Does your mind wander off in beautiful places every now and then? Does the thought of going on a vacation excite you?
Being someone who loves to travel, I am always looking out for travel tips that can make my life easy.
I mean the last thing that should be on your mind when you are out on vacation is – ‘Oh shit! I should have got an extra set of clothes’ (just saying!)
If you do a simple google search, you will be flooded with hundreds of brilliant dos and dont’s. As perfect as they may seem, I’m not someone who follows all of them as I try and look out for practical approaches.
Today, I decided to share few of my tried and tested travel tips that I absolutely swear by… Be it just a weekend away or an entire fortnight out on vacation, they have always, always helped me.
1. Make Lists
Seriously, lists have saved my life! Unless you are some crazy intelligent person who can remember every single thing, writing down all the things you need to take with you will save you from a lot of unwanted hassle.
They have helped me to remember to put that phone charger or those earphones which I would have otherwise forgotten in the rush of getting out.
2. Check the weather!
Pretty self-explanatory. You can never guess if it’s going to rain or if it’s going to be super chilly. By checking the weather forecast, you always give yourself a chance to be prepared.
3. Extra set of documents & clothes
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right? Keep a printed copy of your important documents with you just in case the original ones get lost. Emailing yourself a copy of your scanned documents is also a good option.
If you are traveling by airplane, carrying a set of clothes in your handbag is a smart move. In the dreaded event that your luggage gets misplaced, you will have a set of clothes with you and you won’t have to go hunting for new clothes immediately in a new location.
4. Roll clothes instead of folding
Speaking of clothes, rolling them up takes so much less space as opposed to folding them in the usual way. I had read about it but never tried it until that day when we were in San Fransisco… you see, we had done so much of shopping that on our return trip, our bags were practically overflowing!
That is when I decided to test this trick out and whaddya know? All our clothes could magically fit in our bag using this method. A general rule of thumb is to fold your clothes in half and then roll it up.
5. Carry Snacks
Who doesn’t like to save money? Be it a plane or a road trip, I definitely like to save some money by carrying my own snacks. My must-haves are sandwiches, nuts, energy bars, fruits like berries, grapes or oranges and a pack of gum.
And how can I forget water? Even though airports don’t allow you to carry water during their security check, you can always carry an empty bottle or two and then refill it whenever you wish to.
6. Stash some Cash
Okay, I am guilty of not practicing this. In the age of paperless transactions, it is quite easy to forget about it. But when you are traveling you might come across several places that accept cash only. So keep a small amount on hand always, something you won’t mind losing in the event it might get stolen 😉
7. Park Smartly
Has it ever happened to you that you parked a car in an unfamiliar place and later on totally forgot what the parking lot number was? Well, I have been there and it was sure to give us a mini-heart attack!
That is why I now quickly click a photo of the parking lot number in my phone or jot it down in the notes section of the phone.
8. Plastic bags to the rescue
Remember those grocery shop bags you have lying around the house? Don’t tell me I am the only one. Now is a good time to re-use them. I always keep 5-6 of those bags in the side pocket of my bag – they always come in handy when you have to throw trash or keep your used clothes in them. That way your used clothes do not come in contact with the fresh ones.
Ziploc bags are another good way of keeping the toiletries – If anything happens to explode or break, the mess will be contained in the Ziploc and won’t destroy other things.
9. Eat local food
Think you know how authentic a particular cuisine tastes like? Not really. Like the time we went to Malaysia, we tried out Malay food and absolutely fell in love with it!
So don’t be afraid to experiment with local food when you go to a certain country or city, but make sure that you eat in limited quantities and take any allergies into consideration.
10. Speak with Locals
I can’t stress this enough. You see, not all the information may be on the internet. Sometimes locals will recommend some of the best street food or a must visit place which you otherwise would not have seen. So ask the concierge in the hotel where you are staying or get chatty with that local coffee shop guy. You might learn a thing or two.
So these are some of the tips that always work for me… most of them are common sense but nonetheless important as they may slip our minds when we are in a rush.
What are some of your favorite travel tips? I would love to know!
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* Pic courtesy: Pixabay and Picjumbo