Hunter S. Thompson once said, “It had been a bad trip…fast and wild in some moments, slow and dirty in others, but on balance it looked like a bummer.” These words resonate with anyone who has ever experienced a disastrous travel experience. From sartorial disasters to food woes, misplaced documents to lost checked-in baggage, missed trains to terrible hotel rooms, we’ve all been there. But fear not, as there are seasoned travelers who have visited more than 50 countries and have developed foolproof dos and don’ts for a smooth journey. So, let’s learn from their experiences and avoid another bummer of a trip.
Ed Templeton, the Founder of Soul & Surf in Kerala and Sri Lanka, shares his recommendations. He suggests making a zero-waste travel kit and keeping it in your hand luggage. Investing in a good metal water bottle is also a great idea. Drink the water before going through security and refill it on the other side. Most bars and restaurants are happy to oblige. Another tip is to buy a reusable coffee cup for flights and at your destination. To reduce plastic waste, carrying along metal or bamboo straws and bamboo cutlery is a smart move. And don’t forget to bring your own headphones, as the ones provided on the plane are often subpar. Consider buying a splitter/converter to avoid sound issues.
Vinay Bagri, the Co-Founder and CEO of Niyo, offers some valuable advice as well. He suggests keeping copies of all important documents saved in your Gmail and providing access to a family member or friend in case of any emergency. Another tip is to keep one set of clothes and essentials in your cabin luggage to prepare for the nightmare of lost or misplaced checked-in luggage. If you’re traveling with children, give them an add-on card and some cash in case they get lost or miss a train. On your phones, keep the location feature on for all family members so you can stay connected. When it comes to packing, opt for luggage with separate compartments to easily segregate everyday and formal wear.
Ankit Khurana, the Chief Marketing Officer of IndiaLends, also has some travel hacks to share. He emphasizes the importance of traveling light and fitting everything in an international carry-on and a backpack. Using public transportation whenever possible is another great tip to save money and experience the local culture. Ankit’s trick for finding the most authentic local dish is to observe and identify someone speaking the local language and ordering without asking for recommendations. Simply ask the server to get you the same thing. Moreover, setting aside at least 20% of your budget for miscellaneous expenses is essential, as unforeseen expenses are bound to pop up. Take advantage of travel credit cards for their rewards and benefits, as well as low forex markup.
Vidur Kapur, the Director of O3+, has some useful tips up his sleeve as well. Always carry a universal adapter, especially when traveling to different countries with different plug types. For vegetarians, he recommends consuming lots of broccoli to ensure an adequate protein intake. A well-rounded and nutritious breakfast is also a must to start your day right. In countries where language is a barrier, Google translator can be a lifesaver. If you’re new to traveling, consider bringing comfort food from home to make you feel at ease. When it comes to footwear, pack one pair of formal shoes for nights out, one multipurpose sneakers for workouts and casual strolls, and one comfortable pair of slippers. Don’t forget to activate your international roaming before departure to avoid paying exorbitant fees. Always try to find accommodation near the city center for convenience. Lastly, divide your money into three different bags for added security.
Seema Kundra, a PR Consultant, stresses the importance of planning well in advance to secure good deals on airlines and hotels. Researching your destination, including weather conditions, hotel locations, common scams, local customs, and regulations, is crucial for a smooth trip. It’s wise to book tickets and hotels that allow changes without hefty fees, giving you flexibility for unforeseen events. Taking travel insurance, health insurance, and rental car insurance (if applicable) is essential to protect yourself and your belongings. Consider getting a travel credit card for added benefits. Always carry copies of your passport, tickets, and other relevant documents, while keeping the originals and copies separate. These precautions will save you from potential headaches in case of theft or loss of documents.
In conclusion, these seasoned travelers have shared their dos and don’ts based on their extensive experiences. From packing smart to staying connected, being prepared and well-informed is the key to avoiding travel disasters. So, take note of these expert tips and embark on your next journey with confidence. Bon voyage!