If Travel Was free, You’d Never See Me Again!
– Anonymous, but could easily have been me.
Traveling is my passion, and blogging about Travel Tips is my hobby.
I did not travel much as a kid, but I loved the idea of going to different cities and even countries every school vacation. I read books from foreign lands, both fantasy and non fiction, and imagined myself living in Prince Caspian’s Narnia or discovering France with Julia Child, and everything in between. My dream was to grow up and travel the world. And I am doing it now!
As soon as I finished my studies, I started travelling. It was liberating! I have been travelling for almost ten years now, and I’ve covered different places like a tiny two room offbeat stays in the remote Himalayan regions, and a huge luxury resort in Singapore. While my Travel Bucket List is still a mile long, I think all these years of traveling for the passion of exploring new places and cultures, have taught me valuable lessons that I wish I would have known before I started. I really wish I knew of these Travel Tips before I started travelling!
And boy, have I made mistakes while travelling! From packing too much, to not carrying enough cash – I’ve done it all. And I’ve used all sort of Jugaad, not-so-smart temporary solutions, and though they work for the time being, I’ve learned that in the long term, you need to have a good planning in place for your trips.
Take #NoMoreShortCuts – Much like life itself!
They say that the best way to learn is by your own experience, but the smart way would be to learn from someone else’s experience and not make the same mistakes yourself. So, here’s my bit for the traveller in you – I’m sharing five mistakes I’ve made while travelling that you should not. A few of them will break some myths and the rest will reinforce what most of you already know, but all of them will surely make you a better traveller. I made these travel mistakes, so you don’t have to. My travel tips – Here we go!
5 Things I Wish I knew When I Started Traveling:
1. I wish I knew that investing in an international phone plan is not a “total waste of my travelling budget” at all. I went to Mykonos without a phone because I wanted to save my money to shop, and I said to myself “Hey, it’s only 2 days! I can survive without a phone for 2 days.” Turns out, I couldn’t. I went out walking and taking pictures on my first day, had coffee and breakfast at a quaint and luxurious cafe and realized that I had shoved the currency in my other bag! Embarrassing, I know! I needed to contact my folks back at the hotel but I had no phone, no number. The good folks at the cafe didn’t mind me walking back to the hotel and getting the cash to pay them back an hour later, but I realized that it was foolish to not keep a phone in a foreign land, just to save money.
2. Make sure to check your bank account options, well before you head to your international trip. Withdrawing overseas can be a huge cost, so can be using your domestic debit or credit cards – so make sure you know the fees applied. You can then decide if it is worth for you to upgrade to a premium account that includes international ATM withdrawals – which is a service most banks now offer.
3. Find out the exchange rate of your destination countries well before the travel. I suggest you have local currency when you arrive (preferably small denominations) at your destination. Having to exchange money at the airport can be expensive. To Travel In Style, you need to be smart about it too.
4. Keep a track of your spends. This is one of the most important travel tips – Keep a record of your spends on your phone, write everything down. If you are travelling with your laptop like I always do, use a spreadsheet, or just write it all down in your journal. There are even apps available for this now. Keep a record of your money. Otherwise you’ll spend half of it in the first 2 days of your week long travel, without even realizing. Happened to me in Hong Kong!
5. Plan your finance well before your international trip. Seriously, just jumping on a plane with a backpack and no plan, sounds amazing and adventurous, but in reality, you need to plan the financial part of it meticulously. You don’t want to end up short on cash in a small town in Europe now, do you?
Travel needs planning.
You have to ditch the travel guides and maps, and take the road that excited you, but financially, you need to be ready. And if you are anything like me, if you want to travel far and wide and very often, then financial planning and smart investments are the only way.
In my opinion, some serious thought and planning must go into your investments in life – for travel and for other things you want to achieve. It is no secret that a good investment plan will help you plan better travels in the future!
I came across Exide Life investment plans, and was impressed to find out that the brand stands for No ShortCuts in life, just life Travel Plans. Exide Life Insurance Company Limited (formerly ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited) is a part of a 100 year old brand heritage in India. The company is focused on providing long term protection and savings solutions and has a strong traditional product portfolio with a consistent bonus track record. You can choose from a variety of plans from Child Plans, to Health Plans, and Retirement Schemes to Life Plans, and more. I suggest you take a look at their website and invest in a secure and stress free future, and for all your future travels, minus the mistakes because proper planning ensures long term financial security and happiness, and that’s the goal, right?
Let me know what Travel plans you are making, and share with me your Travel Tips as well.