Everyone loves to travel, but there’s so much that goes into planning a trip – especially when you’re travelling abroad, or to places where the weather is less familiar. We thought you might find these travel tips handy. Who knows – they may be a real lifesaver the next time you set off to explore the globe.
• Always carry wet wipes. You never know when you’ll need to clean your hands or face, or handle a filthy doorknob. Also, carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser should you run out of wipes or be forced to dirty your hands.
• If you’re travelling to a place where you don’t know the local language, don’t just hope that you’ll pick it up miraculously. Learn some basic words and phrases; the most helpful will be ‘Hello’, ‘No’, ‘Yes’, ‘Where is the (insert vital destination)?’ and ‘Thank you’. Apart from being able to communicate a little better, it will probably save you time and energy. And remember, taxi is ‘taxi’ almost everywhere.
• When you get to your destination, keep an eye out for a grocery shop. Just in case you don’t enjoy the local flavours, you’ll be able to put together a meal on your own.
• Always keep some emergency cash stashed away somewhere; passports, credit cards and cash are often stolen while on holiday.
• It’s also a good idea to make two copies of all your important documents (passport, visas, identification). Take one set along so that you can leave the originals in your hotel safe, and leave the other with someone you trust at home. Should your documents get stolen, you have two backups.
• As much as we’d enjoy not having to worry about safety while on vacation, it’s always better to be prepared. Know where your embassy is, as officials there will be the ones who can help you out of a sticky situation.
• Carry a bag with important medicines – ailments on the trot are just not fun! You’ll likely need to treat headaches, travel/motion sickness, and upset stomach. Include Band-Aids on the off chance that you get into a scrape (literally). For tropical regions, you may want to carry mosquito/bug repellent and antihistamines.
• If you’re travelling to a sunny or tropical place, carry plenty of strong sunscreen (SPF 60+) and a hat to protect your sensitive scalp and face from the sun.
• Unsure about the drinking water? Stick to bottled drinks and mineral water, and skip the ice in your drinks altogether.
• Carry a voltage/pin adapter for your electronics. Remember to do your research so that you bring along the right equipment. A universal travel adapter is your best bet, and will let you use any plug at any outlet.
• If you’re travelling during the local monsoons, be careful because you could easily fall ill. Bring along any medication that can prevent this from happening, and ensure that your immune system is in peak shape. Avoid raw foods and questionable water sources.
• For humid regions, bring some talcum powder. It’ll get rid of the stickiness in no time – the perspiration will dry right up, and you’ll avoid bad BO.
• If you’re planning on a dip in the sea, hair oil is your friend. The salty water will take its toll on your hair, drying it out. Oil can tame it and keep it moisturised. If that’s not your cuppa, the least you can do is use a strong conditioner.
• We advise anyone travelling in the winter or to places with a strong chance of bad weather to fly nonstop. Connecting flights can get cancelled or delayed, leaving you stuck at an airport. There’s nothing more disappointing than spending your time off in the terminal. Just ask Viktor Navorski (see The Terminal)!
• It’s not a bad idea to keep someone reliable updated on your holiday whereabouts. If something untoward were to happen, they’ll be able to help. In addition, carry a list of emergency contacts.
• Keep yourself hydrated wherever you go, but especially if you’re headed somewhere with hot and humid weather. In fact, proper hydration can help combat jetlag.
• Carry a book (the paper kind) and some music (or whatever keeps you entertained), and switch off your phone. Keep your devices off (iPod excepted), sit back, and enjoy every second of your holiday! Happy trails!