‘Tricks for travellers’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

P1240603 580 75I am reproducing below travel tricks brought out by sky scanner: http://www.skyscanner.net/news/50-insider-travel-tips-tricks-what-we-ve-learned-about-travelling.

I do not agree with all of these. I have mentioned my take in red letters whereever I disagree strongly.  Thank me if these are useful and blame skyscanner if these are not helpful.

“1. Pack less: When it comes to clothing: less is best. Travelling with just hand-luggage should be your goal. Do you really need six pairs of heels, tea bags, and an iron? Take less and you’ll travel cheaper (no check-in luggage fees), travel faster (no waiting for your bags), and travel easier (one bag means less to lug around).

2. Leave the guidebook at home: Rather than taking your entire copy of the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet, just photocopy the pages you need, then discard after you have used them. Saves space and weight.

3. Never join the security queue with kids in: Go for the one with the ‘suits’. It will move much quicker.

4. Never wear flip flops (on a plane): Never to wear sandals on board an aircraft. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it’s best to have a good set of sturdy shoes that will protect your feet from heat or sharp objects.

5. Jiggle it (just a little bit): If you’re petrified of turbulence during flights, try slightly jiggling your body when you hit some rough air. No one will notice because everyone is being moved around due to the aircraft movement. Sounds a little crazy but your movement will counteract that of the aircraft and you won’t feel the turbulence so much. It really does work!

6. Choose your seat-mate carefully: Some ladies prefer to sit next to men, as she says they tend to need the toilet less often: If you get the choice of plane seat, always sit far away from: babies, groups of friends who will chat, or women (men tend to need the toilet less often than ladies).

7. Learn a little lingo: Memorise a handful of words of the local language, and have the courage to use them! It’s amazing how just a few words will go a long way; locals tend to warm to those who have made the effort to communicate with them in their own tongue.
8. Keep your mouth shut: If you are in a country where it is unsafe to drink the water, keep your mouth shut in the shower.

9. Hotels are not the only fruit: Staying in a hotel when you’re on holiday is not the only option. Or in a hostel for that matter. Apartments or rooms in private homes are where the savvy travellers rest their heads these days.

10. Ditch your friends: Travelling all by your lonesome might seem daunting at first, but it gives you a chance to really immerse yourself in the travel experience. I’ve met friends for life, learnt a new language, and had amazing experiences by travelling solo.

11. Always travel in a hoodie: Not just for ASBOs: hooded tops make top travel garments: They may have become the uniform of unruly ASBO-teenagers, but hooded tops make excellent travel garments. Just slip up your hood to retreat from the world of noise and light when you want to sleep on a flight/airport seat/bus. (My take: This is not to be taken seriously)

12. Choose the Asian-vegetarian option on the plane: You get fed before anyone else, you avoid anything too greasy and stodgy (helps the jetlag allegedly) and I’m convinced the more niche meals are much better quality as they’re made in smaller batches.

13. Bring ear plugs: If silence is golden, then ear plugs are worth their weight in platinum. Being able to sleep in a noisy plane or hotel room is a very valuable skill, not to be underestimated whilst travelling.

14. Pre-book an airport lounge: If you’re flying long-haul, pre-book yourself into an airport lounge. There’s an up-front fee, but it provides a quiet environment with complimentary drinks, food, magazines, newspapers, WiFi etc. When you leave the lounge, take a few big bottles of water. It’s a cost effective and relaxing way to start your journey. (My take: Not for the budget traveller who has to count every Dollar)

15. Bring an internet ready device: If travelling for a long time, take your own device that can pick up wifi, like a smartphone or tablet. We didn’t do this because we didn’t want to bring an expensive item backpacking, but it turned out to be incredibly expensive to use the internet, or impossible to find any. Yet there is free wifi in places all around the world, and you quickly realise how often you need to tap in to things like bank accounts or travel bookings.

16. Bring an extra top on board: When flying (especially long haul) always travel with an extra top as the blankets they provide are thin and the plane can get very cold.

17. Always bring a sarong: They’re light and multifunctional: something to lie on at the beach, a cover for when you’re cold, a towel, a curtain, a skirt, a dress, even an emergency bandage. (My take: This is not necessary. Remember we are travelling light!)

18. Bring a DVD player for the kids: When flying with small children, bring a laptop/DVD player/tablet. Cartoons and movies while away a sizeable chunk of the flight and allow parents some downtime too. (My take: Remember we are travelling light: Let kids see the cartoons being shown on the Plan’s Tv)

19. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones: For the perfect long-haul trip, invest in some good quality noise cancelling headphones. The price tags are hefty, but they are worth every penny to tune out the crying baby, snoring man, or chattering teenagers.(My take: this is not necessary. Remember we are travelling light!)

20. Kindles are made for travel: I never travel without my Kindle. No more lugging multiple books around whilst waiting to exchange them with other travellers. This may have been a ‘charming’ part of travelling, but not when every book exchange turns up nothing but books in German! (My take: This is not necessary. Remember we are travelling light!)

21. Look before you leave: Whenever you get up to leave somewhere, be it a chair at the airport, a café, or a bar, always turn round and make sure you haven’t left anything behind.

22. Roll your clothes when packing: Once you roll, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered to fold.

23. Use body language: When there’s a language barrier, shouting in your own language is not going to get you far. Instead, use your body. It’s the most international language in the entire world. Don’t forget to translate a full stop with a smile.

24. Bring a money belt AND a wallet: There’s a dual purpose to this: if you get mugged you can calmly hand over the wallet and carry on your holiday with minimum hassle. If you meet new friends, use the wallet, as it can be a bit insulting to go into a money belt to pay for your beers.

25. Never exchange money in your hotel: Instead, shop around for best rate. Find a credit/debit card that doesn’t charge for purchases abroad, and don’t bother with traveller’s cheques anymore.

26. Don’t carry (too much) cash: Now there are ATM everywhere so there’s really no need to carry about more cash than you need for a couple of days.

27. Pack a pack of cards: Play your cards right: an excellent international ice breaker. A game of cards is not only useful to while away the hours during the inevitable delays, but also a great cross- cultural barrier breaker. (My take: This is not necessary. Remember we are travelling light!)

28. Get a guide: When visiting cultural monuments, always take the offer of a local guide. It will open your eyes to so much more than if you try and go it alone or just use a guide book.

29. Be flexible: The more flexible you can be with your travel plans, the more money you’ll save (you’ll be able to travel at cheaper times and get better rates). Use Skyscanner’s handy month charts to find the cheapest days to fly in any given month.

30. Sync your sleep: To get over jetlag quickly on arrival, try to sync your sleeping pattern with the new time zone immediately.

31. Get travel insurance: Always take out travel insurance (and don’t rely on credit card insurance alone). It sounds obvious but lots of people don’t bother, and end up losing a lot of money when things go wrong.

32. Be loyal: If you’re looking for ways to get a flight upgrade, then join the airline’s loyalty programme. Even if it’s the lowest level, you still get rewarded first.

33. Tiger Balm is medicine of the gods: TB: a cure for a multitude of traveller’s ailments. This Singaporean-made balm not only soothes sore muscles after a lot of travelling but also works as an insect repellent to keep the little biting beasties away. (My take: This is not necessary. Remember we are travelling light!)

34. Understand you might be understandable: Just because he looks Caucasian, doesn’t mean he speaks English. And just because she looks Asian, doesn’t mean she can’t understand your French! Be wary of mouthing off when you think you’re speaking a language no one around you speaks. You never know who understands what.

35. Recognise that we’re all the same: It’s only by travelling that you realise every society is as fractious and plural in their views as your own.

36. Avoid everywhere: If you really, really want to get off the beaten track, buy the Lonely Planet guide, then avoid everywhere featured in it.

37. Don’t plan anything: It might be tempting to have every step of your trip planned to the nth degree, but unplanned days are often those that leave the most lasting, and fondest memories. (My take: Dont take it seriously. Of course avoid very detailed planning).

38. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Have an open mind and don’t sweat the small stuff; travel can be frustrating but you will look back and remember it forever.

39. DIY travel is best: If you want to really experience a new country and culture, hire a car and plan it all yourself. It is the freedom to do what you want and when you want, that makes for the best trips of all.

40. Slow down: Traveling is like life, it’s the journey that’s fun. Don’t just try to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Travel more slowly and you’ll discover more.
41. Take the hard way: The more difficult the travel challenge, the more rewarding it is; driving to Kazakhstan was a crazy life-experience; flying there would have just been a ‘trip’.

42. Sitting is tiring: Travelling some distance through the air makes you tired, even if all you do the whole time is sit in a comfy seat.

43. Just go: If you have a strong urge to ‘go travelling’ or even just to see one specific place, start saving and go for it! Don’t delay. Don’t defer. Just do it, or you will regret it when you’re too old/attached/busy to travel.

44. Don’t be paranoid: Be wise and be wary, but try not to be paranoid.

45. Hide your guidebook: If you’re in London and need to ask directions then to stop people avoiding you, hide your guide book and map. If you’re in Glasgow and you want to avoid constantly being offered directions, hide your guidebook and map.

46. There will always be Toblerone: Got to the end of your holiday but forgotten to get gifts? No worries! It is a mathematical certainty that the world’s favourite mountain-shaped Swiss chocolate will always be available from every duty free airport shop on earth.

47. Don’t get angry: Don’t waste energy getting upset with unseasoned travellers who don’t stand one metre back (or behind the painted line) from the luggage belt, so that everyone can see luggage arriving. I haven’t managed this yet though, and it always infuriates me!

48. Steak Tartare is not steak with tartar sauce: I learned that the hard way. (My take: Ignore it)

49. Saw your toothbrush in half: To save space and reduce weight, saw your toothbrush in half. The extra three cubic centimetres of space can be used to carry an extra sheet of paper. (My take: Silly not humourous)

50. Pretend to be asleep: If you fart during your flight, just pretend to be asleep.”

Happy Travelling!







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