23 Apr

TRAVEL TIPS

This is a new, updated list of travel tips. I have asked travelers I met along the way to share their best tips, and I think you will find them all very helpful. If you have any we have missed please feel free to email them to me, so I can add them to the list. Please include your first name, and home country.
Go with your gut – if it does not feel right – it likely is not – This is my number one.

Talk to Strangers, and don’t overplan – Michael (and his 4 mates) from Australia
Learn: Please, Thank You, Toilet in every language you will encounter on your trip – Larry, Canada
Ask Reception where you are staying for the best things to see, and things to watch out for – Paulo – Italy

If you are going to be somewhere where there are a lot of pickpockets, use a twist tie to secure zippers – prevents them from being opened easily.

Take a sarong – multipurpose use for both men and women  – Mothercourage L.P.
Give someone at home the telephone country codes where you will be, so if they get a call from that country they will know to answer it – Grethen – U.S.A.
Take some time to learn the money – Eddy – Canada
Try to share taxis when you arrive at the train station/bus terminal/airport.
Just go – Jackey, South Africa
Always carry toilet paper _ Stephan, France
Always carry some ID and emergency contact information – Uli – Austria
Get Lost – both in mind and body – Antonio – Germany
Take a Chance – Simon & Alice – England
Show Respect – Andrea – Germany
Take your time – Linda, Canada
Talk to Everyone – Betsy – England
Try Everything -Caio – Brazil
If it sounds to good to be true – It Is – James- Ireland
Write down the price from the menu when you order – check to see if it is the same on your bill – Anika – Switzerland
Be Aware – Not Afraid – Ester – Holland
Carry only enough money for the day in your wallet – Cary – Alaska
Don’t wait until you have “enough” money – you will never have “enough” – Go when you have some – Tamara – Ireland
Take a photo of your luggage, and have a list of the contents – Wayne – U.S.A.
Don’t get Drunk – Peter – Scotland
Be the one who did it – not the one who wished they had Cathy, U.S.A
Keep a journal Alex South Africa
Enter each country softly – try to arrive early, stay in a nicer place, get used to the money, have a nice dinner and a good sleep – Catherine – England.
Try to get together with others and hire a car for a day – Robin – England
Slow Down – Mathias – Germany
Don’t always look at things through the lens of a camera – Daniele – Germany
Separate things in your pack into plastic bags – Anouk – Holland
Pack Lightly – Ugne & Ashton – Canada – he had a big heavy pack, and the last laugh – as we crossed the border from Laos into Vietnam in the cold and pouring rain – he had extra clothes in that big pack!
Don’t get upset if you have to change some of your plans – Swiss kids I met in Vinh, Vietnam
Go Everywhere – Eithad Pilots I met at Ha Long Bay
Eat your main meal at noon – George – Poland
Always have emergency cash on you somewhere – preferably U.S. $$$ – Jurgen – Germany
Don’t panic if you get lost – enjoy where you are for the time.
Tip if it is the custom. If you cannot afford to tip, stay home until you can. – Pat – Canada
Check online for the “Scams” where you are going, before you go.
Every time you stop somewhere, before you leave, look around for things you may have forgotten.
Always take a card from the place you are staying, so if you get lost you can get help finding your way back

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If you are traveling as a couple have a code word – if that word comes up in conversation it means “we are getting out of here right now”.
Spread your money and bank cards around – do not keep them all in the same place.
Email yourself the numbers of your bank cards – and the telephone numbers to call if they are lost or stolen
Scan and photocopy your passport and any visa pages. Email a copy to yourself, and a family member. Print a couple of hard copies to take with you.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone, and keep them updated of changes
Look at postcards when you arrive somewhere – will give you a good idea of what you want to see.
Twist ties are good to keep a zipper closed in an area where pickpockets ply their trade.
I use a Steripen to purify water rather than constantly buying plastic bottles.
My doctor told me if I thought I might have any stomach problems when I first start eating street food, chew a Pepto Bismol tablet first – it lines your stomach.
Dukoral – over the counter medication to prevent stomach upsets – I have never used it but I have a friend who swears by it.
Wear a money belt – only carry money you need for the day in your wallet.
Have a routine. Always put things in the same place, or same things together, wherever you stay. Less chance of leaving things behind.
I make a card for each country I am going to visit. On one side I put the address and contact telephone number of the Canadian Embassy. The other side has a quick currency conversion. EX: $1 = 15.5 Peso, $10 = 150.50 Peso
1 Peso = $.07 100 Peso = $7.00 I then laminate it and keep it in my wallet.

Expect the Unexpected

Bring some duct tape.  Wrap a few meters around a card – handy for many things.

Put a bit of cash and some expired bank cards in a hotel safe – thief will take that and not search your stuff.

Always remember you are a representative of your country – Miguel – Philippines