As much fun as travelling can be, it can also sometimes be stressful. Here are a few tips which we hope will alleviate those stresses and make your travel experience easier and more enjoyable.
Do Your Homework
As a traveller, it’s great to explore unknown places, but doing some homework beforehand can really help you to make the most of your experience. We’re not talking about knowing every detail of where you’re going or what you’re going to be doing. We’re talking about knowing a little bit about how things are done before you land, for instance, knowing the following basics beforehand can save you a lot of time and effort:
Options for leaving the airport (free shuttle / bus / public transport / local taxi prices etc)
Research the best option for mobile data (often this can be arranged beforehand via service providers such as Klook which will save you a lot of time and hassle)
Carry Your Essential Items With You
Pack your essential personal items as carry-on luggage so that you will have them with you even if your checked luggage gets lost or delayed. We’re talking about your toothbrush and toothpaste, spare contact lenses, a clean change of underwear and anything else you would prefer not to have to go 48 hours without!
Not only will this save you time at the airport, but it will often also mean you can avoid the counter and the worry of having your carry-on luggage weighed!
Respect Cultural Etiquette
A big part of travelling is learning about new and different cultures. The best way to learn the local customs is just to spend time in a place. However, it can be very useful to learn a little about culture and cultural etiquette before arriving in a foreign country. It is helpful to know how you should dress and if there are any particular gestures which may offend in the country that you are travelling. Simple things like touching a small child’s head or handing someone something with the incorrect hand can be deemed rude in certain cultures. Learning about these cultural differences and being respectful about them is part of what travel is all about.
Keep Your Expectations In Check
It’s great to browse the likes of Instagram for travel inspiration, but just keep in mind that most of those images are somewhat more idyllic than reality. We have had our biggest travel disappointments when we have had the highest (and possibly unrealistic) expectations. On the flip side, some of our most memorable and enjoyable travel experiences have been when we had little to no expectations. This may be easier said than done, but try to limit your expectations and rather just travel with an open mind and the willingness to embrace the moment.
Travel With A Smile And A Positive Attitude
The world may have many different languages, but a smile is universal and you’ll be surprised at just how far a positive attitude can get you. Remember that you are a visitor in someone else’s country, that you are privileged to be able to travel and that you will, in turn, receive the energy that you radiate.
Think twice about your travel outfits and make sure that they are comfortable and suitable for what you will be doing. It’s all good and well wanting to look your best for your travel photos, but at the same time, you don’t want to be grimacing from the pain of walking 10 kilometres uphill on a cobblestone path in stiletto high heels! Make sure that you choose a comfortable outfit for long flights (or have a comfortable change of clothes to wear on the plane), comfortable walking shoes if you know you will be doing lots of walking and exploring and clothing suitable to the climate.
Ask For Upgrades
Don’t be shy to always ask for a free upgrade when you arrive at your hotel. If it’s not peak season and they are not at capacity, the chances are pretty good that they will happily oblige! We have been offered some great upgrades even after booking our accommodation through Booking.com and Agoda.
Always Have Snacks Handy
Because no one likes to be HANGRY (Hungry + Angry)! And also because needing to buy snacks in very touristy areas can work out far more expensive. We like to carry some nuts with us, as well as always having a refillable bottle of water with us. This way, even if you’re stranded waiting at a remote bus stop, at least you have something to snack on!
Keep Yourself Entertained
Travelling inevitably involves sitting around and waiting and / or plenty of idyl time in transit. Having a podcast downloaded and handy (why not listen to some of our Travel Podcasts) is a great way to pass the time. Using a BlueTooth headset means that you can don't even need to be wired, but it does use more of your smartphone battery. That's why we always travel with a portable power supply for charging on the go. We also enjoy travelling with a Kindle so that we can read on the go. Don’t forget that you can even download the Amazon Kindle App so that you can continue your reading on your smartphone if you don’t have your Kindle handy.