Part 2 of 3
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One of my favourite things about travel is the opportunity to see new things! Sure, there’s the whole hassle of planning the actual logistics of the trip (which contrary to how that sounds, I actually enjoy), not to mention the dent that travel makes to your wallet but once these barriers are crossed, travel is one of the most exciting ways to open yourself to new things and experiences.
I’ve been something of a travel junkie for most of my adult life. I’ve taken countless trips and have visited over 40 countries in my life, yet every trip I take, I feel like I learn something new so here are some more tips for travelling that will make you a better traveller.
12. Take advantage of the sharing economy
Using the sharing economy when travelling has endless benefits. Moreover, locals know where to find deals. They know which supermarket is cheapest, which shops offer the best sales, and where to find the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars with the tastiest food at the lowest prices. Talking directly to them gives you access to that knowledge.
The sharing economy has changed the travel game and made travel more accessible for everyone. Make use of Airbnb for accommodation, BlaBlaCar for ride-sharing, Getaround to rent someone else’s car and Eatwith for meals.
This way, you’ll also be able to avoid the tourist traps, and get fantastic deals and perks. You’ll get to meet local people and experience the authentic way of living in your destination. Plus, you’ll end up saving money too!
13. Prepare your mobile
Check if you can use your data allowance at your destination. If you can, great! If you can’t, do this:
- Turn off your data roaming BEFORE you land.
- Make sure your phone is unlocked. This will let you buy a local SIM card in your destination to be able to use cheaper data to communicate with your friends and family.
14. Carry a power bank
You never know when your phone’s battery might drain-off so ALWAYS carry a power bank to charge your mobile, laptop and other gadgets while you’re on the road.
15. Take a couple of small padlocks
Staying at a hostel? Take a padlock – lockers and safes are useless without them! Use a combination lock so you can’t lose the key. The padlock can also double as a lock for your luggage if you’re leaving your hotel room and want housekeeping services or if you want to add another bag to your checked-in luggage OR if the airline forces you to place your trolley bag in the hold!
16. DON’T forget your debit/credit card
Going cashless is not what I’m promoting; it’s just that you can fall short of cash at any time and carrying more than required is not a wise decision either. Hence, carry at least one debit and credit card each for those unforeseen expenses.
17. Always split up your money
Never carry all of your cash or cards with you, all the time. If the worst happens and you lose your purse or wallet, you won’t be stranded without money. Either use the hotel safe or find a secure place to stash an emergency card and cash in your room.
18. Exchange money at your destination
Exchange money at your destination rather than in your home country! Go to official money exchange offices in the city at your destination country – this usually works out much cheaper than if you have to do so in your home country BUT beware of exchanging money on the streets as you may end up being the victim of a scam!
19. Download an expense app
From taxi fares and restaurant bills to hotel bills, keeping a check on daily expenses could be a task. Rather, downloading an expense app can make your life simpler.
20. Don’t buy a money belt — they’re stupid
Thieves know they exist and being seen with one basically shouts, “Look at me, I’m a tourist with money! Rip me off!” The more you can blend in and act like a local, the easier it will be to get deals and avoid touts. If you’re worried about pickpockets, keep a better eye on your stuff! And if you must wear a money belt, make sure it’s one that looks like a normal belt and can be worn like a normal belt! These normally have a zipped compartment on the back inner part where you can put your extra cash out of sight.
21. Be ready for emergency
You’ll never know when you’re going to need a pain reliever or a Band-aid. Make sure you always pack a mini first-aid kit. Band-aids have multiple uses, as well; you might find yourself needing a few to cover the heels of your feet as you hike around town. I never forget Band-aids of different sizes and shapes, paracetamol, stomach illness medicine, hydrocortisone cream, antibacterial ointment, and a small supply of doctor-approved antibiotics.
22. Stuff shoes
When shoes get bent or folded, they can lose their shape. Avoid this travel mishap by stuffing your shoes with paper before packing. They’ll withstand the rigours of suitcase life, and look great when you unpack. And remember: always put your shoes in bags, to avoid dirty soles spreading germs on your clean clothes.