Our group is a much-traveled one. One day we sat down and pooled our experiences to produce this set of travel tips. I hope I haven't missed any!
Equipment and Packing
"Eagle Creek" luggage cubes are recommended
The drawstring soap powder bags are good for packing small items
"Chaco" sandels are the best
Avon's "Skin So Soft" works really well as an insect repellent!! And leaves you with beautifully soft skin, of course
A bottle opener
A hot water bottle (!!)
Torch and spare batteries
A pashmina - it can be used as a towel, dries quickly and is light to pack
A family-sized pack of Imodium
Baby wipes and hand gel
Cereal bars are light to pack and are great in hunger emergencies
Blu-Tak - good for mending shoes
Gaffer Tape - good for mending anything!
A glue stick - this is really useful for stamps which in many countries don't stick!
Pack old clothes - these can always be left behind to make space for any purchases and the people you leave them with will usually be appreciative.
For The Trip
Don't always rely on the "trip notes" from a tour company. Try to find more up-to-date information from people who have recently been to that destination.
The information in publications like Lonely Planet and the Bradt Guide goes out of date quickly. They have updates on their websites which can be downloaded as pdf files.
Learn to say at least "Please" and "Thank You" in the local language before setting out.
Learning some numbers will be useful if you intend to barter
E-mail all your passport, insurance, bank and card details etc. to yourself before you leave. Whatever goes missing, you can get this information back if you can get internet access. You could even scan the information page of your passport and attach it to the e-mail
Your first photo should be a picture of your luggage - it's much easier to show this picture than it is to try and describe your missing luggage.
In a budget hotel Cocoa Cola can be really useful. It's good for cleaning the toilet and can get blood stains out of the carpet (!)
Eat local food. It will probably be properly cooked whereas an attempt to cook "Western" food may go badly wrong!
A well patronised local food stall is always a good choice
Always disinfect your hands after having touched money or tying your shoelaces.
Shampoo is a good detergent for removing food stains
Wash your underwear while taking a shower
You can dry your clothes by rolling them up in a hotel towel and wringing the towel.
Rubber bands are always useful for hitching up pants etc. in squat toilets.
Flat Cocoa Cola is good for an upset stomach. It has a lot of the electrolytes needed to rehydrate.
The flesh of a young coconut is also excellent after an upset stomach.
Bananas too! They help the body retain fluids
If you are arriving in Australia and would like to have your shoes cleaned tell the customs officers that you are arriving from a farming area. You shoes will be taken off you but returned looking immaculate within minutes.
Avoid buying Duty Free overseas if you have to change planes within the EU to another EU country or a domestic UK airport. You could have the Duty Free taken off you.
Welcome to my travel blog. I am a sometimes teacher from northern England; a self-confessed old hippy.
I hope this will keep anyone who might be interested informed on where I've been and where I am. There are so many places I would still like to see and so many things to do.
I hope you'll follow my travels, leave messages and comment on my travels, my spelling and my grammar.
"The only trips I regret are the ones I never took" ... full info