Travelling is a wonderful way to explore the world and experiencing the unknown. It gives us the chance to escape our comfort bubble and learn about new cultures and, even more importantly, learn about ourselves. It gives us much needed time to reflect and process our daily lives, and ‘let go’ of the shackles of our daily routine.
However, travelling can be challenging! We are completely away from our usual routine and easily-accessible resources such as food and means of transport that we are so used to. Therefore, it’s best to be well-prepared prior to embarking on your magical journeys, physically and mentally.
Based on my experiences, I have gathered the following 10 tips that have helped me on my journeys. Whether you are an experienced traveller or a novice, these tips may help to make your travel experiences more comfortable, safe and healthy!
Mandrim, Goa, 2015
1. Attempt to learn the basics of the language of your chosen country
In preparation for visiting every country I have travelled to, I have found that learning the basics of the prominent language beforehand essential. Not only does it make travelling easier, the locals are more likely to appreciate you for attempting to speak in their language. Additionally, when you need to barter, as you most likely need to do in developing countries, if you can say “too expensive” in their language it usually brings the price down!
2. Always buy travel insurance before travelling
Not wanting to scare you, but you NEVER know what could happen, and most countries abroad such as Indonesia and Thailand, do not have the NHS! This means if you need medical care or attention, you have to pay for it and if you haven’t purchased travel insurance prior to your journey, the cost of that care will come out of your travel pot!
3. Don’t drink the tap water! (Particularly in developing countries)
Be cautious when washing fruit and vegetables in local tap water and even more cautious when eating salads in restaurants. If possible, wash anything you consume in filtered water – you will thank me! I’ve had numerous occasions where I’ve been bed-ridden for days prior to eating salads whilst travelling.
In The End, We Only Regret The Chances and Opportunities We Didn’t Take…
Agonda, Goa, 2015
4. Be sure to learn how to ride a scooter properly beforehand and wear a helmet!
I started riding a scooter in Thailand back in 2006. I was totally young and naive and had many minor accidents – luckily non of them serious. However, the roads abroad, particularly in the third-world countries, are completely sporadic and the lanes are a free-for-all. There is no seeming order to the madness! Be sure to get yourself confident prior to jumping on a scooter and ALWAYS wear a helmet! Life is fragile. However, once you get the hang of it, go slow, steady and enjoy! Some of the most liberating feelings I have ever experienced have been on a scooter abroad.
5. Buy a decent natural mosquito repellent prior to travelling
The best one I have come across is called ‘Incognito’, it’s made with completely natural ingredients and works a treat. Click on the image below to learn more:
6. Use a good natural sunscreen!
I often get asked which sunscreen I use when I travel. I always ensure it’s natural as the generic supermarket sunscreens contain a ton of harmful chemicals such as parabens and SLS’s. ‘Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Sun Block’ is my favourite brand and is the most quickly-absorbing of all the natural ones I have tried over the years. They do factor 15, 30 and 50 SPF. Click on the image below to learn more:
7. If in doubt, ask the locals for help!
Travelling can be daunting, in particular if you are alone. However, I have found that 99% of locals in foreign countries tend to be extremely lovely and helpful. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask, they will almost always try to help you wherever possible.
8. Oooh technology! Google maps is a God-send
You can set your google maps to work in a particular place ‘offline’. This means the maps will work even when you don’t have service on your phone, therefore the less chance you have of getting lost in the middle of nowhere on that scooter or trekking trip.
9. Take a first aid-kit
Without putting doom and gloom into your mind, accidents happen! If you’re out on a day-trip somewhere and something minor happens, you will be so grateful for your medical supplies! It’s not so easy to nip down to your local pharmacy in the middle of India or Peru. My first aid kit has come in handle on numerous occasions. Especially antiseptic cream and bandages!
10. Most importantly – Have fun, let-go and be open-minded to the awesome possibilities!
It can take sometime to switch off from our usual strict and clean routine. However, the quicker you learn to let-go and relax when you are travelling, the sooner you will enjoy it.
Go and explore what this beautiful world has to offer and BE SAFE! 🙂
Stay happy, stay healthy, stay conscious