Category Archives: Traveling Tips

Packing for Travelling

This is what I consider to be an important item for every traveler / backpacker. These are items that I have used in my past trips, and have served me well. Therefore this is very important for you to pay attention.

Backpack

The first most obvious thing for any traveler to decide on is whether to use a backpack or a suitcase. During my first solo travel experience to Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan, I travelled with a backpack. For under 50 I bought a Eurohike 55 litre backpack with a rain cover, which came in handy during the monsoon season! The pack was top-opening, and didn’t really offer much by way of security. I therefore bought a special backpack transit case which I put my backpack into and made it secure from theft, but also made it secure from airport conveyor belts. I had heard that the conveyors in airports sometimes broke clips from backpacks if they were not properly secured, and that some airlines didn’t even want to have backpacks on their airplanes because they were a safety threat. I actually lost the backpack case during the course of my travels, and had to resort to wrapping my backpack in black bin bags and tape in order to prevent the clips from catching airport conveyors. The backpack was comfortable, with some very nice cushioned padding. However, I realized as my trip went on that the pack was a little too large. I had read on many different websites that the smaller and lighter your pack, the more comfortable your trip will be. This is so true. It is not just about how light the pack is for you to carry, but also practical reasons like travelling on packed trains and subways with a giant wardrobe on your back. The backpack was incredibly annoying whilst travelling on busy subways, as I didn’t know if, and how badly, I was bumping into people – but I am sure that I definitely was! However, it was great to have my hands free when I needed to pay for tickets and also carry bags and water bottles.

Suitcase

On my second trip to Japan, I decided to ditch the backpack and travel with a medium sized suitcase. I was travelling for 3 weeks, and had planned to move around the country quite a bit. I was worried about the condition of the suitcase’s wheels by the end of the trip, but altogether I preferred the comfort of a nice suitcase. The suitcase takes up the use of your arms, but it does relieve your back. I found time and again that my backpack was becoming too heavy and cumbersome for longer walks; a suitcase, meanwhile, makes walking a pleasure. Trying to find your hotel in the humid and busy conditions of Bangkok with your gigantic backpack is not a pleasant experience. Though, going up stairs is a pain with a suitcase, but with a backpack it is a breeze. This may be important to you as it is best to travel around a Japanese city (and many other Asian cities) via the subway system, and sometimes they have enormous staircases leading to the platforms. The final clincher is that a suitcase makes you look more businesslike and professional; a backpack makes you easily identifiable as a traveler or tourist, and makes you stand out far more. If I entered a nice hotel with my backpack, I wouldn’t be given the same service as if I travelled with a suitcase. I believe that backpackers have a bit of a bad name in some countries, as backpackers tend to be younger people who are more prone to loutish behavior due to letting of some steam after finishing university.

Daypack

You don’t want to take your suitcase or backpack with you on your daily walks or excursions, so you need a nice convenient daypack. I actually took a shoulder bag, as it looked more stylish than a small backpack. But be warned, a shoulder bag can give you some irritating neck and shoulder pains if you over pack it with large water bottles or souvenirs. In this instance, a nice mini backpack is better as it transfers the weight evenly on your back and shoulders.

Travel Insurance

I always take out travel insurance as you never know what could happen during your trip. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Medical help abroad could cost you thousands if you do not have the correct insurance, so always read the insurance policy properly. When I search for insurance I always turn to comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket.com. This way you can compare all the different companies offering insurance and their relative policies.

First Aid Box

I like to take a mini first aid box when I travel. The boxes come in some very nice convenient sizes with everything you could need for your trip. Items can include: plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, and various tablets for common travel sicknesses.

Clothing

I will not speak at great lengths on clothing, as I believe this is a personal choice and dependent on different people’s needs. However, I will say that you should always pack light, and think about whether you will ACTUALLY need an item of clothing. Sometimes, I have fallen into the trap of packing far too much clothing ‘just in case’. Whilst travelling in Asia you can always pick up cheap clothing, so there is no need to over pack. The minimum I would take for a month travelling is: 3-4 t-shirts, 2 shirts, trousers, two shorts, swimming shorts, 2 pairs of socks, trainers/sneakers (I would buy some that look formal but are as comfortable as trainers).

Travel Washing Line

I take a small washing line on my trips in case there is not enough places to dry my clothes. If you are packing light, you can just wash your clothes more often, and you will sometimes need a washing line for extra space.

Travel Sink Plug

I used this occasionally when I stayed in hostels. In some budget accommodation you will not have a sink plug, which makes shaving difficult. The travel plug is therefore recommended if you are considering staying in budget accommodation. Also, even some higher grade hotels have faulty plugs in their bathrooms, so it is generally a good item to take.

Toiletries

As a dandy backpacker I have a vast array of toiletries. My toiletry bag consists of: shavers, moisturizers, sun cream, nail clippers, eyebrow tweezers, aftershaves (which I tend to buy from airport duty free), lip balm, deodorant and more!

Rain Mac

If you are travelling anywhere that has a monsoon season then a rain mac is a great idea. Monsoon rain is awesome, and can just take you by surprise and leave you drenched. A little rain mac can be scrunched up into a very small size and can easily be carried in your daypack.

Swiss Army Knife

I sometimes take this on my travels as it has various useful devices: a bottle opener, scissors, toothpick, tweezers, screwdriver heads and numerous knives of varying shape and sizes.

Travel Towels

I recommend taking a large travel towel. These can be folded into an incredibly small size and take very little space in your luggage. They also dry quicker than ordinary towels.

Camera

I really don’t know much about cameras but I definitely know that you will need one on your journey. It’s a way of recording experiences that are not possible in any other way. I just bought an 8 megapixel camera in Bangkok – it has served me well.

Batteries

You will need these for your camera, so make sure you take enough spares from your own country, which tend to be cheaper than whilst abroad.

Mobile Phone

A mobile phone is now a necessary gadget in all parts of life, and is very important during your travels. It is a great device to keep in touch with other travelers, but is also a safety device if you become lost or in danger. Remember to take you charger though, or it will become useless after a few days.

Backup Sim Card

Just in case you lose the first Sim card you can just take another Sim, which are usually free.

Backup Debit/Credit Card

I would take a backup card just in case I lost my main card. If I lost my main card I could just cancel it and then transfer the money from my main account into my backup account via internet banking.

Pens and Paper

You will occasionally need to write things down, such as directions or contacts, and a pen and paper would be very helpful. I would always travel with a mini pen and small notepad in my daypack so that it was easy to get to. You can always use your mobile phone or iPod Touch for this as well.

Travel Adaptors

Travel adaptors are necessary if you want to charge your iPod or mobile phone. Once you know where you are going, you can find out what converter plug you will need. It will save you having to search around in your destination country. Some plugs are all-rounders and cover everywhere.

iPod Touch

My iPod Touch has been irreplaceable during my travels. Not only is it great for watching movies, listening to music and playing games whilst waiting for your flight or on long train journeys, it also has practical uses. By downloading free applications via its Wi-Fi capabilities you can turn your iPod Touch into a hotel or hostel finder, a currency exchange service, a travel guide and much more. I also bought a special, and inexpensive, earphone and microphone set for my Touch, which allowed me to use Skype wherever I had free Wi-Fi. Actually you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere in Southeast Asia: McDonald’s, Starbucks, shopping malls, hotels and even airports. However, I surprisingly found that Wi-Fi access is not so easily found in Korea or Japan, and tends not to be free if it is offered.

iPad

I don’t actually own one of these but they just seem to be a large iPod Touch. All the convenience of the iPod Touch being a nice pocket device which is easy to take everywhere is lost on this device. But maybe I am missing something about it.

Travel Guides

I love to read travel guides and always take them on my trips. My favorite guides have always been DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. I regularly use DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Thailand, Japan and Rome to name a few. I found them incredibly helpful, but most importantly I loved the focus on culture and historical sites. The guides are wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate, and the pictures and captions are beautifully presented. In addition, the historical sections are informative, well illustrated and a joy to read. I would also recommend Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, which I have also used in the past.

Money Belt

I originally bought one in order to hide my valuables, but then just used it to hold my bus/train tickets or small change so that it was easily at hand and I didn’t have to rummage though bags or my pockets. The money belt can be used as just a regular bum bag (fanny pack if you’re American) without valuable items and just left on display rather than inside your clothing. I just used it as an extra convenient pocket.

How to Secure Your Trip – These are Tips for You

Traveling is one of the most fun and interesting things we can do, but with traveling there are some risks.

We all know that it is not always safe to travel and that some things related to it, such as money and hotel stays also carry additional risks. There are some safe travel tips that you can use to make your trip safer and more enjoyable.

Take care of your and your children’s seat belts at all times when the car is moving. Keep your small children or toddlers securely secured in a car seat facing the back. The reason why this is a top ten safe travel tip is clear.

Don’t bring cash. Don’t show large amounts of cash. When you can use travelers checks instead of carrying large amounts of cash. When you carry cash, keep some in the car, some with you and some with your partner so that your journey does not depend on just one person.

Keep a first aid kit in your car at all times.

Do not visit the ATM machine at night or when alone, if you are forced to do it, make sure you are accompanied by a trusted person.

Watch children every time. Make sure you pay attention to where your children are, and where other people are in relation to them and you.

Store luggage near you. Do not allow strangers to come near your luggage. or ask them to watch it when you enter a small room or other area where you cannot see the items that you will bring to the airline or train / car. Making sure your luggage is safe will make you and your family safe too.

Save your routine medicines, use a special place for your medicines and children. You can use a special box that has several special places to place medicines.

Leave your most precious jewelry or your most expensive coat while on vacation. Be a simple person during your trip with family.

If it’s really a vacation, then why put yourself in a position to be in danger. That obviously harms you and your family, right?

Something To Know Before You Go Travel Abroad

Leaving the country and going abroad is a different prospect from what you usually do on most trips, but getting what you need to know before going is quite simple.

Some people carry a pile of suitcases when traveling, but this is too much trouble for most people. You just want to bring what you need and traveling lightly in general will make the experience much smoother.

When planning outfits think judiciously but you can splurge and bring lots of undergarments and socks. Because most of your days will be spent sightseeing, you would do fine to bring just a few pairs of pants since you can always do your laundry while you’re away.

If you limit your pants, you must invariably limit your shoes. What you cannot bring in terms of quantity you should make up for in terms of quality. A good shoe that you walk in for miles and miles for the length of your trip will be one of the best companions on your trip. Outside of your everyday shoe you can pack one or two more pairs that can be considered dressier for nighttime when you’re more apt to try some fine dining establishments.

Bring have the amount of tops that you think you would need because you will buy items abroad. Being surrounded by a completely new environment will have you partaking in spontaneous spending sprees – it’s just a part of traveling.

In terms of money, we have graduated from the need to carry around exorbitant amounts of cash or traveler’s checks. Credit and debit cards are accepted throughout the world now and you can always pull money out of an ATM for a small fee and some of the best exchange rates you will find.

Passports are king when traveling abroad as you cannot do it without one. Keep this document on you at all times, but have something in place in case you lose it or it is stolen. What you can do is photocopy the inside and store that in your luggage. With this extra step you can deal with your embassy in a more fluid and easy way.

What about technology? Everyone thinks they need to bring their phones, but making international calls is extremely expensive. Why tie yourself so completely to constant contact when you can just buy a calling card? These are inexpensive and allow you to use payphones or any phones that are located in your hotel or hostel.

With just a little planning, you can go on holiday abroad with a little thought. Traveling should be about fun and the unknown, so go there and see what the world has to offer!


Most Beautiful Thailand Beaches

Thailand has one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. For those who have traveled there, they know that the beauty of this untouched place makes for some of the best holidays in the world. This is coupled with a large number of historical cultures that are abundant in the countryside and there is never a shortage to do in this country. Because much of this land is untouched by development, you will find that relaxation and peaceful living are more than possible. The reach of the mighty has not come this far and that means that you will get the best in the holiday arena, especially when it comes to the coast of Thailand.

Khao Lak is a wonderful Thailand beach. Just a short drive from the airport, this paradise offers a remote vacation area like no other. Thanks to the area being largely uninhabited, there is lush rain forest nearby along with a whole host of wildlife to be viewed. The water remains warm in the November through December months and the fishing and scuba diving is out of this world.

Phuket Thailand Beach is another great spot. Enjoy this resort November through March. There is more than enough to do. It is a bit more crowded than other beaches as this area thrives on the tourism dollars that it brings in. The scuba diving is top notch in this area and you will also find some of the warmest most clear water in the world. There are several nearby attractions to keep one busy for quite a few days.

Phi Phi Don Thailand beach is quite the turn around. Once a remote and nearly unknown place, this Thailand beach came to life when Hollywood came in and filmed a movie here. It is now considered to be one of the most popular beaches in the entire country and is frequented by many big names. This is a site that you will not want to miss, as the views are breathtaking and the water warm and inviting.

West Railiy Thailand beach is one of the undiscovered diamonds in the rough. There is very little that is expensive here and one can stay at the “resort” for over a week and barely tap the budget. The sands are milky white and the water clear. Scuba diving is very popular here as well as the fishing. This location is only accessible by long tail boat so plan for a bit of a long ride.


How to Discover Hidden Beaches in Thailand

There are a million reasons to visit Thailand, such as tropical rain forests in the north, bridges over the River Kwai in the west at Kanchanaburi or soft white sand from the coast in the south to name a few. Many travelers head south looking for the perfect paradise, a place with deserted beaches surrounded by green palm trees and soft white sand to bury their toes inside. But the reality is they will end up on a beach that is as crowded as tourists as their flights there.

In southern Thailand you can find many beaches. Some will be packed with tourists, jet skies and banana boat rides while others will be hidden paradise. Now if you want the jet skies and banana boats then things are easy but if you seek out that little corner of paradise then you need to do a little more work. Holiday planning should be the most essential part of any holiday and it should entail more than a visit to your local travel agent to pick up some brochures.

Here I have listed outlined 7 points that I belief help in finding those hidden beaches in Thailand.

7 Points To Great Holiday Research

  1. Decided on what type of holiday you want, beach, city or forest break. If you want a combination of these then do the following 6 steps for each destination.
  2. Note down 5 phrases or words that come to mind when you think about your chosen destination.
  3. Put these phrases into Google or any other search engine you may use and have a look at the first page results, then ignore them.
  4. Move to page 2 and 3 and working your way down ignore hotel booking services and visit the web sites that seem like information pages and have some relevance to your searched term or phrase.
  5. Look for locations on these web pages that maybe you have never heard about or read about and take a note of the name.
  6. Search for this unknown location and take note of the number of pages with the term.
  7. The location with the least number of pages should now be your focus for your next holiday destination.

The Steps In Action:

Just in case you are not aware, I’m in love with Thailand beaches. When i think about them I get images of white sand, palm trees, blue waters, cool breeze and deserted beaches. I put these terms into my chosen search engine, Google for me, and here is what I find.

White sand Thailand returns 2.35 million results moving on to page 2 I ignore hotel booking service sites and see about half way down the page Amazing-Thailand.com – Tropicals Islands in Thailand a quick scan produces two possible locations, Koh Larn and Koh Turatao. The later returns 1,380 results and Koh Larn shows 55,400 pages. I now have my first holiday research place, Koh Turatao.

A word of warning about finding a deserted beach. These areas are often far from commercial outlets, health centers, or local residents who speak English. This can be heaven when things are going well but if the unthinkable happens and you get sick or get hurt finding help can be a difficult task, just remember this before you go to the unknown.


How To Travel Abroad Alone

If you are the type of person who has dreamed about what it’s like to dive in the blue aqua waters of Indonesia, explore Thailand or shop in Paris but have never been able to find someone as passionate as you go with you then travel abroad alone. Although it may take an independent person with a bag of curiosity and courage to travel abroad alone, no one really needs a group to explore and explore several countries and see what the world has to offer. Here are some tips for planning your own trip.

Must haves for your trip- Depending on the destinations you chose to visit; it is a good idea to have a few key items. For less remote destinations invest in an ipad or tablet with a solar power back up. I-pads or tablets are compact, lightweight, and have all the communications you will ever need; phone, e-mail, internet and camera all rolled into one device. It is great for journalizing your trip, keeping in touch back home and surfing the net to coordinate any services you need like Google maps or discount train fares. A solar power backup can be purchased cheaply on Amazon.com. The power backup is a good idea to avoid problems with the power plug not fitting into a socket or in case you do not have any access to power.

Break down any walls – Traveling abroad alone means moving outside of your comfort zone. I learned to get over any uneasy feeling I had toward traveling alone by making an effort to meet people along the way. I make a regular effort to talk to people and ask their opinion on anything from food to sightseeing. Breaking down walls is hard to do at first but gets easier after a little practice. Make an effort to reach out to people, it opens doors for new friends and opportunities.

Find a travel buddy- Still scared to go alone? Find someone to travel with you. Travbuddy.com or Travelersmeeting.com This is a good place to get to know other people who are serious about going to the same destination you are. You can get to know people make plans, and share the whole trip or partial trip to get your started.

Travelers insurance- In the event things should not go as planned, it’s a good idea to secure travelers insurance. Even if your current healthcare provider covers you outside of your country, some emergency services are not covered that you may not be aware of. Often the use of emergency vehicles, helicopters or planes should you be injured are not covered outside of your home country. Travelers insurance often include emergency evacuations, or a return flight home, cover lost or stolen property, emergency financial or transportation assistance 24/7

As a single traveler, you cannot take many precautions to maintain your own security. Check all government websites for travel advice before you leave. Never trust anyone with your personal belongings and keep your belongings safe at all times, especially in hostels. If you always open your eyes and develop good communication with the people around you, fine, there’s nothing to worry about. Traveling abroad is like riding a bicycle, once you lose your training wheels, the road never ends.


Important Documents When Traveling

The best international travel tip is to bring an original copy of several documents and keep one or two copies of another document for emergencies. You should also leave a copy of your document with some friends, which they can fax to you if you lose your document. Ask your travel agent about documents during the trip.

Whether you are on a pleasant, business or personal trip, important documents needed when traveling outside a country are usually: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificate, and Insurance documents.

A valid passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. To get a passport for the first time, you must go alone to the passport receipt facility with two of your photos, proof of citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license and applying for a passport.

Most countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can get on a plane only if you have a valid visa and return the flight ticket to your destination. Some countries allow free shipping. However, it is mandatory to carry valid identification with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in the event of an emergency.

It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain a Visa, if needed, from the appropriate embassy or consulate closest to the country you plan to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications, they need time before approving your visa. Therefore it is necessary to get a visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.

If you carry valuables and electronics, a good travel tip is to keep a copy of your invoice, insurance, and troubleshooting guide when you are traveling. While invoices and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, the manual will help the technician if there are problems in it.

Most countries require foreign tourists to be covered with insurance before they enter the destination country. However, insurance during travel is a critical problem because of legal differences between the two countries. Contact your insurance company to find out if insurance currently covers overseas travel.

Comfortable Bus For Tourist Groups

Traveling with the group is fun activities for your friends, relatives, or colleagues. At present many tourist activities are on the agenda of offices and schools every year. This tour activity involves a lot of people, which is a larger group than your family. If you want to travel long distances with a group and need a rented bus, then choose the right bus like a friend of bus singapore bus rental so that your tour with the group becomes comfortable and enjoyable. Then how do you choose a comfortable tour bus? Continue reading this article!

If you have never traveled with a group by renting a tour bus, it is better to find information first about how the criteria for a tour bus that fits your plan with the group. Therefore, below are some tips for choosing the right and comfortable bus for your trip with friends:

The Number of Passengers

As we know that tourist buses have different types depending on the seats available in them. So, knowing the number of groups that will take a tour with you is very important. Everyone needs a seat, especially if the journey is far. Knowing the number of passengers will help you to plan extra space, if you have unexpected tour participants.

Ensuring All Needs

The type of trip you plan is also a key factor when choosing a bus. If you travel camping far away, you need space for equipment, a change of clothes, and may require lots of snacks and drinks. If that is your destination, then ordering a medium-sized bus may not be enough to accommodate all passengers and equipment. So, make sure your travel needs with the group and check the availability of buses at the bus rental company.

Bus Facilities

Comfort is indeed a feature that sells for bus rental companies for the convenience of consumers. Comfort comes from the best facilities such as plug-in chargers, built-in Wi-Fi, TV screens, and sound systems. You can choose the facilities as needed. You can watch movies together or enjoy surfing in cyberspace with Wi-Fi service. The existence of Wi-Fi can also make all passengers entertained with their own gadget. In addition, the existence of a charger is also an indispensable facility. Mobile is a necessity that cannot be avoided by everyone, with the existence of a charger; the mobile battery will continue to be charged.

Experienced Company

If you want to rent a bus for any trip, be sure to choose a company that prioritizes safety and comfort. How to choose a comfortable tour bus is to use a licensed and trained driver. You can also see the condition of the fleet, whether they are well cared for or not. Professional and experienced bus companies like friend of bus singapore bus chartering always take good care of every bus because it is an important standard that must be met so that comfort and safety are guaranteed.

Those are some tips to provide information on how to get a suitable and comfortable tour bus for traveling with a group. Hopefully, this review will be a reference for your trip. Enjoy your tour!

Important Tips for Cruises

If you are planning to go on a cruise for the first time, then you might not be sure of what you are expecting. Having a few tips to help you can really help you. So, here are some important cruise travel tips to keep in mind when you make this special trip:

Have a Bag Carry – The first of the cruise travel tips that you should remember if you are going to sail is to make sure you have a carry-on bag. After you board the ship, you will want to visit your cabin but you cannot expect your luggage to appear for a while. So, it’s good to bring luggage that has some clothes and some essential toiletries.

Get Map of Ships – Very large cruise ship. You do not want to get lost. What can help you? The answer is a map, a map can certainly help you greatly. Make sure you have a map and take the time to check it so that you can more easily get around the ship.

Walk to Your Destination – When you are going to dinner or attend a show, you may want to walk wherever you go. You will find that the elevator may be full and often many people try to wait for the elevator and they may not be happy.

Decrease Noise at Night – If you go out late at night, make sure you keep the noise down. You don’t want to go around slamming your cabin door, because that can wake many people around you. So, ask for courtesy and close your door as calmly as possible to avoid meeting with crabby cruise friends.

Avoid Wearing Expensive Jewelry – Don’t go around wearing the most expensive jewelry so everyone can see it. Of course there will be some formal dinners where you want to look great, but leave the most expensive jewelry at home. You could be a victim or a thief if you go around showing off expensive jewelry. Remember that!!

Don’t hesitate to give tips – When you are out there on a cruise, make sure you tip generously if possible. Most people on the boat make a little money except from your tip.

Finally, make your cruise trip memorable and all you want by doing a lot of planning before traveling. You can do a few tips above before sailing with your dream ship.