Ask, do, consider…Tips for new travellers- Part I

We learn on the go, and it is always better to know more before we are actually in a situation, but often it is not possible. Here’s a small, but growing list of my tips for people who are just hitting the road.

Always do what you need to, when you know you can. Don’t rely on the possibility and chance you may or may not have to do it later.

If you are a queen or king of procrastination, you won’t like this, but it is true… Use the opportunity to do what you have to, while you can. For instance, check your route/bus/email while you still have WiFi connection, wash your laundry when you can – not when you need, because ”later” may not have the facilities.

Having few clothes is simple, easy and comfortable, but boring.

Let me brief you on my list of clothes: 2 shorts, 2 dresses, 2 tank tops, 1 shirt, 3 leggings, 1 jumper, 1 jacket, 3 bras, 5 pants, 6 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of shoes (hiking boots, sandals, converse type of city shoes). This is damn easy to manage, as I don’t have enough choice to be wasting time on what to pick, it is light, I have to do laundry every day – even if it’s just underwear, yet I am not dragging a ton of dirty clothes around. What I did not anticipate was to get bored with the lack of variety in my clothes. I wish I had put clothes aside, so that my parents can ship some my way…but it never even cross my mind. So my tip is – pack super light, but put clothes aside, ready to be shipped when you’ve had enough of your current set…or buy new clothes on the way – in case you like shopping and aren’t on a string budget.

Always go to the information centre at your new destination as soon as you can, and quizz them on everything worth seeing, on events, on restaurants and places that are not touristy, but they love.

I personally hate researching my destinations in dept, I just like ending up at a place and discovering it from scratch. The tourist information centre in all cities would give you info and maps on the places you should visit as a tourist and events, but don’t stop there, rather inquire if the person there can tell you about other nice special places and restaurants with local food – more often than not, you’d get good advice.

Ask strangers…

As a continum I’d say, just ask anybody, anything you need. Forget about Google, it won’t always tell you about those tiny hidden places that are worth the visit. Since in Europe, I often ask strangers: Where is the best place for pancakes in town?

Use hangouts on CouchSurfing to meet other travellers.

Travelling solo is great, yet sometimes you want to connect with others and share some good moments, go partying etc. So for this, I would suggest you try out Hangouts and meet with travellers and locals!

Don’t be anal about planning – wing it.

There’s simply no way you can possibly know everything before you are at a place. Booking public transport like bus rides and train tickets well in advance is not always the best, as you don’t know how things may go, maybe you’d end up somewhere by chance and someone would give you a lift, or tell you about a better route, or cheaper means of transport. So don’t plan too much, try to relax and see what happens.

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