Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ten Tips To Take With You

1) Take the airline blanket. It's free like the food right? Warmth, a spare towel, picnic blanket, bunk-bed privacy and surfboard padding are just a few of their many uses.

2) The travel uniform. After a lot of trial and error, I've boiled it down to a combo of a black t-shirt and camo shorts or dark jeans. This get-up'll hide several days worth of travel grime, sweat and spills. The only time this has failed was when I hitched a ride in the back of a builder's truck full of cement dust at midday in Central America, when nothing could've disguised the road on me. Just don't wear white, tie-dye or some 'safari' costume.

3) Take half as much stuff, and a bit more money (twice as much would make a neat sounding phrase, but who's got that much coin?). Whatever it is, you can probably buy it there, and it'll probably be cheaper.

Which leads on to...

4) Go Loco. You don't take food with you right, so why take toiletries when you can buy toothpaste and soap when you arrive. Immerse yourself that little bit more and enhance your experience, and you probably won't get sick either.

5) Flag towel. If you've got to bed down in a hostel, backpackers or any other sort of communal accommodation then get yourself a flag towel. As long as you're at least partially proud of where you're from and it won't get you lynched then this'll avoid you losing your towel from some washing line. They're bulky and heavy so there'll always be a few people who'd rather half-inch one than carry their own, and they're much less likely to take a distinctive towel that's the flag of a country or region that they're not from because it's kind of a give away.
Smart hey.

6) Go Overland. Either when you get there, or even just to get there in the first place. Catch a bus, hop a train, climb aboard the local supply boat or rent a moped. Just don't get in an air-conditioned minibus whatever you do.

7) Say "YES" to everything. Within reason, and using your good judgement of course. Try it: Good things'll happen, opportunities will present themselves and you'll have a much better time.

8) Make memories. Keep a journal, carry a camera or collect your tickets to scrapbook. If your memory is even twice as good as mine then I'll bet that in ten years time you'll have forgotten at least half of the names, faces, places and events that you never thought you would.

9) Take a pen on the plane. You're bound to get handed an immigration or customs form to fill in and there's nothing more annoying than having to ask to borrow one or not getting your mitts on one at all until you're at the desk.

10) Do it all with a SMILE. It's a universal language and makes the world a better place.

But most of all make the most of it, breathe it all in and just get amongst it.
The World's a beautiful place so go see it.

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