Travelling the world can be a pretty intimidating adventure for the inexperienced. There are a million and one problems to keep in mind at any one time, and even a simple slip up can cause you a lot of trouble. A few simple tips can help you avoid some of the problems you will face as you travel the world, whether you are striding the streets of Phnom Penh, or checking in to your Oxford Street hotels.
Documentation is the bane of every traveller’s existence. There are so many pieces of paper to keep track, often your only confirmation of the next leg of your travel. The best advice for keeping them all safe is to keep every document in a protective file in chronological order of when you are going to need it. You should also make sure to scan all your documents and keep them on your phone in case any get lost or damaged.
Check Your Room
If you are checking into a hostel or hotel that you suspect is not of the highest standard, be sure to give your room a once over when you get in. Make sure you have hot water and all the plumbing works; you don’t want to find that out at the most inconvenient time.
Credit cards may be accepted in more and more places around the world, but cash will get you anywhere. A small store of emergency cash can seriously help you out in a jam. Keep it either stored on your person or hidden in your hotel room. If you are unlucky enough to get robbed, this cash may save you and help you get to your embassy in an emergency.
One thing you will quickly learn when you go to collect you luggage at the carousel of the airport is that everyone has the same suitcase. They are all black with an almost identical design; it’s a nightmare. A great idea is to mark your suitcase with a ribbon, ideally one of an unusual colour (or mixture of colours) as you won’t be the only one to do that. It saves quite a lot of trouble with mixed bags.
Make sure to purchase some silica gel bags (the ones you see marked ‘Do Not Eat’) if you are planning to go swimming. Chuck a few silica bags in with your wet clothes and you will avoid the horrible wet clothes smell that so often develops.
Wet wipes are a great way to keep cleanly while travelling in countries where a good hot shower is a bit too far away. They are also very useful when you are on long flightsand want to feel fresh. A bit of hand sanitiser is also superbly useful when you are travelling in unsanitary areas; it could save you a poorly timed illness.
If you don’t speak the language of the country you are travelling in, or they don’t use an alphabet you know, make sure to grab a business card from your hotel so you can always show a taxi driver where you need to go. If they don’t have any business cards, ask the reception to write it down for you.
A Small Kettle
You won’t need this if you’re staying mainly in hotels, but a kettle is a fantastic investment if you are staying places where a hot cup of tea is likely to be scarce. Some instant coffee or tea bags and you’ve got yourself a comforting drink any time you want. There have been many a time in my travels where this has been a true lifesaver.
Secret Fanny Pack
There are a few things you just cannot afford to lose when you are travelling. In particular, your passport is absolutely vital; though a spare wad of cash in case of emergencies is also a great idea. These items are so essential that you don’t necessarily want to entrust them to security in you dodgy hostel, but keeping them on your person puts you at the mercy of pickpockets. A thin, easy to hide fanny pack that you can keep under your shirt and pants is the perfect way to keep these items safe and protected.
Always Keep Track of Your Towel
For about a thousand reasons, always know where your towel is.