Tried and true
Travel is rarely ever without at least one tiny glitch. But with a little help from our friends, we’ve compiled the best travel tips that make vacations as problem-proof as they can be (although we can’t help the delayed flights…). And when shouldn’t vacations be anything but enjoyable?
#1 Always Get a Portable WiFi Dongle
There’s a saying that goes: “Travel where the WiFi isn’t”. While everyone loves a hideaway that feels like they’re off the grid, WiFi is an essential travel tool — especially when you’re travelling alone or going to a place for the first time. No, it’s not to keep up with social media, but to be able to navigate your way around, find restaurants, get updates on your flight,
reply emergency work emails — the list goes on. We find Travel Recommends Pocket WiFi works really well.
#2 Get Travel Insurance
A saying that is 100% true all of the time, is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. With travel insurance, you have the comfort of knowing you’re financially taken care of. And in the event of an emergency abroad — medical or otherwise — it helps tremendously. Many credit cards and air miles credit cards offer travel insurance when you book flights and stays. If you’ve checked and you don’t have that option, you can always get a third-party policy from companies like AIG, Prudential and AXA.
#3 Always Have a Spare Outfit in Your Carry-On
You never think it’s going to be you, until one fine flight, your luggage actually goes missing. And that, is just one of the reasons you should always opt for travel insurance. The important thing here is to carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure that lost luggage is accounted for, and fairly too. So just in case your luggage does go missing, you’ll need an extra outfit while you either make a beeline to the mall for new clothes and necessities… or take your chances waiting for your luggage to arrive.
#4 Invest in a Passport Holder
But not just any passport holder. It needs to be one with slots for documents, and just as importantly, made out of very durable material like leather. Having a good one will save you so much time scrambling through your bag to look for your passport, ticket and cash. Just think, you never have to feel that moment of panic as you approach your boarding gate. Get something classic instead of trendy so it withstands times and ever-changing trends, like one of these cool new passport holders.
#5 Manners Go a Long Way
Never forget to say please and thank you, no matter where in the world you are. Always remember the words for basic phrases in the language of where you’re travelling to, even if people commonly speak English. It’s the little thing like the thought that counts. So simple!
#6 Read up About Traditions and What Offends Local
What might seem obvious and normal behaviour to some, may not be to others. For example, parkour in temples, wearing swimwear around town, patting someone on the head, or drinking alcohol outside your resort. In Asia, people are more conservative so it’s important that tourists understand and respect them too. Check out some these ‘what not to do‘ guides to find out what’s frowned upon in a number of destinations.
#7 Carry Around a Name Card From Your Hotel
This one is for both your sake (getting lost is second nature to many travellers) and your taxi drivers. Imagine getting into a taxi at the airport, and having the driver give you a ride to the wrong hotel on a whole other side. Miscommunications are no stranger between foreigners and locals. Therefore, either ask for a name card at the front desk of your hotel, or have the exact name, address, and telephone number of your hotel written down neatly on a piece of paper, tucked inside your passport holder (see, you really do need one!).
#8 Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Company of Your Travel Plans
Anyone that’s had their credit card frozen overseas due to suspicious activity, will understand just how important this tip is. Sometimes, banks fail to alert you before putting a hold on your card. And when that happens, it’s a nuisance to deal with abroad and takes time getting it sorted.
#9 Keep a Travel Journal
You don’t have to be a writer, let alone write well. We experience those surreal, cheesy moments and it’s nice to be able to look back at them and remember what it felt like. Plus, you know, it might come in handy one day…
#10 Wake up Early
We’ll be the first to admit that mornings and sanity, do not go hand in hand with us. But, trying our level best to set an alarm — and wake up when it first rings — has led us to realise that early mornings on vacations are so worth it. Between the in-villa breakfast in bed, to watching the sunrise from your balcony, you’ll experience incredible peace and quiet. Bonus: getting to sightsee without the crowds.