My Top Travel Tips - From Me To You!
A frequently asked question...
”What tips can you share from your travel experience?”
I put together this list to assist you in your future travel adventure!
This tip is also my #1 struggle to this day..Crazy I know..Pack light! I know you ladies understand where I’m coming from right? Start with the essentials, as for toiletries, I use the mini versions you can find in most drugstores. This helps when it comes to room as well as weight. Than pick items or what I like to call outfits that you can mix & match so you have 3 in 1 kind of, aim for one pair of shoes that match all plus one pair of sneakers so you are comfortable while walking/hiking etc. Make sure you have a jacket and scarf with you, you’ll thank me when you’re freezing on the plane and you will or when you need to cover up when visiting a holy or religious site.
Make sure you have all the documentation you need well before time. When I traveled to Cabo Verde for the first time I didn’t realize Dutch passport holders require a visa..it was truly stressful fixing that with two days left before the flight..
This is my least favorite, however it’s necessary..Get vaccinated. Personally, I have a fear of needles so I try to avoid it when possible. When I traveled to The Gambia no vaccinations were needed, however for the neighboring countries some were required, I finally decided to get them just in case. We decided to cross over to Senegal for a safari where the vaccinations we did were needed to be shown at the border, if you didn’t have it you’d have to turn back so needless to say I was happy I did it because this spontaneous decision was a GREAT one!
Make sure you are fully prepared just in case disaster hits. Make sure you have propare health & luggage insurance! Make sure you have a copy of your passport, plane tickets and any vouchers or hotel reservations you made. Make sure you don’t keep all your money together and in one place, have an emergency credit card & cash set aside from the rest. Have emergency numbers already sorted. For example, your local embassy, service provider, bank and credit card company in case you need to freeze or cancel your account/ card.
Pack a small medicine bag so you have basic things with you: Plasters, painkillers & fever pills, motion sickness pills, wound-cleaning gauze, sterile dressings, bandage tape, tweezers, scissors, sunburn treatment, insect repellent & bite treatment, pills against worms. Of course have enough sunscreen with you! In the Maldives we ran out so we went to the store on the island (there was only one btw), they charged 50$ for a small bottle!
There no such thing as a ‘MUST VISIT’ destination. We are all different people with different wants, views, likes & interests. Visit the destination that speaks to you, regardless of what other people say.
Don’t be afraid to travel on your own after all, you will never really be alone. It was one of my best trips, traveling alone through Europe and Scandinavia for close to a year. I met beautiful people along the way and most importantly, got to meet me :-) It definitely is a character builder.
A great resource to you is the local tourist information & the hotel concierge! The local tourist information can give you info about ‘here and now’ options you were not aware and free options like tours, cruises etc. The concierge in Sat Trope for example, was able to get us reservations at the exclusive Club 55 and other beautiful and fun places along the Cote d’Azur I wouldn’t have been able to do myself.
Once you pick your destination do your homework. I don’t believe in creating a full travel itinerary in advance. I like to know where I’m going and know what can I do there but I like to have room for spontaneous decisions and the freedom to make choices in real life so to speak. I normally read up about my destination so I have an idea of what I want to see and do, when I actually get there, feel the vibe of the place and check options in more details I make my route for two or three days ahead.
Don’t connect to every free wifi option you find! Take a load off, recharge and truly enjoy. Allow yourself to also disconnect, I highly recommend it!
This is a personal choice and it differs from person to person, I never do organized tours. I like to explore on my own, at my speed and my way, I like the freedom to stay longer or skip a location or activity altogether if it’s not for me. There’s also more of chance to meet locals, hang out and really get the feel of the place in a way you can’t do when doing an organised tour. These tours also tend to do only touristic things which I find less authentic as the real magic is where the locals are, it’s also a lot more expensive. I do take organized daily trips on occasion or rent a car if I feel it’s safe enough.
Don’t fall for the tourist traps meaning, food and drinks (taxis) not around touristic places like inside and around the most popular museums. For example, coffee in the area of the Dam in Amsterdam will cost you twice as much than cafes locals hang out in two streets further in.
Use common sense! Take care of yourself, explore but don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you don’t go to bad areas in your home town at night, don’t do it during your travels!
Have respect for the people and culture you’re visiting. Obey the local rules and laws, especially in holy sites.
Flexibility is your friend, trust me!
Interact with the locals. it’s the best thing about traveling, meeting the local people. The way to truly get to know the country is its people.
Keep a journal.
Don’t be afraid and just experience all your destination has to offer, let loose and enjoy the ride!
So where are you headed to next?...
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