For those of you who want to go travelling and see the world, it can be a scary thing to do even for those experienced, visiting different places with different laws and beliefs, different ways of running things and different languages. But ultimately the reason you want to go travelling is to experience new things, see the wonderful world we live in in all of its glory, breathe the air of the alps or smell the fresh waters of the Niagara. We thought we’d put together 10 of the best tips we can think of to help novices or experienced travelers alike.
1. Plan as little as possible
You’ll find while you’re travelling that your plans will almost always change. This could be due to finding a place that you absolutely love and want to spend longer there, finding a place that you absolutely hate and want to leave as soon as possible, meeting new people and sticking around with them for a bit.
Don’t worry about your trip leading you elsewhere, you might have only set yourself a year to travel but you can always save and go again to see the rest of the world.
2. Make sure you have travel insurance
This is a must. If there’s one thing you do before you leave its getting travel insurance. There have been too many cases of people out on their travels who have been injured and have come home to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills because they didn’t take out travel insurance before they left. It’s easy to think “it wont happen to me” but trust me, spending a year or more out travelling to new places, doing things you don’t normally do at home, you want to make sure you’re covered in case anything does happen to you.
3. Take spare passport photos
These are useful for applying for visa’s when visiting new countries. There’s nothing worse than taking a day out of your trip trying to find somewhere that takes passport photo’s in a foreign country.
4. Keep everything important on you at all times
Unfortunately a lot of countries have high crime rates, much higher than the likes of America, and this leads to items such as your passport and money being stolen, leaving you in a difficult situation and wasting more of your travel time sorting it out. Always make sure your cards, passport and other important items are with you at all times.
5. Learn a few of the important words of the language of the country you’re visiting
Not only will you gain more respect from the locals if you can at least greet people in their language, but its also useful for asking for directions to places. Remember you’re in their country, if you don’t speak their language its your problem not theirs. Speaking louder doesn’t make you any easier to understand and seems to be a common thing we do unfortunately, if you’re struggling maybe try miming what you want or use a translator app.
6. Use space saver bags
Vacuum-sealed packing bags are a huge space saver, they’re obviously more effective when using a vacuum to suck all of the air out, but just throwing your clothes in, rolling it up and squeezing all of the air out works just as well! Also they’re a great way of keeping clean clothes separate to dirty clothes for your next trip to a cleaners.
7. Bring a stash of emergency cash and several debit and credit cards with you
Ideally you want to have a couple of bank accounts open with money in each, sometimes your bank will block your card, sometimes it wont work in an ATM and for the worst case scenario your card may get stolen, keep them on you at all times in different places, such as backpack, wallet/purse, day pack etc. Same goes for the spare cash, I recommend carrying at least $200 around with you, splitting it in different places on you.
8. Tell your bank that you will be travelling
Informing your bank of your travel plans will help prevent your cards from being blocked, its a fantastic feature for your bank to have such a secure process to avoid fraudulent use of your cards, but can be a nuisance when travelling and having to call the bank every other time to get your card back up and running. There are forms available from most banks for people planning to travel.
9. Expect things to go wrong and don’t be disheartened when it does
Expecting everything to be smooth sailing is a big ask when travelling, as you can imagine there are a lot of different aspects to travelling that can and will go wrong at some point, so expecting the worst will only make it a little easier for yourself when things do go wrong, and will help with forward planning on what to do when it does go wrong. Try not to be disheartened, try and stay positive, it will help you stay focused on what you need to do to rectify what has gone wrong so you can calmly carry on with your travels.
10. Remember how lucky you are to be travelling
Most of the worlds population aren’t fortunate enough to have the funds to leave their own country, let alone see the world. Be grateful that you have the funds and resources available to you to enable you to see the world. You may have worked hard and saved for years to get to be able to travel, but a lot of the world’s population are hard working and only just able to get by with their day to day lives. Share the world with your friends and family, be courteous to the countries you visit, and most importantly, make the most of the time you spend travelling.