Seriously, if you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
It’s a question that when asked you really have to think about. What actually is my one piece of travel advice and do I need to impart it on the world. Is it something inspiring, something practical, or some romantic notion of travel, something like food for the soul or is just a simple statement. Whatever it is, I think the main thing is to share it high and low. Personal recommendations are valuable and if you were going to book a hotel your likely to check Tripadvisor for reviews and to take someone’s advice on if to stay there or not. People want to hear how what others do and how others travel. It pushes them to think about their own travels and how they can do things different, cheaper, ethically or more efficiently.
After speaking to some wonderful women travellers some of which have been apart of our Globetrotters series, we posed the question- If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be? And they have delivered the absolute goods with top-notch travel advice covering all areas of what you should do to help make your travelling experience the dream you hoped it would be. Hopefully, by reading through these, it might help to inspire you to take that first trip, to try something different on your next adventure, how to pack properly or to just give you some insight to something you may never have thought about.
Read on and see if you disagree, agree or if you know what your advice would be. If you would like to see more from the travellers mentioned below then check out our Globetrotters Interviews or click on the names below to go directly to their sites. We’d love to hear your advice so do leave a comment below.
The Curious Desi
1. Take a spare battery for your gear and a portable battery for your phone. When you are on the go you want to have your devices ready to use so it’s best if you invest in spare batteries.
2. Choose the people you travel with wisely: it’s all too easy to get swept up in a “we should totally do this” moment – only to despair once you realize your travelling tastes aren’t compatible.
Sorry, I couldn’t leave it at just one so I’ve listed three!
1. Always dress and pack for where you’re going to not where you’ve come from.
2. Be organised but also be spontaneous and ready to take opportunities should they arise.
3. Don’t live the trip through your camera or phone, put them down from time to time and just soak in the sights with your whole being.
Global Housesitter x2
Just get out there and do it. Take in the most valuable information while doing it, listen to your gut instinct, have travel insurance, small suitcase and patience.
Travel often; travel with an open mind and an open heart. That will help you experience different cultures, religions and people in the best manner. Celebrate life and don’t forget to strike conversations with random people you meet on the go.
A Mindful Traveler
I would advise taking all documentation, we actually take copies as well and keep another set at home with my parents.
Also, be sure to have multiple outlets of credit. A diverse range of cash, credit cards, and cash passport cards are important, and we always split this between the both of us. Never does one person carry all the cash or cards on their own.
Lfy and Spice
Don’t think too much – Just go! Most of our travel plans are marred by over-thinking, both before and during the travel.
Gin & lemonade
Be open to anything. Get lost. Look up. Write it down. That’s more than one, but I can’t count!
The Travelling Stomach
There are many ways to get around a new destination, but in my experience, the best way is to strap on some comfy sandals and get walking! Some of my favourite places have been those I’ve discovered completely by accident on my wanderings around a new city. Although I do love taking the lazy option (I prefer to call it the relaxing option…) and grabbing a taxi, you can miss out on so many awesome places when you’re speeding by on the road.
You might find it daunting knowing where to even start walking but there really is no wrong turn to take, and with most of us now owning a Smartphone you’ll never really be lost with Google Maps to hand. Perhaps you’ve got lunch booked somewhere and can add in some extra time so you can take the long route taking the time to meander down quieter side streets, or perhaps you’ll find an even better lunch spot during your walk!
Not only will you accidentally stumble upon lovely hidden gems such as that bar with an awesome view and a quaint local shop during your walks, but you can also save money and keep fit at the same time, plus how can you take that amazing Insta shot out the window of a taxi?!
Digital travel Guru
Plan and research your trip as much as you can before you go, so you have some sort of idea what you want to do and see when you get there, it saves a lot of planning time once there, also check with the locals once you get there, for off the beaten track places. This I always feel maximises my time once in the destination and allows me to see and do more.
Fill my Passport
Be open-minded to everywhere and everyone you meet on the journey. They were placed on this path for a reason. When you must sleep on a dirty overnight train, think of it as a part of the adventure. When you see that woman at the café sipping a latte looking gorgeous and perfect for that inner photographer in you, take a chance and ask her to pose. Life is so short. Take the chances as if it were your last day.
A Walk and a Lark
Taste as many local dishes as you can. It may not look like something you expect to be delicious, but you’ll never know unless you try it!
Also, if you live somewhere for a while, go back and re-try things after you have started to get used to the flavours. I wasn’t keen on maccha and azuki beans when I first arrived in Japan, but now I LOVE them both.
I also think you should attempt to learn some of the local lingo. Even if you are still pretty rubbish, people really appreciate the effort and the world is less bewildering if you can understand more about what is happening around you.
Beyond my Border
Be fearless & have fun
Earths Magical Places
Simple, get out there and do it! We spend so much time sitting, planning and procrastinating when we could be out exploring! Trust me, it’s far better taking the world in with your own eyes rather than ‘liking’ it through Instagram.
One of the best pieces of advice that I can give any traveller is to ditch the rolling bag and get a backpack, or at least a backpack with wheels if you have back problems. Why you may wonder?
Well, I made the mistake of bringing a rolling bag with me on a six week long trip through China. Between lugging the large, over-packed bag through the subway and up and down the stairs of hotels that had no elevator, I was absolutely miserable. Not to mention the fact that the bag always got caught on curbs, the wheel broke, and it got filthy as I rolled through the rain and large puddles.
The moral of the story then is always bring a backpack. Not only is it much more versatile and convenient to carry, but you tend to pack less since you can only pack what you can carry on your back.
So learn from my mistakes and leave that rolling bag home.
Footsteps of a Dreamer
Personally, I feel like some of my favourite and most memorable travel experiences have come from times when I took the courage to step out of my comfort zone. It’s even better if it’s an experience I can’t have at home. When I was in Japan, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in a Noh workshop. I’ll admit, I don’t have much interest in traditional Japanese theatre or theatre in general for that matter. However, it was an opportunity for me to learn more about Japanese culture. I decided to sign up for the workshop and had a fantastic time.
At the workshop, I got to put on traditional Japanese clothing and learn the steps to one of the dances performed in one of the traditional plays. I was surprised to find out how incredibly difficult it was. Did I walk away from the workshop a total theatre geek? No, but I did walk away with a newfound appreciation for the role of theatre in Japanese culture and admiration for the sheer amount of work the performers put into the plays.
My advice to travellers is to consider every opportunity that comes your way.
I am a strong believer that sometimes it’s the people as much as the place that make travel meaningful and memorable. My best advice is to mingle with locals while you travel because sticking to tours and itineraries designed for tourists might not give you the most authentic experience of your trip. While traveling, I have made friends from around the world that I have visited in their countries and were more than happy to show me around. They would take me for to Easter at their grandmother’s house, for a drink at their favorite bar or give me a tour on their bike and show me around. While it’s not always easy to meet a person in the street and get a conversation going, the sharing economy in the last few years has made it lot easier to meet with locals. There’s Couchsurfing, where you can meet locals by staying at their place or by simply grabbing a drink with them, there’s MeetUp where you can meet people with the same interests as you and many more sites that connect you with locals.It’s not always easy and It takes some work, but getting out of your comfort zone could make give you a rewarding experience that will make your trip unforgettable!
My best piece of travel advice would be not to overpack. If possible try to travel with carry-on bags only – this will save you both time and money (no checked bag fees, you can avoid the long wait for your bag at the baggage carousel and it makes it easier to use public transportation to and from the airport). Even if you would rather check bags not overpacking prevents you from having to pay overweight bag fees and makes it easier on your back not having to lug heavy luggage around. I recommend using a travel packing list before your trip to make sure you bring all the items you need and nothing more. You might want to limit how many shoes you bring as shoes are heavy and take up the most room in a bag. I also roll my clothes to save space and use packing cubes to keep everything organized in my luggage.
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