My travels weren’t as smooth-sailing as it appears on my Instagram. I’m not the perfect travel buddy and I’ve had my fair share of palpak moments (especially when I travel solo). Slowly, like anything, with constant practice, I am learning. This was one of my epiphanies during my recent solo travel in Singapore. With this, I’d like to share some of my tips I learned over the years for a newbie traveler or an old-fashioned excursionista.
Always carry your passport.
Your passport is the only thing that can get you in and out of a country so BY ALL MEANS, safeguard it. If you can’t carry it with you all the time, at least make sure that it’s in a secure place where it won’t get wet or become an art-piece of your daughter. This applies to all your travel documents as well Your airplane tickets (make sure you download them in your phone), boarding pass and that tiny thing you rip-off in some embarkation cards.
On one of our transfer flights to China, my friend left her passport on one of the baskets in the x-ray machine thingies. She only realized it when it was time to board. She’s not a runner but with all her strength she ran so fast all the way to immigration and back. Good thing, the passport was still there. So save yourself the hassle and ALWAYS carry your passport.
Plus, some shops offer tax discounts for tourist and they would need your passport for that.
Bring a credit card.
It’s always good to prepare cash. Dollars or other currencies. But a good traveler should always have a back-up plan. Bringing a credit card gives you that peace of mind that you’d still have a means to purchase an unbudgeted item your eyeing. Or if you missed your flight, you’d still be able to book a ticket and go home. And also, sayang ang points.
I always use credit cards because I sometimes find the exchange rate lower. It’s not always the case but there are instances. Some credit cards even have travel-related perks like mileage points and airport lounge privileges that I personally have found very useful.
Anything that has batteries go to your hand-carry.
Anything that has batteries especially power-banks go to your hand-carry. You don’t want to be called after check-in to open your luggage with poorly packed used clothes and underwear. Not that it’s embarassing. I think airport personnel are so used to it already. Haha! It would save you more time for airport shopping. Some countries also require passengers to put all laptops, phones and cameras on a separate x-ray basket. To save time, it’s wise to separate all electronics in a different pouch.
Just an additional reminder, some countries are strict with the capacity of power banks so try to bring a handy power bank. Not sure but a quick search led me to the info that power banks should be equal or less than 27,000 mAh with a voltage of 3.6-3.85 V. Correct me if I’m wrong pls.
Bring your own set of toiletries and medicines.
Always bring your own set of toiletries and medicines in case of emergencies. Allergies, food poisoning, motion sickness. You name it, at least you came prepared. You have to be ready for emergencies especially if you’re traveling solo.
Listen to airport announcements.
Airport announcements are important. Period. Whatever you’re making chika with your friends. When you hear the dingdong sound, shut up and listen. I know airport announcements are not as audible as you want them to be but try to listen to what might be your new boarding gate, rescheduled boarding time or worst, new flight. Mind you, I already have two friends who missed their flights (when they were just casually strolling inside the airport). It’s not that unusual.
Rome2Rio is my go-to app when I go to different places. It provides you specific instructions on how to navigate your way to your destination. Because of Rome2Rio, I’m not afraid to get lost. That’s the fun of traveling right? Downside is that the app is only accessible while connected to the internet. Mind you, this is not a sponsored post. I just love this app so much!
Bonus: Prepare to be frisked
Getting frisked or being kapkap-ed by airport personnel is normal but some countries take it on a more intense level. In one of the countries I’ve visited, parang nakapkap ang kaluluwa namin. An airport personnel even laughed at me for being too ticklish. My advise: don’t take it personally. Wala ka naman magagawa. Just be ready. It’s for your security after all.
What do you think about my basic travel tips? This is just part one. I’m sure you can add more to the list. I want to hear yours.