Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Two Travel Tips

Every so often, someone asks me for my 'top' travel tip. The answer varies depending on the circumstances, but essentially there are two main things I've learnt from experience, which I wish someone had told me sooner.

So, for the benefit of anyone who's interested, here are the two travel tips I would share. One is about going; the other is about coming back. I hope you find at least one of them useful. Please feel free to share your favourite tips in the comments.


My advice about going?


That's really all there is to it. If an opportunity presents itself, for which you have both time and money in sufficient quantities, just go. I've adopted this strategy over the last few years, and it's certainly working for me. Even if you visit somewhere you'd prefer not to re-visit, you've learnt something. I've been in charge of my own travel plans for about ten years now, and I have only one regret - a trip to Thailand, which I didn't take. So go, whenever you have the chance.


And for coming back?

Just be sure to take as much care packing your dirty laundry as you did packing your clean clothes to travel. Otherwise all the space you carefully left for mementos will just be full of crumpled shirts.

That's all. Go - and then pack neatly when it's time to come home.

Oh, and be sure to take lots of photos so you can show me how it went.


This post is dedicated to my Dad, who's spending Christmas in India this year.


Cara said...

Your travel tips are the best I've ever read! You grabbed me immediately by not having a top 10, or even top 5. "Two tips?" I thought. "What could she have possible boiled it down to?"

These are tips I currently follow, and it's exciting to connect with another traveler who shares my values. Meanwhile, I know many people who don't yet fully appreciate the beauty of tip #1, and a few who can use a reminder about the usefulness of tip #2. So I'll definitely pass this on.

Matt said...

Excellent advice.

There have been times where it seemed like 'too much work' to follow through on travel plans, but like you said - I've never regretted it. Usually, once I get about 10 minutes away from home, the excitement kicks in and it's all good.

Elisabeth said...

The comings and the goings are important aren't they? not only for overseas travel but in life itself, a bit like being born and dying, except that in these we often have no choice at all. Thanks for a terrific post.

Chow and Chatter said...

great tips GO!!

Jen said...

I need to get better at number 2. Great post.

Anonymous said...

For coming home: staying out in daylight helps the body re-adjust to the time zone. That isn't so important with a trip to Europe. But when we came home from China, 12 hours off, with a baby who'd slept on the plane, while we'd been awake 40 hours, it was really important.

Denise said...

Wonderful post and I shall remember the next time we go traveling. Lovely photos!

J said...

I recognize that street! Hope you have a great Christmas.

Elizabeth Braun said...

I totally agree with both of those! Never mind if you may not have a job later, just go anyway! And I always pack our dirties neatly - just in a plastic bag so that they don't dirty up other things. It really does save space.

Of course, in these days of strictness with the 20kg luggage allowance, I think one of my top tips would have to be on weight conservation. Thinks super carefully about what to take and how much of a heavy thing you really need. Do you need a whole 300ml bottle of shampoo? Or will a couple of travel sizes/sample sachets do instead? Ban all hardback books from the suitcase and carry them in your hand if need be. Also, remember there's no limit to how much you bring off the plane, just how much you take on, so add an extra layer or 4 to your outfit and remove them when it's 'safe' to do so, (ie just the other side of the hand luggage check or in the cabin loo!!)

Why didn't you like Thailand? Where were you? My Bangkok classmate says many don't like BK as it's wall to wall Buddhist temples, but the southern beach areas go down well with westerners. We're planning to try and see both on the way home from Taiwan, (after Singapore and overlanding through Malaysia).

Angry Julie Monday said...

Great tips!!! My husband has been to Thailand several times when he was in the Marines. He wasn't impressed, but I've heard so many different views of the country.

Doreen said...

good advice. Merry Christmas and best to you in the New Year!!

Steve & Sarah Travel the Long Way Round said...

Excellent advice. Sometimes we all need a little kick in the pants to get things moving.

To motivate ourselves to go, my wife and I save all our change and spare bills in a jar. It adds up to a couple hundred bucks every few months and feels like free travel money. I find taking away the money question removes one of the biggest barriers to getting going.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for visiting Outside Oslo and commenting on Jenn's guest post.

I hope you'll stop by the blog again when you're looking for some Scandinavian inspiration!

justsomethoughts... said...

first, hello.
second, i actuallly intuited the first pice of advice.
sadly, the second one never actually made it all the way into action
thats why i inevitably find myself buying overpriced postcards at the airport on the way home.

Rachel M. said...

Travel Tip - when arriving in Hong Kong and approaching the immigration area, GO LEFT, people naturally want to follow the crowd who will first see the rows on the right. Left area has almost no one and you can rush through immigration faster.

Anonymous said...

Agreed!! Definitely GO - even if the funds are very thin on the ground, still GO!
Equally with friends the cost is always shared :)

Also on the laundry point I would recommend only taking a weeks worth of clothes, otherwise all you are carrying is washing!

Kisha said...

This is a great piece of advice, that I definitely need to take! Thanks!

You've got a great site!


Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

LOVE it!!!! Can't wait to just GO again (overseas, that is)... hopefully this year. :)

alessandra said...

Great tips, mine is...when you are leaving, check the tickets, money and passport...hahah silly uh?

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