When travelling, my mother always taught me to pack light and plan well. She insisted that everything else would invariably fall into place providing I followed these two simple rules. Wherever you decide to travel and whatever your budget, you too can benefit from my wise mother’s words – but I suggest you also take a look at a few things I’ve learned along the way and always expect the unexpected
1. Perfect Partner
Whilst the idea of traveling may be romantic and exciting, the reality is often a little more straining on the average relationship. Spending 24 hours a day with a person can be wearing in itself and once you’ve factored in all those annoying habits you’re bound to discover on your journey, you may find your usual easy going nature pushed to the limit. The advice here is simple, choose well and be patient.
2. Fashion (un)Conscious
That leather bikers jacket may be your favourite piece of high-fashion but trust me, they get heavier by the minute in 35 degree heat. Pack a few well chosen pieces suitable for a range of weather conditions. Hoodies are a must have – even better when you use some spray to make them completely water proof.
3. Electronic Access
Maps and compasses, whilst always useful, tend to take up a lot of room. However, compact smartphones or tablets are a great alternative and, with free WI FI access in the majority of major cities around the world, are an invaluable tool for on-the-go research and planning. Just ensure you pack them well and keep them dry.
4. Paper Weight
Unfortunately, travelling long distances through many countries often involves a lot of paper work. Passports, Visas, boarding passes and train tickets can mount up on a long trip. Thankfully, with our well packed tablet or smartphone (see rule 3) we’re able to access the majority of them electronically. If you’re travelling to the USA, you might even try your hand at the Green Card Lottery for a chance to live the American Dream.
5. Money, Money, Money
Whatever your budget, do your best to stick to it and try to keep a small emergency fund within easy reach. There are always hidden costs and last minute expenses that present themselves. The benefit of a strict and well worked budget is that you’ll you’ll have plenty of cash left for those all-important souvenirs.
Regardless of whether you embark on a trek through the jungles of South East Asia or the snowy wastelands of Siberia you are sure to benefit from these hints and tips which will help you enjoy that trip-of-a-lifetime. And should you feel a little homesick, wind up in hospital, prison or living on the streets, just remember another piece of my wise-old-mothers advice. “Oh stop whining, You’ll live.”