Travel Tips I wish I knew earlier...

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Here is my massive collection of all the travel tips and tricks that I have learned over the years that I have compiled in one big Article.

This is years and thousands of miles worth of knowledge that you get in one nice article so read it completely to become the savviest traveller in less than 5 minutes.

 

I will always keep updating this list as I learn more through my travels.

 

Let me know if you have some of your own :)

 

I have categories all my Travel Tips and Tricks into the following Sections

  • Foreign Currency Exchange tips for Travellers

  • Money Saving Travel Tips

  • Travel Safety Tips

  • Travel Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

  • Travel Packing Tips

  • Best Travel Apps to Download

Foreign Currency Exchange tips for Travellers

Foreign Currency Exchange tips for Travellers

 

1. Do not exchange your currency at the Airport. 

  • Again. Do not exchange your currency at the Airport.

  • Also, do not exchange your currency unless you see that an exchange rate is extremely closer to the actual current exchange rate.

  • Rule of thumb - You will not be scammed if the price at which the exchange is  buying the currency is almost the same as the price at which they are selling the currency.

2. Use the ATM to get Local currency

  • Just use an ATM machine and withdraw the amount of money you want. Keep in mind to withdraw enough, because everytime you withdraw cash from ATM, a fixed transaction fee is charged by your bank.

  • When you withdraw cash from the ATM of a foreign country, always let your local bank do the conversion - not the foreign ATM bank as they might charge you ridiculous amount.

3. Use your Debit/Credit card to pay

  • Just use your card to pay - most of the places in a country would accept cards in general. Using your Debit/Credit cards for payment anywhere around the world gives you best conversion rates that you probably will not get from a money exchange.

  • Some Banks block your card if you use your Debit/Credit card outside the issuing country thinking it is a suspicious activity. Let the bank know that you will be using your card in another country. Usually, your bank app will have a service that you can use to activate the travel access with no charges.

4. Carry enough cash

  • For places that don’t accept cards, carry just a little amount of cash for such places.

  • If you are planning to travel into villages and small towns, you may not find money exchanges or ATMs there. Make sure you have enough cash to spend before going to remote locations.

 

5. Travel with USD / EUR / Pounds notes

The best way to travel with money is to carry a bit of “popular” currency before you arrive at your destination. You can easily convert these currencies anywhere around the world. It is advisable to have one of these currencies in hand before you arrive at your destination country.

6. Exchange Locally

  • It is advisable to have some local currency in hand, but do not convert a lot of it as exchanging the currency locally once you arrive at the destination is generally cheaper.

 

7. Never exchange money on the streets.

  • Chances are that you will be tricked into exchanging the currency which has no value because either you will be given fake notes  or worse, notes from another country which have no value.

 

Money Saving Travel Tips

Getting Discounts while Travelling

1. Student ID/Senior Citizen Discount

  • If you are a student, make sure you get your Valid student ID. Many tourist attractions like Museums and Parks give special discounts to students when they present a valid Student ID.

2. Local Coupon Websites and Apps

  • You may know of several deal websites that are popular within your country. Try to find some local deal websites and apps that are popular in the country you are visiting to get great deals and it is also a great hack to make unique local-like plans in the city. Apart from local coupon deal websites, also check Groupon and Entertainer in the region.

 

3. Purchasing Tickets for local attractions

  • It is almost always recommended to buy tickets upfront and online to avoid long queues and save time. Doing this will also make sure you don’t face disappointments  in an attraction that has limited seats. Also, buying online can sometimes be cheaper.

Travel Safety Tips

Safety Tips while travelling

1. Don’t indulge in religious and political debates - This should be pretty obvious but do not talk bad about the government. Or any government for that matter. Stay away from any political or religious debate.

2. Taking Pictures - Be cautious of making sure if you are allowed to take pictures of government, military or security buildings as you may end up paying hefty fines or worse - serving jail time.

3. Your Passport and Visa - Always have a copy of your passport and visa during your trip because a local police can demand seeing your paperwork.

4. Stay away from Big Crowds and Protests - Although it can be challenging in countries with millions of tourists, however try to walk away from big crowds and watch out for pickpockets if you are a part of a big crowd. Also, if you see any sort of protests happening in the city, just stay away from the crowd.

5. Read the News - Any recent protests or war-like situation in the news? Do a quick Google search and type the City/Country your are visiting + news as your keyword phrase to understand if something unsafe is happening/about to happen in the country/city you are visiting.

6. Get that Travel insurance, because God forbid…

We all overlook this thinking we are healthy and nothing major is going to happen to us or our family. However, there may be some unforeseen accidents during the trip that might cost you your fortune. So get that 50$ insurance already. Peace of mind is priceless :)

7. Beware of Pickpockets and Scammers

You will find them in almost every touristic city/area of the world. You have to keep this point in mind, especially if you are travelling to European countries. They will rob you off your belongings the second you let your guard down. Meet new people but stay away from people that act suspicious or try to be very helpful and closer to your. 

  • Get a money belt

  • Only keep daily cash. If you have cash for the entire trip, keep the excess cash in your hotel locker or leave the hotel with only enough cash you need for the day.

  • Don’t keep your money in one pocket - distribute.

  • Use your hidden jacket pockets to make it difficult for pickpockets to trick you while they talk to you. 

  • Do not accept over-friendly clowns invitation that you can take pictures with them. They will ask you for money once you have taken the pictures with them.

 

Travel Etiquette Do's and Don'ts

1. Using an escalator - use the rule of “Stand to the RIGHT, pass to the LEFT”.

2. Learn the local Language

  • Learn at least the following words in the language of the country you are visiting - Hello, Bye, Thank You, Thank you so much, Sorry, Please, How much is this for?, Good Morning, Good Evening, Good Night and I need help.

  • Pro Tip: Download Google Translate and download the entire language file so you can communicate with locals in their language offline without Internet.

3. Modest Clothing in Religious Sites

Cover your head, shoulders and Legs.

4. Ask permission before taking photos of Locals

5. Tips are considered an insult in some cultures. Check the local tipping before you tip.

6. Remove your Shoes before entering a house or even shops if they ask you to.

7. Stay Cool. Don’t be rude with the locals in shops or anywhere.

8. Learn the local Etiquettes of handshake, handing the money, sitting and dining.

9. Avoid PDA in countries that are absolutely unaware of it. It is considered very rude and awkward sight for locals who do not wish to show affection to the world so keep your affection behind closed doors in such countries.

 

Travel Packing Tips

Luggage tips for travel

 

1. Know if you need to purchase extra Luggage at least 24 hours before your flight

  • If you have not yet packed your baggage and are not sure if you suspect you might need to purchase some extra luggage, please finish packing your bags at least one day before your flight. Most airlines close the option to buy extra luggage a few hours before the scheduled departure of the flight so they can charge you a premium price when you are stuck with an overweight luggage.

2. Your Cabin Baggage and Check-in Luggage should exactly match the airline’s requirements. 

  • The cheaper your flight ticket, the more stricter the airlines rules regarding the baggage dimensions and weight. Even if you are not flying from a budget airline, check if your baggage dimensions match the airlines requirements. 

  • You will usually find these baggage rules on the e-ticket that you have received. 

  • Several low-budget airlines even have an empty box where you have to put your baggage, and if it doesn’t fit or if it fits but the box lid cannot be closed (height is more), your cabin baggage will not be allowed. 

Best Travel Apps to Download

Best Travel Apps to Download

1. For Transportation

  • Uber or any local Uber-type app in the country that you are travelling to.

  • Offline Maps (Google Maps) - Download the entire map of the country or city you plan to visit for offline use. This way, you will be sure not to get lost even if you have no internet connection. (Google Play Store | Apple App Store)

 For Communication

  • Google Translate - This app helps you speak or type in your language and converts it into the text/audio of another language. Pro Tip: Download Google Translate and download the entire language file so you can communicate with locals in their language offline without Internet. (Google Play Store | Apple App Store)

3. For Deals

  • Check the local deal apps (if any) of your destination country and download them.

4. Apps to Download for Russia Travel

5. Apps to Download for China Travel

  • Baidu Maps - This may be difficult to use because it is all in Chinese language. A better alternative would be to use a VPN connection and use the good old Google Maps.

 

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Travel Tips I wish I knew earlier...

I have categories all my Travel Tips and Tricks into the following Sections: Foreign Currency Exchange tips for Travellers, Money Saving Travel Tips, Travel Safety Tips, Travel Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts, Travel Packing Tips, Best Travel Apps to Download