Travel is unpredictable, that’s just in its nature. This means that when you least expect it you might run into situations that you haven’t prepared for. Seasoned travellers have learned and therefore prepare accordingly. Here are a few of our favourite tools or tips to expect the unexpected and how they made all the difference for us!
Have you ever been at the airport, ready to return home, and hold your breath while the airline agent asks you to move your suitcase onto the scale? You’re trying to mentally will the number to fall below your allowable limit. Save yourself the grief and just buy a travel weight. You will be surprised at how much you’ll use it and come to love it.
Tablet or Secondary Device
While your cellphone is super helpful on a trip, and we definitely suggest that you bring one with you for a variety of reasons, a secondary device like a lightweight tablet or small laptop (like the Microsoft Surface) can be super helpful. Sometimes certain websites just don’t work right on a cell phone which can leave you scrambling like when you’re trying to check into a flight or pull up details about your hotel. It’s also a great back up if something does happen to your cell phone.
A checklist is always important for right before you leave, but have you ever taken it with you on your trip? It’s a great way to double check that you haven’t forgotten anything when you’re moving between hotels or ready to return home. Leaving things behind can cause a lot of chaos so try this trick to help you out. We also suggest that you set an alarm on your cellphone for the day you’re checking out of your hotel to make sure you take your passport out of the safe. This can be the single most impactful thing you can leave behind so make sure you don’t forget it!
Separating Critical Documents
One of the ways you can prepare for the unexpected is to imagine the worst case scenarios while travelling. One of these scenarios is theft. It’s for this reason we like to encourage folks to keep their critical documents (passport, visa, cash, debit cards, etc…) in different locations. Keep your passport on your person, ideally in a travel belt that is concealed beneath your clothing, and splitting up your cash to different locations like your travel belt, the safe, and maybe a cleverly hidden place in your luggage or purse. If everything is in one location, like your purse, and that either gets stolen or damaged by a thief it can leave you in a vulnerable position. Be one step ahead of them by spreading out your documents so if one is compromised you are not without all your documents.
So obvious but so critical. Put a few band aids in your purse or wallet, in your luggage, maybe even in your travel belt or pockets. Since when you travel you almost always walk around more than you do at home in your regular routine blisters are super common. Finding band aids at destination could be harder than you expect so save yourself the trouble and pack them ahead of time.
A large scarf is the most versatile thing you can possibly bring with you when you travel. It can be a pillow, a blanket, a shoulder covering in religious areas, a mat to sit on in the grass, an emergency bag to carry things, etc… It can also fold up to a small size in a purse or bag making it the single easiest thing to bring with you that could save the day.
Another thing that will be getting a work out, apart from you, is your cell phone. Whether you’re taking pictures, using the maps feature, or sending messages back home you’re going to be going through your cell phone battery much faster than you do at home. There are also other things that can impact your battery length such as the temperature which could increase the drain even more. Go out and purchase one (maybe even two) extra portable chargers for your cell phone. These can store anywhere from 2 hours to 24+ hours worth of extra battery power and can really save you in a pinch. You can also recharge the portable charger and continue to use it throughout your trip.
We’ve all been there, you’re tired, hungry, and your travel companion is getting on your last nerve. This scenario can lead to the most unpleasant parts of trips. Save yourself, and your travel companion, the grief and bring some food to at least curb the hangry symptoms. We like to encourage energy bars or packaged products when in transit. Certain countries do not permit fruit and vegetables across borders so save yourself the hefty fine and pack a protein bar or granola bar. You never know when this snack could be a trip or even relationship saver!