These days I am lucky enough to travel on a regular basis and get around quite a lot. With this, a lot of packing and unpacking, destination research and planning comes along the way.
The first few times I was horrible lost – it took me hours and sometimes even days to fill up my suitcase to then empty it again. Every single time I had forgotten something.
Eventually I wrote a packing list that I would go through each time.
When my things finally fit into one bag or one suitcase, it was time to sit down and come up with things to see, visit and do. Sometimes I just stay in cities for a few hours, but found myself with hand-written lists of things to do for days or even weeks haha.
Clearly I made it more complicated than it had to be 🙂
With time I started to catch some great tips from fellow travellers, came up with own ideas and realized smarter ways to handle all of it.
Here are my top 6 travel tips:
Pack bottle(s) of water in your suitcase
This has been a major game changer. Here and there a flight arrives at night and many stores are already closed, or I’m too tired to go out to start looking for a super market where I can buy a bottle of water – having a bottle of water right with you after arrival is just the best way to arrive.
It’s true that in most hotel they have bottled water or something to drink. But usually it’s crazy expensive. And also does not everyone stay at a hotel with such bottles or mini-bars. In Asia for example I like to spend my nights in cheap hostels and live the simple life.
Nowadays at least one bottle of water is my highest priority and the first thing you’ll find in my suitcase. I’ll adapt the weight and space of everything else according to my water bottle 🙂
Explore google maps: Download offline maps + mark sights & save to lists
I know, this probably sounds really weird and old-school. But sometimes it hits me and I can’t believe in what time we live and what incredible technology is available to us right at our finger tips. I mean years ago everyone walked around with paper maps. Nowadays you are looked at like an alien if you hold a real map in front of your face (real story – this happened to me the other day. Somebody even asked me why I’m using a map and not my phone haha).
Exploring a city couldn’t be easier and more convenient than with an app like Google Maps (by the way, this is not a sponsored post, I just really love it 🙂 ) If you create a Google Maps account you’ll be able to save any spot to a list, mark and sort them into categories.
It also allows you to download maps to access your spots and maps when being offline. Just select the area you will be travelling in, and it will be saved for a certain amount of time. This way you will be able to access the maps without internet connection.
Use Pinterest: to do some research in advance & mark the sights in google maps
Ahh Pinterest! Don’t we all love it? Well I do 🙂 I use it for everything, all the time. I found it to be the easiest, fastest and best way to prepare myself for an upcoming trip. I am able to find all necessary informations, tips, tricks, suggestions and top sights for any given country, city or place.
Once I came up with a few things I would like to do at the destination, I jump over to Google Maps and will highlight those spots on my virtual map.
Go local: try local restaurants, use public transportation, visit markets
Once arrived at your destination, I highly highly recommend to go local in all possible ways. Eat with them, use the bus/metro with them, shop like them, talk to them, … – experience their lifestyle. Especially when travelling to a place with another culture this becomes especially true.
I have made some of the best and most unforgettable memories that way.
Always bring snacks
This is another big one for me. I just talked about adventures, and how you’ll never know where you’ll find yourself next. It has happened to me that a short hiking tour ended up being a whole day somewhere in the woods, at the beach or just somewhere off the beaten path.
I just in general like to know that whenever I get hungry I will have something with me.
Also what if you come by the perfect picnic spot, but have nothing to picnic? Worst case, right? 🙂
Pack a small purse/money belt
Whenever you carry a backpack, also bring a tiny purse/shoulder bag/money belt for small items like your phone, wallet, tickets…
This is for 2 reasons:
First of all, those are the items that you don’t want to be stolen. As we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads (shocking news), I only ever place items in my backpack that are not so much of a value to me.
The second reason is that those exact same items are also those you need most often. If you take photos on your phone or use offline maps, you need it all the time. Same is true for tickets or money.
I just found it much more convenient to have those things right at my hands whenever I need it, and know that I always have them in my eyesight.
As one of my all time favorite destinations is Asia, I have created a packing list for Asia that I have shared with you. You may adapt it to your individual needs and places you’ll be travelling to.