8 Little Travel Tips
I’m in Spain now. My new home for the next two months, while I try to learn Espanol and enjoy ALL the tapas. I figured I’d share some of my favourite little travel tips with you, I hope they serve you well.
Plug In Your Laptop - I am renowned for stealing free wifi, when I was in Calcutta I sat on the sidewalk stealing free Wifi. One things I’ve learned in my travels is that when your laptop is running on battery mode the WIFI strength is a lot weaker. In my hostel in Hong Kong there was no WIFI in my room, but when I plugged in my laptop an insecure WIFI network showed up. If you’ve found a connection that’s weak, plug things in and enjoy the difference!
“So Expensive” - If you’re doing any shopping in markets or third world countries learn how to say “so expensive” in the local language. It makes a real different. Prices usually drop by half. My magical trick. If this fails, walk away, then the price will surely stumble.
Use The Blue Arrow - I use Google maps often to find my way around, but I never knew about the little blue orientation arrow. You can preload maps when you have WIFI – by simply bringing it up on the page when you have an Internet connection. When you no longer have WIFI you can use the little orientation arrow to see where you are and what direction you’re going in. This is perfect for someone like me who seems to suffer from maps dyslexia!
Withdraw From ATMs - A lot of people fuss about changing cash in advance into the currency of the places they’re visiting, I don’t understand why. You are going to get RIPPED OFF! I have changed cash a handful of times in various banks or currency conversion places and often you’ll lose a great percentage of your money to fees. They need to pay their staff some how and that comes from your cash. The best rate I get consistently is from the banks and it means that I don’t have to worry about carrying too much cash.
Wrongly Convert In Your Head - I always convert the money I’m spending into my home currency or the currency I’m earning in. Sometimes people say you should think in the local currency, but when I do that it feels like I’m spending monopoly money and it loses it’s value. I find myself spending way too much. If one New Zealand dollar is 6.1 Hong Kong dollars I will convert it in my head at a rate of 1:5. By doing so it means that I will think of things as a tiny bit more expensive than they are and spend less, yes!
Get Bitter - I hate bottled water. I blame the fact that my home town has the best tap water in the world. It tastes funny to me and I find myself spending a lot of money on juices etc because I just get sick of the cheap plasticy taste. I love lemon water and yesterday I decided to invest in a little bottle of lemon juice and have been adding it to my bottles of water. Turns a €0.20 bottle of water into something kind of delicious. This will save me lots of money in the long run, is super refreshing on a hot day and is good for you too.
Steal Spoons - So useful! I usually borrow mine from McDs (while I’m pinching their WIFI too). It’s handy so that you can just buy a cheap yoghurt or something to enjoy for breakfast while you’re on the go. It’s awkward trying to eat yoghurt with your fingers (someone told me once).
Use Couchsurfing - If you’re not interested in Couchsurfing with local people, it’s a good place to post questions on the forums about what’s going on. In terms of festivals, concerts, films, or exhibitions. That way you can see what the local people are interested in, rather than typical tourists traps. People on the forums are super friendly.
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What are your favourite little travel tips and secrets?