15 travel tips from an expert traveller
OH-EM-GEE. Sound like you right before you’re about to head off on vacation? We thought so. In the lead up to your next big adventure, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the pre trip excitement. So much so that you can forget even the most basic travel tips.
But hey, that works for us – after all, giving travel advice is kind of our thing. And with this list in your arsenal, what could go wrong?
1. Don’t forget ear plugs
These babies will be your new best friends. No matter how many NBFs you make whilst travelling, hear them snore even once and they’ll soon become your least favourite person. From flights to train rides (and equally if you struggle with persistently water logged ears), ear plugs are one of the most valuable and cheap things you will need during your travels. Do not leave home without them.
EXTRA TIP: Push the boat out and go for silicone ear plugs instead of foam – genuinely noise-cancelling, you’ll have the best sleep of your life!
2. Don’t over pack
If you think you’ve packed enough, you’ve probably packed too much. And if you can’t physically lift your suitcase/backpack without the help of three extra large men, you’ve definitely packed too much. Leave room for all the little extras you’re likely to pick up on your trip. Trust us – you’ll want to stock up on souvenirs and clothes along the way, and you won’t want to have to sacrifice your favourite pair of shoes to make space.
3. Look into bar shampoos and conditioners
Because really, there’s nothing worse than a shampoo or conditioner explosion all over your bag. Lush Cosmetics have some absolute beauties and, better yet, they are completely free from chemicals and excess packaging.
4. Send yourself a postcard
It sounds like serious effort but actually, it’s easier than keeping a journal, and when you get home you can relive all your experiences over and over again. Plus, everyone loves receiving postcards in the mail, even if the sender is yours truly.
5. Turn off data roaming
Seems simple enough, but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget to do this, then fall to their knees in UTTER MISERY when their next phone bill arrives. Avoid the fees by making the most of free WiFi, and switch to apps like WhatsApp, Voxer, and Viber to keep in touch with friends, family, and new travel mates.
6. Pack a small medicine kit
Pack it full of Advil, Band-aids, re-hydration sachets, allergy medicine, multi vitamins – anything to help keep you ship shape whilst on the road. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to pack a few of these than going to a pharmacy in a foreign country and trying to figure out what you need. (Note: some countries do not allow certain over-the-counter prescription pills, so check in advance).
Also check out: How to stay fit and healthy on the road
7. Keep your passport, IDs, travel documents, and money safe
Never put them in your pocket or in your backpack (unless they are at the very bottom). A money belt is both discreet and practical – and it’s worth every penny. Scanning copies of documents and leaving them with your family members is also a great idea. They can email them to you if you lose them.
8. Bring a book (e-book or paper back) for the plane ride and travel/beach days
A holiday is prime time to satisfy your inner book geek, and on those long plane/train/coach journeys, there’s really nothing better than escaping into your own imagination for a few hours. Even better, pick a travel-themed book to get you amped for your trip – these are a few of our favourites.
9. Don’t miss the iconic experiences
The gondola ride might cost more than you thought but if you go to Venice and don’t do it, will you regret it? Try to think of the experiences and memories you’ll create – sometimes it’s worth a little extra money. And there are always heaps of experiences you’ll be able to enjoy for free too.
10. Don’t be afraid to travel alone
It’s something everyone should try at least once in their life, and you’ll learn so much about yourself along the way. Once you’ve done it, you’ll forget why you were so scared in the first place.
11. Make a travel playlist…
…and put it on your iPod, not phone (why? See #12). You can’t travel without music, so don’t even try.
12. Clear your phone before you travel
You’re about to take a picture of something and BOOM, up it pops – ‘You’re out of memory‘. Every travellers worst nightmare (trust us, we’ve been there). Before you leave for your trip, shift all your old pictures onto your laptop and free up that precious memory for your travel pictures. It will be so, so worth it.
13. Be prepared to walk… a lot
Break in your shoes before you head out on your adventure – there’s literally nothing that can destroy your day more than painful blisters. And pack sneakers. Always pack sneakers. Plus plasters, and Compeeds, to be on the safe side.
14. Check the weather in advance
If you’re heading to a different city in a few days, check the weather and plan your wardrobe accordingly – there’s no point bringing all your winter woollies if it’s going to be baking hot!
15. Save luggage space…
…by buying souvenirs that you can wear. You’ll want that Parisian scarf or Italian leather jacket anyway, so why waste the space? Your excuse to shop in every country just became real.