For some people going travelling is a once in a life-time opportunity, but for others they’re bitten by the travelling bug early and don’t stop globetrotting throughout their lives. I try and go away as much as I can but it’s never as much as I’d like, I’m still dreaming of the day I win the Euromillions, can quit my job and globe trot around the world…. we can dream. On my travels, I’ve picked up some little bits of advice or secrets to make sure your holiday runs smoother which I thought I’d share with you.
Pack dryer sheets in your suitcase
Dryer sheets take up zero space in your suitcase but will leave it smelling fresh and can act as a barrier to seperate your clean from dirty clothes, especially useful if you’re travelling and not just going to one location, unpacking and staying there.
Pack a long strip of duct tape
Again duct tape can take up next to no room but if you’re sunglasses have ever snapped or the strap from your bag broken you’ll appreciate how useful duct tape can be. Stop unexpected disasters and repair your items quickly and easily.
Take a ziplock bag so you can use your phone underwater
Obviously, you’re going to want a decent quality ziplock bag but if you’re splashing around in the pool or taking a quick dip in the edge of the sea you can keep your phone protected and still be able to take those special photos.
Keep necklaces untangled by using a straw
Tangled necklaces are the bane of my life so put a chain through a straw and tie it up to prevent knots and mad scrambles to untangle it ahead of going out.
Pack a reusable water bottle (preferably one that collapses)
Everywhere you go you’ll need water and in some cities and countries bottled water can work out very expensive. In restaurants you’ll regularly get free tap water, and a lot of places have fountains where you can fill yours up.
Check if the drinking water is safe to drink
Following on from the above point check if the water from the taps is safe to drink. In some countries you cannot or shouldn’t drink the tap water so be careful when drinking but also if you make ice, or when you’re washing your teeth.
Put all your separate chargers in zip lock bags
Having tangled wires can be such a pain but by separating out your chargers into ziplock bags you can keep them within easy reach and never be searching or scrambling for a wire again.
Earplugs should be one of the first things you take away with you as they can protect you from noisy babies on long plane rides, early morning noises from the street and snoring holidayers in hostel rooms.
Keep a spare fake wallet
Space permitting keep a spare wallet and stuff it with papers and small bills, and some of those fake credit cards you get in new purses. If the unfortunate happens and you are mugged you have something to hand over before you run.
Stash some extra cash in your belongings
Losing your wallet, having your card declined or going to an ATM machine are all scenarios where you may panic if you are limited on funds so keep some emergency money hidden somewhere. Top spots include under your shoe inserts, in the frame of your suitcase/ rucksack or in your toiletry bag.
Keep Backup copies of all your important documents
As well as the physical copies of your passport, driver’s license and travel documents you should have copies which are kept in a seperate place but also e-mail yourself copies so if your belongings go missing you can access your email and your documents.
Never exchange money in your hotel
I always exchange currency before I go away because I know that my local First Choice will price match anywhere, but if you need to exchange money when you’re away use your card, find an ATM or look for a currency exchange shop as your hotel are likely to charge an additional fee and probably won’t have the best rates available.
Pack a spare outfit in your hand luggage
I’ve never known anyone to have their luggage not arrive and touch wood I won’t find any but if the worst does happen it’s always useful to keep a spare outfit (including underwear) in your hand luggage just in case.
Pack a lightweight scarf
A lightweight scarf is one of the most multi-functional items you can travel with and it will become your best friend especially if you’re heading to the middle east or somewhere hot. You can use it as a towel, sun protection, cover for entrance to religious buildings, a sarong, an eye mask and much more.
Place a plastic bag under the screw caps of any bottles
Shampoos, shower gels, and other items have a tendency to only leak during the worst situations and the last thing you want is for it to leak all over your clothing especially if you’ve packed up in a hurry. Pop a plastic bag in the screw cap before doing it up to prevent any little disasters,
Be careful when you take constipation medication
If you’re holidaying somewhere, particularly India, it’s likely that you’re going to need constipation medication at some point but think carefully about when you take it. You might not want to be rushing to the loo on a long train journey or when you’re stuck on a coach for half a day.
Always take the offer of a local guide
Guide books can only tell you so much so if you’re in a city center or wondering around a monument and are offered a local guide it’s well worth the money (although be careful it’s legit). You’ll be surprised at how much additional information you’ll get told. In Rome we had a guided tour around the Vatican Museum and it was so interesting and we knew what we were looking at.
Be aware of local laws
The final tip I’ll give it check out the local laws before you travel as laws change between countries. For example, you can not spit gum in Singapore (although it’s not nice anywhere) and you can’t drink on the streets in Dubai.