Traveling is a journey of discovery. Sometimes it’s a journey of self-discovery, and sometimes it’s a journey of discovering cultures and history.
And although many of us might think that travelling is as simple as stepping onto a plane, stepping off a plane and wandering through a foreign city,smart travellers know that there is so much more to it than this.
Traveling is actually something of an art, because there are numerous occasions when you will need to know how to get out of a certain fix. For this reason, there are simple life-skills you need to know and be aware of.
So let’s take a look at 10 important things every smart traveler should know.
1. Know How To Wash Clothes In A Sink
At home, we have the luxury of a washing machine that cleans our clothes for us, getting all the dirt, grime and stains out. When you’re travelling, however, you won’t always have this luxury available to you.
Instead, there will probably be occasions when you will need to wash your clothes quickly in a sink. Now, this is not easy and it takes some effort the first time around. The smart traveller, however, will already know how to do this before arriving in a remote jungle where electricity has never even existed.
2. Know How To Use A Needle and Thread
Lots of people can’t sew, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But smart travellers don’t need to know how to sew – not unless they’ve packed their sewing machine with them.
Instead, you should at least know the basics of how to use a needle and thread. This is because you just never know when you’ll need to repair some clothes or replace a button. A torn shirt in a forest could be mighty annoying, if you have to wear it like that for the rest of your trip, especially if you meet someone you fancy.
“Hey, don’t mind me and my torn shirt. It’s the style!”
3. Know How To Haggle
Another one of important international travel tips is to learn how to haggle. In 2015, many of us buy most of our wares online. From clothes to music, we click a few buttons and voila, the product is ours.
This essentially means that we’re a generation who doesn’t know how to haggle, and this can become a problem in certain corners of the world where haggling is a way of life. Don’t want to get ripped off for a vase in Morocco? You’ll have to learn how to haggle, my friend!
4. Lose Your Foreign Change
Foreign change can quickly build up if you’re not careful, and it can make your pockets feel bulky and heavy. It can even rip a few holes in them!
To avoid an unnecessary amount of foreign change, a smart traveler should know that it’s far less irritating to anyone if you handed it to a local homeless person, as opposed to an irate shop keeper who really doesn’t want to see all that change!
5. Fill Your Boots
Space is at a premium when travelling, and smart travellers know how to make the most of the space they’ve got. Rather than bring along an extra bag for bits and pieces, they get smart.
This means they use spaces, such as their boots to stock a few things. They even use their underwear and their socks! Hey, it beats slugging around an extra bag!
6. It’s Important To Carry Cash
Next one of useful travel tips is to make sure you carry cash with you. Some of us prefer to use our credit cards when it comes to buying things, and this is especially true when we’re on holiday. Rather than convert our cash to foreign money, it’s just easier to whip out the old credit card.
Smart travellers, though, should know that some places don’t accept out credit cards. So rather than get caught short, why not just take more than enough cash with you? It’s much easier, and you’ll be better able to keep a lid on your spending.
7. Do A Deal With The Taxi Driver Before Setting Off
It’s very tempting to try to haggle with a taxi driver once he’s got you to your situation. But in foreign countries, this can be very dangerous and cab drivers are not open to changing their minds.
Sometimes they get really angry.
Instead, smart travellers need to play it safe by agreeing on a fee before you’ve set off. And if you change your mind once you arrive at the destination because it’s closer than you thought, just don’t say anything. Please!
8. The Police Are Sometimes The Bad Guys
You’re in a different country now, and sometimes the world can seem upside down. This is never truer than when it comes to the law.
See, in some countries the police are not always on your side, even when you’ve done nothing wrong. Instead, they routinely sell their services to the highest bidder. So if you’re want something sorting, you may have to offer them a bit of cash. Sad but true for many countries.
9. Watch What You Do With Your Hands
Another one of important international travel tips is to pay attention to what you do with your hands. In your country, there may be innocent hand gestures that you use day in, day out. You think nothing of them because you’ve used them since you were a child and everyone understands them without a problem. They include the thumbs up and the thumbs down.
Smart travellers should know, though, that these hand gestures mean very different things in other parts of the world. For this reason, you have to be super-careful with how you use them. Indeed, we recommend that you just don’t talk with your hands at all!
10. Don’t Be Negative About The Country’s Government
Whilst we would never advise that anyone is facetious enough to lie through their teeth and say things like, “Yay for the president of Zimbabwe! I just love that man!!”, we do advise supreme caution when it comes to saying something negative about the country’s government.
It might sound silly, but Secret Police do still exist in a number of countries, and if anyone overhears you angrily saying something bad about their government, you could find yourself being spied on. Dramatic, yes, but it happens. It’s best to just err on the side of caution and say nothing at all.
Do you know other useful smart travel tips?