Often times travelers and backpackers, myself included, repeat the same mistake over and over again. We tend to repeat the same causes of delay and we never learn from it. So with this being said, I think it is only fitting to write an article about it as a reminder not only to myself but also to all my readers. Therefore, let me show you the essential pre-travel reminders to avoid these mistakes from happening in the future.
As a backpacker, traveler, hiker, swimmer, diver and at adventurer, I may have quite an experience to share. So, below are the important things to consider to minimize hassles, delays and possible misfortunes in the future.
1. PACK LIGHT
Pack light and pack right! Yeap! As the famous saying goes BUT don’t forget to pack right.
“How to pack light and right?” you may ask? Well, in order to do this, categorize all the NEEDS and WANTS for your travel. After that, make sure to prioritize bringing all the NEEDS first than WANTS. Take note that not all “needs” should be packed a lot. For instance, we need clothes but don’t bring lotsa clothes. Save an extra space on your luggage for souvenir clothes you will buying.
2. SECURE YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION
Nowadays, modern traveling involves a wifi connection or internet connection. Gone are the days that people only asks around for directions and instructions. Now, we can read travel stories and blogs online to prepare for our upcoming travels. So make sure to take advantage of this!
Moreover, internet connection provides us a more convenient and safe travel. For example, navigating on the Google Maps while traveling or making use of the Google Translate when we are traveling abroad. Also, we can search for the nearest restaurant, money changer stores or nearest train stations.
3. VALID IDS AND PASSPORT
DO NOT FORGET TO ALWAYS BRING AT LEAST 2 VALID IDS AND YOUR PASSPORT. Especially for international travels.
Valid IDs are very essential when we travel. We need to prove our identities when we stay in hotels or any accommodation using our IDs. Furthermore, we also need IDs in airports, other transaction while traveling and when we rent motorbikes, etc. So always bring valid IDs. No other explanation needed, just bring it. Lol.
4. BRING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLE
I cannot stress enough how much important staying hydrated all the time. Philippines is a tropical country. Meaning, we don’t have winter here and traveling can be very dehydrating. So, always bring a water bottle and re-fill it instead of buying single-use bottled water everyday. Let’s keep our bodies hydrated and help momma nature at the same time by bringing our own water bottles.
Moreover, regardless if you are traveling in a tropical country or not, always bring your water bottle. It’s the least thing we can do to help decrease the use of single-use plastics. And most importantly, to stay healthy and hydrated all throughout our travels.
5. BRING A SCARF
Here is a secret when I travel. I never forget to bring a scarf. It’s either I have a scarf or I will buy a scarf if in case I forget bringing one.
Scarves has lotsa use as a matter of fact! For instance, you can use it as a (1) cover-up at the beach, (2) picnic blanket to save up from renting a cottage, (3) use it as a cover or blanket when you sleep inside the bus/van, (4) alternative for umbrellas and (5) for photo-shoots!
6. INVEST ON QUALITY BACKPACKS AND/OR LUGGAGE
It’s a bit hard to travel when you are not confident with the quality of your backpack or luggage. Honestly speaking, quality backpack and luggage are a bit expensive. But if you are a frequent traveler, it is only necessary to invest on quality backpacks and luggage. No matter the price.
I’ve tried traveling with a cheap backpack before. At first it didn’t gave me any problem. But it only lasted for 3 – 5 travels and it got damaged and broken. So I have to replace it with another one. It would be better to invest on quality things if it only means double the price. Compared to buying another backpack after the first one gets damaged.
7. CREATE A CHECK-LIST
Create a check-list especially on your personal necessities. It’s easy, go to your phone’s notepad and jot down all necessary things you need, depending on where you will go.
Similarly, you can also create check-list for different types of travels like (1) camping, (2) hiking, (3) beach trip and (4) international travel. The significance of creating separate check-lists is to categorize the needs for a hiking from a beach trip. For example, we don’t really need beach essentials for a hiking trip, do we?
Important Beach Essentials: (Essential Pre-Travel Reminders)
- Aqua shoes, goggles, swimming gears, etc.
- Dry bag
- Beach blanket
- Rash guard, sun glasses, cap, etc.
Important Hiking/Camping Essentials: (Essential Pre-Travel Reminders)
- Dri-fit clothes
- Cap, arm warmer
- Tent, hammock
- Cooking utensils
Important International Travel Necessities: (Essential Pre-Travel Reminders)
- Passport and Valid IDs
- Universal Adapter
- Exchange money in the Philippines
- Travel Apps like Google Maps, Google Translate, Waze, etc.
- International sim card
8. LOOK FOR BUDGET HOSTELS WITH PROMOTIONAL DISCOUNTS
Book in advance for discounted hostels. I would normally book my accommodation 2 or 3 days before my trip. Which is definitely not a good idea because there are almost no vacancies left which results to higher price for rooms. BIG NO NO. Always try to search for promos 2 weeks before your trip.
- Book Here: ZENROOMS
- 15% Voucher Discount: “JOANSFOOTPRINTS”
9. BUY SNACKS FOR LONG TRAVELS AND/OR NIGHT TRAVELS
Grab a snack whenever you pass by a convenience store. It’s very essential and you’ll never know how long you’ll get stuck in a long bus trip somewhere. Moreover, it will save you a lot especially if some sophisticated tourist destination sells gold chips and diamond juices. Lol.
In this case, 7/11, Family Mart and Lawson will be our best buddies for snacks.
10. ALWAYS BRING POWERBANK
Traveling the whole day can drain our phone’s batteries especially when we use lotsa apps like Google Maps, data and taking pictures. Trust me, powerbanks will save the day. Always try to invest on a good powerbank. It’s a must-have travel necessity.
11. BRING A SMALL BODY BAG FOR YOUR GADGETS
When backpacking, it is important to bring a separate small body bag. Yeap! This is where you will put all your gadget, IDs, boarding pass, money and credit cards. All important stuff that you always use and need whenever you travel. This will lessen the hassle of opening your backpack over and over again whenever you need something like your wallet or your ID. Furthermore, using small body bags are more secure from thieves and pickpockets.
12. SAVE SPACE ON YOUR LUGGAGE/BACKPACK
Always save space on your luggage/backpacks for souvenirs and other things we buy. Keep in mind that when you pack your things, it is important that there is a few space left for emergency purposes. Never do a full pack. Keep that in mind.
13. DOWNLOAD GOOGLE MAPS/WAZE/GOOGLE TRANSLATE
This is a common travel mistake that most people repeatedly do. As mentioned earlier, I placed this on the check-list for international travel because these apps are essential. But, not only for international flights. Google maps and Waze apps are useful in navigating directions even for local travels.
For instance, Waze works even when there is no signal on the road as long as you’ve picked up the origin and destination before your journey. The GPS will automatically track your location regardless of the signal and reception. This is why, Waze and Google Maps are treated as essential travel tools.
14. READ ONE OR TWO BLOGS ABOUT THE DESTINATION
We do not live under a rock anymore and we certainly do not live from the 1900s. So, make use of the internet to read some blogs and travel stories from experienced travelers. This will help you get an impression of the place you will go to and it will lessen the troubles and avoid mistakes.
Tip: if you are lazy enough to read blogs, then try to save some blogs online and read it while waiting at the airport.
15. CHARGE ALL YOUR GADGETS
Lastly, most common essential pre-travel reminders but still one of the least regarded. Yet, almost half of us fail to remember it. Charge all your gadgets in full batteries before going on a trip. I would consider myself as one of the frequent travelers who also forgets to charge my Gopro and Canon every single time. Lol.
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