Travel tips

Lose your inhibitions

The great thing about travel is that nobody knows who you are. If you do something really stupid and embarrassing in a hostel, you can just check out and move to a new place where nobody knows who you are or what your story is. It’s liberating and allows you to actually figure out who you want to be.

Embrace your nerves

Because they’ll never go away. Those nerves you get the night before leaving? I still experience them, five years on. Whenever I’m visiting a brand new place, I get nervous. Whenever I’m trying something new, I’m nervous. I even get nervous when I’m returning to a place I love! Embrace these travel nerves and accept them as normal — even experienced travellers get them!

Make a playlist for memories

One of my favourite things to do is create a Spotify playlist for the music I listened to most in each country I visited. Now all I have to do is listen to one and it takes me back to a specific place and time, along with all the emotions I was feeling then.

Take a class

Travel is the perfect opportunity to try something new. I loved taking a cooking class in Seoul, a surf lesson in Bali, and both a paddleboarding and fishing lesson in New Zealand. It’s a fun way to learn a new skill while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!

Find photogenic spots with Instagram

Follow local instagrammers in the places you’ll be visiting to find the best spots for taking photos. I also search through hashtags relating to the place I’m heading to to check out the popular photos and see where they were taken.

Use an incognito window to book anything

I’ve personally experienced this! If you’re booking flights or accommodation, open an incognito browser window when it’s time to make your booking. I’ve seen prices gradually increase for flights as I kept checking them, only to watch them drop when I used an incognito window.

Merino is king for cold climates

It’s tough to pack for a trip that’ll take you through warm and cold climates. If you’ll be doing just that, pick up some clothing made of Merino wool. It’ll be lightweight, keep you warm in cold temperatures, cold in hot temperatures, and won’t smell if you wear it for several days in a row.

Ask permission when taking photos

How would you feel if some random tourist turned up at your house or work and started taking photos of you? Ask for someone’s permission before you start taking photos of them — it’s the polite and respectful thing to do.

Protect your technology

I used to be disastrous with my tech, but now that I have cases for everything, I’m doing much better. It’s worth getting a shell for your laptop, a keyboard cover for accidental spills, a sturdy case for your Kindle, and a waterproof case for your phone. Replacing tech is expensive and spending a day trying to figure out which island you need to fly to in the Philippines in order to get your laptop repaired is frustrating.

Avoid rip-offs and awkward misunderstandings by always asking the price first

Nothing ruins an experience faster than finding out it costs way more than you expected after it’s too late. Sometimes it’s an innocent understanding. For instance, in China, my cousin tried to impress us with his language skills by ordering, among many other things, fish at a dim sum restaurant. He thought it was $10 for the whole 2 kg thing. It turned out to be $10 per 100 g, so $200 for the fish. Other times, it’s intentional. Taxi drivers are the classic culprit of this. They’ll take you where you’ve asked them then ask for quadruple the fair price once you arrive and it’s’ too late to negotiate. It can feel impolite or unnecessary to ask for the price. Do it anyway. It never hurts as much as not doing so.

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