Normally, one only learns from his own mistakes, but if any of these tips helps you avoid complications in your trips , I accept the effort of having compiled them to have them all at hand.
1. Always carry auxiliary batteries and charger cable
As much as many want to resist being permanently communicated, today the mobile phone -or the tablet, laptop etc- is essential and it is possible that when we want to use it -or need to- we cannot charge it. You may have on your phone, confirmation numbers, reservation details, itineraries or you are just in a wonderful place that you want to photograph.
Having a portable charger can make a difference in your travels. Of course, it is also convenient to carry plug adapters , notebook and pen and a lock to protect our valuables.
2. Make photocopies of your passport and also have it photographed on your phone
If the original is lost, it will help you identify yourself and speed up the procedures to make a duplicate. You can upload the photo of the passport, ID, or driver’s license to the cloud, but a photocopy of the passport in the suitcase does not take up anything and if necessary, it will be good to have it on hand to go to the consulate, embassy or the office of the police wherever you are.
3. Have a plan B, in case of long trip
There are times when the plans we make do not correspond to the reality of the trip. It may be that we want to extend our stay, it may be that an inconvenience arises -political, climate, catastrophe, etc.- or an invitation that makes us change plans or itinerary. In those cases, having a plan B in case we have to shorten or extend our stay or to buy a new plane ticket or any other unforeseen event is important.
Having the possibility of having extra money, available only in case of need, is essential when we go on a long trip. You never know if we want to extend or shorten our trips or if we will have to change our trips due to unforeseen circumstances . Having a credit card with a balance can make a difference.
4. Open your eyes and don’t look at everything through the phone
Surely there will be a thousand things you want to photograph and film during your trip to share on your social networks, but don’t forget that the fundamental thing is to live the experience . After a few seconds taking the photo, keep your phone and enjoy what you see.
It is a shame to miss a beautiful sunset or see it through a small screen, being able to see it with our eyes . Take the photo and then enjoy something that will always remain in your memory.
5. Get local currency, especially coins when you arrive at the airport
You may have to call your hotel for a pick-up or call a friend from a public phone, so having change is vital. You can also get stuck in an airport due to delays and if the ATM is down, it helps to have coins to get some food or drink .
It is good to have enough cash to cover transportation from the airport to the accommodation and it does not hurt to have a little more in coins since you never know if a location will accept credit cards.
6. Learn some words of the target language
Knowing how to say Hello, goodbye, thank you, please, water or how much it costs is not too much and everyone will appreciate your predisposition. Nor does an online translator or a small dictionary get in the way because not everyone speaks Spanish or English and it doesn’t hurt to interact with people.
7. Be respectful and flexible
You should not go to a place to change your habits . If where we are going we must cover our shoulders to enter a temple, we must do it. If it is customary to leave a tip, we must leave it too. It does not hurt to be relaxed and be respectful of the customs of each country and its culture.
8. Use the functions of Google Maps
On trips where you are not going to have a connection, the Google Maps maps that you can download at the Hotel come in handy to be able to use them offline for your trips. So you can walk – or drive – to your destination even if you can’t find a Wi-Fi connection.
9. Weigh your bags at home or at the hotel before going to the airport
It may seem like you are not carrying too much but it is important to know what your suitcase weighs to ensure that you will not be overcharged at check-in. In case of excess, it is cheaper to hire a second suitcase doing it online than in the check-in queue . There can be huge differences in money and especially, when returning loaded with purchases and souvenirs …
10. If you have space in the suitcase, bring an auxiliary bag
There are many destinations – especially in Africa and Asia – where it is very cheap to buy clothes and other items. It does not hurt to carry an auxiliary bag in the suitcase or inside the backpack in case we buy things. If you don’t have a place, you can also (or will have to) buy that travel bag there.
11. Take a hard drive or hire a service to download photos in the cloud
When you are fond of photography or video, it seems incredible how quickly the memory cards of our cameras fill up, and we still have a lot to visit and see. Having a hard drive to download the cards, thus freeing our SD or flash cards, comes in handy.
A very convenient option is to have a place to store them “in the cloud” for when we return.
12. It is not essential to have Wi-fi constantly
So many times I have seen people panic because there was no Wi-Fi in a restaurant or museum. They are those who when they arrive, the first thing they ask is what is your Wi-Fi password? . Obviously, except for emergencies or online work, we do not need constant access to Wi-Fi.
When traveling it is better to relax, enjoy the environment and the company we are in and look up from the screen , enjoying being offline , at least while we are on vacation.
13. Plan what you want to see yes or yes
In all the trips I have made, there have been things that I wanted to see and I have not been able to because I have spent time on other activities or visits. It is essential to plan by making a list of what we want to see or do and order it by priorities , and then if we cannot do everything, we only miss the bottom line and not what was essential.
14. Do what you want and not what they tell you on websites or blogs
As much as it is good to follow the recommendations of others who have been to a place, remember that the most important thing is your own criteria. If you want to go to a museum or a restaurant or see a monument, do not stop doing it because your friends want to make other visits, or later you will feel bad for having missed what you wanted to do. By organizing yourself, it is possible to see or do everything, or distribute according to the options and preferences of each one.
15. Try cities near your destination when looking for a flight
It is surprising how much a trip can get cheaper if instead of traveling to the capital we go to another nearby airport , even up to € 400-500 cheaper. Indeed, then you will have to travel from that city to which you originally wanted to visit, but the price difference will probably continue to be interesting. Also, so you can know another place.
16. Take a change and the essentials also in your hand luggage
In case your suitcase gets lost and is slow to appear, it is good to have a survival kit in your carry-on luggage. A toilet bag, a change of clothes and documentation and money can make a difference until the luggage appears or we receive compensation.
17. Bring an empty water bottle
Almost all airports have free water fountains where you can fill it up. Don’t buy water when you can simply run an empty bottle through the controls and fill it to the other side , saving you from having to buy water from vending machines .
18. Bring a bag for dirty clothes
In almost all hotels you will find bags for your laundry service. You can use them or make your own from home, but all before mixing your clean clothes with the dirty clothes that you accumulate day after day during your trip.
19. Walk aimlessly and relate
Although I am in favor of planning, especially when the trip is short, it is also great to let yourself go and walk aimlessly through the cities to discover corners that were not foreseen. It is essential to be able to talk to people and interact and then know how to return to the known.
20. Don’t travel with expensive items or equipment
You don’t need to travel with the most expensive sneakers, designer clothes, or carry an expensive laptop, the latest phone or other high-priced products. That ostentation can be in some places an invitation to rob you .
Remember that when you travel, nobody cares about your appearance or image . It is better to relax and be comfortable and spend the money on things that make you enjoy the trip.
21. Research the destination before you go
Read on our website for information and advice, buy a travel guide or visit the page of the destination’s tourist office. It is not about doing a master’s degree about the place but spending a few hours before leaving to know the recommendations, tips, and tricks, will save you a lot of time when you are there.