Chapter 16: Travel Tips!
In terms of general travel tips, Roaming Newton often gets requests about the do’s and don’ts about travelling abroad. Since his adventures started over five years ago back in 2006 back in Mozambique, our man with the backpack has picked up a lot of knowledge of how to survive whilst travelling on this awesome planet!
Notes from Roaming Newton’s Journal!
1. Picking a destination: make sure you know exactly where you are going and don’t listen to travel agents mishmash, get a map and actually physically point to the location that you want to visit! Rocking up in Switzerland and shouting “Hello Germany…” is very wrong and the Swiss don’t like that!
2. Driving: when you have obtained an international drivers licence and you realise that the country you are travelling through drives “on the wrong side of the road”, don’t be scared, just look fear straight in the eye and hit that accelerator pedal... note this is generally followed by the use of the brake pedal.
3. Packing: pack light, believe it or not, foreign countries actually do stock toiletries and have the other essentials you think you can't survive without. Nothing is worse than negotiating with an airline about overweight baggage, remember the more room you have when you leave the more cool stuff you can bring back on your return.
4. Sim cards: cell phones are or can be a pain in the backside at times, if you travelling through multiple countries you may have to buy multiple Sim cards as per each destination. So make sure the mobile device you have can allow various sim cards from different locations and is not Sim locked to your local service provider.
5. Social Media and the Internet: everyone gets excited about travelling but don’t spend your time updating Social Media every five minutes, instead document your stay once a week and do a travel diary summary when you have returned home. Use the internet to keep in touch with family and friends to let them know you are safe and well, along with giving them your new destination contact details. (Note: if you add up all the time you spend updating your social media you probably could have done some cool adventure trip…think about it!).
6. Travel Gear: find bags that have space and are sturdy, also make sure that no one will tamper with your luggage during its transportation phases. Also try and have an idea of what your luggage looks like or place a symbol or sticker on it as an identifier.
7. Currency: drawing currency with your debit card is an easier way to have access to currency as opposed to having large amounts of cash on you which can make you a target for theft. However having currency or traveller's cheques are still a very common travel trend so it’s your choice. In the case of the debit card make sure you keep it safe and that it can work overseas.
8. Languages: learn some of the basics that can get you through destinations that don't speak your native language. Also do not make up words and pronounce them in an accent- pretending that you know the language.
9. Integrating: Don’t insult locals by calling them nicknames, the French don’t like to be called “Frogs”, try and always remember you are an ambassador for your country wherever you travel to.
10. Getting lost: invest in a map or a GPS on your mobile phone, because getting lost in a foreign country is cool to learn new places but at times can be taxing on oneself!
Roaming Newton’s Favourite's:
1. Favourite way to find a travel destination: spin a globe and wherever it stops, that’s where you are heading next!
2. Favourite place to drive in: on the Autobahn in Germany!
3. Favourite travel item: Pocket sized windbreaker, it sits in your pocket as in envelopes itself into a tiny square and then opens up into the ultimate rain and wind guard!
4. Favourite language to pretend to speak: Italian or Flemish!
5. Favourite place to get lost in: Venice but that is never by choice with Venice!