Travel Tips

by Bernd Felsche

This page will hopefully help you to get more out of your future travels by providing a few hints, tips and links to travel information.

At first have a spark of an idea that you want to (or have to) travel somewhere.

Nothing stops you from running down to your local travel agent and getting them to organize everything. But do you really want to leave it up to them to decide what you should see, how you should get there and where you should stay? If that's OK with you, then you probably need to read no further on this page. Try to enjoy your travel agent's trip.

So you want to take control of at least some aspects of the experience. The best part of this is that you can begin to enjoy the trip before departure.

Big Tips

Tip: Plan ahead.

What you get out of a journey is what you put into its planning.

Without planning, you will almost certainly run out of time to do the things that you want to to. Planning involves thinking ahead to consider what things you will need, when you will need them and how to get to where you need them.

Answer these main questions:

The first point is the one that you should always keep in mind when making a decision.

See the planning outline that deals with these question in greater detail.

Tip: Get informed.

You may already have personal experience with the places that you'll be visiting. But things change; often quite slowly so that even the locals wouldn't think of pointing it out to you.

Tip: Pack what you Need

It's unusual to find travellers who pack too little.

After you've figured out where you're going and when; and researched the likely weather, it's very easy to try to pack all the stuff that you think that you will need. But gone are the days of ocean liners, steamer trunks and minions to carry you favourite kitchen sink.

A general rule of thumb is to lay out what you think you'll need before packing it; and then only pack a third.

Travel light by choosing stuff with multiple uses; that's light and easy to maintain and clean. Keep in mind that you will have to carry your luggage at some point; and the further you carry it, the heavier it will seem to get.

If you're taking along things that might break, pack them in clothes that you'll be carrying anyway. Don't waste space and weight on packaging materials. Discard excess packaging from the stuff you buy along the way.

You will forget to pack something. If it's an item of clothing or toiletry, then you can probably buy it upon arrival at your destination. Don't fret just because you forgot to pack spare socks.

Wash new clothes before you wear them; especially undergarments. A hand-basin is enough for a quick wash and rinse. No need for washing powder — few people would pack it anyway. Use some shampoo. This is part of being resourceful.

Discard stuff that you don't have to take with you any further. Toiletries and even some clothes may be dispensible. Why bother packing and carrying them with you on the way back home? Excess baggage fees are very hefty.

Tip: Be Flexible and Resourceful

If you get into difficult or things don't go as smoothly as planned, don't panic. Find a place where you can sit and think for a minute or five and consider your options carefully.

Look around. There may be resources within easy grasp that can help you to get back on track. e.g. Tourist information offices, travel agents, ticket counters and even parking inspectors (!!) can be helpful at times.

If you've been an alert traveller, you should already have some clues and be aware of what's going on around you. Try not to look distressed as this will attract less-honourable types whose aim is to rescue you from your assets.

Think, then act.

Copyright © 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 Bernd Felsche.