Tip 1: Book your travelling experience in advance – Flights, accommodation and excursions.
When I went travelling, I didn’t want to book too much – I wanted to be independent and adventurous. This was a naive, costly and even dangerous move for me on more than one occasion. Trust me – it’s not worth it and it often doesn’t end up cheaper.
Tip 2: Think about who you are travelling with
Keep an eye out and I may explain more… I travelled with a girl that I knew for 10 years. I never would have seen the events that unfolded, but there were a few warning signs I fell blind to. I knew this girl was bad with money and I should have realised from the beginning and it was unlikely she had saved as much as she said she did. It’s amazing what lengths some people go to for a free ride!When travelling you go through extreme highs and lows, make sure you are with people that elevate you at both ends of the spectrum. Personalities get heightened in a travelling scenario so choose people that you have a good connection with, a similar viewpoint and ideally don’t grate on you too much.
Tip 3: Be respectful of the country you are in
Dress code in a lot of countries does differ from what you can wear in western countries. Be aware of what is standard practise in the countries you are visiting and respect them. There’s nothing worse than seeing people that choose fashion over respectful dress.
Tip 4: Pack lightly
Go with the mentality that almost anything can be bought overseas if you forget it or run out. Travel light – trust me you won’t regret it.
Tip 5: A Backpack with wheels
It goes without saying but practicality goes so far!
Tip 6: Check weather and be prepared for change
I almost don’t want to admit that all countries have rain and hot countries can also get cool. Make sure you check the weather accordingly so you are not disappointed or uncomfortable, try to pack clothes that can be layered to suit all weathers. A rainproof jacket is a MUST!
Tip 7: Keep your wits about you
In a lot of countries, it’s advised that you keep valuables hidden. Some you may prefer to wear a travel wallet that you hide under your clothes, or a backpack on your front. If something doesn’t feel safe, change it – use your instincts immediately.
Keep your confidence high also, the less you show vulnerability, the stronger you will feel in the situation.*
Tip 8: Read blogs, journals and check the safety of the country to be as prepared as possible
If you are travelling with a group, let parents have your friends details too – or even their parents. You have to understand that the people you are leaving at home are much more anxious about your trip than you are, they’re not getting to visit all the beautiful places you are.
Tip 9: Write a journal
You may be in your late teens or early 20s and remember everything now – nobody wants to believe it, but you will forget things as time goes on. A journal filled with dockets and small stories, feelings, whatever you want to use it for, is so powerful as time passes.
Tip 10: Enjoy
*A little travelling anecdote for you –
We were three girls travelling in India. From the moment we stepped off the plane, we were very vulnerable. It was really hard to feel safe so we decided to get a driver that would take us on a tour for 11 days, so we could enjoy seeing the country, in a safer environment. We quickly realised, it was no safer. There were numerous times we were put in nerve-wracking situations but we got out safely. The reason why? We always held our ground. I might explain more one day… but the best thing we ever said was ‘We are protected by the English Government so we can kill if we needed to’, when having to defend ourselves – The sigh of relief when we realised we had got out of a VERY bad situation would have been heard in space. Confidence in Vulnerable situations is EVERYTHING!