18 Things You Wish You'd Known Before You Started Travelling

Friday, 18 August 2017
It's the most incredible feeling in the world. You've saved up, put in heaps of planning, and soon you'll finally be off on your first adventure. Whether you're travelling within your own country or travelling abroad, travel, in general, can be a daunting task. Previously, I've discussed the top 10 travel blunders even the most seasoned traveller can make. As I frequently get asked about travel advice, here is Adventures in Aussieland's list of things I wished I'd known before I started travelling:

1. Everything you're on the fence about bringing, LEAVE IT AT HOME! You're only going to waste space and carry extra weight. 

2. Pack lighter! If you can't comfortably carry your suitcase upstairs, it's too heavy. No, you will not need twelve different pairs of shoes.

Related Post: What To Pack When Backpacking

3. (This may be obvious) Make sure you have your passport and that it will be valid for the entire length of your travels.  

4. Remember to bring all your medications. Even if you're not on meds, it's wise to pack acetaminophen/ibuprofen, band-aids, an antiemetic, and (sorry mum) contraceptives. It's better to be safe than come home with an STI. 

5. Bring extra memory cards and batteries for your camera. I'm not joking. I took over 3,000 pictures of the Angkor Temples. I was happy to have additional memory cards with me. 

6. I highly advise against drinking on the aeroplane. Yes, it is heaps of fun to try and drink the price of your flight ticket, however, hangovers as soon as you land in a foreign country are not. 

7. It's ok to get up and walk around on the aeroplane. If you're anything like me, you'll puff up bigger than a puff pastry. Not a sexy look. If you're unable to get up and walk around, do the silly little exercises recommended in the pamphlet in the seat back pocket. 

Related Post: 3 Simple Steps to Avoid Jet Lag

8. Carry the essentials in your carry on. By essentials I mean, a toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, wet wipes, deodorant, and a clean pair of underwear. You'll feel like a new person if you freshen up a little bit towards the end of the flight. 

9. Learn a few key phrases in the native language of whatever country you're visiting. I try to learn: "hello", "thank you", do you speak English", and "I'm allergic to pork and fish". 

10. Step out of your comfort zone. You didn't travel halfway around the world to feast on the food you could get back home. Try the local cuisine. You won't regret it (or you learn you don't like something and at least you tried!). 

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11. Don't be afraid to stay in hostels. Staying in a hostel can enhance your travel experience, and you have the opportunity to meet hella cool people. Ask the staff at the hostel for their recommendations around the city. They probably have a better insight than your guidebook.

12. While you're at it, meet locals. This is the greatest way to become emersed in the culture and learn all about the incredible city you're visiting. 

13. It's ok to make mistakes while travelling. 

14. Make copies of all essential documents. Your passport is your lifeline so do everything in your power not to lose it. 

15. Don't keep all your funds in one place. You can never be too safe. 

Related Post: Ho Chi Minh City: A Rocky Adventure

16. Make the most of your time. Do not try to cram too many activities into a short period. This causes travel burnout. 

17. Every trip will not be perfect. You'll have amazing moments; you'll have hellish moments. Do not let the bad times ruin your time. Use them as learning experiences. 

18. You WILL become addicted to travelling and want to book your next trip the instant your home. 

There will always be uncertainties surrounding travel that even the most season traveller cannot avoid. But as long as you're flexible, you open yourself to a fantastic experience. Have any other travel advice? Share it in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

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  1. Great tips! I think learning a few key phrases is a great tip. It certainly helped me when I was in Pari

  2. Great list! I totally agree about bringing extra memory cards and backup camera batteries, I take a ton of photos when travelling.

  3. I have one rule when I am traveling. I double the money and take some shirts out of my bag just before I am about to live so I do not have time to change my mind.

  4. Several of your tips we've learned the hard way! I remember having a really hard time even finding a camera battery when we've been out of the country!

  5. Such a great list of travel tips!! I love to travel!! Shell

  6. #1 #1 #1 #1 #1!

    I always say to myself: you are not going to a third world country. If you forget it, buy it!

  7. Such great tips! I know I could use a refresher of these from time to time.

  8. Very, very valid tips across the board! We've been lucky not to run into too many issues while traveling (aside from the occasional blunder that has, thankfully, turned into a happy accident), but reminders are ALWAYS great to have! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. These are great tips! I made the mistake of packing a carry-on that was too heavy. Luckily, I was able to empty a bunch of unnecessary items before boarding. Lesson learned!


  10. great post - really practical tips. Love the packing tips - so true. Also it is so true about trying not to squeeze too much into the day.