Travel tips you really should know

Travel tips

There’s an art to travelling well. Some little secrets you learn on the way, like making sure you find a map at the airport before you leave and always throwing spare plastic bags into your suitcase for dirty clothes. Here’s our ultimate travel advice list.

  • Wash your clothes in the sink / shower. Use the hotel soap. Or take a little traveller sized bottle of laundry detergent with you. It’s much easier than finding a Laundromat in a foreign country. And there are only so many times that you can wear the same pair of undies.
  • Learn how to use a needle and thread. You’ve only got space for a few items of clothing. Sewing a broken button back on will save you a lot of hassle.
  • Learn how to say “no thank you”. Most travel advice columns will tell you to learn how to say “hello”,  “yes please”, “thank you” and “do you speak English?”. But in some countries you really want to be able to say “no thank you, please leave me alone”. Think about the crowded market places in Asia. Knowing how to say “no thank you” in their language is going to give you a lot more peace.
  • Keep an emergency stash of money. If you lose your wallet you will still need to eat. An empty Chapstick is a fantastic secret hiding spot.
  • Roll your clothes when packing. No creases and more clothes fit into your suitcase.

  • Always keep a stash of spare plastic bags for dirty clothes / shoes.  Smelly socks will make your clean clothes stink. Always.
  • Learn how to swim. You never know when you might need to on the spur of the moment.
  • Learn how to pack light. You do not need to take 20kg for a week of travel. You CAN wear trousers two days in a row or more. The less you have to carry, the happier you will be travelling.
  • Know how much it should cost in a taxi. Carry a card with the hotel address and a map. Ask for taxi drivers to use the meter. Make sure they are legitimate taxi drivers.
  • Always carry a hard copy map of the city you’re going to. Save your phone charge for when you really need it.
  • Make sure your bank cards work. There is nothing more annoying on holidays than spending hours on the phone to the bank back home.
  • Learn how to change a tyre. Murphy’s law says if you don’t know and you head off on a road trip, you’re bound to get a flat.
  • Be prepared to sleep anywhere. Ear plugs and eye patches will help block out the light.
  • Learn how to take a decent photo. Don’t come home with a bunch of Instagram selfies. Memories fade and you’ll want something to remember the scenery by.
  • Learn basic first aid. This is just a great life skill, if nothing else.
  • Get folders for travel documents and itineraries. Keep them organised so you don’t have to mess about digging through pockets in your bag at the airport check-in.
  • Buy and wear good walking shoes. Blisters are not fun and high heels don’t work on Europe’s cobblestone pathways.
  • Ask the locals for advice, tips. The best beach probably isn’t the most popular one. The locals can help you find those secret spots you will rave about.
  • Know where the embassy is. Seriously. Find it on your map. Don’t think just because you are in a “safe” country you won’t need it.  All it takes is a quick Google search, write down the address and put it in a safe place.
  • Scan your passport and travel documents. Give copies to family/friends. If you lose your passport or travel documents, this backup will save you a lot of heartache. It will also help your family to find you in the event of a disaster.
  • Learn the basic geography of the country you are visiting. There’s nothing worse than a traveller who has no idea where they are travelling.
  • Learn how to use a compass. Sounds extreme but it could help in a crisis.
  • Allow relaxation time to get over jet lag. You don’t want to be on the go for six weeks straight. It should be a holiday. You should relax at some point.
  • Keep a change of clothes and basic toiletries in your carry-on. If your luggage gets lost you will be very glad.
  • Travelling via Singapore? Pack your swimmers in your carry-on and take a break in the outdoor rooftop pool at the airport while in transit. You will feel 100 per cent better getting on the next flight.
  • Research the airports you are travelling through so you can a) find the fastest way through and b) use the facilities. Don’t just sit at the boarding gate.
  • Be respectful. Pay attention to how local women dress to work out how you should.