1. Keep an electronic copy of all your important documents
2. Carry a change of underwear
Always pack an extra set of underwear in your hand luggage- sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and your luggage may get lost. If you have missed flights, lost all your personal belongings and have been traveling for 40+ hours, a change of underwear can really make a difference.
This is really important if you have just moved into a new apartment because it can be overwhelming moving to a new place especially if the first language isn’t English. So if you get lost, show a local or taxi driver and they should be able to help you.
This app is amazing, if you need to find a place to stay, you can peruse Hostelworld and find something that is suitable for you. It gives you a rundown of costs, and what to expect- the reviews from fellow travelers are also really handy.
5. Pack less and pack smart
Think about what type of holiday you are going on, and what the season is like- and pack for that purpose only. Don’t pack any “just in case” items. Be sure to always bring a sweater and one pair of long trousers for the plane ride and in case the weather turns suddenly- no one likes being cold.
6. Money matters
A) If you are going to be using your local bank card, or transferring money from overseas be sure to inform the banks Fraud Division before leaving, otherwise you run the risk of having your account frozen.
B) If you are going to be traveling with large amounts of cash on you, I would suggest investing in a body bag and keeping it on you at all times.
7. Learn the laws
Before you embark on a new adventure, familiarize yourself with the local laws and etiquette.
8. Go beyond your comfort zone
When we do something that makes us uncomfortable, it means that we are growing. By taking chances and constantly challenging yourself, you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow as a person and to get even more perspective.
9. You just need one friend
Making friends- You have to make the effort to meet people, and to follow up on friendships. Take initiative, if you “click” with someone get their number and arrange to meet up with them again.
10. Eat where the locals eat
It may not look like a picture of health, but if there are lots of locals, you can be reassured that the chances of getting food poisoning are low. Firstly, the food will be fresh because of the demand, and secondly, the locals know where the good spots are.
11. Double and triple check Visa requirements
WAY in advance. There is nothing worse than being unsure about whether or not you will be allowed into a country.
12. Carry wet wipes, hand sanitiser and tissues
These are super handy for long flights, when you start feeling gross. Hand sanitiser is a must for anyone planning on teaching. Kids tend to cough and sneeze everywhere.
If you are planning on traveling indefinitely, take a couple of months’ supply, and ensure your destination stocks your medicine. Take your script with you, and check the rules before bringing in meds.
If you are particularly fussy about a certain thing, like perfume or deodorant, take enough to last you a reasonable amount of time. Google will tell you if a certain product is available where you’re going.
15. Learn the language
A few survival expressions, like “Hello. How are you?” “Where is the toilet?” “Can you help me, please?” and “How much is this?” can go a LONG way in making your time in a foreign country more pleasant. And people love when you try to speak their language.
16. Take pictures
True, the best memories are the ones in our heads, but it is wonderful to have photos and videos of specific events, or even just to reminisce about that incredible espresso martini you tried at that little place in Australia.
Sometimes, by trying to see absolutely everything in a country or city, we forget to enjoy ourselves and to truly immerse ourselves in the experience. It becomes more about completing a checklist than actually appreciating the time we have in this exciting new place.
18. Drink water
Sight-seeing is heaps of fun, but also draining. If you are planning on being out exploring all day, have a bottle of water handy.
19. Haggle (for a fair price)
Those huge markets really are as intimidating as they look, so you have to go in with a plan or risk buying things for 5 times their actual worth. Be firm, and walk away if the vendor won’t budge. Most of the time, this will get you that discount you’d been after.
20. Have a cocktail
Or hot chocolate. Or a decadent milkshake. Take the time to unwind at the end of a rollercoaster day. Reflect on the indescribable things you’ve seen, chat with friends, update your social media. Making time to relax is just as important as seeing the Top 5 Tourist Spots wherever you are.