Travel Tips/Money Savers

Food/Drink Related

  • Always travel with snacks! (ours: oatmeal, granola bars, peanut butter, tea, sweeteners, single pack drink mixes)
  • Buy lunch/dinner at local supermarkets (you get to check out what the culture/city buys and it’s traditionally less expensive than eating out)
  • Make sandwiches or your own salads from the local market/grocery store
  • Food shopping or wandering around a new supermarket is a great way to get used to a new city by checking out the new foods and it feels very familiar (in a good way)
  • Foods that have skins you don’t eat can be eaten in places where you can’t drink the water (ex: bananas, avocados, oranges)
  • In places where you must drink bottled water: to check that the seal has not been broken, turn bottle on its side and sqeeze; if no water escapes then it’s safe to drink
  • Foods to sustain you on your journey: oatmeal, granola, bread, apples, bananas, avocados, tuna (but not in any enclosed space, please)
  • Carry single serving drink mixes to flavor water (ex: crystal light /Arizona ice tea)
  • Find where the locals eat (often it’s more authentic to skip the tourist restaurants for an local meal)

Shopping

  • Every good tour ends in a gift shop! (might as well take a look, you never know what you’ll find)

Packing

  • Pack a hat!
  • Bring a few smaller travel bags with you as you never know when you’ll have to separate your belongings into a smaller bag to travel-they’re also always good for laundry
  • Flashlights are a necessity: small, medium, travel size
  • A good headlamp makes all the difference when camping (this way you can even see what you’re eating)
  • Tampons (especially those with plastic applicators) and specific types of Contact Solutions are hard to come by depending on the location-do your research-you might want to carry extra or have your companion carry some in case of lost luggage
  • Always travel with converters and the necessary cables for your electronics (keep these all in your carry on luggage with your electronics)
  • Carry a few extra memory cards (for the cameras) and thumb drives if you want to share information with people or back up details
  • For long trips bring an external hard drive (if you’re bringing a lap top) to back up photos and it can have downloaded movies/shows if you want to watch something from home
  • Always carry antibacterial lotion (spray, lotion, wipes)- soap isn’t always readily available depending on your destination
  • If you are combining a safari trip to Eastern Africa with any other destination afterwards; keep your other clothes in a separate bag-the beautiful red dirt of the Serengeti gets everywhere!
  • Baby wipes & baby powder have many uses; they might be the only shower you get on a bush safari
  • Always pack extra clothes in your carry on luggage & if heading to a sun-filled destination add a bathing suit/sarong
  • If you have very sensitive skin (or want to do your own laundry in the bathtub) consider bringing detergent to either give to a laundry service or do yourself
  • Bring a watertight bag (comes in handy for the beach, boats or a day out in the rain)
  • Duct tape, rubber bands, bungee cords and clothes pegs/pins have multiple uses to ‘fix’ most situations on a journey (rips in a tent/luggage; attaching runners to a backpack; laundry/keeping an opened bag of snacks closed in your bag)
  • Carry extra pens/markers with you and a notepad (or smartphone) at all times; you never know when something strikes you that you want to be sure you remember it later and can write it down/draw
  • Have access to a travel alarm clock (if your smart phone won’t work as a phone it will still work as an alarm as long as it’s charged)
  • Solar panel chargers/power monkeys/small power strips helpful to charge more than one electronic device at once
  • Ziplocs and plastic bags are always helpful
  • Bring clothes you wouldn’t mind leaving behind (to donate, barter, share or throw)
  • Books-they can be read, shared and donated along the way
  • Choose your travel jewelry carefully (when in doubt-leave it at home)
  • The old adage rings true; when packing-take half the clothing and twice the money
  • Bring a rain jacket/poncho or travel umbrella for inclement weather
  • Convertible zip off pants are great for all types of holidays

New Places

  • Food shopping or wandering around a new supermarket is a great way to get used to a new city by checking out the new foods and it feels very familiar (in a good way)
  • When moving to a new city, take advantage of the library (even when staying for a few months; you can typically get a temporary card)

General

  • When being chased by a hippo-run! And if he/she comes on land climb up the highest tree you can find.
  • Keep in mind that all foreign ATM machines will give you an ATM fee (along with your local bank fees-check with your bank to see if you can avoid this)
  • When flying out of the Dehli International Airport, be sure to change money (if you want to) prior to security as there’s no money exchange in the airport after security
  • Take advantage of the internet when you have it to upload photos to snapfish/cloud or drop box so you know you have a back up you can always access from anywhere there’s an internet connection
  • It’s okay (and often necessary) to rely on the kindness of strangers
  • Be flexible: sometimes the best part of travel is getting lost
  • Keep a journal to look back on your travels or to write about them at a later date (keep names, what you’ve eaten, who you’ve met and even keepsakes from travels)
  • Take photos! (leave only footprints)
  • Relish and write down interesting conversations you have with interesting people; you never know where they may lead
  • Always be prepared for squat toilets
  • Write, write, write
  • Relish every moment of your adventure-many people never get this opportunity
  • It’s world travel…it’s not supposed to be just like home!

Advance Planning

  • Confirm flights early and double check meal requirements/requests
  • Travel Insurance: A MUST! (ex: travelex world wide insurance/world nomads)
  • Always bring copies of prescriptions (medicines/contact lenses/glasses) and know generic names of drugs
  • Bring a copy of your marriage license (especially if you do not have the same last name as your spouse)
  • Call credit card companies and banks before going overseas to place travel notifications on your cards (some now allow this to be done online)
  • Carry a copy of the front page of your passport at all times (take a photo of it and email it to yourself so you can get it on your smart devices) – (lock up your passport in hotel safe if you’re comfortable-if not and you feel you must carry it you may want a money belt)
  • List all of your vaccinations, medical allergies and regularly taken meds on your Yellow Fever card (also include anything else doctors should know)
  • Check the CDC website for suggested vaccinations far in advance of your trip; some shots need time to take effect before you enter the areas
  • Check your home country’s state department website for visa requirements ahead of time (some visas take 4-8 weeks to get and there are financial requirements as well as paperwork and photos)
  • Make sure your travel companion knows of any allergies to foods or medications
  • If you’re traveling overseas and do not speak the language of the country fluently; consider having your allergies (especially to food) or food preferences written in the language regularly spoken to make sure the translation is correct http://selectwisely.com
  • When staying at a hotel/property always take a business card with you for the day so you have someone to call in case of emergency and the card traditionally has it’s address written in the language of the country you’re in (easy access for taxis or to ask locals for directions)
  • Email yourself and loved ones a copy of your travel details
  • If you’re taking anti-malarial pills; try them in a place where you’re comfortable with the medical care first in case of any reaction
  • Consider pre-loading a travel money card to take with you

Travel

  • Low cost airlines in Australia: Jet star/Virgin blue
  • Low cost airlines in USA: Southwest/Jet Blue
  • Low cost airlines in UK: Easy Jet/Ryan Air & BMI
  • Get local bus/train schedules: they are much easier than taking taxis (always arrive a little early)
  • If you have the time; check airport or hotel shuttle bus services; they might take a little longer with all the stops, but are much less expensive and you can get great information from the drivers & other passengers
  • When in search of organized trips or just doing research for your own adventures; check out Contiki Tours (18-35 years old) http://www.contiki.com/var_b & G Adventures http://www.gadventures.com
  • Travel stores are great for all items (ex/REI, EMS, ANACONDA) http://www.rei.com http://www.anaconda.com.au

 Medical

  • For an upset tummy anywhere: ginger and mint
  • To keep away the mosquito population: lemongrass
  • Always travel with gum and mints as they help cure nausea
  • Anti-nausea meds: Gravol (over the counter in Canada/England or from a chemist in Hong Kong)-an absolute lifesaver when on the road! (doesn’t make you drowsy like dramamine for motion sickness)
  • Travel with antibiotics: a 3 day dose of CIPRO should kick travelers diarrhea (immodium won’t do it if it’s a bug)
  • Always carry your own first aid kit (bandaids, alcohol pads, Neosporin, anti-sting pads, ace bandage, medical tape just for some ideas)
  • When carrying medications on planes be sure to have labels on loose meds (inhalers, epi-pens)some airports ask for them
  • BENADRYL, BENADRYL, BENADRYL!
  • Immodium and rehydration sachets/pills are a must
  • If you’re taking anti-malarial pills; try them in a place where you’re comfortable with the medical care case of any reaction
  • Malarone seems to be the most popular anti-malarial drug (expensive; but you only take it for a short time)
  • Doxycycline is also popular; is much less expensive but is taken for longer once out of the infected area
  • When taking Doxycycline, good idea to take an Acydopholis tablet (yogurt tablets) to keep good tummy bacteria alive (one of the best tips we got when traveling in Inda…limited Dehli belly if any)

 

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