We always plan for the “what could go wrong” before we head off on a big trip. You can’t predict absolutely everything, but it definitely brings you more confidence if you’re ready to accept some of the potential mishaps that could happen. For me, I like to have a rough idea of how I can get a hold of type 1 diabetes supplies, just in case something bad happens and my supplies get lost or broken. If you like to be particularly cautious, you could always go ahead and download important local numbers, such as health services or the police.
Local sims are the easiest and cheapest way to stay connected when travelling abroad. We’ve used local sims all around the world, from Nepal the USA, and they’ve always proven to be better value for money. You just need to ensure that your phone is unlocked, which basically means your phone will allow you to use another sim. Speak with your phone provider to find out if your phone is locked or unlocked.
This is a really useful travel tip, that I only learnt from experience. You’ll need passport photos for random things, it could be a visa application at a border, or it could be to get a local sim card (this happened in India). It’s really useful to carry just one or two passport photos with you and I usually keep mine in the back of my phone for safekeeping and easy access!
This is really important. Your passport is pretty much your most important document when travelling, you’ll need it to get into and out of a country. Sometimes it’s required in certain countries that you carry your passport with you daily for random spot checks. I can tell you that in all my years of travelling, this has never ever happened. So, instead I would carry a photocopy of my passport, and if they need further information, then I’ll just have to bring my actual passport to a station at a later date. With regards to health insurance documents and visa documents, make sure you have digital copies of those with you that are easily accessible.
Not only is this a very useful travel tip, it’s actually pretty fun! I really enjoy trying to learn basic phrases in the language I visit. And honestly, this is one of the reasons I love visiting Central/South America, basically anywhere that speaks Spanish, because I love learning the language! You don’t need to know a lot, just basic, “hello”, “thank you”, “do you speak English”, tend to be useful and the locals really appreciate it.
Always save your hotel or hostel on Google Maps. This means if you get lost, or you need to show someone where you’re staying, you can show on Google maps rather than trying to explain verbally in a language you probably don’t speak. Locals can often work out where your hotel is once you show them a map, or if not, you can direct the taxi driver yourself to ensure you get back okay. This is another reason why we love Booking.com; their mobile app syncs up to Google Maps; so once you’ve made a booking, you can quickly click through from the app to the exact location of the property on maps.
This is more applicable to daily days when travelling. If you’re heading out for the day it’s a good idea to plan your route before you leave. This means you’ve got an idea of when places close, and ensure you’re closer to your hotel/hostel before dark. It also allows you to feel secure in where you’re going, so if someone tries to offer you advice that throws you off track, you can stick to the route you had planned. Of course things change, but it’s good to be prepared.
I’ve mentioned before the importance of taking more than one bank card with you when travelling, but it’s also smart not to place them altogether. You should separate your cards into different bags so that if one bag goes missing, you’ve still got another.
This is pretty easy to do if you’re sharing your travels on social media. Often I’ll say on Instagram stories what the plans are for the day, where we are going, and this is really useful if suddenly we were inactive, someone would know the last place we said we were. This also works for if you’re travelling solo, tell someone at the hostel desk where you’re planning on heading out to, or let your friends and family know back home, so that if they don’t hear from you, then they have a starting place on where to look.
Unfortunately not everyone you meet will have your best interests at heart. So, you need to find the balance between trusting people and having your guard up. This is actually a pretty difficult balance to find, especially when you’re approached by locals in the street. You just need to keep common sense. If you ask for directions and you know it’s somewhere left, and the person you ask is directing you another way, then the chances are, they’re not trying to help. This happens in Marrakech a lot. Some people are genuine, but you just need to be wary.