Travelling is an amazing experience! Filled with thrilling and spontaneous adventures that will challenge and surprise you. I learnt a lot while travelling, somethings I wish I knew before my adventure begun. I’ve complied fifty useful tips for travellers.
1. Pack light! Only carry the essentials and aim for about 12-15KG for a backpacking trip. You’ll wear the same clothes every week so no need to take those maybe items.
2. If you’re unsure if you’ll wear/use it, don’t take it!
3. If you’re pretty sure you’ll wear/use it, you probably still won’t.
4. If it says “dry clean only” or needs ironing, don’t take it!
5. You don’t need hiking boots, trainers will do and are lighter to carry!
6. If you can’t afford to loose it emotionally or financially, don’t pack it!
7. Never carry money where it can be easily stolen.
8. Take lots of photos – You may only see these beautiful places and meet the people once in your life, don’t worry about being “touristy” get that camera out and capture those memories. I love capturing those touristy moments with a sign or landmarks, take whatever pictures you want!
Photo: Tangoroo Crossing, New Zealand
9. Back everything up! If the unfortunate happens and your laptop is stolen with all your important documents and photos, you won’t be happy. Take some time to back everything up on an external hard drive!
10. Take a spare memory card or two, you’ll need it!
11. Remember your chargers.
12. Take the time to get lost and explore a new and exciting place. Remember to note down where you’re staying just incase you need directions to get back.
13. Eat local food and explore the countries recommended dishes.
14. Start a travel journal – Sometimes you forget the small details, write everything down! Where you went, what you did, who you met and what you ate. These details are easy to forget.
15. Stay healthy – Travelling can be a tempting time to over-indulge and it’s great to try new foods and explore the local cuisine but it’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Especially if you’re going to be travelling for a long period of time. Use meals out or desserts as a treat every week and buy the healthier food for the hostel. I know this is difficult in Asia but other countries its possible!
16. Maintain your fitness routine – It’s difficult I understand but whats 30 minutes out of your day 3/4 times a week? Or better yet, choose to go on a 2 hour hike and get your exercise while exploring the beautiful landscapes.
17. Get off the beaten path – It may be a cliche but get off the tourist track and explore the culture of each place.
18. Keep in touch with people back home – Just because you’re 1000 miles away doesn’t mean you can’t keep your family and friends updated. Skype, call or even send a message to let everyone know you’re still alive while having the time of your life!
19. Do things that scare/challenge you – If you’re shy, talk to people. If you’re not a hiker, go on hikes. If you’re afraid of heights (like me), do a bungee jump or sky dive. Break out of your comfort zone.
Photo: Franz Josef, New Zealand.
20. Don’t try to travel 6 countries in 6 weeks, take your time to explore and really enjoy each place. No need to rush just relax and take it day-by-day.
21. Take every opportunity to to say YES! Try something new or do something spontaneous!
22. Ear plugs will be your new best friend! Espeically when someone in your dorm room is snoring like a train or when a baby is crying on a 10 hour flight.
23. Pack some toiletries for the plane, after 20 hours on a plane and in airports toothpaste and deodorant will be your best friend!
24. A spare pair of underwear would be great in your hand luggage.
25. Don’t forget your eye mask, living in a hostel means sharing a room with 6 people and they may want the light on after you go to bed.
26. Keep an open mind. Try new things, explore a different way of getting around and accept how others do thing.
27. Say HELLO! Be polite, give a stranger a smile and you may get one back. Being friendly can go a long way with people. The locals may even share a few hidden locations you should visit!
28. If you don’t speak the local language, learn some basic phases. The locals will appreciate the effort.
29. Better yet, learn some basic phases in a few common languages like Spanish, French and German. It will be helpful.
30. Take a few moments to sit back and observe daily life, I love people watching 🙂
31. Pack something cosy, even if you’re heading to Thailand it’s handy to have something like a scarf or hoodie to snuggle up in on those flights.
32. A little planning is good, consider the time of year you’re visiting certain places, is it peak time? If so then maybe its best pre-book some accommodation or popular trips.
33. Don’t forget your first aid kit including, paracetamol, plasters, sickness tablets etc.
34. Being fashionably late may be your “thing” but the airline won’t delay the plane if you’re late! Leave in good time to arrive a few hours before your flight!
35. Make your luggage easy to spot! Believe it or not, you’re not the only one with a black suitcase. Try adding some ribbon on the handle and a bright coloured luggage strap or two! Better yet get creative and add some felt on there too.
36. Public transport can be amazing in one place but terrible in another! You’ll experience both.
37. Hostels aren’t always the cleanest of places, pack a pair of flip-flops for the shower!
38. If you’re staying in one place for a while, why not work for accommodation at a hostel to save money?
39. Toilet paper isn’t a given, pack some pocket tissues just incase!
40. Take every opportunity to meet new people!
41. Learn something from every person you meet.
42. Be prepared to give your life story to every person you meet. It may be annoying but it’s a great ice breaker!
43. Be prepared to have no privacy! Even when you put your headphones in expecting to watch something on your own and try have some “me” time someone will come and talk to you.
44. Laugh at yourself and enjoy the silly mistake you make.
45. Don’t forget your sunglasses.
46. Souvenirs are great but remember you have to carry them! Maybe try buying postcards, stamps and keeping some currency from each country.
47. Keep all your train, boat, bus and plane tickets. There great for making a scrap book back home!
48. Be prepared for the creepy crawlies, each country has different ones! Australia for example has way too many cockroaches!
49. Take more money than you think you will need!
50. Enjoy and love every moment!
Any other pieces of advice for travellers?