10 international travel tips, secrets and hacks you need to know about
You can always tell the seasoned traveller from the newbie, even from the word ‘go’, in the departure lounge of the airport. The first sign is the nervous passport, ticket, wallet check that they do every five minutes; that, and the fact that they’re keeping their eyes glued to the departure boards for fear of missing their flight gives it away. Nothing can be done about the nerves and apprehension. That just goes away naturally, when you have travelled more often, but here are ten other secrets of travel that the seasoned traveller knows about:
1. Don’t take too much with you
One of the best travel packing tips is – when you travel, travel light and take what you know you will need, not all those ‘just in case’ things. Remember that you have to carry whatever you take and, if you go too mad you could go over your baggage limit and have to pay more. And remember, if you forget something, you can buy it when you get there.
2. Don’t pack too many valuables
Whenever you travel, your bags are at risk of being tampered with. We don’t want to put you off travelling, just don’t advertise what you have. Expensive, designer luggage is only going to attract the attention of dishonest baggage handlers, so make sure to keep valuables and electronic equipment with you, not in your suitcases.
3. Tell your credit card company you are going away
Another one of great international travel tips is, if you are travelling abroad, don’t forget to tell your credit card company or your bank. If you start using your card in another country without telling them, they might suspect a fraud and they will put your card on hold. Not helpful when you are trying to explain to a foreign waiter why you can’t pay the restaurant bill.
4. Mark your luggage as fragile
Put a fragile label on your luggage and not only should it be treated more gently, but it will also be on the top of the pile in the airplane, so yours will be first off when they unload.
5. Always take a pen with you
It’s always a good idea to have a pen with you, when are travelling abroad. You will be surprised at how many forms you have to fill in for customs and arrivals purposes, both on the plane and when you arrive at your destination.
6. Eat and drink local produce
Next good international travel tip is – eat and drink at local eateries and don’t just go straight for what you know. Experiencing local life and local cuisine is all a part of the adventure and local produce will be a lot more cost effective too. Remember that anything you see with a label you recognise is an import, so it’s going to be a lot more expensive.
7. Don’t take loads of foreign cash with you
Another one of good international travel tips is – only exchange a very small amount of money into local currency before you go, just what you might need for when you first arrive. Changing money at airports is especially expensive, their rates are not good and they also charge commission and fees. Remember, you can use the ATM’s in the country of your destination, when you need some local currency.
8. Use the bathroom on the plane, just before you land
It’s always a rush when you get off a plane. You have to find your baggage, go through customs and so on. There is always a queue for toilets too, so visit the bathroom on the plane, just before you land; it makes things a lot less fraught!
9. Don’t use hotel telephones and internet connections
Hotel internet connections and telephone calls are usually a huge rip-off. It’s usually much cheaper to use a cell phone and to get a mobile internet connection and use those instead. The calls and the connection will be more expensive than at home, but it will be cheaper, than the hotel charges.
10. Be aware of local customs and rules
When someone visits your house, you expect them to abide by your rules. So, another one of good international travel tips is – extend the same courtesy when you are overseas. Some countries have stiff penalties for jaywalking, littering or spitting gum onto the ground, while other countries have even stiffer penalties for immoderate dress or behaviour. Always read up on your destination before you go to avoid falling foul of any local customs or laws.
What are your favorite international travel tips, secrets and hacks?
Feel free to share your best travel tips in the comment section below.