There is an art to travelling well, and it can take a lifetime to learn all the tips and tricks that make traversing this planet a little easier. To help you out, we have gathered together the top 20 tips that will make travelling a total cinch.
1. Don’t fold your clothes, roll them – this prevents creasing and it also means you can fit more in because you pack more tightly.
2. Hide some cash – an empty lip balm stick is a great place as it is unlikely to be stolen should you get mugged.
3. Pick up maps as soon as you arrive at the airport or station – free maps are available at most terminals and stations – pick them up while you can , you’ll need them later!
4. Scan and email important documents – having electronic copies of passports, travel insurance documents, tickets and travel plans in your inbox will make life a lot easier if you lose the originals.
5. Learn language basics – “yes”, “no”, “hello”, “goodbye”, “please” and “thank you”, little words that will get you a long way when you are abroad – it pays to be polite wherever you go.
6. Pack a needle and thread – with limited belongings, it is good to be able to mend a wardrobe malfunction.
7. Tell your bank you are going away – sometimes banks will block a UK card if it is being used abroad in case it has been stolen. Not very helpful if it hasn’t and you are trying to pay for food, transport or accommodation!
8. Wear warm socks on the plane – cosy toes make it easier to sleep, and air con on aeroplanes means that cold tootsies are guaranteed.
9. Pack plastic bags for dirty clothes – this will keep your clean clothes fresher for longer, and make unpacking easier.
10. Take hand sanitizer and baby wipes – this will mean that you can keep clean if you find that you are delayed on your journey in a place that has questionable facilities.
11. Call your phone network provider before you leave – you may want to make sure you can call and text abroad, you’ll also want to know how much that might cost. Beware of roaming data use – this can cost more than a holiday itself if you aren’t careful!
12. Take tissues – works wonders for a snotty nose, but ultra useful should you find you are sans toilet roll.
13. Pack ear plugs and an eye mask – you will be grateful if you need to squeeze in some sleep after delays or during a long journey on public transport.
14. Get travel insurance even if you are only travelling within the EU – relying on your European Health Insurance Card is not enough, find out why you really need travel insurance in EU countries, then to go to the best place on the planet to get travel insurance (from us of course!).
15. Pack spares in your hand luggage – make sure you have essential toiletries and a change of clothes, if your luggage gets lost you will be most glad.
16. Take a first aid kit – painkillers, tummy settlers, plasters and antiseptic, whatever you know you might need to help you feel better if you get ill, or keep you in one piece until you find medical help.
17. Think about safe sex and sanitary needs – some countries don’t sell tampons, so ladies, pack some just in case; and it should go without saying that condoms should be a firm fixture in your wash bag whether you intend on indulging in carnal delights or not.
18. Avoid jetlag – stay awake until it gets dark on the first day. Your body clock will adjust better if you are out in the daylight when you arrive, and you avoid taking a nap during the first day.
19. Brush up on local laws and etiquette before you leave – with the world wide web at your disposal there is no excuse for not knowing the local laws and customs of where you are going. Ignorance could end up costing you a lot if you don’t!
20. Check your passport a few weeks before you travel – there is nothing worse than finding out the day before you travel that your passport has expired. Believe me, I know!