment! Thank you 🙂 Yes, I think it is really important to be educated about where you are going and set yourself some expectations but it’s so important to be flexible as you learn things as you go! That’s why I’m glad I’m doing this trip alone – I can be 100% selfish and not feel guilty about it 🙂

      • I feel honoured to be your first comment! Enjoy your trip and make sure you spend it doing things that bring you joy – that is the whole point of travel!

  2. I read a blog called Adventurous Kate, written by a female solo traveller. Her most recent post suggested another “secret” place to stash some cash is a tampon applicator, which I find hilarious. She observes that no man is going to touch it!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. I hope to be a real traveller some day!

    • That is a great idea!! I think I might use that one… It’s so hard finding good hiding spots when you are living out of a backpack in a communal area… I’ve also read if you have removable soles you can try that too 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

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