My top 10 travel tips
Overseas travel to multiple destinations is one of the joys of life. The planning and organisation is all part of the fun and the excitement builds as the departure date approaches. I like to escape some of the winter and keep a sneaky eye on the weather in my summer destination. When I’m away I do the same in reverse and watch my friends at home posting about how cold it is - suckers!
I’m not the only one with a winter escape in mind. Right now I have friends and colleagues chasing the sun all over the globe - Fiji, Scandinavia, US, UK, Bali, Hong Kong, Italy. Maybe its because Australians generally have to travel so far to get to Europe, the UK and the US that we tend to travel for a number of weeks. People I’ve met along the way on this trip have commented that Australians are great travellers and have also noticed that we take long trips.
With weeks of travel comes planning and organisation. I like to plan ahead and know exactly what i’m doing - flights, accomodation, land travel, tours etc. Early on in the planning for this trip I challenged myself to take a less planned approach, to be prepared to be more flexible and to leave some room for spontaneity. I quite liked the idea of it and how free it felt to just roll with things rather than over plan.
Four weeks out and my natural tendency to worry kicked in and within a week I had the whole trip booked. If I knew how to make a spreadsheet I reckon I would have done one but I settled for a nice little table with dates, flight numbers, destinations, hotel addresses, etc. Aaaaaah- equilibrium restored and all set for smooth sailing.
We all know the old saying about the best laid plans of mice and women, but planning and control are two different things. Things happen along the way that remind me that I think I can plan my life away but I can’t control for life and all it presents (and I don’t want to!).
Here’s my lighthearted look on the joys of travelling thus far.
#1: Buy early bird plane tickets 9 months in advance through your travel agent. When your friends buy online tickets at half the price be pleased with your advanced planning skills.
#2: Overpack to ensure you have an outfit for every occasion and then wear the same three items every day. Appreciate the bonus tricep workout from dragging a heavy case around over cobblestones.
#3: Pack six pairs of shoes to complement every outfit then twist your ankle on the first day and wear your converse every single day. Have confidence they go with everything.
#4: Decide to minimise the hassle of carrying cash and when the cab driver doesn't accept credit cards, be pleased he knows the long way to the ATM. The tour and the extra $20 euro are worth it.
#5: Simplify managing your money by only taking one card that can do everything. When your bank in Australia cancels the card due to suspected fraudulent activity your husband can pay for everything.
#6: When shopping at a market, make sure you buy the first thing you like as close to the entrance as possible. When you see it for half the price later on, feel good about contributing to the local economy.
#7: Get that holiday vibe with a heap of leather bracelets on your wrist. When the leather dye stains the hotel towels, don’t worry about whether it has entered your blood stream because the seller assured you they only use natural colours.
#8: Eat a low carb diet to lose weight in the months leading up to your holiday and then eat bread from the minute you arrive. The bloating will make a shapely outline in your photos.
#9: When looking for lunch on the road eat salad at the only place that has no-one in it and get the best table. Enjoy a peaceful day in the hotel the next day while you recover.
#10: Avoid the crowds by exploring alleyways on your own. If you find yourself lost, accept the help of some friendly locals and thank them for their assistance by offering them an exorbitant amount of money for their trouble.