- Travel in clothes you are comfortable in
Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in when travelling. Sometimes, people are advised not to wear jeans because they are heavy, take time to dry and take up lots of space in your bag but you want to fit in well among the people of the country you visit and if a pair of jean will make this possible and of course if you are comfortable in it then you should wear or take it along with you. You will not enjoy your trip if you feel bad about what you wear or you are not comfortable in them.
- Don’t put documents and very important things in your luggage rather put them in your daypack
Important things like your passport, other documents, money and important items should not be kept in your luggage but in a bag you can carry about like your backpack or daypack. You don’t want to get stranded if your luggage gets stolen.
- Make a copy of your documents, and keep them safe
You should definitely make copies of your documents, password protect them and store them probably in your email, should in case you lose them you can show the copies to prove that you are who you say you are.
- Send copies of your flight and accommodation details to your families
You should inform your families and friends of your travel plans and send them details of your hotels and flights. You can as well inform them as soon as you check in to these hotels and board flights for safety reasons. It can only take few minutes of your time but will assure you of your safety.
- Do not use a money belt
Money belts are so obvious no matter how small they are designed. A lot of people have reported robbers raising their clothes to check for a money belt. Just keep your valuables in purse like you will while at home, you should also keep some money hidden probably in your socks or somewhere inconspicuous in your wears.
- Learn at least greetings in the language of the countries you visit
Being able to greet people in their language makes them feel you are one of them; you get assistance easily when you communicate with people in their own language. After greetings, you can gesture whatever you need help with or use a translation app and show them what you need to get done.
- Write down the address of your accommodation
You should write down the address of your hotel in a paper. Just in case your phone battery becomes low and you can’t get it charged or even the worse happens and your gadgets get stolen.
- Go with enough cash
This is quite important so you won’t be stranded and you will be able to afford things you feel you need. You should not keep all your cash in a single place; you can hide some on your body. And you should go with a widely acceptable currency like dollar and euro if you are going to Europe.
- If it’s possible, try not to exchange your cash at the airport
From experience, exchanging currencies at the airport are usually more expensive so if you have enough local currency to get yourself into the centre of the town or city, be rest assured you will get better rates exchanging there.
- Back up your photos
Before you can back up photos, you must have photos right. This is a reminder for you to take as much photos as you can then back them up so you won’t go through the regrets of losing them. You can follow up on social media to know photogenic places in the city or town, head there and take nice photos too.
- Check your room thoroughly before leaving
This is as important as the entire trip, you don’t want to make a second trip to retrieve important documents or live through the fear that you might never get hold of them again. Well worse things happen, what if you were robbed but then you won’t feel as bad as when you forget your valuables in your hotel room so make it a routine and ensure you have enough time to do this check before checking out of the hotel and boarding that cab.
- Use a vpn
A vpn is used to protect sensitive information your gadgets transmit over wifi so that you won’t be a victim of a cyber attack. On trips, it is almost inevitable not to connect to an unfamiliar wifi because you might not have the country’s mobile network yet and you need to do things on the internet. Just so you know, connecting over a public wifi without a vpn is not safe practice and you should try not to enter sensitive information over such internet connections. Airports, hotels, Starbucks and other places have free wifis that you can use when you need them, remember to protect yourself with a vpn and not to enter sensitive information over such public wifi connection.
- Give family/friend details about your travels
For security purposes, you should let your family and or a trusted friend know about your movements. You wouldn’t know if they have places or know people who can help you have a better feel of the country.
- Pack your bag the night before a morning flight
It is a good practice to have your bags packed in the night before a morning flight, this will help you not to leave important things behind in your hotel room because you may be in a hurry in the morning so you won’t miss your flight.
- Start saving early and travel with more than enough
It is advisable to start saving for a trip early enough so by the time you embark on it you would have enough for your trip. The main idea is to have fun but it can become something else if you don’t have enough money.
- Unlock your phone before leaving your home country
Unlocking your phone comes with the advantage of being able to use other service providers so when you go to another country, you can pick use their network providers without having to get a new phone for this purpose.
- Do a health check up before you leave
It is very important to know the state of your health before you leave your comfort. This way you will know how to manage your health. Surely, you don’t want to be sick during your trip or have to spend the cash intended for your trip to see a doctor.
- Eat healthier
On this note, I would like to chip in that it is absolutely fine to try local dishes; in fact, you should because it is part of the experience. Apart from the local dishes, you tend to eat more outside and can gain more weight doing this so more often you should opt for healthier meals consisting of vegetables and fruits.
- One way tickets are better
A one way ticket is always better because it gives you freedom. You can decide to go to another place and spend the rest of the time you have there or even extend your trip.
- Go early to places that are likely to be crowded
Going early to the most popular place of attraction gives you opportunity to have a full experience before many other people arrive at the place. You might even be ready to leave by the time other people are just arriving.
- Take as much debit / credit cards with you
Trust me you may need more money than you have on you, this is when the cards come in handy and you should as well take as much as you have, you shouldn’t leave them behind for security purposes then in the case that one gets blocked the other will be useful to receive transfers or make withdrawals.
- Use Google translate app
This comes in handy when you want to know the meaning of words you see on sign posts or even on food menus. The Google translate app also has a feature many people are not familiar with, You can use your phone camera to take pictures of the sign posts and menus and they get translated right away so it saves you the stress of typing one after the other. Surely, this will be of great assistance.
- Take a toilet roll along
You will be happy you did when you need to use one probably to catch a sneeze or in the toilet. So, go along with toilet roll, they have to be among things you should pack always because you don’t want to be looking for stores to get one and that would be harder since you are not familiar with the place.
- You can download offline maps of the countries
Just in case you may not have access to the internet and you need to use the map, there are tons of third party apps that can help you get a hold of offline maps of a region so it’s a cool thing to prepare for the worst.
- Go to the local markets
This is the place to learn more about the culture and foods of the country you visit and who knows you might see something you’d like to keep for yourself or a friend.
- Take some medications along
You should take your medications with you when going on a trip. Get your doctor’s recommendations for anti malaria and pain relievers and stock them. Also store them properly.
- Mark your luggage
Ensure that your luggage is marked or very distinct. You don’t want to end up in an hotel room with a similar bag and all you have packed for the trip gone to some part of the country or world you don’t know about. So mark it and double check it when you pick it up.
- Know some of the traditions and customs
It is a good thing to do a little research before visiting a place, this will make you familiar with their customs and traditions. You don’t want to go about offending people because you don’t know their customs. For instance you can’t hand things to people with your left hand in some places, it is considered a bad thing to do, knowing this will ensure you are well received and you don’t cross your boundaries.
- Charge your gadgets at every opportunity
At every chance you have, do yourself a favour of charging your gadgets. You will definitely need them. Jumping on an arranged tour then discovering your camera does not have enough battery or your phone is not well charged will break your heart. You should also get a power strip in case you have limited sockets and you need to charge more devices than available sockets.
- Create a playlist of songs you listened to in a country
Songs have a way of bringing back memories of where you listened to them so it is not a bad idea to create a playlist of songs you had on repeat while staying in a particular country.
- Keep accounts of your spending
You should be accountable not only when you are on a trip but always however, you need to know how much you have spent and how much more you can afford to spend so of course keeping records is necessary.
- Be polite and smile
It is very important to be polite and smile to natives, they will readily offer their assistance to a polite person and you should also politely request for permission to take pictures of places and people that are there.
- Consider jetlags and fatigue in your plans
Yes, it is fine to plan to see the entire city or country during your vacation there but you have to consider the time you would need to rest and also bare it in mind you won’t be out there exploring all hours of every single day, jetlags and fatigue are capable of messing this up for you so you should consider them in your plans and take it slow. You should see as much or little as you can without being overly stressed and spending too much.