TRAVEL // TRAVELLING TIPS

Earlier this year, I spent 4 months hopping around Australia, some of Indonesia and SE Asia. Such a truly incredible experience, so many adventurous to be had, so many pristine beaches to discover, waking up in new dreamy destinations each day, yes yes yes, so amazing, but this takes a lot of planning and organisation! It isn’t all set out for you, you make your own journey and plan your own route!

I wanted to share some things that I picked up along the way to help with the planning and just generally being a traveller. Some are pretty simple, but when you feel like a million miles away from home, you can’t find any wifi and you’ve got barely any cash on you, small tips will feel like lifesavers!

  • Packing. This is the first thing that will probably cross your mind once you’ve booked your flights and you know you are going. What the hell do I need to take? I overpacked, of course I did, and my rucksack absolutely killed my back. It was so heavy, any coach drivers having to load my bag on, or anyone else who picked up my bag, always had to make a joke about how heavy it was. You aren’t going to mars, there will be shops where you can buy things from so don’t over pack.
  • Random things that I found super handy; nail clippers, sudocream, nail varnish remover pads (in the little tub, pre-soaked in remover), a torch, plasters, 1 plug adapter that had several different adapters on and a small coin purse.
  • Ask for a map. Each time we arrived to a new hostel/hotel, I always asked for a map. You get a good overview of where you are. Always mark on the map your hostel/hotel just in case you ever get lost, you will be able to find your way back. I LOVE to research restaurants, bars, coffee shops etc, so I always plot these on the map too. Any attractions/tourist spots you want to swing by, add these on there as well. The map becomes your bible and when you are out and about, you can see that the cute coffee shop that you were recommended is only down the road! There is probably, I say probably, I’m pretty sure there is, an app where you can do this, but I like to stay traditional and use a map. Its a great thing to keep as well so you can always remember where you visited!
  • Don’t be a control freak. Before I left the UK, I wanted to have at least 2-3 weeks of accommodation booked up, all our trips sorted and everything done. Nope you got to go with the flow a little bit. I only had the first weeks accommodation sorted before I left the UK in the end. Sometimes you meet people and want to stay in the next place with them, and you will always be able to find accommodation, even if you book it on the day you are arriving, there is always something. This way, you can be more flexible and be that free spirited traveller you wanted to be! I’m not saying be unorganised and leave everything to the last minute at all because personally I find that stressful. I usually booked 2 days in advance for accommodation. No need to pull your hair out if you haven’t got everything booked in and sorted. With some popular trips, you will need to book further in advance as they have limited spaces, and thats fine, you can work your timings out according to the trip.
  • Create a planner. Now although I said not to be a control freak, you still need to be organised. You will need to have a rough idea of where/when you are going to be, because if you are travelling more than 1 country, its likely you are going to need to book a flight and usually they are cheaper in advance rather. I had a little book and I had a list of all the places I was going with roughly how long I wanted to spend at each place and anything I needed to book for that place, once booked, give it a little tick. Such a satisfying thing isn’t it, that simple tick! I hope that doesn’t sounds contradictory to the above, what I mean is, you don’t need to be over top super planned person, you just need a rough guide and stay on top of your ‘travel admin’ so you don’t get too stressed and forgetful!
  • Visas. Remember to check visa requirements for the countries you are visiting. Some countries you will get a certain amount of days for free, and then you may have to pay to stay longer. Usually you need to apply for the visa before you enter the country so always check this out. You can easily check this out by visiting this page here.
  • Money. You are likely to be needing several currencies for your trip. There are so many travel money cards out there, not everyone will be looking for the same thing so it is personal preference. I used Revolut as I could top money up from my phone, it had an in-app chat which was super helpful, you could withdraw cash for free and use it in all the countries I was visiting. Some travel cards have charges to withdraw so make sure you read the small print! Although the card was free to withdraw cash, some cash machines charge you for using their ATM, so if this was the case, I would always withdraw the maximum amount so I wasn’t having to visit the ATM again tomorrow and paying the charge again.
  • Diary. This doesn’t need to be a daily thing, but I just bullet pointed key things from each place I visited. You always think, ‘Oh I won’t forget this’, but months of amazing memories, do slightly blur in to one and it is something you can keep forever and always look back on.
  • Accommodation. It comes in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes you can be staying in a dorm room with anywhere from 4 people up to 20 people, sometimes there will be a ‘shower block’ or sometimes there will be a bathroom in your dorm. If you pay more for a private room, sometimes you may have an ensuite, sometimes you will need to use the shared showers. The variation of accommodation is very wide! As I travelled with my boyfriend, sometimes we stayed in dorms, but other times we paid a little more for a private room. Australia’s accommodation was a lot more expensive than the other places. In Indonesia and SE Asia, we could stay in a hotel for the same price as a dorm room. So if there is more than 1 of you, always have a look at hotels as well, you’ll be surprised sometimes how expensive hostels are and how cheap some hotels are.
  • Apps. Oh I think I maxed out on my phone storage for the duration of my travels with handy apps. Here’s my recommendations:
    • Skyscanner – Great for booking flights, compares all airlines in one search
    • XE – money conversion rates. It gets confusing when 28,986 Vietnamese Dong = £1. Download XE, add all of the currencies you need and when you are out and about, just put in how much something is, and it will show you in £’s. You don’t need wifi to get the conversion!
    • Hostel world – I found this was the best place to get your hostels booked up
    • Booking.com – Check to see if you can get a cheaper hotel than hostel!
    • Met Office – If you want to keep an eye on the weather, I don’t trust iPhone weather!
    • Maps.me – what a life saver this is. Download it when you have wifi, but this map app works offline enabling you to use this with NO WIFI/4G! You will not be using your 4G abroad as its SO expensive, I used this SO much. We did a lot of moped’ing around SE Asia and this was beyond handy.

My biggest tip, is to thoroughly enjoy it. Sometimes things don’t go to plan or they aren’t exactly what you think, but its all part of the experience. You’ll be home before you know it and this will probably be a once in a life time opportunity.

I loved writing this post, and I hope this has helped a little, but you will figure everything out as you go. If you have any questions I haven’t covered, please feel free to tweet me @laurabyrnes6 tweet tweet!

Happy travels!

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54 Comments

    • February 27, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      jun21Guadalupe Godoy Buenas tardes, me gustaría saber si es verdad que en el mes de octubre hay efectivamente postulaciones para telefonista de la primera comisaría de Coyhaique, y si es así, qué posibilidades hay de que una persona como yo que tengo dos hijos, 24 años, soltera, nacionalidad chilena sin antecedentes y en 2º año de contador auditor del IP Los Lagos, pueda postular y acceder a uno de los cupos.GRacias por su atención y espero una respuesta en mi correo, en los posible positiva. pero si no es así Muchas grnelas.Atcatamente.Guadaiupe Godoy V.

  1. September 28, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Really fantastic list of tips! It sounds like you had a fantastic time. I’m also thinking about keeping some sort of travel diary. I find that I don’t always have the time to post about all my travel experiences all at once. Sometimes, I have to write about a trip I took half a year ago, so a travel diary would be super useful to remember the small details.

  2. September 29, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    I’m off to Aus and SE Asia in about 50 days, thanks for the tips. Love the app idea deffo going to be getting these when I’m off eeeek

  3. October 10, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    I love this post and your whole blog. It is really inspirational for someone like me who has just started my own travel blog! thank you so much and happy travels 🙂

  4. October 18, 2016 / 4:09 am

    Cool. I’d never heard of Revolut before but I’ll check it out next time I hit the road!

  5. LadyRedot
    October 18, 2016 / 6:35 am

    Seriously great tips! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. October 18, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    Great tips! Its really important that you are not a control freak on vacation because things happen so unexpextantly, or something new pops up that you want to go see or do. I loved asking locals where the best places to visit are, or to eat when I was in Eastern Canada.

  7. October 19, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    I’m doing SE Asia in January and this was so helpful! Definitely going to check out the apps, thank you. 🙂

  8. October 19, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Your tips are so much fun to read!! After the first one, I just kept scrolling through all the rest! Love it – glad we Sydneysiders treated you well mate 😉

  9. October 19, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    Really love this post. I’m heading out next year for study abroad so it’s great to hear some good travel tips

  10. October 22, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Awesome….I’ve been to Indonesia too …Great place ^_^

  11. October 24, 2016 / 6:11 am

    Having traveled Papua New Guinea for a diving trip recently I can only say, I wish I had read this post before I left! Great tips and thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    • February 27, 2017 / 7:02 am

      Snuttan : Tack för det och ja nog blandas det högt och lÃ¥gt, annat kan man inte säga Leroy: Om det sÃ¥ vore att din närvaro pÃ¥verkade lÃsrra¤iffsorna sÃ¥ skulle jag skita i det. Du är aldrig otrevlig mot nÃ¥gon när du skriver sÃ¥ har folk nÃ¥got annat problem med dig sÃ¥ fÃ¥r dom väl packa sig i väg dÃ¥. Man ska inte bry sig sÃ¥ jävla mycket vad folk tycker och tänker helt enkelt.

  12. October 25, 2016 / 8:48 am

    Awesome tips! Just gave a desire to travel again 🙂 Missing travelling so much!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Love,
    Joana

  13. October 26, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    I love this post! I went to Australia and New Zealand at the beginning of the year and the best advice I was given was to take as little as possible! My rucksack was the smallest of anyone I met and I was so pleased! Mine was much easier to carry especially have having to lug if on and off public transport and on long walks to hostels! I’m off to south east Asia at Christmas and I can’t wait!!! Your post has got me all excited again!!

  14. October 28, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    Great travelling tips to help me along my next trip.

  15. November 4, 2016 / 4:58 am

    Have you booked your trip for New Year? If the answer is NO coz of any reason NO NEED to worry! Still have time, just drop an email or call on 1-844-331-3222 and discuss with travel experts about your trip and rest will be taken care off. Most importantly you will get additional discounts and if qualified will get a 1 FREE NIGHT at the hotel and 50$ discount on you future flight booking as well. What are you waiting for HURRY.

  16. November 4, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    from a fellow traveller to another these tips are awesome!! i agree with everything and wish i had have read this blog 5 month ago before i left, but thats okay its all part of the learning experience along the way!
    DIARY is a must ,I’m a male and i thought it was quiet gay to be writing in a little diary but who cares every few weeks i read back on it and smile to myself when i remember what i did in each different country :)))))

  17. November 4, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    Hi Laura!
    Brilliant article, I love your blog.
    I definitely agree with everything on here, but i also agree with the ‘just get out there and enjoy yourself’ mentality being the most important thing! I can’t wait to head off myself because of the inspiration from yours and others blogs. happy travels 🙂 X

  18. November 8, 2016 / 11:57 pm

    Great tips here, all very valuable and useful!

  19. November 10, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    I’m planning a trip myself and its always really helpful to see someone else’s steps laid out like this, so thank you!

  20. November 14, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    Great tips. I have learned with our travels not to be a control freak. I now let the serendipitous happen.

  21. November 15, 2016 / 1:28 am

    Thank you so much for your many travel tips! My friends and I are hoping to plan a backpacking trip in Europe when we graduate from university in 2018. We’re trying to get everything planned and organized in advance so that we have enough time to save money and plan our routes and this list of tips definitely helps with the stress! I can’t wait to get over there and enjoy the scenery, nightlife, and food!
    Xo.*

  22. November 16, 2016 / 3:48 am

    I have never heard of Maps.me, thanks for the tip! Will definitely be downloading it on my phone!

  23. November 17, 2016 / 10:25 am

    you re so right about all of those apps! maps.me is amazing when you cant reach wifi in another country! and I never find cheaper flights than on Skyscanner! Great article! I need to write one like this myself.

  24. November 20, 2016 / 1:39 am

    Great tip about the diary! I take photos to remember certain things but writing down is good idea! Agree that after few months, we tend to forget some fantastic memories.

  25. November 28, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    Love the blog!! I’m spending four months in Italy and blogging about it! Check it out bethanykurtz.wordpress.com

  26. November 29, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    Love the photo, that beach looks amazing! I am planning to hit up SE Asia next year for a few months and cannot wait, so thanks for the pointers. I also loved your advice on not being a control freak, because I am such a chill traveler and I would love it if my travel friends would become more chill also, haha.

    • February 27, 2017 / 5:22 am

      9:05 am, November 15, 2012|I see nothing wrong with their pitch. I’m down for a Chucky game, I would definitely buy itu3&2#0;b8t I think it’s best suited for a smaller, downloadable title than a full blown console game. PSN or XBOX LIVE would be a great way to do this.

  27. December 1, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Great tips! Thank you

  28. December 2, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    brill tips! I’m starting my own blog on travelling tips and love your site!

  29. December 6, 2016 / 11:56 am

    I think one of the best things you can do when you travel is to go on your journey with an open mind and with no expectations – let the destination surprise you don’t build a perfect image of how it should be like. I love your blog and your pictures are phenomenal – wish mine were at least half as good!

  30. December 18, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    The wife and I noticed your blog and appreciate the creative incite you provide. We would like to encourage you to keep writing and never abandon this blog. If you ever decide you’d like a mobile app version of your blog, we would love to help. I appreciate the hard work you have put into this blog and wish you all future success in business and in life.
    Thank you for your time, it is the most precious thing we all possess.
    -Jacque’

  31. January 11, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Great post! Your blog is beautiful 🙂

    • February 27, 2017 / 11:03 am

      IMHO you’ve got the right anerws!

  32. February 6, 2017 / 7:29 am

    Good advices, thanks for sharing! Nice to read posts like this, every time I can find something new and useful for me!

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