Travelling overseas has to be one of the great highlights of life. Venturing somewhere new and trying the amazing food, visiting the places you’ve always dreamed of, staying out way too late and then doing it all again tomorrow.
But with everything new comes the unknowns that can cause some nasty surprises. Travel can really be great but when things go wrong they can go really wrong. So we’ve created a list of some super simple travel tips and hacks for the first-time traveller.
What to pack:
- Travel Adapter! Travel Adapter! Travel Adapter! Don’t you dare leave your house without packing power adapters for the specific countries you’re going to.
- Take a lint roller: Trust us you will need it. A super simple lint roller can be the difference from looking like a proper dag to looking glam for only a couple of dollars.
- Bring reusable cutlery: Some Airbnb/hostel hosts are amazing and others are not so well equipped. Bring a knife and fork with you just case. There’s nothing worse than venturing home to eat some food and your host hasn’t supplied the basic utensils.
- Bring a wine bottle opener: Especially if you are going to any country that loves their wine. Don’t expect to find too many bottles that are screw top and there is nothing worse than trying to have a sneaky wine in the park only to realise you can’t open the bottle 😞
- Buy some tea and coffee for places that don’t give you any: Again if you are staying at an Airbnb or hostel, take a few packets of your favourite tea and coffee. There will be some days you will want nothing more than a coffee before your morning sprint to the bus or cup a soothing cup of peppermint tea after you’ve been on the road for a while.
- Double headphone jack: This is especially important if you are travelling with a partner or friend. This means you can both watch the same thing while not having to share an earphone each.
- Battery pack: At some point your journey your phone will go flat right when you’ll need it the most. Keep a charged battery pack with you at all times to ensure that you can recharge on the go.
- Microfiber towels: This tip was told to me from a friend and I didn’t really believe her at the time, but holy heck she was right. They are super compact and dry quickly making them perfect to take when going swimming or hiking. They are also perfect when you need to dry off your chair after it’s been raining. Etc. The uses are endless.
- Bring needle and thread: This little duo can save the day like nothing else. When travelling you only have access to so many items of clothing. Take a needle and thread in case something snaps.
- Roll your clothes instead of folding: This is a great space saver hack and stops your clothes from wrinkling.
- Save maps offline: We recommend that you get a local sim wherever you go so that you have the internet. But a great option is to always offline your maps in your maps app of choice so you can always find where you are going.
- Bring empty Manila folder with fill with souvenirs papers: Bring a manila folder/ plastic sleeve or whatever you wish to hold on to some memorabilia that you pick up along the way. There’s nothing worse than returning home and finding all the papers/flyers/tickets have been ruined in your bag.
- Print out a picture of your passport and place in your luggage: Hopefully, you never lose your luggage on the trip but in the unfortunate case that it does, print a copy off of your passport and place on the inside your suitcase. This will prove that the suitcase is yours and ensure it gets back to you.
- Make sure you have luggage warranty: Take a picture of your suitcase receipt as soon as you get it and ask for the salesperson to stamp the warranty if necessary. In case you get a faulty suitcase you want the documents in order for you to have it replaces free of charge.
- Pre-convert $$ at a good rate: When travelling overseas it gets confusing dealing with different currencies. A good solution is swapping some in your country at your local back and always google what the best exchange rate is. Don’t just assume! There’s a lot of people and companies that take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.
- Use hair straightener as an iron: After a while in your suitcase, your clothes will start to wrinkle. If you don’t have an iron, use your hair straightener. You’ll be surprised how well it works.
- Download movies off Netflix: When travelling there will be moments for downtime. Download some movies from Netflix to keep you happy when travelling in-between destinations.
Eat & Drinks
- Never eat in the main square: Sure it’s beautiful in the main square but only tourists eat there so expect prices that are sometimes 3-4x more than you should pay. You generally get better and more local food by venturing out anyway.
- Drink locally: When it’s time for a few beverages, research the local produce, whether it be a wine, spirit or beer. They tend to be cheaper and have stood the test of time for a reason.
- Look up some of the countries local specialities: You don’t want to miss out on something amazing just because you didn’t couldn’t read the foreign menu. Ask the waiter for or have quick research before you go out.
- Money: A travel card is your best friend. Find a bank that allows you to bank in real time, conversion free.
- Scams: Depending on where you are going they may be people running scams. You can easily google what some of them are depending on your travel destination. Don’t let the scams scare you, just be diligent about your surrounding and you will be fine.
- Buy travel Insurance: While hopefully nothing happens and you’ll be fine, don’t test the universe by risking not being insured. Remember if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you document the trip. Choose a style and try and stick with it. It may be journalling, taking photos, or using a one second a day app.