You are hereTravel tips
Know a little can help a lot when you are traveling. Here are my travel tips to make your trips easier, less stressful and more fun.
Before you leave home
- Leave an itinerary, with dates, of your trip with family or friends. Regularly contact them and tell them where you are. Particularly important for solo travelers.
- Ensure you have all the immunizations you need, well in advance of the start of your trip.
- Get good travel insurance.
- Go to the dentist. Seriously, having a dental problem when traveling means you have to use the local services, which are can be of poor quality or hygiene. Explain to your dentist where you are going and for how long, as this can affect the treatment you receive.
- If you wear contact lenses make sure you have enough lenses and / or fluid. It can be impossible to get some of these in some countries / regions.
- Get fit. You don't have to go running everyday, but at least walk for 30 mins each day for 2 weeks before you leave. Almost all traveling requires a lot of walking. Getting this practice before you travel will help your first few days.
- Don't flash around money, watches, mobile phones, laptops, or anything of value. Keep it to yourself.
- Always keep your passport, money, tickets, vaccination certificates, and anything else of great value on you. Get a money belt and where it on your body, or use a pocket inside your clothes. Don't leave things in your hotel room. If you are going to the beach, don't leave valuables unattended, actually don't take anything valuable to the beach! Keep keys on you also.
- At night keep your valuables close to you, perhaps under your pillow. Thieves can take your possessions without waking you.
- If an area looks unsafe, or you get a bad feeling, leave immediately.
- If you are approached by someone do not show fear. Be polite, but firm.
- If you are mugged, do not resist. The consequences can me much worse than loosing a few items or money.
- Never break the law. This involves buying or taking drugs. Bribery is common is many countries, but is generally illegal.
- Taxis can be scammers. If it doesn't 'feel right', get out.
- When you get off a long flight, prepare yourself. Try and find accommodation first, even if you just pick somewhere out of a guide book when you land. Taxi drivers will often take you to sub-standard accommodation if you leave it up to them.
- Use airport or hotel buses when possible. They are normally safe, and their is unlikely to be a scam.
Food and drink
- Only drink sealed bottled water, fruit juice, coconut juice, bottled beers & wines, hot tea and coffee are normally OK.
- Avoid ice cubes, most are made with tap water.
- Ensure milk has been pasteurized, and cheese and other dairy products have been made with pasteurized milk.
- Peel all fruit, eat only cooked vegetables and avoid salads.
- Ensure seafood, fish and meat are thoroughly cooked, and eat when hot.
Traveling in hot climates
- The first 10 days in a hot environment are normally the most dangerous, and you should pay particular attention to the following advice.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid tap water though, only drink sealed bottled water, fruit and coconut juice.
- Wear light and airy clothes, be mindful of customs that might require you to cover you skin though.
- Make use of air condition when possible, but don't over do it, you need to acclimatize.
- Avoid excessive cosmetics or deodorants, as these cause prickly heat.
- Regular shows can help to avoid prickly heat.
Traveling in remote areas
Traveling in remote areas brings extra rewards, as well as extra risks. The following can help you, and others.
- Take a good, small first aid kit. Also take a small first aid book, or notes, that explain how to deal with most emergency situations, such as burns, bites, etc.
- Always dress appropriately. Although the weather may be very hot, it might not always be appropriate to wear shorts, a bikini, or even a t-shirt. When visiting temples or national monuments always wear trousers and long sleeves.
- Always get permission before taking someones photograph. Don't photograph temples or ceremonies unless you are sure it is OK to do so.
- Always take off sunglasses when taking to people. Eye to eye contact is important in all societies.
- Always inspect accommodation before you agree to stay. It takes minutes. If you are unhappy ask for a different room, or find somewhere else. Never be afraid, or too polite, to say no.
- Use your own padlock on door locks where possible, even if one is provided. Combination locks are good for couples or people sharing rooms. You can't loose the keys, and you don't need multiple keys.
- Avoid accommodation on the ground floor, when break-ins are more common.
- Check door locks and window fasteners carefully.
- Don't open your door to visitors until you have identified them.
- Buy neutral colored luggage. Black or dark green is best. A pink rucksack stands out to everyone, thieves included.
- Always lock your luggage with padlocks. I prefer combination locks, rather than ones with keys. That way I can't loose the key.
- Always be aware of where your luggage is. Never leave it unattended in bus or train stations, unless it is well secured. Always keep your things insight when in restaurants.