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Practical Trekking and Travel Tips

1) Pack less: Less clothing is best traveling with just hand-luggage should be your goal. Take less and you will travel cheaper (no check-in luggage fees), travel faster (no waiting for your bags), and travel easier one bag means less to lug around).

2) Never join the security queue with kids in : Go for the one with the ‘suits’. It will move much quicker.

3) Pretend to be asleep: If you fart during your flight, just pretend to be asleep.

4) Bring ear plugs: If silence is golden, then ear plugs are worth their weight in platinum. Being able to sleep in a noisy plane or hotel room is a very valuable skill, not to be underestimated whilst traveling.

5) Bring an internet ready device: If traveling for a long time, taken your own device that can pick up wifi, like a smart phone or tablet. There is a free wifi in places all around the world, and you quickly realize how often you need to tap into things like bank accounts or travel bookings.

6) Never wear flip flops (on a plane): Never wear sandals on board an aircraft. In the unlikely event of an emergency, its best to have a good set of sturdy shoes that will protect your feet from heat or sharp objects.

7) Jiggle it (just a little bit) : If you’re petrified of turbulence during flights, try slightly jiggling your body when you heat some rough air . No one will notice because everyone is being moved around due to the aircraft movement . Sounds a little crazy but your movement will counteract that of the aircraft and you won’t feel the turbulence so much . It really does work!

8) Choose your seat-mate carefully: If you get the choice of plane seat, always sit far away from: babies, groups of friends who will chat, or women (men tend to need the toilet less often than ladies).

9) Bring a money belt AND a wallet: There’s a dual purpose to this: if you get mugged you can calmly hand over the wallet and carry on your holiday with minimum hassle. If you meet new friends, use the wallet, as it can be a bit insulting to go into a money belt to pay for your beers.

10) Never exchange money in your hotel: Instead, shop around for best rate. Find a credit/debit card that doesn’t charge for purchases aboard, and don’t bother with travelers cheques anymore.

11) Sync your sleep: To get over jetlag quickly on arrival, try to sync your sleeping pattern with the new time zone immediately. More: how to avoid jet lag

12) Get travel insurance: Always take out travel insurance(and don’t rely on credit card insurance alone). It sounds obvious but lot of people don’t bother, and end up losing a lot of money when things goes wrong.

13) Tiger balm is medicine of the gods: This Chinese-made balm not only soothes sore muscles after a lot of travelling but also works as an insect repellent to keep the little biting beasties away.

14) Learn a little lingo: Memorise a handful of words of the local language, and have the courage to use them! it’s amazing how just a few words will go a long way; locals tend to warm to those who have made the effort to communicate with them in their own tongue.

15) Keep your mouth shut: If you are in a country where it is unsafe to drink the water, keep your mouth shut in the shower.

16) Hotels are not the only fruit: Forget staying in overpriced hotels, or hotels full of noisy bagpackers. Apartments or rooms in private homes are where the savvy travellers rest their heads these days.

17) Always travel in a hoodie: Hooded tops make excellent travel garments. Just slip up your hood to retreat from the world of noise and light when you want to sleep on a flight/airport seat/bus.

18) Sitting is tiring: Travelling some distance through the air you tired, even if all you do the whole time is sit in a comfy seat.

19) Just go: If you have a strong urge to “go traveling” or even just to see one specific place, start saving and go for it! Don’t delay. Don’t defer. Just do it, or you will regret it when you are too old/attached/busy to travel.

20) Hide your guide book: If you need to ask the direction then to stop people avoiding you, hide your guide book and map.

21) Choose the Asian-vegetarian option on the plane: You get fed before anyone else, you avoid anything top greasy and stodgy (helps the jetlag allegedly) and i’m convinced the more niche meals are better quality a they are made in smaller batches.

22) Bring an extra top on board: When flying (especially long hual) always travel with an extra top as the blankets they provide are thin and the plane can get very cold.

23) Always bring a sarong: They are light and multifunctional: something to lie on at the bleach, a cover for when you are cold , a towel, a curtain, a skirt, a dress, even an emergency bandage.

24) Invest in noise-cancelling headphones: For the perfect long-hual trip, invest in some good quality noise cancelling headphones. The price tags are hefty, but they are worth every penny to tune out the crying baby, snoring man, or chattering teenagers.

25) Look before you leave: Whenever you get up to leave somewhere, be it a chair at the airport, a café or a bar, always turn round and make sure you haven’t left anything behind.

26) Roll your clothes when packing: Once you roll, you will wonder why you ever bothered to fold.

27) Use body language: When there’s a language barrier, shouting in your own language is not going to get you far. Instead, use your body. It’s the most international language in the entire world. Don’t forget to translate a full stop with a smile.

28) Don’t carry (too much) cash: There are ATMs all around, so there’s really no need to carry more cash.

29) Pack a pack of cards: A game cards is not only useful to while away the hours during the inevitable delays, but also a great cross-culture barrier breaker.

30) Get a guide: When visiting culture monuments, always take the offer of a local guide. It will open your eyes to so much more than if you try and got it alone or just use a guide book.

31) Be flexible: The more flexible you can be with your travel plans, the more money you will save (you will be able to travel at cheaper times and get better rates).

32) Understand you might be understandable: Just because she looks Asian, doesn’t mean she can’t understand your French! Be wary of mouthing off when you think you are speaking a language no one around you speaks. You never know who understands what.

33) Recognise that we are all the same: It’s only by traveling that you realise every society is as fractious and plural in their views as your own.

34) Don’t plan anything: It might be tempting to have every step of your step of your trip planned to the nth degree, but unplanned days are often those that leave the most lasting, and fondest memories.

35) Don’t sweat the small stuff: Have an open mind and don’t sweat the small stuff; travel can be frustrating but you will look back and remember it forever.

36) Slow down: Traveling is like life, it’s the journey that’s fun. Don’t just try to get your destination as quickly as possible. Travel more slowly and you will discover more.

37) Don’t get angry: Don’t waste energy getting upset with unseasoned travelers who don’t stand one metre back (or behind the painted line) from the luggage belt, so that everyone can see luggage arriving.


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