Travelling can be exciting, but what isn’t exciting is having trouble during your vacation. While you might already have some travel tips, you might reconsider adding these essential tips that I’m about to give you. Being a traveler, I’ve decided to provide you with some of the things that I do whenever I am traveling.
1. Avoid unpacking while on your trip.
This may seem a little odd, but hear me out. Unpacking your stuff every time may make you lose some stuff. I know I have. For some reason, you will forget to repack the most essential things like your toothbrush only to get to the next destination and discover you forgot it. To avoid such, just don’t unpack everything at every step of your travel destination. You can always use packing cubes to be organized and have a system.
This way, your mind will always be wired where to get all your stuff.
2. Invest in a good travel bag.
Why? Because it will be your home during your entire trip! Everything you need will be in that bag, making it very important for you to invest in a good one. Not mentioning the soaking, brushing, and pushing you and your bag might go through. Although that extra 30 bucks may seem a lot right now, it is all worth it in the end.
3. Don’t leave technology behind.
I know, sometimes you may feel the strong urge to leave your phone behind so that you can connect with nature or genuinely enjoy the travel experience.
However, from my travel experience, I’ve always found mobile apps come in handy in some situations. Take Uber, for example. My friends and I once found ourselves in a slightly uncomfortable situation where we had to get back to our hotel room. Although our rooms were just down the block, we didn’t have the guts to walk since it was at night. What did we do? Yes, that’s right, uber!
Here are some apps that I’ve found really helpful.
- Google Translate. Helps translate while you’re offline.
- Maps.me. For mapping without WiFi.
- Uber. (In Asia you’ll have to use Grab).
- GlobeConvert to help in converting currencies.
4. Get a local guide.
Although they come at an extra price, they are totally worth it. They will help you see your destination through a local’s perspective. Not mentioning that you can always ask as many questions as you’d like about something that intrigues you. With a local, be sure they will take you to some of the best areas depending on your budget. Trust me, they know A LOT of places that they will not mind taking you.
It might also give you that satisfying feeling as you will know you are directly feeding a local family.
5. Try to wake up early.
Yes, yes, I understand you are on vacation to relax. But hear me out. Most tourists are asleep during morning hours, meaning you will not find crowding in some of the places you want to visit. Do you know who else is asleep? Pickpockets.
If you’re traveling to hot countries, mornings are an excellent way to still enjoy your day and avoid the heat. Plus, it gives you more time.
6. Always look for accommodation close to universities.
Although this tip may seem awkward to you, I really do advocate you consider it. Students will arguably be among the most friendly among the locals you’ll meet, not to mention their willingness to show you around. A city with a university will have an active nightlife if you care about that kind of fun as well as affordable housing and meals.
This way, you can easily avoid the over-charged tourist accommodation.
7. Learn how to bargain/haggle
Don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal, everyone does it. I do it. It’s okay.
Locals usually overcharge tourists in most places I’ve visited. However, you can’t expect to buy at the same price locals are buying at, but you can at least get them to lower their price a little.
It is, however, crucial for you to maintain respect as cultures vary from place to place. Having that local guide will also help here since they can speak for you.
You can always start by asking the hotel staff prices on some of the items you’re interested in getting. This way, you have a rough idea of what the item costs, and you can try to bargain from there.
8. Search your destination on Instagram.
Needless to say, there is a lot of information out there from bloggers and other websites. However, most of them are repetitive.
You might want to search through other social media sites like Instagram to see what other people are posting about the place. This way, you may get a feel of the area and even stumble on a less common but exciting place to visit.
9. Visit UNESCO sites.
UNESCO provides some of the best places you can visit. You know why? They took their time in evaluating and sifting out sites to preserve those that need to be preserved.
You can always see these sites through their UNESCO World Heritage website and plan your trip accordingly.
10. Split down your money using banks.
I know I’m not the only one who has found themselves in this rather uncomfortable situation. You want to get something from a street vendor for $1, but you only have $ 100 notes. It doesn’t sound too good, giving out the $ 100 for them to take out their $1.
For this, I’ve always found it easier to head over to banks and request for change or lose money. Having worked in a bank previously, I can assure you that most banks will not refuse to help you out. However, you might find that in some instances, some banks will ask you to provide proof that you used their ATM.
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