10 Travel Tips For A Hassle-Free and Enjoyable Trip
After months and months of hard work when you take that well planned, hard-earned trip, vacation or holiday you want it to be as stress-free as possible. You work hard all year so when you travel you want to enjoy every moment, the following 10 travel tips will help you squeeze all you possibly can out of your trip so you will take home the memories you deserve.
1. Be Organised But Don’t Plan Everything
I know that sounds like a contradiction, let me explain. Be organised enough with your flights, transport at the other end, guides if you are heading to a new city and need one, etc, have a good framework but do leave some space to go-with-the-flow and explore whatever happens on the day. On my second night in Florence, we met some locals who told us of a music festival that was on that night. There was no signage anywhere and that local knowledge lead us to a great night out with new friends!
2. Say NO To Over Packing
I know it’s tempting to take all your favourite outfits “just in case” but seriously you’ll never wear half of them and you can always buy something when you get there anyway. I sent 5kgs (11lbs) back from Monterosso in the Cinque Terre once, cost me a fortune! Here’s a simple formula and you can say goodbye to over packing for good!
Take the number of days and divide by two and minus 1 and you’ll have everything you need on your trip. Here’s an example for a two-week trip
14 days divided by 2 = 7 – 1 =6 outfits. Throw in some comfortable shoes for walking, a versatile travel wrap, a bit of bling, underwear, swimwear and sleepwear and wallah, no more over packing!
3. Pack This And No Breakage
Bringing that precious memento home can be a packing nightmare. I’ve brought home many souvenirs from trips including delicate wooden and stone carvings. By packing a few small sheets of bubble wrap in your luggage will save your precious cargo from any damages, it takes up no space, is lightweight and works a treat.
4. Traveling Solo?
Some hotel and hostel doors don’t have a chain on their doors, so if you are worried about safety as a female solo traveller, pick up a rubber door stop from a dollar store to slip under your door at night. They are a small, lightweight addition to your luggage for peace of mind and a good nights sleep.
5. Sleep Alternatives
Instead of staying in resorts, hotels and hostels consider apartments, private villas and homes for a change. We have stayed in villas and homes in various countries around the world. We found staying in a neighbourhood gives an authentic feel to a trip, plus you are really mixing it with the locals. There are many accommodation sites springing up such as HomeAway, Airbnb or if you are travelling on a budget, want to stay with locals and make new friends instantly then Couchsurfing here may be for you.
6. Load And Update Apps
Make sure your apps on your phone and tablets are up-to-date, especially the in-flight wireless entertainment apps. On a flight with Virgin to Bali, we heard many groans from passengers around us who hadn’t upgraded their app, therefore couldn’t use it. One bonus is the flight attendants do give you fair warning when you board so you can easily update while you are waiting for the plane to board.
I have a list of a few very useful apps here that will minimize any travel hassles.
7. Belt Buckles, Boot Attachments And Jewellery
If you want to sail through security checks at airports hassle-free, remove anything that you know will set off alarms. I have a particular pair of boots that have removable metal parts, I pop them and my belt in my handbag and sort them out when we’ve made it to the lounge or gate. I’ve found if there’s a hold up through the first security check then the explosive detection people will pull you over EVERY TIME!
8. Take a Workshop And Take Home A Memento Or Memory
For that authentic experience of the area you are visiting, do a little research and seek out any classes or workshops that interest you. It might be a cooking class in Bali, a ceramic class in France, a singing class in Barbados, or meditation class in India. It will not only be a unique experience, but you’ll also bring home great memories, photo’s, memento’s and even meet some new friends.
9. Find Authentic Foodie Moments
Street food has had some bad raps over the years and I’ll admit when I visited Bangkok in the nineties the smell and hygiene turned me off completely and I refused to sample anything. Fast forward and with many trips and travel experiences under my belt I’ll give anything a try. OK, maybe not everything (think eyeballs and other icky parts) but street food doesn’t turn me off like it use to. I’ve had some of THE best satay’s in Warungs on the streets of Bali.
If you are chasing civilized dining experience then this site offers dining experiences all around the world from professionally trained Michelin-starred chefs to passionate home cooks whipping up authentic local recipes with the freshest of local ingredients.
10. Take a Business Card
Not your business card, although they would come in handy, I mean one from your accommodation where you are staying. We learned this trying to explain to a taxi driver in Hong Kong where our hotel was located. The hotel had recently been refurbed and had also been re-named. Luckily we remembered a few landmarks and were able to direct our driver, it was he that asked us for a business card of the hotel as our pronunciation wasn’t the best either, plus Australians do speak too quickly for some non-Aussies!
Or if you are staying in an apartment, villa or prefer to record an address on an app rather than carry a card, Evernote is perfect for storing information and sharing it across a number of platforms.
So tell me, what are your best travel tips for a hassle-free and enjoyable trip, what would you add to the 10 travel tips above?