Tag Archives: travel tips

Top Travel Tips: How to Protect Yourself when Traveling

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

    Enjoy and maximize every single day of your travel – get vaccinated.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Consider your length of stay yet travel light and pack only climate friendly clothing, supplies and accessories. Know what’s taboo.

    Don’t just travel light, but also consider what’s “acceptable” in the region.
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. As much as possible, book in a hostel that is near your purpose for traveling. Proximity adds assurance to security. Makes sense?
  11. Check-in with your embassy. For extra assurance, wouldn’t it be reassuring that your country knows where you are exactly?

    Connecting with officers secures your adventure.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.

    Dim lights does not always mean unsafe – seeing women and children gives us a clue.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Maximize your Trip

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.

  1. 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.

    Always consider the distance of your destination to fully enjoy the ‘in betweens’.
  2. 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)!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

    Experience life on the go by stopping to enjoy its beauty.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Travel on a Budget

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
    Your bucket list should match your budget, at least, initially.
  3. 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…
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
    Try walking around first to get a feel of the place.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
    YHA is part of the world’s largest backpacker network, Hostelling International.
  10. 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.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Go on a Business Trip

Obviously, not all trips are just about fun and adventure – some do happen on emergencies while others travel for business or work reasons.

Yet for this article, we shall be focusing on the business or work side of globe trotting – and tell you, this is more than just wearing a suit and making a fashion walk. It’s about the practicalities of business travel from a real leader’s standpoint – as there are those who take business travel as some ‘escape from work’ or even for flirting.

You are on a business trip because it’s a ‘business’ trip. Be responsible and accountable.
  1. Do not go on a trip just for the sake of going on a trip. If you are really dedicated to your company, then you should weigh in the benefits, costs and urgency of traveling. After all, we are well into the internet age where realtime conversations are not just possible but even free. You should know that.
  2. Develop contacts in the travel industry, obviously, to make travel processing easier, cheaper and faster for anyone in your company even upon quick notice. This is important in emergencies since business can sometimes be very unpredictable as is traveling, so do not forget to secure a travel insurance as well.
  3. Be an informed traveler. Like, not just being aware of travel warnings but understanding the culture of your destination – of course, especially on the business side of things, from attitude to communication style to social engagements to gift-giving and all.
  4. Elaborate a goal-oriented yet flexible travel plan beforehand. Stick to your itinerary. And forget the leisure part of traveling (unless it’s in the partner or client’s culture which you should understand firsthand) until you complete what you are supposed to do in your destination. Business before pleasure.
  5. If you have more than one destination, be on the next one at least 36 hours before the scheduled meeting for better preparedness. Thence, regularly keep in touch with your office and the people you would be meeting with. Communicate and coordinate.
    If all you’d do is sleep, drink or entertain yourself and just work an hour, just go for the economy class (even premium) instead and chat with ‘consumers’.
  6. Being practical has its rewards, too. Travel on business class only when traveling with an important client. Think costs and help your company by trying to forget legroom unless you are a frequent flyer with far better mileage programs or so.
  7. Have a quick meeting with your team. Delegate accordingly and make sure there are enough operational resources while everyone knows their priorities and responsibilities before you leave. And do not forget about your secretary’s “to do” tasks.
  8. If you are not the head, make sure someone could temporarily take your place. Leave instructions and whatever files needed to do the job. And review with your boss your basic itinerary.
  9. Double check your company and travel papers, sample product and whatever equipment or gadget you may bring. Make sure your papers are complete and your equipments are working.
  10. Try to make a duplicate of all your documents especially important papers and travel documents. One set should basically be with you at all times or as necessary, while placing the originals in your hotel’s front office safety vault for safekeeping.
    Next to yourself, your papers are most important – be sure you have an inventory of them.
  11. As always, keep your stuff to a minimum with just the necessary pair of suits or formal attires, footwear, a couple of casual wears along with your grooming or beauty kit.
  12. Of course, inform your family the what, where and when of your trip including your hotel bookings, scheduled return date and the preferable time you could be contacted. Just update them if there would be any changes.

Remember, you are the company, be a good and proud representation of it.

Top Travel Tips: How To Travel as a Migrant

We all know what has been going on at the US border for the past several weeks or so; from a migrant ‘caravan’ that started in Honduras to the struggles that they had to deal with along the way to the issues and reality they had to face upon reaching the US-Mexican border.

Yet well, the most common reasons why migrants leave their home countries are: 1) To escape persecution or violence, and 2) To have better opportunities. While many who are part of the caravan (or migrant crossers) are asylum seekers and therefore are looking to immigrate, it is actually the lowly contract workers who temporarily leaves their families for overseas work that faces a greater risk of being exploited or discriminated.

With that, let’s go through the basics on how to travel as a migrant.

We’re all travelers in this world, whether to live or work – give everyone the opportunity they seek.
Overseas Workers
  1. Make sure your employment agency is legally recognized. Thus, check out the government offices responsible for the listing of recognized employment agencies.
  2. Do not just pay fees, give away your documents or sign anything if you have not thoroughly verified the agency and the job offer. Make sure you understand ‘everything’ there is.
  3. Secure your passport and other travel documents only from the Department of Foreign Affairs, or government agencies and authorized offices that is responsible for such. Avoid fixers.
  4. Do not bring anything or agree to bring something that you do not really know of or is, otherwise, prohibited.
  5. Try to familiarize yourself with the language and culture of your destination beforehand. Likewise, be sure to know where your country’s consulate office is and make them know you’re there.
  6. Contact whoever you know who lives or works in your country of destination in advance if possible. More than having someone to keep you from being lonely, this would ease your transition to your new environment – from knowing where the market, hospital and everything is to digesting the cost of living.
  7. Live and work in peace. Follow the laws. Respect the culture. Be friendly and build good, healthy relationships.
    Never harass migrants, they have rights; besides, they could be valuable nation-builders, too.
Migrant Caravan
  1. Make sure you brought all your proper identification papers and pertinent documents – and be sure to keep them safe and ready.
  2. Be responsible for the person(s) and things you brought with you, as well as the people you are with (remind them to be respectful).
  3. Do not vandalize, destroy properties, abuse the environment or leave trash on wherever you may transit.
  4. Do not just barge in or illegally enter your country of destination but follow their asylum process and laws.
  5. Be productive and do everything necessary to positively adapt to the place you are in. Be that model citizen.

We are all citizens of this world. Never exploit anyone or anything, but do what it takes to make travel and migration safe and orderly.

Top Travel Tips: How to Travel in Isolated Places

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.

Moreover, the tribe is said to attack visitors with bows and arrows which was how John Allen Chau was believed to have been killed.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
    Miracles happen. Try checking the place if there’s a phone signal, who knows??
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
    Always do your proper greetings to the locals especially the chieftain
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
    A child blocking the door may be a sign from the angels, so take heed!
  10. 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.

Be safe. Stay safe.

Top Travel Tips: How to Travel in Crowded Places

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.

  1. Leave early to avoid traffic and be early to have an available hotel room ready, well, unless you have them pre-booked.
  2. 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.
    Planning makes things easier when traveling to where a thousand others are
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
    Potable water is an issue in some places, how much more when it’s crowded?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
    And sometimes you are charged more simply because you don’t have smaller bills
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
    Take turns when you swim, else, leave your belongings in your hotel room
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
    Crowded or not, be friendly, it’s good to know you could call for help when you need one
  14. 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.

Happy and safe travels!