Travelling tips

  • Scan your passport and travel documents.
    Give copies to family/friends. If you lose your passport or travel documents, this backup will save you a lot of heartache. It will also help your family to find you in the event of a disaster.

  • Get travel insurance.
    It’s obvious, but probably one of the most important items on this list. The French always go on strike meaning your flight could easily get cancelled and accidents do happen, particularly if you want to ride a scooter in Bali. Get travel insurance.

  • Get folders for travel documents and itineraries.
    Keep them organised so you don’t have to mess about digging through pockets in your bag at the airport check-in.

  • Always carry a hard copy map of the city you’re going to.
    Save your phone charge for when you really need it.

  • Ask the locals for advice, tips
    The best beach probably isn’t the most popular one. The locals can help you find those secret spots you will rave about.

  • Know where the embassy is.
    Seriously. Find it on your map. Don’t think just because you are in a “safe” country you won’t need it. All it takes is a quick Google search, write down the address and put it in a safe place.

  • Learn the basic geography of the country you are visiting.
    There is nothing worse than a traveller who has no idea where they are travelling.

  • Make sure your bank cards work.
    There is nothing more annoying on holidays than spending hours on the phone to the bank back home.

  • Learn how to say “no thank you”.
    Most travel advice columns will tell you to learn how to say “hello”, “yes please”, “thank you” and “do you speak English?”. But in some countries you really want to be able to say “no thank you, please leave me alone”. Think about the crowded market places in Asia. Knowing how to say “no thank you” in their language is going to give you a lot more peace.

  • Grocery stores are a traveller is best resource.
    Cheap food, local flavours. Find the nearest one to your hotel and you will save yourself a heap of cash. Have a picnic lunch every day.

  • Keep an emergency stash of money.
    If you lose your wallet you will still need to eat. An empty Chapstick is a fantastic secret hiding spot.

  • Learn how to swim.
    You never know when you might need to on the spur of the moment.

  • Know how much it should cost in a taxi.
    carry a card with the hotel address and a map. Ask for taxi drivers to use the meter. Make sure they are legitimate taxi drivers.

  • Use public transport.
    It’s fast. It’s easy, it’s cheaper and it will give you a better travel experience. Get a map, learn the different ticket types and if you are heading to London organised an Oyster Card in advance.

  • Register your details with DFAT.
    OK, this one is obvious but surprisingly so many of us don’t actually do it. In cases like Boston or London, DFAT will be the place your family will turn to. Make sure they know where you are.