Tip 0141 Agree to disagree
This saves so many arguments and breakdowns in friendships and relationships. We have seen over the years, so many people go travelling with close friends or other family members, only to come back with very strained relations to say the least and some even arched enemies.
The key here is to discuss what your expectations of your impending travel is going to be and try not to be in each other’s pockets the whole time. Agree to disagree well before you set off on your travels.
It actually is okay to go your separate ways whilst travelling and what you might want from your travel could be completely different from what others are after. Even if you are all going to see the same sights and sounds, some may want to experience it all at a slower or faster pace.
Tip 0142 Moods change in people
We are all human and moods change in everyone at varying times of the day, week or month and can easily change the way you feel or how you want things to pan out at the time.
Unless you actually have been living or travelling together before, remember you will be in close proximity which is like a marriage.
Tip 0143 People are different under stress
Whilst travelling many of you will be under the added hidden stress of travel, this combined with being in a forced marriage with other peoples company gives for a sometimes volatile situation and often opinions are exchanged at maybe an inappropriate time.
Really don’t be offended if your travel friends want to go off and express themselves their own way some or even all of the time.
Goal posts change sometimes and especially when travelling. This is mainly because you are in a new environment and things can be different from in the planning stages.
Actually all sit down pre travel and have the conversation of:
If we decide to stay around the pool whilst you go off around town or on an excursion, don’t be offended.
We love the idea of going away together as a group so we can meet up at the end of the day for a catch up on what we all have done.
It will be great going up the mountain together but we will do it at different paces. Maybe we will meet at the top or later in the day.
If we enjoy the day, we may stay out there and meet you all the following day or later in the week.
These and many more conversations are all crucial in the preplanning stage of travel. They will put you in great shape for your pending travel with others.
Tip 0144 Full Immersion
As far as we are concerned full immersion is the only way. When in Rome!
Now there will of course be many of you that are happy to keep yourselves to yourselves. You may feel you just want to watch the world go by and appreciate it for what you see. You also may be a little introvert and are happy to do your own thing also and that's cool by us.
There is no right way or wrong way to getoutgotravel and everyone is different, wanting differing things from travel.
Our main tip is however, to get the best from your traveling experiences, would be beneficial in so many ways to join in, integrate, socialise and fully immerse yourselves within the local communities you travel too.
You will never fully get to know or understand the real culture and ways of the local communities and people if you are stand offish. Eating fish and chips at a chippie in central London will not give you an insight into what a true Cockney is and significance of the sound of Bow Bells. Driving round the Townships of South Africa will not explain the reason for underdeveloped urban living reserved for the non white residents. Taking in the temples at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap does not explain the reasons for religion change in Cambodia. Yet so many people travel for the sights and not the culture.
When you actually fully immerse into each destination you find out so much more and begin to understand why. Like the reasons why the Vietnamese have come so far in such a short time compared to their neighbouring country Laos.
There are so many ways you can truly find insight and a deep understanding of a particular culture. Before you even arrive at your destination, as part of your research you may already have struck up a rapport with your place for accommodation, or talked/corresponded with a particular excursion or activity centre.
On arrival the best form of communication is with the locals and this doesn't mean the reception desk or concierge.
You need to get out there. Eat and drink with the locals. Take the local transportation rather than the laid on tourist bus or taxis. Local stalls and supermarkets are where it's at. Stop on the roadside and sit with the locals playing Mah-jong off the gutters. Get down and dirty with the kids and their bucket of flying bugs on string for toys. Have a go at badminton in the city street or eat the lucky spiders from the market stalls.
If you have time become a regular diner at the local eatery. Language or no, it is so easy to find common interest in even the simplest or even most primitive cultures around the world.
All of the above can get you an introduction into the real lives of the people who live in these wonderful countries and maybe like us you too will get invited back for some true local home cooking and local grog, that's where the real info comes.
Tip 0145 Orientation
There is nothing more settling whilst travelling than orientation. If you already know where you are and what you're looking for when you get there, life will be a lot easier for you and a whole lot less stressful.
We used to just wing it on arrival to a new area and often, even when well travelled, could get just a little flustered in the first few moments of arrival.
A great tip here is knowing your North from South on arrival and having a local map in hand. We can't tell you how many times this has got us out of a whole lot of trouble, especially when your lugging round a hefty backpack, day bag and any other "Stuff" you might have at the time.
Having purposely not acquired a Lonely Planet or Footprint travel guide for reasons of not wanting to follow the crowds or tourists, we had been kindly given a travel guide which changed part of our thought processes on research and orientation.
A clear source of detailed information to orientate yourselves on arrival be it travel hand book or internet is more than just a little helpful. It will save you time, money and undue stress.
There are a lot of countries that take advantage of visitors stepping off the boat so to speak and knowing your going the right or wrong way will definitely stop this happening.
Giving the impression that you have been somewhere before or that you are familiar to the location. also stops unfair advantage being taken. We talk about this in the Scam section of this website and direct you there.
Tip 0146 Drop your bags and go
And this is all the more important on short stay travel. When you get to your destination and to get the most out of your travel, try and think about your plans and how they will all fit into your short time allocation. It's one thing setting an itinerary from home and an altogether different proposition on arrival.
Before you do anything, cross check timings of everything you have planned to do.
Remember, travel agents and advertisements are there to get you to go. All areas are seasonal or have different things going on and off throughout the week or year. Markets can be closed due to religious festivals. Shops have differing opening hours to what you are used to. Many countries have siesta's and others have weird opening times.
You really have so little time on a short stay and you really wouldn't want to miss out on anything, especially if this is the reason for going there in the first place.
Can you imagine going 2,000 miles to go deep sea fishing only to find that the last boat out goes in the morning at 4am and the booking office isn't open till 6am.
So yes, dump your bags, however tired you may feel and at the very least, pop down to reception and do a little reconnaissance.
If you can, go for a little walk around to get your bearings and check out the lay of the land. You might find that the evening meal you had planned is a trek up a mountain and high heels is definitely not the way to go.
The chances are you will never return so our top tip here is "Sleep when you get home!"
Tip 0147 Will I see it again
Top tip here is "You will not have enough time!" A short trip is never long enough and there will always be something that you will miss or run out of time to do. With this in mind try not to be too disappointed.
Each short trip make a mini bucket list and prioritise. This way you get to do and see most of what you travelled there for.
Enjoy the moment. Try to take in as much as you can whilst you are in the moment. Be inquisitive, don't be afraid to ask questions or poke your head around the corner. The wonderment is all part of travel
Take each travelling moment as if it will be the last time because it probably will be!
Try and imagine your first day there is your last. Each day you wake up you will be, up early and raring to go.
Time goes so fast on a short trip and before you know it you'll be back at work in no time and all forgotten about.
Tip 0148 Allow for the unexpected
Schedules change, so expect the unexpected. No matter how short your travel adventure is, try not to over fill your itinerary. You need to have space for the unexpected.
If you travel with a tight itinerary, you will have no time for change. No matter how well researched a place is, there will always be more to see and do and usually these extras are the best part of your location. It's the little known things that are the most intriguing.
Many a time we have gone travelling with a mini bucket list, only to have completely ignored it and done other things.
Planning and research as we keep advising is the key "BUT" flexibility is far more important. It is better to go with an itinerary and change it on the go for better, than to go with no itinerary at all and do absolutely nothing.
Tip 0149 Price up locally
There are many advantages and disadvantages to this tip.
If you intend going back to this location, it would be a good idea to check out the local prices for accommodation. Remember when you were back home researching the best deal and spending ages going through all the reviews? Well your there now and can see for yourself. Booking direct can also save you a fortune on return visits.
Tours, activities and excursions booked back home are usually fair from your own countries perspective but from the country you visit perspective can be like gold or winning the lottery.
Often a trip booked with the locals and not the national companies can not only be far more affordable but better and a lot more enjoyable too. That's not to say that the companies should be ignored, each has their own place and if you are looking for the securities, health and safety issues etc, then a larger more established company would be the way to go. Having said that there is nothing wrong with local enterprise, as long as you check out everything. For example, make sure the round the island boat trip for twenty people has a boat capacity and capability of carrying more than two people.
Shop around, ask the locals. Find out why the locals use the long boat instead of the tourist ferry. Trust us, we've seen more luggage end up in the sea from tourist ferry's than local boats.
Use the local transport to get about, unless you always take a taxi back home to go do your groceries! Local transport is where you meet the people from the country you wanted to go find out about. Don't bury your head in the sand!
So many of you go off to the so called "local markets" to get a bargain. Many do not realise that these are tourist markets. Look around, chances are the local markets are on the next block or street! Top tip here is, Go where the locals go. Why eat in a restaurant that no local goes into?
Know the value of your dollar. Just because something costs say half as much as the cost back home, it doesn't mean you are getting the deal of a lifetime.
Most of the short stay travellers only find out near the end of their adventure, that the beer they have been paying half as much as it costs back home, really only costs a quarter of the price. Now this is fine if you have money to burn but think about the savings here alone, that could possibly get you another nice meal out to even another travel trip to somewhere else.
There seems to be a "I can afford it" or "It'll give the local guy a treat" sort of attitude when you're travelling to remote, third world or underprivileged areas and to a certain extent this is great to give an individual a boost. There is a big "BUT" here though! You need to give serious thought to your impact in society.
Being unaware of your own impact whilst travelling, can be extremely detrimental to the ecological balance of the very people you think you are trying to help. You might think "what harm can a hand out do," or "this'll cheer him up or give her a boost!"
We go into this in detail in our Volunteering section of this website and direct you there but just be mindful of your impact here and we give you a very simple example of, would giving say AUD$10 to a poverty stricken man or women on the street be of benefit or assistance? We would all like to think so and sometimes it does but sadly more often than not our assistance given in this way may have a far worse impact. I can seriously quote this personally, as I have had many experiences of knowing what harm this can potentially do.
Tip 0150 Don't leave until last night
Leaving the Champagne sunset cruise until the last day is a recipe for disaster. Anything could and invariably does happen to prevent your final treats. It could be cloudy, too choppy, cancelled or worse you could have broken a collar bone or even run out of money!
Try not to leave the best until last. If anything do it early and if it's that good, do it again.
This goes for most things. You might see an unusual jumper you would like to get before you go home and on the last day the shop is shut. Trust us on this one, been there done it, got the postcard!!
Our top tip here is, if you see it, do it, buy it or go there straight away. You could end up spending either a lot of time rushing back and forth to locations or just miss out altogether.
TIp 0151 Get up early, go bed late.
An obvious tip for most but so many come home saying they wish they had got more in whilst there or we didn't have enough time for this or that.
The simple fact is short travel, unless you are there for a total relax, should be jam packed to the max. You have all the time in the world to chill back home but on location you will undoubtedly only be there the once or twice at best. So make the most of it. What better way to get more in than be up early enough for at least the morning sunrise.
If you're feeling tired midday then at least you have packed in a mornings worth and reward yourselves with a quick nanna nap, then set off for some more adventures in the afternoon/eve.
You will survive with a minimum number of hours sleep for a short time. Of course if you have to physically drive your own transport or in need of your full physical or mental attention for an activity, then of course this is a totally different set of circumstances.
If you come back from a short travel feeling like you need a holiday to recover, then you truly have got the most out of it.
Tip 0152 Time to smell the roses
Now you may have all the time in the world and free to take as long as you want. Bare in mind that even with all the time in the world to travel, you may still only decide to take a few days/weeks in one place before moving onto the next. This is very similar to short term travel and should be considered in your itineraries for these locations.
There is a little bit of tourist in every traveller and why not take a selfie by the Eiffel tower, after all you are here to see as much as you can and you can't really miss it anyway.
Please remember though that to get to any location, there are so many hidden treasures along the way. Try not to be transfixed on the goal, rather than the experience of getting there also.
Seriously take a moment to think about mobility. When you fly you miss 99.9% of what is between each airport. If you take a self drive vehicle, the driver will see far less than the passenger. If you can't get off between stops on say a train or coach then there's another missed opportunity.
We are a great believer of night trains and coaches but the down side is you miss so much over night.
Remember our golden rule. One form of travel is another one's sacrifice. Sometimes you just have to get from A to B quickly, after all you don't have enough time to walk round the world, or do you?
Tip 0153 Social skill set
There is a difference between introvert, extrovert and social skills.
Some of the countries you will or may be travelling around have many diverse cultures and it is important to do some research here before you set off.
In some countries being an extrovert can be construed as rude, impolite or damn right arrogance. In the same way having an introvert personality can work against you and sometimes even get you into a lot of trouble.
Our main tip here is assess the situation carefully and basically be aware that most cultures have many differences, hence the meaning of the word culture.
It is so easy to offend people unintentionally and this is where a little common courtesy comes into play. Please do your research out of respect for where you are intending to go.
Tip 0154 Be mindful and respectful of differing cultures.
When travelling, you have no right to be judgmental. After all it is you that is the visitor, you are not there as an imposer.
You may not believe in a cultures way or beliefs but you are none the less an outsider and until you live there and really get to understand what and why peoples beliefs are, you have absolutely no right to disrespect them.
By all means a level of debate is always welcome, as long as you are very familiar with the other party but please do not get carried away in the heat of the moment.
Try to be understanding, even if it means sometimes swallowing humble pie.
To leave a small impression is better than leaving a massive catastrophe behind.
There will also be attitudes from the locals from previous cultures visits and of course this is understandable. Try to think about deep seated issues and history between nations and cultures.
Let's take a very simplified example of say a countries football hooligans. You can easily see how some locals would be very wary of more visitors coming to visit. The list is endless.
Tip 0155 Be inquisitive
Now there is inquisitive and downright nosey. Learn to differentiate here please. I probably border between the two.
There is nothing wrong with being inquisitive and in most ways it is very welcome as most countries are inquisitive also and this is how we all learn from one another.
Most cultures are very proud of their history and where they are in the world they live in. They are usually more than happy to share information and this should be reciprocated to the max.
Top tip here is we find the more inquisitive you are, within reason, the more people warm to you and open themselves up. Many times families and homes have been opened up to us by welcoming arms.
Tip 0156 Be amazed
Try not to be too introvert, insular or single minded when travelling. Work on your social skill. You will be amazed at the warmth and generosity there is out there.
We have found in general, the poor give far more than the rich and by this we don't mean financial reward.
Not wanting to spoil your surprise. when you actually getougotravel we hope you will be blown away by some of the things that you will come across.
Tip 0157 Learn the language
Now there are three schools of thought here. We have tried all three and they are equally as good.
You can spend a lot of time pre travel trying to learn languages. Grab a phrasebook or bilingual dictionary to take with you or just wing it.
Now you may have an excellent knack for picking up languages and even dialects, so go right ahead and knock ya socks off. I had an uncle, who was reportedly said to have been able to speak every language out there except for a few Chinese dialects! (Whatever) I here you say. He did say however that the more languages you speak the easier it becomes and then it just becomes a matter of word memory.
Some say if you don't have a command of the language, you will be looked upon as just a tourist and will be frowned on for not caring or attempting to integrate. This cannot be further from the truth.
Whether you have learned a language fluently, got on top of a few phrases and key words or have no idea what yes, no, please or thankyou is, it is all good as long as you are sincere and really are trying in earnest.
Please don't be ignorant and assume that everyone knows or should know English, so why bother. This is what people generally don't like and you will be welcomed with a very cold response.
Personally we have found that the less of a language you know the better off you are because you have to learn as you go and the locals can see that you are trying (sometimes quite hard).
I have also had many a conversation, sometimes for hours with others where no one knew what was going on and to be honest, it was a load of fun and we all rolled about laughing all night. (no alcohol involved at all shhh)
Best tip here to bare in mind is, try not to turn up in the country unprepared at all. Wherever you travel to, you will almost certainly have at least a few hours to get a few words down pat for your arrival. You will be slightly flustered on arrival and being prepared helps no end.
Generally it's all about what works for you but please don't think you can't join in and converse anywhere in the world with little or no retention of the foreign word because it simply is not true. Getoutgo and have fun!
Tip 0158 Copy your passports
This is a very handy tip and can get you out of a lot of trouble. Just think about where you would be if you mislaid, lost or even had your passport stolen whilst travelling. Certainly you would not be allowed passage home without it and if you were thinking of travelling onward, well let's say you'd be in a whole heap of trouble, not to mention the costs involved in changing flights and or all your pre-bookings.
Top tip here is, take a copy of all your travel documents. Your passport, itineraries, booking tickets and insurance documents showing your entitlements which clears up any disputes and then email them to yourself. This goes for resumes also, you never know when an employment opportunity comes to you.
This is a top tip and should be considered if you are happy with your internet security.
In the unfortunate situation that you do lose, or have your passport stolen whilst travelling and the same with any important document, like your travel insurance and such. It is a good idea to copy your documents onto email that can be retrieved worldwide. This will assist you greatly in the recovery or re-issue of same.
Some of you may be worried about identity theft and this is personal choice. We personally believe you need more information that what is shown on a passport and we are happy with our own internet security for this.
Now with all copies apart from your passport, you should get yourself out of most problems but as for your passport, this is quite a different matter.
Please remember your passport is a legal document. We have mentioned before within this website, "treat your passport like gold dust!" If you find yourselves without a passport whilst international travelling, for whatever reason, you will have to go to the country of your origins Embassy or Consulate immediately.
A quick call to them first from where you are is important also. Do not leave it until the next day or a couple of days before you are due to travel, in case it turns up.
Having a copy of your passport in email form will have major benefits in, either recovery or more importantly giving evidence that you own one in the first place and details thereon for re issue or temporary issue to solve your onward travel.
We go into more detail on the Passport section of this website and direct you there.
Tip 0159 It is often cheaper to live day by day travelling the world than sitting on your sofa all day at home
We are all at differing stages in our lives but we honestly believe most people if they really want to travel, can do so quite easily.
The problem is we are conditioned to think that we need to work, beaver away and make a nice home and afford the odd luxury when we can scrimp together enough to enjoy ourselves. So we set off earning an absolute fortune to be able to do just that.
Top tip here is to be able to create a passive income to release us into the world of travel, either from equity we already have or to be able to work in such a way that allows us to travel.
Have you ever thought how much it costs you just sitting watching television having a beer and a packet of crisps? Well let us tell you, travelling costs come to nowhere near what you are currently spending just sitting doing nothing at all.
Let's take out your day to day food and drink as you also need this to sustain yourself whilst travelling, even though it could be so much more cheaper in other parts of the world.
You may be renting accommodation or have a mortgage. Now let's take a typical forecast of expenditure on say the basics. You will have council rates, water rates, electricity, gas, insurance of house and contents, home maintenance, transport cost of say one or two vehicles. Loans, registration, upkeep, petrol, life and medical insurances. Then we have incidentals like television, cable networks, home telephone, furniture, garden equipment, the list goes on.
We haven't even got to the rent or mortgage you need to meet each month not to mention clothing, restaurants and other little luxuries
There are many ways for a travelling couple to live on approximately AUD$60 per day which includes food, accommodation, travel costs and travel insurances. That equates to $420 per week.
Let's just take a standard rental property at today's market of say between $350 to $500 per week and this is just your expenditure for a roof over your head without any other costs involved.
Now of course you need to supplement your travelling somehow and we are not saying you don't need financial means of some sort but if you can do the numbers and can acquire a passive income from either your existing home, be it from subletting, rental income or even from investments or other sources, it really is more affordable to travel than sit at home doing nothing.
Tip 0160 Book early or last minute
Look we have to say, we have done both and equally have good and bad points. Whatever works for you.
Looking forward to a travel adventure for a long period of time creates a build up like no other and especially when a family is involved. Also a quick impromptu trip gets the adrenaline pumping but is over all too soon.
Top tip here is, both have benefits of savings, if you can either plan a year in advance or can go at a moments notice.
Down side for early planned travel is that circumstances can change and we would recommend you take out insurance prior to or on booking you adventure to cover you for possible cancellations.
If you're looking to book early for savings, make sure it is cost effective. Some deals come down in price and with cancellations you can end up losing all the benefits you thought you were getting in the first place.
Certainly flights can be very cost effective if booked early enough or last minute and if you can fly at any time. You really need the flexibility in your life to be able to cash in on these deals.
Most companies offer these very affordable deals as they anticipate low or slack periods within their calendar year. The chances are that if you can travel low/off peak season, you will probably get these deals nearer the time you wish to travel anyway.