Helpful Travellers Tips from Potty’s to Passports!

Traveling is fun, enriching and exciting. That is something that books, movies, and music all tell us. However, what media often does not tell us is that travel can be dangerous, painful, disgusting and more than a little frightening. Whether you are traveling across the state, across the country or across the world, make sure that you take a look at these travel tips that no one is going to want to tell you.

Learn Toilet Etiquette in Different Countries

Different countries have different toilets and different rules for using them. While the model that we see throughout the United States and Western Europe is certainly popular, there is every chance that you will end up somewhere without them. When on Earth offers you a view of some of the options out there and how to use them. Make sure that you know what’s going on before you get surprised!

The infamous squat toilet
The infamous squat toilet

Have a Check In Procedure

Traveling can be dangerous no matter where you go, and one of the things that makes this so risky is the fact that when you are abroad, it can take people a while before they realise you are missing. When you are traveling, remember to schedule time to let people back home know that you are okay. If you miss your check in, they should get worried and act accordingly. Leave a rough schedule of your movements with folks back home, this can be as simple as a bulleted pointed email or a Facebook post detailing your itinerary over the next few weeks.

Calling Home from Abroad
Calling home – or emailing your parents details of your travel itinerary

Beware of Bedbugs

In the last few years, bedbugs have made an enormous resurgence. These tiny hitchhikers cling to your clothing, your shoes and your luggage, and once they appear, they are extremely hard to get rid of. They hide in your bed, and they come out at night for a feast on your skin, leaving itchy red welts. When you want to make sure that you do not bring these bugs home with you, check the tips available at Insect Free.

Bed bugs are an invisible pest
Bed bugs are an invisible pest

Secure Your Lodgings

Just because a hostel is popular does not mean that it is safe. Make sure that you check the security of your sleeping arrangements. Can you lock the door? Who has a key to the door? Are you going to be sharing with someone else? You can get robbed or worse if you choose the wrong place. In some places, you should definitely bring your own padlock to keep thing secure. Check reviews of the place beforehand perhaps online or in a travel guidebook, better still ask for word of mouth recommendations from travellers you meet coming in the opposite direction.

Cable locks and padlocks are very useful!
Cable locks and padlocks are very useful!

Be Careful About What You Eat and Drink

Depending on where you are, you need to be very careful about the water and the food that you are willing to eat uncooked. Uncooked food, whether it is in the form of vegetables or fruit, can carry harmful pathogens on it due to improper fertilisation and transportation processes. Water can do the same. Learn more about the risks for the place where you are going to go before you sit down to a meal or a refreshing glass of water!

Fresh is the key - squeezed juices are fine but watch out for ice!
Fresh is the key – squeezed juices are fine but watch out for ice!

Photocopy & Scan Everything

When you are abroad, your paperwork is nearly as popular a target for thieves as your cash. Your passport can be swiped very easily when you are out and about, and this can make a lot of things very difficult for you. Instead of carrying your paperwork, keep a photocopy on your person, and leave the real deal in a safe back at your hotel or hostel. This is a good choice when you are in a place where you might need to flash your ID from time to time. Do not get your paperwork swiped! Another sensible option is to scan all your documents as jpeg or PDF images and email them to your email address – that way you can access them via an internet cafe anywhere in the world, even if all your possessions are stolen – god forbid!

Passports should be photocopied and scanned
Take a photocopy and scan the most important documents too

Sometimes, Bad Things Just Happen

Many lists tell you that if you are sure to do a specific set of things that you will be fine. The truth is that accidents happen and that no one can be one hundred percent prepared for all of them. Take a moment to remember that bad luck happens, and to simply think fast and to be as prepared as you can. Sometimes, that is all you can do, and though it is scary, in many cases, it is enough. Get some travel insurance too, only a fool says ‘it’ll never happen to me’.

The joys of travelling...
The joys of travelling…

When you are looking to travel abroad, keep an open mind, be prepared and always think ahead. Travel is wonderful, terrifying, exciting, occasionally dull, and entirely what you make out of it. It is going to be tough and confusing from time to time, but with just a little bit of foresight, you will be fine!