If you have travelled, you know that all adventures have a couple of setbacks along the way. Some might be insignificant, but others might present challenges that you never took in consideration, like the time I went to spend Christmas with some friends, and I left all my underwear and jeans in the dryer, or when my sister arrived to New Jersey thinking that it was New York. So, everybody will go through some inconveniences from time to time, and that’s why I have put together some tips to prevent the most common headaches from happening, and to make your next trip as enjoyable as possible.
To save money:
– Tuesday afternoon is the best moment to buy plane tickets. Lots of times, airlines put tickets on sale on Monday, and by the afternoon of the next day, other companies might already have tried to match the prices of the competition.
– Eat where the locals eat. Food is going to be cheaper and more authentic. Go to the supermarket and by snacks that you can easily carry in your bag, and never leave without taking some with you. No matter where you go they will be always useful.
– In countries with safe water (like Australia) take a reusable bottle everywhere you go. There will be a lot of public places to fill it up for free. Bottles of water, on the other hand, can cost up to AUS$5 for a small one.
– Buy sunscreen before traveling. Especially in hotels and touristic places, it can be really expensive. Never forget to wear it, no matter the weather conditions.
To make packing easier:
– Prepare a list of everything you want to pack ahead of time, and go through a selection process to eliminate anything that’s not essential. Don’t pack anything that you can’t afford to lose.
– Start packing right after doing laundry, don’t pack anything that needs ironing, and to save space, put your socks inside your shoes and roll your jeans. Never bring clothes or shoes you haven’t worn before.
– If you remember to pack something, do it in that exact moment, or if you are not home, set up an alarm in your mobile. Otherwise, you will definitely forget.
To not suffer with inconveniences:
– Tell your bank you are going to be overseas, and check the limitations and charges for the use of your cards overseas.
– Check the adaptor you need for the power points, and verify the voltage, cause if there is a huge variation you can end up burning the blow dryer (that happened to me and it’s not fun).
– Scan your passport and send it to your email. Take some copies with you in different places, like your suitcase, wallet and pockets. If you lose it, this will prevent your setback from turning into a nightmare.
– Pack essential toiletries and a change of clothes (including underwear) in the carry-on (make sure all liquids are in containers of less than 100ml each). If you still have room and you use it daily, also pack your blow dryer. If your luggage gets lost, this will help you survive while the airline tries to find it.
– Take probiotics and products with lactobacillus before and during the first weeks of your trip. This will help you maintain good digestive health and avoid the famous travellers’ bad stomach.
– Prepare a small first-aid kit with some tissues, a couple of Band-Aids, something for pain (I recommend paracetamol, since it also helps with PMS and fever), flu, dizziness and vomit, diarrhoea and allergies and always take it with you. For girls, also include a couple of tampons, they might save your life.
– In many countries tourists are the preferred targets for thieves. Never carry your wallet in your back pocket or your purse on just one shoulder. Always keep a couple of bills inside your shoe.
To make sure you enjoy the trip:
-On the plane, if you have a small bladder, don’t ask for window seat, and if you have difficulties sleeping don’t forget earplugs. Take care of what you drink, a little bit of wine might help you sleep, but a little bit more will get you drunk easier than if you were on land.
-If you work out regularly, a skipping rope and a resistance band don’t take a lot of room and will allow you to work out anywhere during your trip.
– If you are going to a country where you don’t know the language, at least learn how to say “Thank you”, “Please”, “Sorry”, “Where is the washroom?” and “How much is it?” Read about the country, culture and traditions from the moment you start planning your trip.
– If you travel to a country with a big time difference you will most likely arrive in the morning. When you arrive to the hotel sleep just for three hours, and make an effort to take a shower and go exploring. Try to stay awake until the late afternoon and then hopefully you will be able to have a full night of sleep.
Follow this tips and I swear you are going to thank me one day.