TRAVEL TIPS 8: Voila! Destination – Travel Advice List!

LOcation: Belurmath, Kolkata (India)

There’s an art to traveling well. Some little secrets you learn on the way, like making sure you find a map at the airport before you leave (even though you use google maps. Don’t forget, smart phones eat up more battery).

Here’s my ultimate travel advice list. Have I missed any? Let me know 😀

P.S: Following are the General Travel Advice List. Check with your destination country for the safety advice before you fly. Because your safety always comes first 🙂

1) Use your GPS when traveling abroad.
If you’re traveling abroad without an international plan, turn on airplane mode and turn off data to use the GPS without connecting to the internet. Simply load the Google map of the area before heading out the hotel, and you’ve got a fully functional map to navigate the area.

2) Get a free cell phone charger if you forgot yours at home.
Forget your charger? Often times hotel front desks will have a box full of chargers left by previous guests.

3) Learn how to say “No, Thank You”.
Most travel advice columns will tell you to learn how to say “hello”, “yes please”, “thank you” and “do you speak English?”. But in some countries you really want to be able to say “no, thank you, please leave me alone”. Think about the crowded market places in Asia. Knowing how to say “no, thank you” in their language is going to give you a lot more peace.

4) Grocery stores are a traveler’s best resource.
Cheap food, local flavors. Find the nearest one to your hotel and you will save yourself a heap of cash. Have a picnic lunch every day.

5) Keep an emergency stash of money.
If you lose your wallet you will still need to eat. An empty Chapstick is a fantastic secret hiding spot.

6) Learn how to drive a manual car.
Stuck at an airport after your flight has been cancelled? You could drive. You will be smacking your head on the desk if they only have manual cars.

7) Know how much it should cost in a taxi.
Carry a card with the hotel address and a map. Ask for taxi drivers to use the meter. Make sure they are legitimate taxi drivers.

8) Always carry a hard copy map of the city you’re going to.
Save your phone charge for when you really need it.

9) Make sure your bank cards work.
There is nothing more annoying on holidays than spending hours on the phone to the bank back home.

10) Learn how to take a decent photo.
Don’t come home with a bunch of Instagram selfies. Memories fade and you’ll want something to remember the scenery by.

Sunset at Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai (India)

11) Learn basic first aid.
This is just a great life skill, if nothing else.

12) Get folders for travel documents and itineraries.
Keep them organised so you don’t have to mess about digging through pockets in your bag at the airport check-in.

13) Use public transport.
It’s fast. It’s easy, it’s cheaper and it will give you a better travel experience. Get a map, learn the different types of tickets.

14) Ask the locals for advice, tips.
The best beach probably isn’t the most popular one. The locals can help you find those secret spots you will rave about.

15) Eat where the locals eat.
Just like tips 14 – the same goes with restaurants. Ask the locals where they eat. Go there instead.

South Indian local dishes – Masala Dosa and Uttapam

16) Know where the Embassy is.
Seriously! Find it on your map. Don’t think just because you are in a “safe” country you won’t need it. All it takes is a quick Google search, write down the address and put it in a safe place.

17) Register your details with DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).
OK, this one is obvious but surprisingly so many of us don’t actually do it. In cases like Boston or London, DFAT will be the place your family will turn to. Make sure they know where you are.

18) Be aware of the local laws.
Don’t get drunk on the streets of Dubai or expect to chew and spit gum in Singapore. You’re leaving India – don’t expect our law system to follow you around the world.

19) Learn a few phrases of the local language.
Speak to the locals. Experience their culture. Don’t just wander through it.

20) Know the scams of each destination.
‘Thai driver want to show you his best restaurant?’ It’s probably his mate’s. Get on the internet and work out the scams so you don’t become a sucker.

21) Learn the art of haggling.
Haggling saves you money. Be bold!! That extra $4 will buy you a coffee.

22) Learn the basic geography of the country you are visiting.
There’s nothing worse than a traveler who has no idea where they are travelling.

23) Learn how to use a compass.
Sounds extreme but it could help in a crisis.

24) Learn how to use chopsticks.
Don’t look like a tourist asking for a fork. Chopsticks are a must.

25) Allow relaxation time to get over jet lag.
You don’t want to be on the go for six weeks straight. It should be a holiday. You should relax at some point.

26) Keep a change of clothes and basic toiletries in your carry-on.
If your luggage gets lost you will be very glad.

27) Travelling via Singapore?
Pack your swimmers in your carry-on and take a break in the outdoor rooftop pool at the airport while in transit. You will feel 100 per cent better getting on the next flight. (Location: Changi Airport T1)

28) Research the airports you are travelling through.
Why? So you can a) find the fastest way through and b) use the facilities. Don’t just sit at the boarding gate.

29) Take Imodium and Panadol / Nurofen.
The cuisine of other countries can be harsh on the tummy.

30) Check if the drinking water is safe.
That includes brushing your teeth, ice in cocktails and drinking water in the shower.

31) Be aware of altitude sickness.
Give yourself time to adjust between altitudes, drink a lot more when you are high up.

32) Know the local road rules.
Every country have different road rules. Some drives on left some on right.

33) Be respectful. (Specially for women travelers).
Pay attention to how local women dress to work out how you should.

34) As a treat to yourself, send yourself a postcard from each day of your travels.
It’ll be a nice treat to come home to and make the transition back to reality easier. (I have collected 400+ postcards so far. I always ask my friends/families to post me a picture post card whenever they travel 😀

35) On your last day in a foreign country, collect all your loose money and give it to the homeless.



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