After a few years of travelling, I learnt a thing or two. You know how the more you do something the better you get at it? Well, that also applies to travel too. The more you travel, the more comfortable you get. I’m not a full-time traveller, I work full-time and try to travel and escape as much as my bank account and annual leave allow me. So, I gathered some of the Best Travel Tips and tricks I’ve learnt from my travels I could think of to help you on your travels and avoid the stress.
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1. Wake up early to avoid crowds
I pretty much live by this rule. I’m an early bird, both at home and on holiday. I love watching sunrises and having entire places to myself. I hate crowds and waiting in loooong queues. This is one of the best travel tips I can give you if you want to enjoy yourself, no matter where you go in the world.
2. Take lots of pictures (of yourself too)
You don’t need a professional camera to capture unforgettable memories or that perfect contrast between the green grass and blue sky. Just snap all those moments that take your breath away, because a few years from now, you will regret not being able to look back at all of the wonderful places you visited and people you met.
3. Be Flexible
I like routine in my daily life, and I like to have a routine while travelling, but after years of travelling and changing plans due to unexpected circumstances, I learnt, that it is not always possible to stick to one plan. By all means, make a plan. But make a backup for the plan and a backup for the backup as you never know what will happen till it does.
4. Learn common phrases from each language
Both useful and appreciated. Locals tend to treat you better, even if all you can do is say the most basic phrases in their language. Some languages are harder than others, but always carry a small notepad and pen with you to write it down.
5. Best Travel Tips: Always have travel insurance
Always. Have. Travel. Insurance. You never ever know what may happen, life is unpredictable as is mother nature. We all dread something going wrong while travelling, but at least you won’t have to worry about covering things like medical bills which could cost thousands.
6. Have photocopies of your passport, driving licence, ID, etc.
Like I said earlier, you never know what might happen. Your backpack might get stolen, your suitcase might get lost, you get drunk and lose your passport… there are so many scenarios it is impossible to predict, so it is a good idea that you carry extra photocopies of all your important documents.
7. Pre-plan outfits and pack extra socks
I have a thing for socks. I hate having wet feet, so I always carry extra pairs just in case. There’s no better feeling in the world than having dry socks on, haha! And for the pre-plan outfits, it’s so much easier to dress on your travels when you know what you can mix and match! I think this rule applies mainly to us, women. For example, two cotton tops can match with different pair of jeans, shorts, skirts, etc. Pre-planning also means you don’t end up wasting luggage space unnecessarily and stressing over the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear!’ issue.
8. Separate money and use a travel card
Never, ever, ever carry all your money together. This is a huge mistake and can cost you lots of stress. I never carry all my money around, I always pack some, hide some (a safe is a good option), and transfer some on to my Revolut Card. I don’t even bother taking my main bank/credit cards with me. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere without money, that’s like my worst nightmare.
9. Get out of your comfort zone
I used to be scared of leaving my comfort zone. You know, because it is sooo comfy! But the more I travelled and the more I saw, the braver I become. Solo travelling is actually giving me more confidence and abilities to do things I thought I never could. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, and with my hand on heart, I swear that travelling helped me to overcome my fears! Visiting new places, creating new memories and living lifetime experiences – it cannot happen if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
10. Laugh at yourself
When the worst happens, you get lost or none speaks English (or your language), there is nothing else you can do but to just laugh. Life’s too short to stress and the worst scenario is that people will probably look at you like an idiot, but hey, at least you’re having fun!
11. Carry ear-plugs
I sleep with ear-plugs every night, even at home. I used to work night shifts and during the summer I struggled to sleep because of noises. Now, I cannot fall asleep without ear-plugs and on travels, they are like the best thing ever. Many times Carl has complained that he couldn’t sleep because of some stupid people or animals making noise. Plus, if you are staying in a hostel, you may end up sharing room with a snorer!
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12. Keep an open mind
It is really easy to judge someone without even knowing them. Listen to people, talk to them, you don’t always have to agree but you will be surprised how many new things you will learn! Keep your mind open to different options, interests and lifestyles. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the answers. End of the day – every day is a school day.
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