Jetsetter: 10 Travel Tips!
I have been bitten by the travel bug ever since I was young. Back when I was a little girl, my parents have taken me to various parts of the country with them, not to mention the time when we would travel all the way to my father’s ancestral house in the province every weekend. Because of this, I have been a packing semi-pro. (i always remembered to bring my Barbie and asthma medicines even when my mom woul forget them! haha)
I have also travelled some parts of the world, sometimes wiith my family, sometimes with friends, but most of the time, alone,, and I loved every single minute of it!
Over the years of travelling, I’ve picked up quite a few travel tips and I have stuck to it religiously! Here they are!
1. Colorful luggage – my friends would always cringe at my attention-grabbing hot pink trolley luggage, with an equally eye-catchy huge-ass scarf or ribbon tied all on it (usually in the handle). But hear me out first. I don’t just pick out the loudest pink luggage i could find in the store because i’m a girl who loves pink (my favorite color is actually green, but yeah, I love pink stuff too!). I pick out the loudest color i could find (hello pink) because it makes it a helluva lot easier to spot it from faraway, especially in the luggage carousel, not to mention it keeps other fellow travellers from grabbing your bag by mistake. One downside of this (as pointed out by my cynic friend) is that if something valuable is in the luggage, and it pops up in the luggage scanners in the airport, it makes it a lot easier for a thief to single out your bag and take it. but then again, i don’t carry valuables in my check-in lugggage.
Which brings me to my next point, while we’re still in the subject of luggage, I introduce you to a carry-on trolley. I have been quite late in appreciating the genius of a carry-on trolley bag. I have always just taken a backpack with me in the airport. But because of the rise or portable technology such as laptops, iPads and whatnot, a backpack gets heavy, and putting a laptop in a checked-in luggage is just not an option, i give you a carry-on trolley.
In choosing a carry-on trolley bag I look for two things
A. Padded laptop compartment – Well duh. the main reason I invested in a carry-on trolley in the first place is to be able to lug my laptop and/or iPad (when i absolutely have to, I bring both my laptop and my iPad, but otherwise, I just take my iPad with me. ) around when i travel, so a padded laptop compartment is definitely a must. I know that some airlines require a TSA approved computer bag, just so you don’t get hassled by taking your computer out during the luggage scan, but so far my Hawk trolley bag has not been hassled.
B. The bag must be convertible to a backpack. Because most of the time, i travel alone, and even when I dont, my companions usually have lugggages to carry o it’s a lot convenient if my carry-on trolly is convertible to a backpack so my hands are free to carry my handbag in one hand and my main luggage in another.
also, investing in a good cary-on trolley is good because you can use it for local flights, or short business trips. thi tme, i chose a severe black bag because it’s more dirt proof, and yes, i take it to business trips, so it’s more appropriate that it’s black. when i have short trips abroad (usually around asia) i like taking just my carry-on trolley. it’s a lot more convenient, plus it saves me a lot of money on airfare! (am not the ind of traveller who shops like crazy when abroad). i think i have mentioned this before but my carry-on luggage of choice is from a local brand called Hawk Bags! I love them! back in highschool tho, i woulde not be caught dead in a hawk! it was jansport all the way! lol
2. Packing Cubes! my next travel tip is still related to packing because really, a huge component of travel is how you pack and you gotta pack smart because you have limited luggage real estate most of the time! i love packing cubes because it keeps my suitcase organized on the go and when you travel, you mostly live in your suitcase so it’s so much bettter when things are organized! i started with three packing cubes (one laarge, one medium and one small) but now, i have a packing cube for everyhing! even my chargers and makeup! i use eagle creek packing cubes, mainly because when i heard about packing cubes, they are the only ones available in this country, but hey you can buy all sorts of sizes and colors from basically everywwhere! still tho, i keep my toiletries in my Muji toiletry case (i have the small one for overnighters to 2-nighters and the big one for longer trips). I used to travel without packing cubes but that just meant my suitcase is usually filled with all sorts of ziplocks and pouches. paacking cubes are da shit!
3. Wristlet – one that fits your passport, a coin purse with enough money to last you through the day, your cellphone/s credit card/s and a llip balm or a lipgloss, and maybe a point and shoot camera. when roaming around a foreign city one tends to get distracted, making a pickpocket’s job a helluva lot easy! and even if there are no pickpockets, it’s very easy to put your phone or wallet in the table, or the cashier’s desk and forget about it, and the next thing ya know, it’s gone! this can happen especially in airports when you are a lot distracted, and trust me, ya dont wannna lose your passport in the airport! a wristlet minimize that risk. and then, going about town, make sure you leave your passport somewhere more secure like the vault in your hotel room or a padlocked compartment in your handbag or luggage. it’s good to keep a photocopy of your passport in the wristlet tho, just in case you need it as ID. also, it is good to keep just a minimum amount of money in the wristlet, that way if you drop your coin purse or something, you dont lose all your money. i know nothing beats losing your passport in a foreign place, but losing all your money is a close second. my wristlet of choice is this coach one that my mom gave me for christmas, but you can choose any wristlet you like!
5. Earphones. most of the time i travel alone, and an earphone is a good armor for chatty fellow travelers. it’s like wearing a huge “back-off” sign! also, it beats boredom during long plane rides and long drives to get from one place to another. of course i would prefer my noise cancelling ones, but any sort of earphones, even the ones that comes free with your smartphone will do. it goes withour saying that an iPod/ iPad or a kindle (i use my kindle’s Text-to-Speech function) is essential too. it doesn’t have to be apple. Even a cheapo tablet will do. (to be covered in my next post).
6. A good quality smartphone doubles as a point and shoot camera. Okay, so i dont own my own SLR and i dont like using the family’s SLR too mainly because it’s soo huge and such a hassle to lug around. Trust me, unless your a pro, a point and shoot is about as useful to you as an SLR is, and when you’re a smartphone owner, it cuts the point and shoot camera out of the game. i once travelled to Bangkok with nothing but my samsung s3 and my bestfriend only had her iPhone 4s with her. we were fine. we had good quality pictures and we both bought the local simcard with unlimited internet for 7days and we were connected our whole trip! made it easier to instagram our pics on the go! hahaha! saved us a fortune on roaming data plans too!
7. wardrobe. a tank top, jacket, leggings and a scarf can really stretch your wardrobe, no matter what the weather is! you can wear the tank as is or inside your shirt for added heat. you can even wear it over your tee so people wont notice that you’ve worn the same shirt twice, when they see the photos! the same goes for leggings and scarves and the jacket, no matter how hot your destination is, the airport or the airplane or some place has got to have a chilly airconditioning unit! aside from the jacket, these are clothing items that are so light, they hardly take any space in your luggage anyway! also, your footwear can make or break your whole vay-kay. travelling entails a large amount of walking, and trust me ladies, comfy walking shoes would save you a lot of heartache! i suggest get a good pair of ballet flats or comfy walking shoes!
8. languages. I really recommend that before you travel, you research the hell out of the place to get the best deals and the most out of your vacation. lord knows i google like crazy, spending crazy amounts of time in travel blogs, sites and forums before every trip but if you’re pressed for time, i suggest just learning a few words of the local language. it will endear you to the locals and you will almost always get the best deals. my swedish uncle,blonde, blue eyed and 6footer, has been visiting the country at least once a year for over 10 years now. he cant quite speak the language but he’s picked up a few words. i take him to the local market, mainly because he enjoys it, and when he says “salamat” thank you and “maligayang pasko” merry christmas, the vendors give him freebies! i’ve also tried it a couple of times when i travel and it charms the locals! so when you travel, make sure you learn at least these words in their language and i promise you it will make your travel life so much easier and the locals will love you!
a. thank you
b. excuse me
c. good morning, good afternoon, good evening. “hello” works too.
d. bathroom/where is the bathroom?
d. how much?
9. photocopy your travel documents. i covered a little of this above already but it’s worth mentioning again. make sure you have a photocopy of your passport, ticket, travel insurance, hotel reservation, itenerary and other travel documents. In fact, i make several copies, stash one in my handbag, in my wristlet(mostly just a copy of my passport hotel info here), my carry-on luggage, my suitcase and i even keep a soft copy in my flashdrive and tablet! better safe than sorry. also, i leave a copy of these documents with my family/housemates so they know where to reach me. i also keep a copy of the address of my hotel and destinations in the local language in my wristlet o i can show it to the cabdriver or local if i need directions.
10.money changer. usually i just change enough in the airport to get me to the hotel and a meal or two, then i look for the small, almost seedy looking money changers because they usually sell their local currencies cheap!
so there you have it! i hope this helps ya! happy travelling!