15 basic travel tips for a smooth and safe journey
Can’t wait to sip that Mai Thai on a white beach?! Great! But before you take off into the sunset, there are certain things that could be very useful to think about in advance.
1. Prepare for arrival (VISA)
Find out whether you need a Visa for the countries you are thinking about visiting. Some countries require you to visit their embassy in your country physically and may require much paperwork or time (for instance India and Myanmar).
2. Hotel booking first night
Even if you are an adventurous traveler, if you are going to a new country, book at least 1 night in a hotel/hostel at your destination. Not only is it nice after long travels that you do not have to look for somewhere to sleep on the spot, having an address to go to is in some countries also necessary to fill in your visa on arrival (for instance Thailand).
3. Hotel contact details upon arrival
Preferably, have a print of the hotel contact information and address in the local language with you. Not every taxi driver speaks/can read English (Booking.com already provides contact details in local language in some countries). Of you don’t want to write it down, make a screenshot. There is not always WIFI available at every destination. And depending on your destination, turning on your roaming may be very expensive.
4. Bring a charger and converter
Also, for long flights, bring your phone charger in your carry on luggage. Just in case your battery decides to die just when you need to show the taxi driver where you need to go! Furthermore, before you go, check whether you need a converter for your phone charger. Not every country has the same plug in!
5. Enquire about the price BEFORE you get in the taxi
Common mistake is to get inside the taxi and then the taxi driver tells you that the meter is ‘broken’ or that without meter, ‘it is much cheaper’. Then it is too late to get out. No. Before getting in, make sure you agree on the driver turning his meter on or determine a fixed price you think is reasonable. If you really want to be prepared, check online before you go what is a reasonable price for the ride you are going to make.
6. Financials in order
Make sure you have your finances in order before you leave. That will give you peace of mind. Read more on how to prepare your finances HERE.
7. Bring a camera
Making pictures during your travels is great. Especially to look at them when you have returned as they are great memories. Don’t forget to bring an extra battery and memory card for your camera.
8. Share your plans
Tell at least one person at home where you plan on going, and keep them up to date. Especially if you are traveling alone. You never know what may happen!
9. Don’t bring something for someone else
This may seem like a no brainer, but unfortunately it still happens. Never put something in your luggage that isn’t yours for a “friend” you met while traveling. You don’t really know the person and some people are unfortunately up to no good. You do not want to be locked up abroad for being naive and too friendly.
10. Suitable clothing
Always bring a Sarong or long pants and more or less closed shoes. For many religious sites, you can not enter with flip flops, bare legs and/or bare shoulders.
11. Learn the language
Well not the whole language, but things like: ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘beer’. You know, the important stuff. Those things will get you a long way!
12. Make a list
And check it twice! Especially for the last moment packers among us (yes, guilty too), having a list makes the packing much easier. Plus you run less chance of forgetting something!
13. Carry a copy of your passport
Just in case you loose your passport, it helps you with getting on your flight if you at least have a copy of your passport! Just saying…
14. Arrange your shots
There are many health risks out there. Before you leave, preferably 6 weeks before you leave, go to your doctor to find out which shots you need for the area you are going to spend time in! Better safe then sorry!
15. First Aid kit
Always comes in handy. Hopefully you don’t need anything, but if you do, you’re glad you have it. For instance, prepare for the case you ate something bad. We met a guy who ate something bad, and we had to sit in a cramped up mini-van for a whole day. He did not have anything with him and was so relieved that we did have a medikit so we could help him. Really, it is not a fun situation to be in. But also, bandages, something for headache and something to clean wounds is good to have with you. We have used all of the above on some point!
Somewhere specific in mind? Check out the continents:
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