Whether for business, pleasure or whatever, we naturally do want things to go about smoothly in our travels. Yet what could assure our safety?
Here are the basics that you need to know.
Do advance research of your destination from attractions and its peak seasons, hostels, climate, culture, practices, exchange rates, local cost of living and political stability among others.
Be updated with your country’s travel advisory. If you have no clue about it, then the more you make sure you do tip #1.
Have duplicates of travel documents. Accidental loss or damage to your travel documents could mean big trouble, thus, it would be better to prepare for the unexpected by having photocopies.
Take proper vaccinations. More than adjusting to the time zone, sudden climate changes could get your body react negatively, so make sure you get your shots before traveling.
Learn the local language. While having a translator app is good, knowing how to speak a few local lines is better than a robotic audio that may even mispronounce some words.
If you haven’t got martial arts’ skills, then at least bring some self-defense items like a pepper spray – or even a Swiss knife that is not only useful for outdoors but could be used for protection, too.
Consider your length of stay yet travel light and pack only climate friendly clothing, supplies and accessories. Know what’s taboo.
Pack important and frequently used items in a special bag. Can you imagine the hassle when you have to dig your bag for coins just to pay a rickshaw? Or the stress you would have realizing that your phone is not even in your pocket but in the cargo hold?
Bring a basic first aid kit. While there may be hospitals or health centers wherever we may go, it would be a no-brainer to bring a first aid kit with you in your travels. Like, wouldn’t it be a hassle if we had to go to a hospital just because of a tiny bruise?
As much as possible, book in a hostel that is near your purpose for traveling. Proximity adds assurance to security. Makes sense?
Check-in with your embassy. For extra assurance, wouldn’t it be reassuring that your country knows where you are exactly?
Know where the police and proper authorities are. Accidents, petty crimes or even getting lost where you are can happen. So, knowing where you could get the nearest help would be telling.
Leave valuables at your hotel’s safety vault during your stay. Does it make sense to keep bringing all your valuables when you got hotel service that offers top-notch security? Enjoy your every adventure with less baggage, with literally less baggage!
Follow local laws and regulations. You can not just come in and explore some place with your ego – like, thinking you are a paying customer and that the customer is always right. Rules and laws are what makes a place safe and orderly, if you want to be safe, then follow local laws and regulations.
Familiarize yourself with the transportation system. Every place or country has some kind of structure in how they go about things especially in commuting, so to make your visit more efficient and comfortable, it would be good to know not only where certain places are but also how to get there faster and cheaper.
Stay in safe zones – whether it’s having fun at night or walking only in well-lit areas with decent people. While we know of some places to be of high risk, not all low risk areas are really low risk. What if you suddenly encounter an intoxicated guy in the dark? People drink but if they lose their mind from it, a low risk place could suddenly turn into a high risk area.
Make sure of your water sources. Same goes with food. If you are really a traveler, experiencing local delicacies is a must. However, be mindful of not only what your belly can take, but if the food is really safe to consume. One clue would be – if many locals are eating it, in that particular place, then the food must be safe. As for water, it would be advisable to drink only from your hotel, a good restaurant or just buy your water if ever.
Be friendly and respectful. Appreciate the culture. This probably is the most overlooked aspect of safety – and that is ‘friendliness’. No, you do not necessarily have to shake hands with everyone in sight but at least let that positive aura shine in you. Whether you need direction or help, being friendly and respectful would go a long way towards having that great travel experience.
We know that we could budget our way to traveling the world; but do you know that you could actually travel for free??
Yes. Free! How?
Couchsurfing. Probably the most popular way to travel for free is through couchsurfing. This is done by finding a place to stay or share one’s home with travelers.
House sitting. This is when you get free accommodation by looking after one’s house – while the owner is out of town – with responsibilities that include general maintenance.
Homestay. This is when you get a roof for the night to over a year at a local’s residence in exchange for helping out around the house, or monetary compensation whatever the agreement.
Woofing. Just like homestay, in woofing you get free food and accommodation by doing part-time work for the household that took you in. This enables people to live and learn by volunteering on a variety of organic properties. Volunteers stay and help work on the land and/or home for 4-6 hours a day.
Work for Accommodation. Simply put, this is doing part-time work in hostels to get free accommodation.
Exchange Your Skills. This is almost like working part-time for accommodation or food where you would offer your services to, say, a hostel. The difference is that, you are not bounded by stricter time as compared to part-time work where you would likely have to report according to schedule.
Volunteering Abroad. This is like working for social advocacies, conservation institutes or charity. While time may be restricted due to responsibilities, point is, you get to travel for free.
Work in a Travel-related Industry. This is quite similar to item #7 albeit with more restrictions, else, freedom depending on your situation. Like, it’s restrictive not only because of responsibilities but because regulations could be stricter since you are working in a for-profit organization. On the other hand, it’s got “freedom” in a way that you get to places for free, like being a flight crew.
Work in a Cruise Ship. We could have just merged this to item #8 yet we separated them both since being in a cruise ship is like the ultimate travel experience as you would only get to step out of a ship after days of travel and fun at sea.
Frequent Flyer Program. This is designed to encourage airline customers enrolled in the program to accumulate points (also called miles, kilometers, or segments) which may be redeemed for air travel or other rewards. Points earned under FFPs may be based on the class of fare, distance flown on that airline or its partners, or the amount paid.
Hitchhiking. Getting a free ride is certainly traveling for free. Just be decent and courteous to get cars or trucks to stop for you.
Carpooling. Quite related to item #11 except that in car sharing, you are either the passenger looking for a ride – or the driver (if you own the car) offering a free ride.
Walk or Cycle. One often overlooked means to travel for free is walking – or even cycling – as people nowadays equate this to just nearby errands and would not really try to go the distance with it. Yet if only one is not just trying to save money but keeping fit as well, then walking or cycling is the way to go!
Camping. Just like items #1-6, this is free travel (though you actually spent for your trip) in the sense that accommodation – which is a major part of travel – has been taken cared of.
Travel Blogging or Vlogging. This is either writing or recording a video of one’s travels; however, this path requires perseverance and personal savings to begin with as you would be spending a ton for a lengthy stretch before you could get the benefits of blogging or vlogging.
Traveling has never been more pronounced than in recent years – what with social media being major in our lives and selfies taking the lead role.
And with that, terminals and roads are only going to get busier with more people trying to escape from all the pressures of life – with an increasing number transitioning from a 9-5 job to one that provides more freedom through traveling while earning from it. However, if a nomadic lifestyle is not your cup of tea, worry not. You could still enjoy your travels by maximizing your trip.
Here are our top travel tips.
Plan your vacation. Sure, planning may somehow take away some excitement in your trip as you already know what would basically happen; then again, if you do not have an itinerary, you could get stuck in one place without even realizing it. Unless you truly just want to stay in that particular place – then you would have not seen all the other beautiful spots the area has to offer. So much so, if your companion(s) also has a burning desire to check those attractions out. Thus, be sensitive.
Choose the date or travel time with the least travelers. This means, avoid traveling on peak seasons. This way, you would be able to quickly access whatever your traveling needs. Not to mention, you would have lower ticket rates upon booking and cheaper fees on just about everything – and yes, with the whole place for yourself and your companion(s)!
Take the night trip. We all know that nighttime is sleeping time, so traveling at night would maximize your time for adventure as you would not spend daytime in a bus just slouching (if you even can) in long trips. And if ever you would use your own car, then consider taking turns with your companion(s) in driving so everyone gets their rest, too. Don’t forget your neck pillow!
Have stopovers and enjoy it. If you want a day trip rather than a night travel, then include the trip as an activity in your itinerary. Stopover upon noticing nice views and when there’s also a gas station with a restaurant – so you not only get to snap pictures but have some snacks and your car checked as well.
Drop by at especially renown tourist attractions you would pass by – or say, a festival you chanced upon. A vacation should be an experience to remember, so. Forget the time for once. This is like hitting multiple birds in one stone as such things does not always happen every day. So, just have fun!
Share realtime updates. Since you’re on a day trip, share your stopover photos on social media on the go. Not only would you inspire your friends to explore the idea of day trips, but you would also let them know the beautiful spots to consider and how you are actually doing at that moment.
Take short cuts. Now, if you simply want to get to your destination without any dilly dally, then explore short cuts. Be flexible and prepared though, sometimes the short cut you got to may turnout to be a dead end or a road under repair – or yeah, congested due to some, well, accident or traffic. Just relax then and treat it as part of the adventure.
In the end, doesn’t matter the season – trips can be fun, too, when you realize you could actually have fun on your way.
While a locale’s appeal has a lot to do with where we do wish to travel, many times, our budget eventually dictates where we would eventually go to – but of course, it would be somewhere that’s in our bucket list.
With that, how should we actually travel on a budget?
If you have not saved for a certain destination, then you would obviously rely on what’s on your disposal, on the money or spare cash you have. And most likely, even from savings that may not be intended for travel as well. Careful. Thus, determine the place in your bucket list where the funds you have is sufficient.
Sufficient means airfare (or whatever major transport fare), food, accommodation including spare for miscellaneous expenses have been considered. Thus, you should have thoroughly researched about your destination in advance.
This research should result or give you an idea on how much you should ideally spend each day. This means, a daily budget that mainly revolves around food, accommodation, activities and the expenses that go with it. Yes, we understand that travel could be more fun if it’s spontaneous; however, you’re a ‘budget traveler’ here, so…
Be disciplined and track your spending. Not because you saw something interesting, you’d already spend on it. Your research should have already covered whatever that could interest you beforehand, thence, stick to your budget.
Go for cheap or the cheaper activities. Sometimes, tours can be more expensive than doing stuff on your own, so make sure you do balance these things including vehicle rental, incidental food, and the time you would likely spend. Just be aware, the longer you take, the more likely that other expenses would appear.
Now, if you want to be more spontaneous in your adventures, then try some “free” activities, too; like, hiking. Ey, what a better way to explore the place and its culture in your travels than walk as you get to do some free workout as well!
Certainly, other fun places maybe far and require you to spend, hence, consider sharing your costs. Just as there are people that shares costs on tours where they divide the total fee amongst themselves, try that in other activities as well with those in your hostel or the spots where these adventurers gather.
Food. Accommodation. Means of travel. These three things are a given whenever we travel, and so especially as a budget traveler, always try to look for the cheapest way to secure them. Example, eat out in eateries. And if you have to try the locality’s specialty in more expensive restaurants, then just don’t go overboard. If you are looking at months of travel, then do try couchsurfing or even camping other than just booking on cheap lodges. Determine the cost-efficiency of using public transport, renting a scooter and hiring a private vehicle when going about the locality.
Avail of travel promos. If you have pre-planned your trip, as in, months ahead, then you are more likely to come across on travel promos than if you book yourself just a week before D-Day. And obviously, that’s the benefit of buying your tickets much, much earlier – you save a lot more, and so redirect your funds to food and fun activities for the trip at hand.
Work abroad. Wonder why others could afford traveling all-year round? Or why others could even extend their stay in places that are bit expensive? Well, more than just their savings which could eventually dry out, it’s because they do find work in places where they travel. Because they do odd or online jobs. So, if you dream of completing your bucket list and more, but you don’t have the budget to do so, then consider getting employed on the go.
You must have heard about it already – an American missionary was believed to have been killed by one of the most isolated tribes in world – the Sentinelese.
This tribe who has a population of just about 40 to as high as 400, has lived in isolation for the last 60,000 years is found in the North Sentinel Island which is under the administration of India. The island though (which is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea) is quite close to Myanmar and Thailand than it is to mainland India itself – has it restricted to visitors by the government.
So, how did Chau get there? He paid Indian fishermen to get him near the island to where he could just paddle his way to the shore. The fishermen were charged by the Indian court, however, the body has yet to be recovered.
With that, make sure to get these travel tips right especially since many just loves traveling to secluded places. Here goes.
Don’t. Just don’t. Hey, if you already know it’s an isolated place that is not open to visitors, then why go there? Curiosity and thirst for adventure has its limits – and this is one of them.
Let people know where you are going. Yet for those who has made a similar decision as Chau, or if you were simply caught by fate – call your friends and family as to where you are. Whatever happens, at least, there’s someone who could help you out.
Use a drone first. If it’s possible, try to have an advance party, err, a drone to check out the conditions first before it’s too late.
Know the language. If the place is under a certain country’s jurisdiction, then the inhabitants of that place probably speaks the same language (or perhaps has similarities) as the country who has jurisdiction over them. Knowing the language, even just a few words could bridge trust gaps.
Know and respect the culture. Still, knowing a couple of foreign sentences won’t do much if you fail to observe the place’s custom. Thus, it is expected that you have researched about the place. Or at least have a sincerely friendly disposition that’s ready to adjust to traditions when necessary.
Travel light. Especially in remote areas, it would certainly help to travel light. Oh, can you just imagine how hard it would be to carry ‘half of your house’ while crossing rivers on foot – or climbing mountains just to get to your accommodation?
Wear your most comfortable yet modest clothing. Being mobile is crucial when traveling, especially when in lesser known areas. And aside from bringing minimal stuff, wearing light, modest and comfortable clothes would be best for emergencies.
Have an escape plan. If you don’t have a map or a compass, or if Google maps is not applicable in that region, then it would help if you leave markers along the way. Yes, know the basic terrain of the place, so even if nightfall comes, you’d know your way.
Be prepared. Now, if you do have an escape plan, you should also understand that running or swimming to escape danger should not be your first option. Try to locate the boat area or whatever while moving about. And it would also be good if you brought even a pepper spray – a head start could make a difference.
Just don’t go. Okay, we may have given you useful tips above but the best tip would just really be not to go. These tips are for, you know, ‘just in case’. You see, stubbornness could just lead you to consequences that you may later regret. So. Final reminder.
Whether you are heading to a beach or a crowded cemetery on All Saints’ Day – or whenever – and especially if towards the weekend, how do you travel and still enjoy when you are where a thousand others are?
Worry not, we got some practical suggestions that you can count on.
Leave early to avoid traffic and be early to have an available hotel room ready, well, unless you have them pre-booked.
Schedule and synchronize your activities yet be flexible to adjust your itinerary. Not only will this save money but it would give you enough time to enjoy your activities.
If you want to check out the sites, consider joining tours not just to save money but to help minimize congestion as it’s scheduled.
Make sure you have properly instructed your kids (and don’t miss putting an identification tag in their clothing). Like, don’t go with strangers – or do not go too far or get mixed up with the crowd. And have a time schedule and a meeting place if any ‘old-enough’ member would want to have an ‘alone’ time.
Bring water, otherwise, know where to get potable water. This is just a no-brainer, traveling or not, we need water. However, for a place with water issues especially at a peak time, this should be an essential reminder for everyone.
Don’t forget your accessories (including fan, cap, scarf, sunblock, sunglasses, ointments and power bank) given that you did already bring your necessary clothing as it could be hot and even hard to charge your phone since the place is just filled.
Wear shorts or jeans with a deep enough pocket for your wallet or money. And make sure your handbag or shoulder bag is always zipped and checked regularly, know how sneaky pickpockets are.
Prepare the right amount of coins and bills at the outset and don’t forget to bring extra cash and some credit cards. Just imagine the wait (or hassle when paying for something) especially if the line is long while you are still trying to get those bills changed.
If you brought your own car, know where the gasoline stations are especially if you didn’t bring some gas with you. Else, if you just commuted then know the bus schedules; for with hundreds of people leaving your vacation spot (or wherever) daily, you could get delayed or even stranded.
Secure your car (including making sure you have a spare tire, tools and flashlight) not just in getting a good parking spot but against possible carnappers, gas thieves and vandals.
Do not leave your belongings unattended. If your group wants to look around or something, make sure one of you stays, otherwise, just try to bring your stuff with you.
Avoid swimming (or going to places) where it’s overcrowded, chances are the area is already a bit diluted (or even dangerous) that you’d have to wait a while if you want things (or the water) to clear up. Not to mention having a tight swimming or ‘selfie’ space.
As always, it wouldn’t hurt to know where the lifeguard, police, information and health centers are – you will never know if you or someone nearby might need help.
Respect ‘culture’ and tradition. Not just custom but ‘everything’. Okay, you may have gone to a certain place for vacationing but then especially if you’re a tourist, it is important to be aware of the time you visited as there might be practices you need to observe. You could tell by the crowd.
Okay, what if your semestral break (or vacation leave) is just around the corner, where would you actually have your next adventure?
Well, more than making sure you got the funds for traveling, your travel destination would largely depend on whom you are actually going with – or if you would just be doing some solo travel. And so, before we give you some suggestions, try to answer these to help you decide on where to go next.
Would you be traveling alone, else, who would you be with? As we have said earlier, your destination would ultimately be decided according to who your companion is. Like, you can’t just go to the mountains if you’d travel with old, otherwise, grumpy people. All the walking and stuff could just irk them. Meanwhile, being near cliffs or rocky terrain could be dangerous for kids as well.
How long is your break (as well as your companion’s)? Obviously, you can’t just go wherever if you only got a few days off. You got to consider the distance as part of travel time, so if it is far then you would be shaving off valuable vacation time on your itinerary. Too little time might not be worth the expenses – and energy.
Given that your companion’s availability has been considered, what about budget? Would it be shared or would either of you be shouldering everything? How much is the allotment? If one of you would be paying for everything then be a little sensitive, do not go overboard. Instead, suggest things as if it’s your money that’s being spent while still being able to enjoy the adventure.
Now in deciding where to go, consider what places are in each other’s bucket list. Go for the one that has the most similarities, again given that the budget has been accounted for. Still, to make your trip more secure, enjoyable and cost-efficient consider the season, promos, current situation, reviews and recommendations from all your research. Yeah, do not just hop into the bus with no advanced knowledge at all unless you’re ready for the “what ifs”, whatever they may be. Well, just hope they’re not that bad and with more pluses than minuses, of course.
Lastly, make sure the weather forecast for the whole vacation is just what you hoped for. Certainly, for while the weather may be unpredictable, any changes would more often than not be just mild unless there was a stormy forecast beforehand – so if you’re in season, that’s no problem. Just don’t forget your kits.
Some Suggested Destinations
While some ideas may be familiar, our suggestions have emotional depth and so, definitely worth the while – so here’s to more fun!
Friend’s hometown. Especially if your friend has not been home in a long time, accompanying him to his hometown would not only be exciting but it would strengthen your friendship as well.
Visit ‘long lost’ relatives. While this is similar to number one, what makes it different is that the first one is your friend’s family – while this one are your relatives that you haven’t seen like since grade school! So, wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise for everybody then? This is like a reunion that doesn’t often happen, so imagine the fun and all those hurriedly put up stories.
Location setting of a movie or drama. Now this is like bringing the big screen to life. Wouldn’t it be awesome to visit the place where your favorite movie was shot? It’s like experiencing déjà vu! Have those selfies at the exact spots, that’d be something.
Favorite travel destination. While many travels to a certain place because of its renown tourist spot, wouldn’t it be cooler to go to a place with several tourist attractions? Say a beach, a mountain, an eco park and what have you all in one state or province. Like, five birds in one stone! Now, that’s what you call ‘va-ca-tion’.
Popular, otherwise, remote beach. If it’s one of the top beaches in the world or at least the country then that would be great. Still, it would be equally if not more relaxing to be in a ‘remote’ beach, don’t you think? It’s like having your own private island! Just don’t worry if the signal is spotty, after all, you are there for a vacation.
Historical or cultural site. In some ways, this is like suggestion number three yet although the site may not have been used in a movie, it doesn’t mean that the place is so-so. After all, there’s just so many beautiful sites around the world that governments and locals even need to promote them for all of us to know!
Trending attractions. These are the newly opened or renovated tourist attractions. Obviously, because it’s new or renovated, a lot of promoting would be done that it would end up #trending. The thing with this one though is that you would be with a thousand other people who could be there, too. Now, that could spoil the fun – so timing is important here.
Happy and safe travels!
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