10 Travel Tips You Never Knew You Needed
The same old travel tips get passed around the internet in a continual loop — but what if you already know how to book a flight (pro tip — use the internet) or that you need to stop buying barista made coffee when saving for a trip? Over the last few years I’ve slowly compiled some less common travel tips — maybe they’ll come in handy on your next trip!
How to get away with overweight carry-on luggage
Wasting your money on checked baggage doesn’t have to be your reality, especially if you’re only a few kgs off the limit (which is usually 7kgs). I’ve been on dozens of flights where my bag has been overweight and only been pulled up once. The key is confidence — and a strong left shoulder (or right if you’re that way inclined). Carrying your bag on one shoulder immediately shows the world, and more importantly the check-in staff, that you definitely don’t have a bag bursting at the seams with month’s worth of travel gear.
FURTHER READING: How to Get an Overweight Bag on an Airplane as Carry-On
How to get a comfortable seat on a crowded mini bus
If you’ve done any travel around Southeast Asia and Latin America (and most other parts of the world) you’ll know about tourist mini vans / buses and how unequally their seats were created. You can be sitting like a king with copious amounts of leg room in some seats or cramped in the back with slowly deadening legs in others. The key is to get on early and reserve your seat, but sometimes you need a good leg injury (real or imagined) to secure a good spot. Of course I’m not advocating taking the best seats from those who need them — in an ideal world leg room would be allocated based on leg length, but this isn’t an ideal world!
FURTHER READING: How to Get a Comfortable Seat on a Crowded Bus
How to make people jealous with your photos
We’ve all been there — you take a photo of somewhere beautiful but it doesn’t quite compare to that shot you saw on Instagram that inspired you to go in the first place. How can you inspire others (or act smug enough to make them jealous) without the perfect shot? It’s easy — just edit your photos to create any scene that you like. Want a sunrise photo but can’t be bothered getting up until 10 am? Simple — just add in the sky colours later and no one will know. You can even buy “presets” — with one click of a mouse your photo can be transformed from a real snapshot of a moment to an Instagram worthy piece of content.
FURTHER READING: How to Make People Jealous with Your Photos from the Road
How to avoid leaving things in hotel rooms
This one is simple — forget about putting your clothes and other items into hotel cupboards, draws and wardrobes and leave them in a massive pile in the middle of the room. It’s hard to forget an item if you have to walk over it on your way out.
FURTHER READING: How to Stop Leaving Things in Hotel Rooms
How to see the real (insert country here)
If you’re not travelling authentically and seeing the “real” side of the country you’re visiting, you’re really not travelling at all. Seeing the “real” place is of utmost importance — not only is it fun but you can one-up anyone else you meet that may have been there too. How do you achieve this? I came up with a convoluted process involving cyborgs and time travel, but I guess “going local” in an extreme way and then be super smug about it to everyone you meet after would work too.
FURTHER READING: How to See the Real (Insert Country Here)
How to be a real traveller
Scientists recently discovered the qualities that make up a real traveller. You have to go off the beaten path, you need to “go local” at all times, you can’t go to any popular tourist sites and you must travel as slow as possible. The other requirement is that you have to constantly tell people how awesome you are at travelling and that everyone else is doing it wrong.
FURTHER READING: How to Be a Real Traveller
How to get by with English in a foreign land
Learning languages is hard, so chances are you won’t always be able to communicate with locals easily. If you find yourself lost in a foreign land where no one speaks English you have a few options. You can talk louder, flail your arms and get aggressive, draw pictures to get your point across or head to the nearest Starbucks or McDonald’s in the hope of finding an English speaker. Or like most things these days, you can just use your smart phone.
FURTHER READING: How to Survive Without Knowing the Local Language
How to not lose yourself when travelling
Many people travel to find themselves, but what if you liked who you were all along? It can be tempting to completely change who you are on the road, but the danger is that you might morph into something resembling the “real traveller” I mentioned before. Travel does inevitably change you, but it doesn’t need to turn you into a completely different person (unless you want it to).
FURTHER READING: How to not Lose Yourself When You Travel
Less common ways to save for your trip
Of the hundreds of articles that guide potential travellers through the process of saving for their trip, none of them mention sex toy scams, match fixing international sporting events or … Of course I’d never advocate breaking the law, but you’ll need to think of something a bit more creative than giving up coffee and nights out, especially if you really love coffee and nights out.
FURTHER READING: Six Less Common Ways to Save for Your Trip
How to avoid being ripped off by taxi drivers
Taxi drivers love a good scam, especially in developing countries. You’ll likely be overcharged a few dollars here and there, but sometimes you’ll be in a situation which could easily lead to danger. I had this happen in Morocco — a driver was demanding way more than we agreed and was getting quite aggressive. I calmly told him that I took a photo of his number plate and that we had sent it to our parents — if anything happened the police would get involved. It worked (and I didn’t even take the photo).
FURTHER READING: How to Avoid Being Ripped off by Taxi Drivers
Do you have any other less common travel tips? Let me know in the comments below!