“I PITY THE FOOL” (albeit the travel fool)
If any of you know Mr. T, then you will know what I am referring to. The Mohawk sporting bad-ass who loves to utter the infamous phrase. In this article, I am referring to the travel fool. You know those jet-setting wanna-be’s who just can’t see to get it right on what to bring along their travels (think stiletto son a sandy beach, flip flops, t-shirts and sports jackets when it’s close to freezing temperature. Okay let’s not pass on any judgement, I guess it happens to everyone and most specially when unprepared which makes planning very important.
So when planning to travel abroad to certain locations and sharing it with your loved ones, you can’t help but to listen to several horror stories of things that may have exaggeratedly happened, or not. Sometimes you have to listen to unrequested and unwelcomed opinions and views about your next travel locations too. And SO, since you are reading this, then you can either stop here or continue reading for more unwelcomed and unrequested travelling tips. Here it goes…
- Always make copies of your essential travel documents, let it be your passport, visa,bank cards, ID, travel insurance information, health certificates and others.When you do so, email it to yourself or keep it in a cloud storage.
- Carry a basic first aid-kit and an empty water bottle. If you need to know why,please stay at home. Carrying essential oils are actually useful and will help to prevent minor congestion, nausea (TIP: I love PURE AIR because it does help with nausea, congestions, cough, migraines without leaving a sticky feel and without smelling like a sick person. So important when travelling!) They too can act as natural relaxing energy and immunity booster for those periods of long layovers and travelling time.
- Not everyone bites but some people do. Keep a healthy dose of scepticism and yet at the same time be sincere, open and friendly to the strangers you will meet during your travels. Each person you meet, is a tale to be told. Keep secrets,passwords, confidential information to yourself.
- Among your other essential, you should also pack plenty of patience and respect and guess what, they won’t cost you a dime in excess baggage. You will need patience because will not always go in your favour during your travel and not everyday will be a fun day. However, the universe is not conspiring against you. Every bump you encounter, is a dent to your armour and a shiny armour is a pretty useless item. Now is a good time to learn to laugh at yourself. Yes,pack a little humour!
- If you never ask, the answer is always a no. That applies to asking for an upgrade to a hotel room as well. Ask nicely though and always keep in mind that you are requesting and don’t hold it against the establishment if there isn’t any upgrade available. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to ask right?
- Learn a few local phrases. Not only will you leave with a new-found knowledge and appreciation of your travel destination, but it might be a life saver if you found yourself in a predicament and the locals might see you in a different yet positive view.
- They key to a great travelling experience is to get yourself out of your comfort zone yet have the necessary essentials to enhance it. To do this, do NOT bring your entire wardrobe. Pack light, pack smart. Use a smaller bag, always have towels, extra socks, ear-plugs, eye-masks and there is no shame wearing the same thing on several occasions. You can pre-plan your attire. You are a traveller,not a fashion critic.
- Connected to number 7 is staying relevant. I know some or most of you want an Instagram worthy ensemble for all your travel photos. It’s fine. Just remember not to be slaves to fashion and in the process lose sight of the beautiful culture,surroundings, food and people that are actually right there while you’re trying to get your perfect shot.
- Get lost, on purpose of course. There are very few things in the world that can replicate the joy you feel when you discover something new and exciting for you. Unfortunately, getting lost have to be apart of that journey of discovery.
- Educate yourself with common travel scams. Don’t let Mr. T pity you. Take note and write down emergency contact information of the location that you will be travelling to. You should also register yourself at your nearest embassy and inform family and friends of your travel plans.
- Spend more time in fewer places than spending less time in more places. There is not much joy in rushing. Rome wasn’t built in a day neither should your travel experience.
For more travel tips or perhaps you would like to share your travel experiences, write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTING WRITER:
Diane is a clinical psychologist, writer, and travel enthusiast. Her work has brought her to various reaches of the world and enabled her to see and experience.….the Serengeti in Africa, the real geishas of Japan, the monsoon in a tropical jungle as well as the craziness of the Big Apple. She is a modern woman currently residing in Singapore and living an independent lifestyle.