20 Awesome Travel Tips You Should Know & Try

3/28/2016


Traveling since early childhood has been so far one of the best things in my life. Whether I´m on vacation with my family/friends or I wander around solo, there always happen so many things which make me act somehow or simply reminder me how to do something more effectively or better. And after traveling to various destinations and using different kinds of transport, I decided to make this list of tips I have learned so far and share it with you. Maybe not all tips can apply for you, but you can take a little piece of advice from it. 


1. Copy everything - Before you leave, scan your passport, identification card and other documents you have, such as reservation about your accommodation or tickets and email it to yourself and also print it. It is always better to have another copy of your documents in case of theft, loss or any other unexpected event. I always screenshot it to my phone and then print it to have it also on paper. You never know.

2. Pack a scarf - Last year while traveling to Turkey and also to Africa then, I learned how much can scarf be an useful "accessory." It is not only for cold weather, but it can serve also as sun protection, pillow, "blanket" or it is very useful for situations when you are suddenly asked to get "covered" (while visiting churches in some countries or for example women can be asked for this in some Arabic countries.) 

3. Make a "packing list" - We all have been there and some of us still get there every time we prepare for our next vacation. Checking our luggage over and over again, just in case we didn´t forget anything. Then we end up with over packed suitcase which we barely manage to close. One my friend gave me a tip to make a packing list and when I´m done with packing, so remove some things I´m sure I won´t need. Then remove things I think I will need but I know I can do it without them. And then slowly go through the packing list and remove unnecessary things. 

4. Stay in touch - Remember to call your friends and family from time to time. Yes, I don´t want to sound like your parents who told you to send them postcards, but it is always good to keep your relationships fine and cool. Additionaly, you never know how much your relatives can be worried about you, especially when you travel to some less civilizated or developing countries. I remember how my mum was freaking out when I travelled to Africa and I "forgot" to call her for like 3-4 days (I just didn´t have a credit and I was too busy with voluntary work over therem I phoned as soon as I could, but I understand her worries), so just please, stay in touch. Tell someone your travel plans as well, so in case of anything, they somehow have an idea what´s going on.

5. Carry a pen along with you everywhere - You never know when you will have to fill customs forms or sign some papers. I remember that when I was flying one time and the flight attendants were giving people to fill forms for VISA applications, only some of them had pens. So that is when my pen with puppies and kittens on it got its fifteen minutes of fame. Nobody really admired the owner, me, but at least they thanked me.

6. Use local ATMs to get local currency - Yes, if you travel around US or Europe, you don´t really have to chance a lot, because same currency is accepted almost everywhere, but in other parts of world they don´t really have to accept your hardly saved pocket money. I don´t say that changing money in some money converter at airport is bad, but sometimes it can have own fees and the exchange rates can be somehow rip-off.

7. Bring your own water bottle - Usually when you have to spend longer layover at the airport, it can be tiring and sometimes you will need fresh beverage. Some airports don´t really have to offer drinks and if so, so only in the restaurants or very overpriced. It really doesn´t have to be a big bottle, just a small one. During the flight, you can ask flight attendants to fill it for you so you can later drink whenever you want and you don´t have to wait when they decide to offer you something again.

8. Bring several pieces of clothes in your carry-on - What if your suitcase gets lost? It is always better to take this into account while preparing for your trip and pack at least a few pairs of underwear, one pair of jeans and one top, so you have something to wear before you get your luggage or buy new clothes at your destination.

9. Use the local language as much as possible - It won´t only show your effort to try not be a typical tourist, but it can also work for your favour sometimes. Local people might be glad to see that you try and they can even try to help you to improve and learn something more. When traveling, I always try to learn at least basic phrases and vocabulary. And it is really great way how to communicate with people where English is not so widely spread.

10. Pack your clothes around a colour scheme - Honestly, I have tried this only once, but one of my friends does it all the time. She says it helps you to mix it and match for outfits. I can´t really confirm it, because I have my own way of putting outfits together, but I might give it one more try.

11. Wear your heaviest pieces of clothes on the plane - It will save you space in your luggage and it can also serve as pillow or blanket during the flight.

12. Try to act as locals - Before you leave to your destination, try to get as much information about a country as you can. Don´t be that "stupid traveler" and try to follow local rules. If the country advises modest clothing, dress like that. If smoking or doing something in public is prohibited, don´t do it. It can get you into trouble and you don´t really want to be in trouble or anyhow harassed by police or other locals.

13. Eat locally as much as possible - This is one of the best ways how to save money while traveling. I know that fastfoods can be also quite cheap, but if you avoid costy restaurants and pubs, you can easily find great deals and enjoy local cuisine as much as possible. It is always so good to discover traditional meals and flavours of different culture.

14. Back everything up. - Everything, everywhere, all the time...just you don´t know how much you will be grateful for saved photos when your laptop or phone suddenly crashes down and there won´t be any way how to save those awesome selfies with the top monuments from your recent trip. As I already mentioned above, it is always great to have copies of your important documents as well.

15. Don´t be scared to meet new people - If you keep it cool and you try to act as a local and not as a "dumb tourist", people will more likely to help you when you get lost or simply pose for photos. Just smile, greet them and try to communicate a bit in local language. English is spoken widely all around the world, so you shouldn´t have any problems if you don´t know local language. But show effort and try to create new friendships. Remember that not all people are bad ones. Not all people you meet at the streets want to steal something from you, kidnap you or kill you. From my own experience I know that people can usually enrich your trip more than sights do.
16. Learn how to avoid crowds - Wake up early in the morning and go explore a city centre or the most visited monuments. Or do it in the evening. If you want the best shots of famous landmarks, you should avoid crowds of other tourists and travelers. Try to find the busiest days for the monuments you want to see and go there when there is lower chance of bumping into thousand people with selfie sticks and cameras.

17. Be an open minded - There are so many different places, countries, cultures and habits. Just because something is not how you are used to doesn´t mean it is worse or better. Keep an open mind about it. You are there for now, it is your "home" for now, so respect the local culture and habits. 

18. Double check everytime - Before you leave to airport, before check in or any other event, check everything twice. It takes around a few seconds and it can save you nearly your life (sometimes.) Shake sheets, blankets, look in the bathroom, look carefully where you put your passport and etc. Doesn´t matter if you are late already, it is always better to miss a bus or flight than forget something important such as a wallet, charger or phone.

19. Take plenty of photos - Don´t forget to take photos. It can help you to remember places you have been to and remind you all the awesome memories you have from there. I so regret not taking photos of my trips to many countries in Europe when I was younger (I know I was taking photos at some my trips, for example in Croatia, Montenegro or Belgium, but I can´t find those photos anymore - this brings me back to the point no. 14 - back up everything!)


20. Learn, enjoy, live - Just travel. There are always so many questions and doubts - what if? But this shouldn´t stop from discovering this beautiful world. Enjoy every single sunrise during your exotic vacation, take crazy photo with monuments, learn from other cultures. They might tell you during geography lessons that continents are like this and that, but what about seeing it for yourself? Don´t be afraid and explore this world, it will only make you richer.


What are your favourite travel tips? Have you learnt something useful during your travels?

You Might Also Like

4 comments

  1. Hi Helena :) I've just found your blog, and love the tips you give in this post. They are very personal and focus a lot on the mindset while travelling, something that can be easily neglected when you're focused on doing as many things as you can. Thanks for sharing!

    Journal by Assia | www.assiashahin.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! :-) Your blog is really nice.
    Do you thing that I can see your packing list?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you a lot...and yes, i´m planning to do a post about it soon :)

      Delete

Like us on Facebook

    Deviantart

Flickr Images