Thursday, January 29, 2015

Travel tips

In case you haven’t already noticed, I am passionate about travelling and I am definitely a planner.  I enjoy planning my travel from deciding on destination to walking routes.  There are always tonnes of research involved and having to eventually walk the path I planned, the feeling is pure magical.

Here are my travel tips and hope they help.

Packing checklist
I don’t have the talent to pack last minute and yet not forgetting something.  And I hate the feeling of worrying I might have forgotten something while I am on my way to the airport.  I compiled a packing checklist many years ago and it has been serving me so well.  I am now compiling a camping packing list!

Roll your clothes
Roll, roll, roll your clothes…in the bag they go… Roll for more space, and roll for wrinkle free.  I am guilty of no practising this method fully.  It’s the habit thing.  But I do however roll some to avoid wrinkle. 

Pack light
I don’t believe in packing the whole estate for travel.  Most of the time we don’t wear all that we packed.  I like some classics and clothing that can be easily matched to create new look.  Versatile pieces that can take you from day to night is a winner for me too.

The toilet emergency container (when travel with little kids)
Travelling with little kids always couple with the challenge of locating a washroom at the drop of a hat.  To avoid ending up rushing like a mad cow when toilet is still nowhere in sight this is the solution although probably only practical for boys.  Finding a quiet private corner is definitely more achievable.  Just make sure you take extra plastic bags for ease of carry and dispose the content appropriately when you manage to locate a toilet.  For passing urine only!

Clothing and essentials in your cabin bag
I always pack extra clothing, some essential toiletries and medicine/first aid kits (pain killer, antihistamine, plasters etc) in my cabin bag.  They come in handy and especially more so for long haul flight.  They would be your savior for things like eating/drinking accidents, minor sickness or when there is mishap with your checked in luggage.

Reviews, reviews and more reviews
Learning from others’ experiences is the best.  This has helped me in deciding on my accommodations, sightseeing, food choices and other useful tips.  Having the right attitudes and expectations towards your destination ensures a successful and joyful journey.  So read away and you shall be rewarded.  Make sure you too contribute to help others :)  If you don't know where to start, Tripadvisor is the place!

Be realistic
Avoid tight itinerary.  Be realistic, be practical.  You don’t know what you don’t know, and it is always sensible to allow room for contingencies e.g. unexpected long queue, missing your transport, heavy downpour, unplanned meet-up with that new friend of yours etc  It is better to have spare time at the end of the day to give yourself a breather or to pile on extra activities as bonus rather than rushing your life to meet your plan.

Be flexible
As much as you could plan, things may not always follow your way.  Be flexible about your plan.  If you can’t do what you came to do due to some unforeseen circumstances (weather is always the main culprit), don’t go all upset.  You would only ruin more of your journey.  Just go with the flow.  I once ended up spending the rest of my first day in a hotel due to a severe typhoon (it was a No.8 storm warning) in Hong Kong.  Another time I missed out on a visit inside the Colosseum due to worker strike.  A very solid reason for me to go back to Rome for another try!  

On a separate yet related note, I came across RelayRides of late.  A US based company that offers peer-to-peer sharing car rental service including an expanding selection of airport rentals.  Basically, you list your otherwise idle vehicle in their site and earn some bucks.  And the renters get to rent a car at a much cheaper rates.  It is a win-win for both rentee and renter.  This is totally new to me considering I have always been with professional rental company.  I myself am not their customer (I have yet to travel to the US and am not aware of any service of similar kind here in NZ) hence not in a position to comment on their service or sharing any similar experience.   In my opinion, for this idea to be successful, a thorough protection policy covering both rentee and renter is essential.

Anyway,may the fun be with you and safe journey!

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