Some Travel Tips

Just a few reminders...

How to travel

What to bring

  • Many items are difficult to obtain in a foreign country: prescription medicines, your glasses, sunglasses, big shoes, film or memory cards and batteries for your camera.
  • It may be better to buy a good map of your destination before leaving
  • The same goes for the latest guidebooks
  • your tickets, travel documents, passport, credit cards, telephone numbers and addresses that you might need
  • take a note of the telephone number(s) you have to contact if your credit cards / banking cards are lost or stolen
  • a flash light.
  • adaptors for any electrical appliances you may bring
  • If you intend to stay in cheaper hotels, bringing your own padlock may be a good idea. If you also bring a short piece of chain, you can also secure your luggage by tying it to a rack or such  in crowded night trains.
  • a language guide/dictionary. Learning even a few phrases of a language can work wonders with the people at your destination.

Information you need

  • Are there any special health risks? Do you need immunisations or Malaria medication? It is best to see your doctor (or a specialist for tropical medicine) well before you go
  • Itís also a good idea to see your dentist before the trip. Iíd rather not try to communicate with a foreign dentist in an unknown language when plagued by a toothache.
  • Are there any dangers/nuisances along the way? Travel forums and newsgroups often can give you the latest information
  • Local holidays/festivities may present wonderful photo opportunities but also make it difficult to find accommodation or onward travel. Itís best to know in advance
  • Ask your telephone company whether or not your cell phone will work at the destination.

Safety First

  • bring copies of your passport and travel documents in case you lose the originals. Itís also a good idea to just xerox your credit cards etc. - if you have to contact your bank in case of loss, you have all the data present.
  • donít put all of your money in one place
  • if your hotel has a safe deposit box, use it
  • showing off ďwhat you haveĒ in public places may be a bad idea and attract thieves
  • When sitting down to eat or have a coffee, itís a good idea to fasten your daypack etc. to a chair. You canít concentrate on your luggage at all times and thieves may come in pairs - one to distract you while the other one snatches your valuables.
  • In some countries (eg. India) taxi drivers may try to deliver you to a hotel of their choice rather than yours to get the commission. Donít pay attention to  them when they tell you that your hotel has closed. Make sure you arrive at the right hotel. If you made a reservation in advance, tell the reception immediately, - otherwise the taxi driver may try to claim a commission for bringing you...
  • Speaking of taxi drivers: itís often best to negotiate the fare before departure!
  • Before venturing into remote areas (treks, jungle expeditions, longer desert tours etc.) you may want to contact your embassy/consulate, telling them where you intend to go.
  • Itís also good to inform some relatives or friends of your travel plans, in case you have to be urgently contacted.

Films

  • if your hotel has a mini-bar or fridge, this may be a convenient place to store your films. Beware, however, of certain new mini-bar systems that automatically deduct the amount for anything you take out. These systems often cannot cope with additional items placed inside them. If you run into one of those, ask your front desk first before using them.
  • For digital cameras, it may be preferable to bring several smaller memory cards instead of one with a huge capacity: this diminishes the chance of losing all your photos if something happens to your card.

Some useful Travel Resources

Travel Photo Net

How to take good travel photos