Travelers know that there’s a list of tips that one should always follow and take heed. These are the regular ones like packing light, bring extra battery cameras, do your research etc. So instead of just listing the same old tips and traveling advice that everyone already knows and that anyone can search online, I decided to make a list of unusual, not-your-regular tips that could help the traveler in you.
These tips would be coming from my personal years of traveling and its appropriateness will of course still depend on your travel destination, purpose, objectives and limitations.
1. Bring a universal charger. This is very useful especially if you’re traveling in another country with a different type of socket (duh). Do your research and find out the country’s socket type. The local brand Omni (approx. P200) has a great universal charger that fits most sockets around the globe and is also very compact! If you’re an apple user, the World Traveler is quite handy because it also has all the sockets of the world.
2) Bring your own extension cord. This was very useful during our Europe tour and is most practical if you’re traveling in groups and staying in one room. We were three people travelling and had tons of gadgets to charge every day so having your own extension cord proved helpful especially since some hotel rooms have limited number of available sockets. Now you wont have to worry about charging all your phones, camera batteries, laptops and ipads at the same time.
3) Bring a scarf. Scarves are very handy because they are multi purpose. It can serve as a small blanket for the airplane trip, as a cover up when going in a sacred temple or even as a temporary umbrella just in case it rain
4) Bring a face mist and foot spray. Face mists are perfect picker uppers especially when traveling in hot places and after long hours of walking. It is also hydrating for those cold countries. Same goes with foot sprays which keeps feet refreshed and takes away the “icky” feeling, especially if wearing open slippers. I recommend Mario Badescu’s Rose Petal face mist (P445), which also doubles as a make-up setter, available in Rustan’s. Or maybe Celeteque’s hydrating mist (approx. P299) for a cheaper alternative, available in SM stores and Watson’s.
5) Use a face mask mid-air. If you’re on a long haul flight, say 10-12 hours, make sure to use a face mask either in the middle of the flight or when nearing touch down. Believe me, the face mask helps in rejuvenating the face after such a long flight! I recommend Garnier’s face mask (P49 each) since it’s easy to use and can easily be removed. I used this in the dark (it was early morning, the lights were off and everyone was asleep) and I swear, immediately afterwards, my face felt refreshed! This is a must-do, promise!
6) Take notes. I never actually did this before our Europe tour since I figured I’d just recall and remember all the things and places we went to including the names of our hotels, the prices of the meals we ate and the shops we bought at. But time would pass, you’d forget to blog about your travel hence, leaving you with forgotten experiences. Since our Europe tour took place in 15 consecutive days, having a journal (in my case an ipad) proved to be a great necessity since I was able to immortalize my experience. Plus, whenever my friends ask me details about the trip, all I need to do is give them my blog link and all their questions would be answered. It’s convenient too since I don’t need to keep on repeating myself. Whether you post it on your blog or just keep notes of your trip, this would be a good habit to start for any traveler.
7) If you like something, buy it. If you love shopping as much as any other woman, then this tip should be easy to follow. Especially if you’re going to a place or country which you might not be able to go back to again in a while, when you see something you like, buy it already because you might not see that particular item anymore and end up regretting not getting it. You wouldn’t want to spend night after night mentally slapping yourself for not buying it, wouldn’t you?
8) Do not convert your money. This is soooo true especially in “expensive” countries like those in Europe, Canada etc. because you’ll just cry. Haha! It’s nice to know how much it is in your local currency but if it will hinder you in buying anything, then don’t do it. For example, we would convert some of the things we bought, like the LVs and the leather goods from Italy and find that it is much cheaper to buy there. So we went ahead and bought them. But don’t feel too bad if you ate a P500 burger at a fast food joint in Greece (or a P2,000 sausage platter up in the Swiss Alps) since converting money and comparing it to your country’s own currency is not exactly fair. Haha! Westerners though won’t have any problem with this since if they go to developing countries, their money has much more value there.
9) Do what the locals do. Eat where the locals eat. This is to ensure maximum enjoyment! Instead of eating at a McDonald’s, why not try the local Indian deli? Instead of staying at a 5-star hotel, why not sleep in a nipa hut? Always be ready for an adventure! Besides, traveling is all about experiencing new things so go on ahead and take a cue from the experts themselves – the locals.
10) Try to learn the country’s language. It’s always a good idea to learn at least the common or basic words in a foreign country. Say “Kob Khun Ka” instead of “hello” in Thailand. Say “Merci” instead of “thank you” in France. Small an effort as it may be, these gestures really make a difference. I myself appreciate when foreigners in our country try to say “salamat pow” to show their gratitude.
11) Have an open mind and respect each other’s culture. This, I think, is the most important. Most of the people I know who love to travel have open minds, simply because they have been exposed to more cultures. Hence, making them respect other nationalities and cultures and everything in it. This is very important since when you visit a country, you must remember that you are the “visitor” and should therefore pay respect to the culture and its people. I hate when some foreigners feel as if they should get “special” treatment when in the Philippines, like not lining up or getting more than they should or thinking that our laws don’t apply to them. Then they criticize the country. That is just bull. Remember: each and every country has its beauty and ugliness. You must accept both. Don’t go to a certain country if all you’re going to do is bad mouth and disrespect it.
Well, there goes my list. Hope this helps. Anything else you’d like to add?