You have to know that eventually, this post would come. If you have been following my Instagram, facebook, twitter…. all the social media works, you know that for the last 4 years I have been documenting and sharing my trips to over 30 countries. To be honest, I myself have somewhat lost count. But, nonetheless, I have been experiencing and sharing adventures via one country at a time, made friends from all corners of Earth and found myself living out of a suitcase most days of the year.
Throughout these exciting and exotic adventures, I have managed to learn a thing or two. What works and what doesn’t. What makes travelling easier and what doesn’t.
I am sharing some of my best travelling tips that work well, whether I am travelling with a friend or winging it solo.
1. Be Familiar With The Local Language
Having basic knowledge of the local language goes a long way. When travelling to a country where your language is not spoken, be sure to pick the basics. You know: hello, good morning, goodnight, please, thank you! Locals appreciate it when foreigners make an effort, especially if you’d like to approach them to ask a question or for directions.
All in all, it’s an act of politeness and to be fair, it makes your life easier.
2. Travel With More Than One Identification
This is travelling smart. Things tend to happen so be sure to have a second form of identification. Using your credit card, for example, you are often asked to present your I.D. Travelling with your passport for this sole purpose is a huge risk. Be sure to travel with either you national I.D card, driver’s license or student I.D. The reason why there are lanyards for conferences is to ensure people don’t lose their ID, one can adopt this system.
Also, presenting your student I.D at times work in your favour for student discounts to national parks and museums. My take it on: always have your I.D in that wallet, along with others. Just in case!
3. Ask Locals For Directions & Tips
This is one of my favourite tips. It doesn’t matter how many times I have visited any particular country I am always in search of locals to pick their brains for some local and authentic tips. Trying to find off the beat locations or authentic must-try eats? Ask a local!
4. Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Do your research and be practical about it. Aside from researching general destination tips and hotel information, I also make sure to research cab rates. What’s the rate between the airport to downtown for example. New country, to currency; you want to make sure you are familiar with the rate and what the usual cost is. Touching down in a new country can be overwhelming.
5. Know the Local Conversion Rate
There are so many Apps available for currency exchange. Make sure to have one installed or at least be familiar with the conversion rate to your home country. If you are country hopping, I definitely recommend that you have an App available to your disposal.
6. Walk A lot & Wear Comfortable Shoes
You tend to see and experience so much more if you trade in the Uber and Cab rides for walking. Of course, huge metropolitan cities such as New York City and Paris will require some public transformation. But, if it’s walkable and you’re able to explore on foot… go for it! You learn so much more.
7. Pack Light
The less, the better. Travelling with luggages that are overweight are no fun. Pack light and just pack the necessities. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is when you just have one piece of manageable luggage to deal with it.
8. Double Check With Your Bank Before Your Travel
I travel with my bank cards everywhere and anywhere. Beforehand, I often let my bank know that I’ll be travelling to whatever country so as to avoid my card from being shut down due to “suspicious activity”. Inform your bank or your credit card issuer that you’ll be travelling, so as to expect charges on your card from whatever country or location.
9. Travel With A book
A book is a good company for in between travel time or airtime. I always have a book with me whether I am travelling with a friend or travelling solo.
10. Sign Up For Airline Programs
If you intend on becoming a frequent flyer, signing up for airline programs and rewards is totally worth it. I have flown on airline programs/miles to Rio de Janiero, Miami with landmarks around Miami, Colombia, Iceland.
11. Travel With Snacks
Be sure to have snacks with you when you’re travelling, especially if you are on a super early morning flight. During the early hours, airport cafes and restaurants are sometimes closed, so having your own snacks go along way.
12. Use Non-Fee Credit Cards
Being able to withdraw money from any ATM across the globe without a fee is one of the greatest travel pleasures. Those fees tend to add up. When researching travel credit cards, be sure to select one that allows you to avoid all of this. With the right credit card, you’re good to go.
13. Drink Lots Of Water
Skipping through time zones, frequent plane rides and the different weather temperatures has an effect on your skin, your health. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, to avoid feeling really fatigue and to maintain the moisture in your skin.
14. Travel With Insurance
The last thing you want is to be abroad without health insurance. Be sure to have to get insured. It is better to be on the safer side.
15. Eat Out Alone
This is my number 1 tip. When you travel, try to have a meal or two in your own company. I think having the chance to sit and dine out alone gives you the opportunity to slow down a bit, enjoy your own company and to really take in your surroundings.
It’s one of favourite travel activity when I want to reflect and observe. Be sure to try this if you haven’t already.