Carry on luggage
* Keep all your USB cables, chargers and adaptors in a large ziplock bag. (Even electric shavers and their charging dock need to go in carry on.)
This will save you frustration rummaging around various bags.
*Also, check what adaptors you need for various regions...I was surprised the South America needed a European plug.
If you can buy an adaptor with a USB outlet on it, all the better. Then two people can charge their phones at the same time.
You can buy multi outlet devices now, which is awesome.
Get one of these devices, and you'll never look back.
They are only about $20 from Amazon. Check what it offers though, as in South Africa recently we had to find a new adaptor.
*I usually carry the USB cord in my handbag, as there is most likely a connection on the plane or at the airport sometimes.
* Pop in a spare set of clothes/underwear/toothbrush - paste/comb and deodorant...
You never know if you may miss a connection or even if your stowed luggage goes astray.
* Make a note in your phone, of you and your travelling companion's passport details. (You can always leave out birthdates for security).
This is a blessing when you have to fill out immigration forms two minutes before landing.
Its also handy to have a photocopy of these as well.
* If there are two of you travelling, (economy, like us ), try booking the window and the aisle seat. If the plane isn't full, you may end up with the middle seat between you, spare.
If someone sits there, you can always offer to swap so you can sit together....(We never do, Trev likes the window, and I prefer the aisle. )
* I like to take an empty water bottle through Xray, so I can fill it up on the other side.
Nothing worse than being thirsty on the plane and having to bother the attendants straight away, plus I'm a bit of a tight ass when it comes to buying bottled water at the airport.
Once in Peru, we were charged $24 for a bottle of water and packet of mints! ARGH.
(We really needed the mints...lol)
* It took me years to do it, but I finally bought a neck cushion...BEST THING EVER. Also handy to take on long bus journeys too.
I like wearing it under my chin to stop my head rolling forward...:) Just a cheap squishy one, not one that resembles a neck brace...
* Call me old school, but I still love my IPOD. Saves the phone battery, and drowns out crying babies, and passengers with zero filter.
* Did you know the arm rest on the aisle side also lifts up? (I only just found this out..)
There's a lever underneath near the hinge at the back of it.
Certainly makes getting in and out easier, without annoying the person in front by hanging on their seat...PLEASE don't do this, argh, pet hate, and whilst we're at it...please tap the touch screen gently, nothing worse than 14 hours of bang bang on the back of one's seat. ;)
* When you go on a cruise.. Don't be afraid to join the people next to you in a game of trivia or the like.
You may just be sitting next to your next life long friends.
Its happened to us more than once, and we now have new travelling companions from all over the world.
* If you are prone to getting seasick, book a room in the middle of the ship, not down the bottom, or very top.
And, the ship's hospital has THE best seasick medication, so don't suffer for days, TAKE them and you'll feel much better.
*Always "washy washy happy happy"...keep your hands clean all the time, and this will help you from catching illnesses.
* If you are flying a long way to catch your ship...try arriving a day, maybe even two days before your scheduled sail away date.
Especially if its a one way trip, no use not seeing another fabulous place!
Plus, its also a great way to shake off the jet lag so you are acclimatised by the time you sail.
Also, add a day or two at your destination if you can. No use ending up in Buenos Aries for the first time, and just seeing the airport...With money and time permitting, grab a hotel, an an On/Off bus for the day and take in the sights.Make the most of your time away!
* Carrying different currencies for different countries can be a hassle.
It really depends upon how long you are in each country.
US dollars are by far the most common currency accepted, and it never hurts to have an amount of small denominations of it with you.
*If you are travelling to the South Pacific, i.e; New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji etc, they will accept Aussie dollars quite happily...
What you have to remember is that if you are buying something in Vanuatu for instance, like at a market stall, that is only worth USD$5, and you give a USD$50 note, you will get the change in local currency.
If you are there for a day off ship for instance, you probably won't be spending there again, and in essence you have paid $50 for something that is worth only $5.
Have USD$ 5's and $1's with you, or Aussie or NZ dollars.
Much easier, as the local traders may not have much change either...(Or they claim they don't...;)
We tend to use our Visa (debit or credit) most places...(even for a camel ride in Petra!)
The currency gets converted professionally by your bank, and we save our cash for incidentals, local food and tipping.
*Travelling in Europe, for most countries, the Euro is what you want, but don't try it in Scandinavia or England. They definitely prefer their own currencies.
Like I said, it depends on the length of time you are in a place.
*Often you find money exchange stores in most tourist areas...but be aware roughly of your exchange rates, as these places can rip you off.
We went into one in Finland, to change some English pounds to local currency, and their rate was so bad that I asked them if England's economy had crashed overnight?
To which they replied, "How much did you expect?"
"More than THAT!" I said.
So she punched her calculator and came up with a much more reasonable number.
Apparently, that's illegal!
SHOP AROUND if you have time, or bring some from home.
*Airports won't always carry every currency, or the denominations you desire, be aware of that, so maybe order it ahead of time from your local money exchange store.
* I've been caught out recently with a Norovirus outbreak onboard a ship, and I had no meds.
I have a saying: "Better to have and not need, than need and not have!
* So now, I make sure I have my fair supply of boxes, simply marked with a pen saying : Poo, sick, or pain. LOL.
* Make sure you remember your prescription meds, and your script if necessary. Kind of goes without saying...but sometimes you can forget the obvious.
And if you need daily meds, like blood pressure tablets etc, make sure you keep them in your hand luggage or handbag. With changing timezones, you can easily forget.
That includes, The Pill!
Don't want to come home with unexpected 'carry on' if you're not planning on it! :)
*Things like sunscreen, and ladies products can cost a motza when you're travelling, particularly cruising, so pack them!
* Don't forget to check what vaccinations are required/suggested for places like East Africa, some places in South America, and Asia.
Yellow fever is one they are asking you to get-and prove - for some places, so keep your yellow vaccination passport with your travel documents.
Do your research, and ask your travel doctor.
They can REALLY add up, so watch out they don't 'over vaccinate' you. Use your best judgement.
Photos and videos.
As I usually just use my phone, I won't be giving tips on pro cameras, because I don't use one, and I'm certainly no pro. :)
* What I have realised whilst taking videos on my phone, it's really natural to hold the phone it portrait mode.
However, they look so much better if you hold it sideways, in landscape.
Depending on your subject of course.
Just remember not to change it midstream, although I think maybe the latest phones may correct that.
Also, if I have time, I'll take two shots of the same subject, one portrait, one landscape.
Even an extra one using the 'square' option on your iPhone, if you're using one, (not sure about other smart phone options, sorry).
This way you may have a better option when it comes to framing them, should you be printing and popping them on your wall.
* Don't forget to always keep all your chargers together with you, in your carry on.
I accidentally left my camera charger behind recently, and consequently didn't have it with me on safari.
TRIPLE check the night before!
* Here' I'll add random tips that I either come across through experience, or just think of.
Usually its a lesson learnt from experience!
* To relate to the image of a taxi above - NEVER get into a cab without checking to see if it has a meter, the driver has ID, or if it's an Uber for instance, the route decided upon and quoted.
I thought we were going to die when we were hurriedly put into a supposed taxi at the notorious Johannesburg airport.
Once in, we realised that we may have been scammed, and we thought we could have been in serious trouble.
No meter, no English, no credit card machine, no ID.
Luckily, it was legit - but, boy, it happens so quickly.
Be aware, and alert.
* Girls - don't wear a jumpsuit on safari.
It sounds like a no brainer, but if you need to have a quick squat in the safari bush, you need to be QUICK, and maybe not naked...?