Guest Blogger : AMANDA CARR (Independent Travel Agent - UK)
No matter how insignificant it may seem, travelling will create a memory you will remember for a very long time.
You won’t look back on your life and wish you had bought the latest phone more often but I guarantee you will wish you had travelled more. It broadens your horizons, is somewhat of a cliche... but it really does! It improves social and communication skills. It certainly boosts confidence. AND it’s also good for our mental health as it cuts down on stresses and can alleviate anxiety and depression. I know I certainly feel more calm and relaxed when I’m holidaying.
As an independent travel agent and passionate traveller I have put together some tips from my travel experiences and best practices recommended by my wonderful customers.
These are my top 10 tips for travelling abroad.
1. Lay all your clothes out and all your money before you travel. Then take half the clothes and twice the money! We always pack too much and take home things we haven’t worn, right? No need to over pack!
Always take more money than you need. That way you wont spend the entire time worrying you may run out of money... or just simply have the opportunity to splash out on yourself. I always like to purchase something from my trips... not a fridge magnet or similar souvenir like most people do. Ive bought a tagine from a market in Morocco, a cous cous pan from a local in Tunisia, a mirror from a village in Greece, a tin opener from Italy... they are not significant purchases in terms of money but as i use them they bring back feel good thoughts of my amazing trips.
2. Learn a few different words in the language of the country you are visiting. Hello, Goodbye, Good morning, Please and Thank you are always good to learn. It’s also handy to download a translate app, which can be very helpful indeed, especially when speaking with the locals.
3. Always purchase travel insurance. This is an absolute must! I hear of so many horror stories of people not been able to get treatment when they have fallen ill abroad, and others have got into thousands of pounds worth of debt trying to pay off medical and repatriation bills. Don’t be silly and think you can travel without it!
4. Wear sunscreen every day. Even if it’s cloudy and cold. The sun can be very strong in different parts of the world and you really don’t want to spend days of your long awaited holiday in bed suffering from sunstroke!
5. Write down the address of places you are staying. Too many people rely on email confirmation only to find they cant access them because of poor connections once they arrive in a different country.
6. Let your bank know you are travelling and take more than 1 credit card. I recently travelled to Thailand and forgot to take a credit card. The hotel I was staying in required a damage deposit so I had to pay cash instead of giving them my card details. I then had to search around looking for a bank to get more money out of my account... time that could have been spent chilling out on a sun lounger! If you do need to change money abroad make sure you check your notes before you travel. Ive found most banks abroad will not accept old, damaged or defaced notes.
7. Try the local food, even if you don’t know what it is. This is the best way to experience different flavours of the world. You may like Italian food and eat pasta dishes in your local restaurant but you've not experienced the real deliciousness of Italian food unless you've eaten in a restaurant in Italy, the difference is unreal!
8. When eating out... the smaller the menu- the better the food will be! Look for places that only offer a smaller number of dishes rather than a vast menu, chances are the food will be incredible. Try wandering off the tourist route and trying a restaurant where the locals eat, the food will be mouthwatering and much cheaper!
9. Get lost! Go get lost on purpose, wander down alleyways, chat to locals, take a seat and just people watch is sometimes the best way to get to know a place. Pick a random direction and just go walking is a great way to make some awesome discoveries.
10. Travel. Because you can. Because you want to. And just for the hell of it!! Be prepared to be left speechless and just go enjoy.
Please connect with me for holidays, weddings and any travel that you'd like to enquire about.
Independent Travel Agent
Specialising in Honeymoons, Romantic Travel, Tours & Luxury Holidays.
Social Media: www.facebook.com/amandacarr55