When you already know where you’re going and when, then you have some stuff to do.
What are you interested in?
You’ve heard that the Eiffel tower is a must, but you would like to see the Notre Dame as well. So the question is, what are the local attractions, and what are YOU interested in? I usually don’t see all the things that a travel book suggests. One of the reason that i don’t care that much, and I also don’t want to be a tourist who’s running all over and check out things from his long list. Therefore i have some things in my mind that i already know i don’t want to miss, but most of them i pick up from other travelers or locals. They know more cool things than a stupid travel book.
I don’t make an every day schedule, just if i have a short time at the destination, then a lazy ‘what to do each day’ it comes pretty handy.
- What’s the best option to travel within the country? Bus, train, taxi…etc. Check the prices too, it matters. Sometimes the taxis are really cheap in some countries. It’s good to know! Do they have Uber there?
- How can you get to the city from the airport? Sometimes it’s really a tricky and long way to arrive, and it costs lot of money. Tip: check out the charter airlines when you buy your ticket, sometimes you can have a really good deal if you also book a shuttle to take you to the city or even back to the airport.
- Sim card: In case you think earlier, you can avoid my situation when i couldn’t make a call, and I was lost somewhere. You can easily get one of this tourist prepaid sim card even for one week with data included! Google maps, Whatsapp, local calls, no problem. Check out which phone company offers the best deal. Cheap and you’ll have many benefits from it, and also gives more security.
- Insurance: It’s not the best feeling to spend money for it, but it gives you the feeling that everything is gonna be alright.
- What kind of luggage can you take to your flight? Luckily all the flight company has different size rules, so it gives us some nice time to check out the luggages at home, if there’s any of them suitable for the trip. First question: Can you check-in a luggage for free? If not, in this case it’s an extra cost, or as a budget traveller you can fly with a small piece of cabin luggage. But take a good look of the parameters that they allowed. Once I almost missed my flight to Tel Aviv, because I had a bit bigger luggage than the allowance and they wanted me to pay and extra fee to take it on board. Some more minutes, and I would stayed in Budapest for the rest of the day.
- What’s the local currency there? Everything is easy if you need to change Euros only. I had some bad experience with israeli shekels. One day before the departure day I went to one of this exchange kiosks and they told me that they don’t have shekels, so I needed to go to another one who barely had the amount I needed. Of course it was my fault. This is not a last minute thing to do!
- Visa: Before booking your flight you already need to be aware if you need a visa. Most of the places doesn’t require visa for short term tourism, but be sure about it! Best to check on government portals. If you’re traveling outside of the UE, always have an onward ticket. The immigration officers can ask about it, otherwise you can have problem. Oh, yes, I have bad experience with this one too :).
- Water: Is the potable water drinkable? For example in Mexico and in Thailand is prohibited, therefore when you’re cooking you need to boil the water first for at least 10 minutes, and then you can use it. For making tea or coffee, use mineral water.
- Vaccines: Also very important to know, if you need any vaccination before flying. I never had any experience. In Thailand I always put mosquito repellent to avoid the bites.
- In case any other questions: It’s worth to try CouchSurfing, and ask locals. They can help much more than internet. You can ask where are the bad neighborhoods, what are the local attractions you cannot miss etc…
This is the best part! Ahh, no one ever said that before, because it’s not truth. Packing is pain in the ass, there is not enough space, blabla. Now, I’m kinda experienced in this subject. So, here are some tips:
- Roll your clothes: on the picture below you can see what i mean. This is genius, I’m very grateful for seeing that video couple of years ago, since then i save lot of place with this technic. Grab one shirt, pants and roll it tight, then put them next to each other. And so one…
- Quantity of clothes: this tips is for Girls! Take out all the clothes you want to bring with you, and then, just put the half of it into your luggage, because you’re not gonna need them anyways. I’m 100% sure, that you would’ve not wear them.
- What kind of clothes do you need? prepare for all cases. If you’re traveling to tropical areas, take a sweater/pullover with you. Not because it’s gonna be cold weather, but lot of places has really strong air conditioning and not to mention you can already feel cold at the airplane. One long pants always good to have, anyways pack thing for the current weather.
- Practical things: mosquito repellent: saves my life all the time, jelly/creme for mosquito bites, wet wipes, travel charger: especially for phones, and then your phone not gonna die in the middle of nowhere. But don’t forget to charge the charger!
- Luggage weigher: finally we could find this super useful device. I’m always getting stressed that our luggage weights more than the limit. I’m getting better with weighing with my hand, but this thing makes my life just easier. No stress, no repacking at the airport, and no extra charges.
- Safe-pocket: very useful to have a small pocket, that you can wear under your shirt, or pants. Suitable for passport and some money. Talking about money. I advise you to put your money not just in one place. Divide it in small pieces and hide to different places. In case somebody wants to rob you, he/she can not take all of your money. Nothing like this ever happened to me, it’s just security advice.
- Always send to your family or friends details about where you will be. In case you use CouchSurfing, they should have all contacts of your host.
- For Girls! If you dont’t live in the center, and it’s late night, you better take a cab or uber to get home. Don’t regret to spend this small amount for your safety. In Mexico i was out of the center a bit, most of the time in the afternoon i walked to there, i had a nice coffee, i ate tacos, and then i was just walking on the streets, because it had an amazing vibe. Then around 1 am i grabbed a cab, who took me home for 30-40 pesos, which is around 2-3 dollars.
It’s a lot of preparing for the trip, but then you just need to enjoy to be alone, experiencing all the new things around you. In the next post I’m gonna write about my best experiences I’ve received during my travels. Until then check out the flight tickets, as I heard October is one of the cheapest month to get a ticket :).