Tips for Travelling
• It sounds obvious but make sure your passport is in date for the next few years and has space in it for stamps/visas etc. In India in most accommodation, they took photocopies of our passport so it might be a good idea to bring photocopies so you don’t have to hand it over for long. Your passport is really the only thing you cant live without while travelling so guard it with your life.
•Preparation before you go is so important. We gave a folder with all our details (health insurance numbers, passport photocopy etc) to someone we trusted so in an emergency that we lost everything we could contact someone at home for details.
•Money: Its really so important to have multiple cash cards as they don’t all work. Bring a Visa and a MasterCard if you can. We use to hide away some dollars ($100) so if we were really stuck, we would have something. US Dollars are known everywhere so its best to have.
•I would really advise not to buy too big of backpack as explained in the last blog. Mine was 38L and it was heavy enough. You will also need a small bag for everyday. Make sure its one you can put around you securely.
• Give yourself time in places even if it means seeing less. You will enjoy places more if you spend some time there and get to know the area and the people. Also, it is very tiring constantly on the move.
•Pack essential items and nothing else (see packing list in last blog). For your essential items, such as walking boots, trekking trousers buy good quality so they will last . For other bits, you can always buy stuff as you go along. Sometimes it's better to buy local clothes when you get there. I had a few long skirts made when I arrived in places. They were super cheap and looked well. When I didn’t need them any more, I would give them away.
•Bring a good basic first aid kit but remember that a lot of medicines etc are much cheaper in other countries so you can stock up where needed with bug creams, dehydration salts, painkillers, water purification tablets etc.
•Being from Ireland we were not use to the heat in most countries. Remember to drink water regularly and always have dehydration salts in your first aid kit….just in case.
•Before entering a country, look at the entry requirements in advance. Some countries require you to have proof that your leaving that country such as an onward ticket.
•Bring a kindle if you have one. It will be your best friend on long journeys.
•Keep an account of your trip. You will be glad in years to come.
•Treat yourself the odd time to a really nice place to stay, manicure etc.
•Be careful of where you eat. For example, in India, we found it best to eat in the local busy vegetarian restaurants as there is a high turnover of food. Sometimes it’s worse to eat in the empty tourist places as food has been sitting about. If your unsure then try cooked vegetarian food.
•When choosing your places to visit, consider picking something you really want to do in that country and work around it, that was what we did and it worked really well as we now have highlights from every country and not just one.
•We found the website ‘trip advisor’ very good for accommodation once you can recognise what’s a real review or not. Guide books are brilliant for general info but didn’t find them as good for accommodation.
•When you arrive in a new place and are unsure about it, get a taxi to your accommodation and ask them about the local area to see if its safe to walk around at night etc.. In Asia, we often booked taxis in advance from the airports to avoid the crowds of taxi people coming up to you. They can be quite intimidating we avoided the hassle by having a taxi waiting for us. Only get into registered taxis.
•I was quite nervous in new cities as they could be so big and different but try not to think that everyone is out to kill you. The chances are they are not. Its wise to be cautious and take general safety precautions but don’t let it ruin your time somewhere.
•Dont be too disappointed if your not enjoying somewhere or are feeling a little down. Everybody expects travellers to be carefree and having the time of your life but sometimes it can be very stressful and tiring hopping from place to place. If you start to feel down, maybe chat to people at home to cheer yourself up. Allow yourself time in places so you dont get burnt out.