Practical Travel Info

This is a portal to a bunch of travel information that I WISH I hadn’t had to find out by getting boots on the ground. This list is by no means complete.

I’ll start out with some general travel guidelines; this is the base for my personal travel style. Keep in mind that I travel cheap and light, and I often go to places where I’m one of the only white, English-speaking women.

  • If there’s a bath/shower, use it.
  • If there’s a toilet, use it.
  • If there’s water, fill your bottle.
  • If there’s food, eat it.
  • If there’s FREE food, EAT IT NOW.
  • If there’s a bed, sleep in it.
  • Do what the locals do. Find their restaurants, their routes, their stores. I cannot stress this enough: The locals know best.
  • Learn some of the local language. Words I always learn first: zero-ten, hello, thank you, please, where?, toilet, food, good, bad.
  • You don’t have to collect local products to be a good traveller.
  • Travel isn’t about tourist spots. It’s about people.
  • You can easily fit a backpacking backpack into an overhead carry-on.
  • MAPS ARE GOOD.
  • JOURNALS ARE GOOD. Always have a pen and a small notebook on you.
  • Know your flights. Also, having a bus/train timetable is hella helpful.
  • Make copies of your driver’s license, prescription info, and your passport. Laminate them and keep them separate from the originals, preferably in a separate case.
  • Record your credit card info on your iPod or laptop (in a password-protected document) in case of emergency.
  • Have travel insurance.
  • Put travel alerts on your credit cards before you leave, and withdraw a couple hundred dollars for emergencies.
  • Buy a cheap international phone (I have a Nokia brick) with a sim card slot. Buy a sim card for each country you’ll be in, if you’ll be there for over a month.
  • Leave your important info with a friend, in case of emergency.
  • You’ll probably draw attention to yourself just by being yourself. Don’t do more to attract attention, like talking loudly, smiling at everyone, carrying expensive things, or carrying loads of luggage (except when you have to).
  • Have lots of pockets. Pockets in your backpack, purse, jacket, pants, etc.
  • When going out for the night, only carry a few dollars on you.
  • ALWAYS HAVE A BOOK.

Best piece of packing advice I’ve gotten: Lay out the stuff you’re gonna pack – clothes, gear, money, travel documents, etc. Now take away half the clothes, and double the money.

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