Travel Hacks that Work Almost Anywhere
There’s always a little wanderlust in all of us that brings us into unknown places. While adventures make us excited, we also can’t help but to feel a little nauseated. With that being said, here are some travel hacks that might help put your minds at ease for your next travel.
Create a list
It often takes a lifetime of planning each time you’ve decided to go on a vacation, from booking your flights and accommodation down to detailing every single place you will be going to and how to get there.
Throughout your planning, create a checklist of things you have to bring (Google Keep is a good app), and update it along the way as you wish. It comes in really handy the night before you fly, because at that point you’ll be way too flustered to think. In the checklist, feel free to detail out what you’re taking exactly, not just the essentials. It will help you consider whether or not you’re taking enough, or too much.
It also helps when you’re heading back home, to see if you’ve left anything.
Learn the language
Okay, I’m not telling you to go to Japanese classes 1 year prior to travelling there, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s more of learning the basics so you at least know how their language works, in case you need to look out for signboards, so you can recognise certain words if English should not be available.
It is also nice to learn a few words of greetings, especially ‘thank you’ in the local language. Locals in certain countries can be quite sceptical of foreign travellers, so if you show them that you have the initiative to learn their language, even a little, they’ll warm up to you.
Fair warning, don’t try to copy their accent, because that could seem like you’re mocking them.
Save a scanned copy of your personal documents
Scan your passport, identification card, and your visa (if available) and keep it in your phone. You can e-mail it to yourself or upload it to the cloud, but do make sure that your documents are available offline.
In the event where you lose them, you’re safe in the knowledge that you have an extra copy, and having all these information is easier when you’re trying to report them missing.
Separate your valuable assets
This is really just for a worst-case scenario situation.
In your wallet, carry just enough, or slightly more than you would spend in a day. Keep the rest somewhere else; under your soles, in your bag, in your pockets, your belt… just about anywhere you can think of. In the event you get robbed (although that doesn’t happen often), you will still have some spare.
Fun fact: This actually helped me from spending unnecessarily.
Where possible, get phone data or roaming
I’m not saying to update your social media the moment you reach anywhere, but sometimes, it can be more assuring to have Google with you, just in case anything happens. I travelled with my brother to Italy once, and we had a little accident on the road, and there were little people who cared around. We didn’t know how to reach the emergency number, and had to Google it.
Which brings us to my next point.
Keep a copy of emergency numbers
This should be an item included in your checklist earlier, but find out the emergency numbers of the country you’re going to and keep a copy in your phone, and if possible, a physical copy in your wallet.
While it’s a good thing if you don’t need to use it when you travel, the times when you do, you’ll be grateful you put it in.
Bring a pen with you
This is something I always do regardless on whether or not I’m travelling, but if you are travelling, flights will usually require you to fill in custom forms. It saves a lot of time if you fill it during your flight. Of course, you could ask from the flight attendants, but with so many passengers, it’s not often they would have on with them.
Though you might have to keep track of people borrowing yours.
Unpack what’s necessary
And by that, I mean only what’s necessary. What I usually do is at night, I would unpack the clothes I want to wear the next day, so when tomorrow comes, I get to save myself from rushing into deciding what to wear. It’s a small thing, but it really helps, especially when you’re in a rush to meet your itinerary.
Judging by what I normally end up wearing to work, I’d really leave what I wear to pre-sleep me.
When you don’t feel safe, just spend
If you step into your Airbnb, and the place looks like a mess, with broken locks, and smelling like someone had potentially rotted there. Step out and get to the nearest decent-looking hotel. Exaggeration, of course, but it could happen.
But yeah, just remember that your life is more important than saving some bucks while travelling. Don’t be afraid to spend on a Grab or Uber late at night. Safety always comes first.
When in doubt, look for a companion
If you’re travelling alone, or perhaps just with a partner, there are social apps made just for travellers to meet other travellers, or locals within the country so people who share common interest can meet new friends.
Travel Buddies, for example, lets users post on its public wall so others can see and plan trips together.
If you’re the life of a party, you can try PartyWith. It helps you meet locals to bring you to parties around town.
Update your friends and family
By update, I don’t mean posting a status on Facebook. I meant sending them a message, or calling them at the end of each day to tell them where you are. You can also send them your travel itinerary in advance, so should anything happen, they know where you are.
Sometimes it can be restricting to have people know every single location you’re going to, but it can be more mentally assuring for your loved ones.
What other travel hacks do you use?