I have made many mistakes while travelling but I have perfected over time. These are avoidable mistakes which I have opted to share with you to make your travelling easy, comfortable and affordable. Travelling for the last 9 years now, I have gained a lot and you can learn a thing or two by checking out these travelling tips.
Without much ado, let’s delve in and see what we have in store for you.
29.) Learn Basic Languages of the native Destination.
Nothing comes in handy like showing interest and attention to the locals. The easiest way to show your love and gratitude is to learn a few local phrases like saying Please, hello, am hungry, where you come from etc. This is one of the Travelling Tips I wish every tourist could hold on to.
If you visit East Africa, at least learn the following, it will go a long way.
- Hello “Jambo”
- Welcome “Karibu”
- No Problem “Hakuna Matata”
- Thank You “Asante”
- Come “Kuja”
- I love you “Nakupenda”
- Goodbye “Kwaheri”
28.) Pack Light
In my first years of travelling, I would pack and my neighbours would think am shifting. Yet I ended up using a small fraction of the clothes I packed.
Just Pack light, you do not need bags full of clothes, write down what you think you need to pack and divide the stuff by half. You will be surprised just how convenient this can be.
27.) Buy a small Backpack/ Suite case.
Human tendency and believe is that when packing for travelling, if we have a small space left, we tend to fill it up for no apparent reason. I highly encourage you to buy a small backpack/suitcase to avoid overpacking. This is one of my formal travelling tips. If we ever meet. You will rarely notice am travelling. Unless you know my signature Maasai Shuka.
26.) When you go out, take what you need.
During the day you may do all the touristic activities in a destination but during the night you would like to go out. Popularly known as “Happening”. Have a drink chill out, dance. Basically, entertainment but it is ill-advised to go with your valuables.
Leave your expensive watch, the necklace at your hotel room save. You do not have to shout to everyone, hey am new here and am a tourist please rip me off!! Try and blend with the locals.
25.) If there is no Internet the better.
Especially social media has occupied our lives so much that, we are almost slaves. Embrace every moment you get there is no internet and you will not have to spend lots of your time on your damn phone. You are on a vacation or Safari. Use the Internet whenever necessary.
24.) Never queue behind a family.
It is not their fault but they tend to take forever because of the kids, be it on an Airport or train Station. Just avoid queuing behind them if you need to get in first and rest as you wait for your journey to start.
23.) Ask for an upgrade.
Whenever I check in any hotel, the first question is if I can get an upgrade. This is one of the Travelling Tips I like holding to. A recent example, at Jambo Mara Safari Lodge. I had booked the wooden cottages which are cheaper than the glass and it happened that particular weekend they were not full so I asked for an upgrade nicely and I was up granted to glass cottage at no extra cost. Be nice, warm, social and welcoming. It is always rewarding.
22.) Avoid eating at Touristic Sites.
Follow the so-called Six block Rule, why? Because any touristic destination has inflated rates. The foods there are double or even triple the normal price and the services are not even the best since they feel like they gat it all together. I always do a six-block rule and so should you.
21.) Try Expensive Restaurant during Lunchtime.
This travelling tip, I was introduced by a travel buddy. During lunchtime, these expensive restaurants have special offers which you cannot get any other time of the day.
Most of them will sell at a half price of the same food during lunch as opposed to during dinner. This is the best time to eat out when you travel.
20.) Avoid Trip Advisor.
Well, Trip Advisor is okay but use it with caution or leave it altogether. Tourist tend to leave negative reviews when something bad happens, it could have been by accident but, that review will impact a hotel or even a tour company negatively yet tourist tends to forget to write the good reviews when good service is offered. The reviews tend to be skewed.
Lately, it is very easy to hire a firm that will flock positive reviews hence giving the wrong and good impression incorrectly.
19.) Wear Sunscreen.
I did a mistake and went to the coast without a hat/cap or a sunscreen, just a day my face looked like hell. To say the least, it was unpleasant. It wasn`t a good idea. Never leave a sunscreen/Hat/Cap/Shades.
18.) Be Patient, Easy & Flexible.
I remember I missed the Morning Train to Mombasa from Nairobi, Kenya. To make matters worse the Afternoon one was already fully booked. Did I stress on that? Nope, I hopped on a bus and my Trip wasn`t spoilt at any given time.
Be easy don’t stress on things you cannot control, no need to frown on your travelling day just because things did not go the way you needed them to. Life is too short for that shit.
17.) Be an Early Bird.
Wake up early enough before anyone else, you will have the attractions by yourself. There is also best of light for capturing those chilling and incredible shots just as the sun kisses the earth.
16.) Write down the physical address.
You could dose off or even worse forget to charge your phone and you had not written your hotel physical address.
How will you locate your supposed hotel? To avoid this always write down the physical address and even the room number just in case. Always back up your soft copy (Digital) with analogue just to be sure.
15.) Use Reusable Water Bottles
The environment is suffering, no wonder global warming. This travel tip should have been number one. Personally, I use plastic-free bottles after all plastic bottles were banned in Kenya`s National Parks.
They will also save you money, you don’t have to keep on buying water every other day. All you have to do is refill from your hotel room and off you will be set for the day.
14.) Pack the Right Shoes.
Whenever am travelling I never forget my Open shoes, my feet need to breathe after a long day of travelling. I also pack a pair of nice sneakers or Vans.
13.) Emergency Cash Money.
When travelling is advisable to use credit cards for safety and point rewards, it is not even advisable to carry cash for the obvious reasons. Here in Kenya, we use Mobile Money which comes in handy in so many ways.
However, you will need cash for emergency cases where Mobile money or credit card will not be able to save you. These cases do happen a lot.
12.) Befriend the locals.
Smile, be friendly and social with the locals. Ask for directions and talk to the locals freely. It is even advantageous to have learned a few local language words. The locals will be appreciative for showing some efforts for trying to blend in with their way of life and culture.
One of the travelling tips is to tip that waiter, that guide, that potter. The tip is regarded as a way of appreciation. Most of these workers may not be having a comfortable pay so the tip will always and has always gone a long way. I ONCE WORKED IN A HOTEL AND MAN. Nothing came in handy as a tip. They kept us going. So, the little you have always share with them.
10.) I prefer Masai Shuka over Heavy Jackets.
First off, it is trendy and you make a statement you are travelling. I prefer a Maasai Shuka over my Heavy Jacket and it has helped me a lot. It helps my backpack not barge out with heavy Jackets since I hang it on my shoulder. Conveniently being warmer and especially when camping it becomes my duvet. It also makes you identify and blend with the locals.
9.) Food Lovers, Keep time in Hotel dining time.
Who doesn’t love food? Here is a secretive travelling tip for food lovers. Most hotels serve their breakfast between 6:00 Am – 9:00 AM. Lunch from 12:45 PM and dinner 6; 00 pm – 9/8:00 PM. Be on time to get a hot Sumptuous meal. Ever noticed the first food is always more delicious and tastier than the added/refilled one?
8.) Bring a souvenir Home.
Many tourists believe it is all about experiences but bringing a souvenir home is adding ice to the cake. You will not only remember your experience but also have something to show.
How do you fly for hours and not come back home with something to show? A Maasai Shuka. Bracelet or those Dubai Shopping. I mean bring something with you when it is time to head back home.
7.) Travel in Low Season.
As much as this travelling tip may sound like a cliché` I have saved a lot travelling in low season. Thanks to COVID 19. 2020 Has been a low season the whole year. Take advantage and travel now. Most hotels are giving out rooms at half price.
6.) Let your Family Know.
Always communicate with family via zoom or WhatsApp audio and Video Calls. Send them a copy of your itinerary. Let them know every step of your itinerary for safety purposes. In case you get lost or something happens, your family will be the first to start looking for you.
5.) Don’t Exchange your Foreign Currency at the AirPort.
They know, you are more likely to exchange your currency here, so they inflate the rates effortlessly and mercilesly. Look for a bureau elsewhere. I also avoid banks their rate has never beaten off a bureau.
4.) Get your Phone Unlocked.
If you are travelling in a foreign country get your phone unlocked. You will be able to get a local Sim card and affordable data in places where there is no Wi-Fi. You will also easily communicate with the new-made friends with ease since either can call.
3.) Call people by name.
This is not only those travelling tips but a lifetime practice. The first thing whenever I walk in a restaurant. My eyes are always on that name tag of course after greetings and a welcoming smile. Then after the greetings, I usually call them by name and the reactions to services have always been impeccable.
How do you feel when someone calls you by name? You feel appreciated. Call that waiter by name, call that guide by Name. You will always love the reactions and the services rendered.
2.) Pack Contraception.
The last thing you want is to bring unplanned baby or STD as souvenirs back home. These things happen a lot. If you must, practice safe sex.
1.) You are blessed.
If you can afford to travel even just within your country. Big up yourself, you are far luckier than millions of people who would love to travel but not able. Give thanks for that Job which enables you to save up some money for travelling. Being in good health and at least having a passport.
Yes, you worked so damn hard to get to this point but never forget you are incredibly privileged.
Did i leave any travelling tips you would like me to add? Please let me know on the comment section.
Do you want to save more while travelling? This is how to do it like a pro