The Easter holidays are upon us – make sure you get a bit of down time by planning your escape now.
Nine great travel tips – in no particular order
- Take travel insurance
Bookings through credit cards usually offer generous travel insurance, as do many private insurance and medical aid schemes. Check out, before you go, what insurance you do have and, if necessary, top it up.
- Pack less stuff
You don’t need half the stuff you think you do to travel anywhere. Pack it all and then halve it. This leaves you able to move and, more importantly, able to shop when you hit your destination!
- Back up everything
Keep both digital and physical copies of your passport, Visas, driver’s licence, birth certificate, health insurance card, serial numbers and important phone numbers ready to go in case of an emergency. That goes for your photos too – back them up just in case.
- Pack a scarf
As all the world’s most seasoned travellers say, go nowhere without a generous scarf. Use it to protect yourself from the cold, the sun, use it as a sarong, a towel, bedspread, picnic blanket, tablecloth… – you get it!
- Take lots of photos
You’ll possibly only see these places and meet these people once in your lifetime. The ultimate souvenir, photos are easy to share and they don’t take up space in your luggage.
- Smile and say hello
Having trouble interacting with locals? Do people seem unfriendly? Initiate contact. Make eye contact and smile as you walk by. If they smile back, say hello in the local language too – a fast way to make new friends.
- Slow down
Don’t try to cram six countries into six weeks of travel or eight museums into four days. The good stuff happens when you really take the time to explore and you learn about activities that aren’t in your guidebook and meet people who are eager to show you around. The very best travel experiences seldom happen within the first few days of arriving – wind down and spend more time in fewer places.
- Eat local food
Think you already know what Chinese food tastes like? You’ll be surprised. Taste a bit of everything when you travel, especially if you don’t know what it is. Ask locals for recommendations. Eat street food from vendors with big lines out front.
- Say yes often
Be impulsive and say yes when someone randomly invites you to meet their family, try a new activity, or explore a place you didn’t know existed. It’s these unexpected and unplanned situations that add spice to your travels and always turn into the best stories later. Accept the kindness of strangers when you travel — you’ll have plenty of opportunities.