We learnt a lot during our first 9 months traveling in 2011. Here are our top 5 traveling tips for 2019!
Tip #1 – Strike up a Conversation
This is one of our favourite traveling tips. You never know who you are going to meet when traveling or what opportunities might come up. We met a solo backpacker called Fleur in Malaysia who we then travelled with. Because we met Fleur we had the experience of a free all-inclusive sunset cruise in Langkawi as well as lots of great memories. Back in 2012 we also met two amazing girls from Essex who are now some of our closest friends. We now have people we can stay with all over the world!
Tip #2 – Be Aware of your Valuables
Yes it sounds obvious and you will come across this in many traveling tips articles. But the one time we let our guard down and placed our bag between our feet instead of on our lap on a night bus we were robbed. Just keep it on your person or down your pants if you need to and you’ll be fine.
Tip #3 -Treat Yourself
Budgeting while traveling long term can be hard going, but if you have successfully met (or beaten) your budget for a few weeks it’s time to treat yourself. It can really help with your motivation to then continue traveling on a budget afterwards. We treated ourselves in Noosa and spent three days budget on a single meal. Result: the best meal we have ever had and still remember to this day!
Tip #4 – Plan to have no plans
Planning is great. You feel in control and you get to do what you want to do. I personally love a good plan, preferably on a spreadsheet. However, what we learnt last time was the beauty of being somewhere and either staying or leaving on a whim. We met some amazing people in Cairns so stayed twice as long. In Mission Beach it rained and we left after two days! Allow yourself the freedom of choice, you never know what’s going to be on offer!
Tip #5 – But plan for complicated travel!
This was really important when crossing between countries. Thailand to Cambodia by land involved at least 5 forms of transport. There were multiple fake border offices who were in cahoots with Tuk Tuk (local taxi) drivers. The driver would tell you that you were at the border office who would take your money. We had read all about this scam and planned for it. We knew what to look for and even had printed pictures of what the real border office looked like. The information is out there, you just need to google it!