Travel Tips - For a less stressful experience
Here are just a few travel tips that I highly recommend to ensure you have a slightly less stressful travel experience, you may find these helpful if you are a travel beginner or simply going on a casual holiday. I used these tips on my recent Thomas Cook package holiday to Ibiza.
LEARN A FEW PHRASES
This goes without saying but try and learn the language of the country your visiting, even if its just a few phrases such as "Hello", "Thank you", "Where are the toilets?" etc, by learning a few it will not only make it easier to get by but its also nice for the locals to see you have made an effort to learn their language. One phrase I had wished I had learnt before going to Rome and Ibiza was "no thank you", because if your in a crowded market place and people are trying to sell you stuff it makes it so much easier to be able to say no in a more friendly manner rather then just shaking your head.
Carry face wipes or baby wipes in your hand luggage and some spare underwear and a lightweight top, if your suitcase gets lost you will be grateful for the freshen up, especially if your visiting a hot and humid country.
read foreign travel advice
Always check out the latest safety information on the country your visiting by going to the UK Government 'Foreign travel advice' page, you can select your destination and it will tell you all the up-to-date information of the happenings in that country, and it will also make you aware of the local scams to watch out for so you don't fall victim to them. To be honest if you visit the website and read about all the different country's it would put you off travelling anywhere altogether, but I do think its important that you should give it a read before booking, so your aware of any issues and strikes going on in that country that may effect you when travelling.
back up your stuff
Passports and money are items that are most likely to get lost or stolen while travelling, so before you go travelling scan the photo page of your passport, print a few copies, put a copy in each of the luggage your taking and upload a digital copy and save it to your mobile or a private Dropbox account so you can get hold of a copy of it wherever you are in the world. I always make extra copies or have the file saved online when it comes to my holiday booking information in case I loose them, I also keep them in a waterproof seal folder just to be safe. I also use the the automatic camera upload on Dropbox and One Drive on my phone so my photos are always backed up if I loose my phone.
get the right cover
When travelling around Europe make sure you have your European Health Insurance card with you and that its in date. Obviously, everyone knows they have to get travel insurance before you leave your home country, if you visit travel insurance compare you can get cover for cheap. But always read the details, most cheap covers don't protect your gadgets so its worth paying a little extra to cover your mobile and laptop as these are expensive items that are most likely to get broken, lost or stolen. Also look at the excess cost, if you have to pay out £200 for the excess to get back £200 for lost luggage then whats the point, so always check out the figures.
hide your money
Never take all your money out with you, keep some back and leave it in the hotel safe. The money you do take out with you split between your purse and put some emergency money in an empty lip balm stick. If you roll up your money and pop it inside and keep it on you somewhere that isn't your bag then you should be in less of a pickle if your bag gets stolen or if your pick pocketed.
make a copy of contact numbers
Its important to write a list of contact numbers and addresses down on paper, these being family, your embassy, hotel, the local police and other emergency services etc in case your mobile breaks or gets stolen.
do your research before travelling
Before you leave for your destination to go travelling or an a typical holiday do your research, write down an itinerary of what you want to do and places you want to go. You can find out easily online the cheapest or fastest way by bus or train for your destination. It will save you a lot of time and money figuring it out before you leave. Don't always rely on Google Maps to help get you to where you want to go, I must admit I cant go anywhere without the help of Google, but in case your 4G is down or needing to save your mobile battery, look for a physical map as backup. You can find these in the airport, hotels or print out directions at home before you leave. To save money find where the best supermarket is, for example before I left for Ibiza I found a Lidl nearby the hotel which was hidden in a place that I wouldn't have likely gone near if I hadn't of found it on Google Maps beforehand, this helped us stock up on the essentials for very little money, meaning we had more money left over to do more fun things on our holiday.
spot your luggage
Its not always the case nowadays but most suitcases you see going along the airport conveyor belt are black, so opt for a colourful or printed one. Or put a sticker, strap, or something with some colour that will stand out to make looking out for your suitcase quicker. Awhile ago on a trip to New York I used a neon pink tote bag from Forever 21 and sellotaped it around the handle, it helped me notice my suitcase straightaway, if only my sister had done the same too and we would have actually saved some time, so tell people your travelling with to do the same too.