Top 10 Travel Tips

top-10-travel-tipsTop 10 Travel Tips

I learn everything the hard way so these tips are the result of years of suffering. Please don’t make the same mistakes as me.

1. Take warm socks and a jumper on the plane, even if you are going somewhere hot. The 15 hours of frigid torture aboard a freezing aircraft are not worth the nominal additional room in your hand luggage.

2. Take an empty drink bottle with you and fill it up on the plane. Flight attendants never give you enough water.

3. Take sleeping tablets with you even if you are normally a good sleeper. Insomnia can turn the best holiday into a miserable nightmare. Don’t risk it. I recommend Normison or Diazepam.

4. Don’t get drunk at high altitudes. The higher you are, the drunker you will get and the worse your hangover will be.

5. Take your camera charger and the relevant power converter. The universe will not magically provide them.

6. Take your iPod and an iPod charger. This will help block out noise when you are trying to sleep on long bus and train rides. It will also dull the sound of anyone’s voice you grow to hate in your tour group. I guarantee there will be at least one person.

7. Take lots of books and give them away to fellow travellers when you have finished reading them. Popularity will be yours.

8. Take business cards. You’ll feel wanky handing them out but it will save you writing down your email address a million times.

9. Don’t wear a long skirt on a mountain bike. Seems obvious but the scars on my knees tell a different story.

10. Don’t ever book a tour with a random man on the street on the first day you arrive anywhere. You have no clue about the currency and you will get ripped off. USD$50 is too much, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Just sayin’…

Smart Traveller has some really good (and very practical) travel tips on its site. Check them out here

What are your foolproof travel tips? What have you learnt from long nights spent on foreign footpaths or languishing in a jail cell?

12 Responses to “Top 10 Travel Tips”
  1. Rachel says:

    1. If you’re backpacking, staying in hostels or other places where you will have to share a bathroom, pack your toiletries in a small waterproof bag. Not only does it make life easier when it’s your turn to jump in the shower rather than carrying three different bottles, towels, clothing and whatever else, but the bag will protect your clothes and other items in your luggage if your shampoo bottle starts to leak.
    2. Always take bandaids and pain killers wherever you go. They don’t take up much space but will definitely come in handy.
    3. If you have long fingernails cut them down before your trip. Murphy’s Law says at least one will break when you are struggling with your luggage, leaving you with a jagged mess and no nail file because it’s been confiscated by security at the airport.

  2. Cousin Mick says:

    I always get drunk on the Aeroplane…it’s fun, and makes the in flight movies more entertaining

  3. Cousin Mick says:

    Oh yeah and roll your clothes instead of folding them…heaps more room this way

  4. Nik says:

    Carry a sarong in your hand luggage/day bag… they’re light weight, don’t take up much room & can serve as a blanket, towel, sun-cover or pillow. They’re also handy when visiting temples etc that require you to ‘cover up’.

  5. junecutie says:

    Thanks for the great travel tips. I really enjoy reading your blog. I have one quick question: Is a jumper the same thing as as cardigan sweater?

  6. mel says:

    * I don’t take spray deodorant or shaving cream with me anymore – whenever I try, the air pressure on the plane messes around with it and it doesn’t work when I get there. Having said that, when I took a roll-on deodorant, the air pressure made the ball bit change shape or something so it wouldn’t stay in. Just buy it there instead!

    * Research what the weather will be like EVERYWHERE you’re going, not just the most exciting places. I researched the hell out of the Galapagos so chose the perfect wardrobe for that part of the trip, but forgot about the couple of days I would be staying in Santa Monica first… needless to say, it was fricking freezing there and I had to buy jeans, socks and random warm shirts that I didn’t wear again.

    * Pretty obvious, but if you’re a girl travelling alone, organise your transfers from the airport to your hostel/hotel before you leave. This relieves a lot of stress!

    * If you’re the kind who likes to write/keep a journal, write in it EVERY DAY, or every two days at the most. Once you fit a million places into a few days, you’ll never remember all the site names, where you saw that local with the hilarious hat, what the name of that crazy monkey was, and all the other fun details that you’re trying to write about.

  7. Genevieve Frew says:

    I have to add some items to the backpack/handbag list for the vain amongst us i.e. me.
    I never travel without lip balm, eye drops, moisturiser (hand and face), obviously all kept nicely in the little plastic bag they don’t even check at the airports… I also recommend a little packet of wipes so you can take your make-up off or wipe sticky hands.
    These things keep me from turning into a lizard on board long flights (or even short ones) and a little mirror is really useful as well. This way you don’t have to queue, in socked feet, to use the mirror in the toilets when you just want to refresh yourself after waking, or before landing.
    Happy travelling…

  8. admin says:

    A jumper is a sweater. A cardigan sweater is just a cardigan. Oh Australianisms! I hope that makes sense.

  9. Actually you know I never thought of taking sleeping pills but I probably should as I can never sleep on the plane!

  10. Good call on the sarong – multi-purpose!
    If you’re planning to write postcards, put everyone’s address who’s requested one (even the ones you know by heart; or at least their names) in one place. This way you can remember how many to buy and save yourself searching for random bits of paper. Always carry a pen/pencil in your carry-on to save you asking the airline hosts for one when you’re handed you a customs slip to fill out.

  11. Erma Rosano says:

    Excellent article and easy to understand explanation. How do I go about getting permission to post part of the article in my upcoming news letter? Giving proper credit to you the author and link to the site would not be a problem.

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