Travel Tips

Over the years while travelling with a camera, you pick up many travel tips and I wanted to share these with you.

Money Saving Ideas

  1. Use Airbnb for worldwide accommodation bookings.  You will save a fortune compared to booking hotels, plus have experienced local knowledge available to you at the touch of a button.  Check out other users reviews for the properties you are interested in.  They have over 60 million guest and 2 million listings!  Click here to receive a discount off your first trip.
  2. Take out a car hire excess policy.  Car hire companies charge an excess for any damage caused to the car during your hire period.  This can often be around £1000 unless you take out their expenses excess cover.  With an annual policy, you’re able to reclaim the excess you’d have to pay in the event of an accident or your car being stolen.  The annual policy costs less than a weeks cover from a rental company in my experience.  I used insurance4hire.
  3. Check mobile phone costs for the countries you are travelling to.  I use Three who now have a whopping 71 worldwide destinations where you can use your UK allowance for free!  Most mobile plans now allow you to use your UK allowance in Europe too – check your plan before you travel as you don’t want to end up with a hefty bill.  Use Wifi for browsing & calling where possible – there are many free providers for the latter eg WhatsApp/Facebook/FaceTime.
  4. Apply for a credit card with no abroad fees and charges – this will save you a fortune and you get a better rate than buying currency.  There are several on the market at the time of writing, Halifax Clarity Card currently has no cash withdrawal or abroad fees worldwide.
  5. Check online for the best currency rates – often providers will price match too.

Useful Websites

  1. GOV.UK foreign travel advice – a great website, there is an abundance of useful information.  It includes items such as Safety and security / Terrorism / Entry requirements / Local laws and customs / Health / Money / Natural disasters / Travel advice help and support. British nationals can also contact a travel advice team.
  2. fitfortravel – contains health information for people travelling abroad.  Just search your destination and find details of immunisations, news, malaria and other health risks plus other resources.
  3. Masta Travel Health – check travel vaccine requirements, prices and locations of clinics.

Travel Tips

  1. Keep a copy of your passport/driving license/eye prescription/medication prescription/travel insurance policy/home insurance policy etc on your mobile device.  You can do this by taking an image of the items / or storing the PDFs.  I also save a copy to Dropbox in case you lose your device or it becomes faulty.  Share the Dropbox link with your travel buddy in case they need to access your details in an emergency.
  2. Did you know it is illegal to take some prescription medicines abroad & you can be imprisoned for doing so? The Department of Health has set up Travel Pro for travellers to get more information on carrying medicine abroad and what actions you need to take.  You are also advised to carry items in their original packaging along with a copy of your prescription.
  3. Carry a supply of your medication in your hand luggage in case you get delayed or your hold luggage goes astray.
  4. Back up your laptop/ phone/tablet while you are travelling.  Just think how gutted you would be if you lost all that important info and photographs.
  5. Learn a few words in the local language – it goes a long way.
  6. This one always makes me laugh, but don’t leave home without putting a spare pair of underwear in your carry on luggage. Invaluable in case of delay!
  7. Carry a note of your accommodation address prior to going out for a few beers.  I can’t be the only one who has struggled to remember where they are staying when it’s home time?
  8. Carry a simple first aid kit if you are going off the beaten track.
  9. Share when travelling with others – who needs 2 cans of deodorant and 2 tubes of toothpaste?
  10. Pre-plan your trip and also ask locals and other travellers for their tips on places to go and where to eat (much cheaper and better than the tourist traps).  There are lots of on line reviews you can check, eg TripAdvisor/Google. Don’t regret missing a place you wish you had visited.
  11. Did you realise EHICs (European Health Insurance Card) & driving licenses have expiry dates? Check yours is valid prior to travel.
  12. Driving abroad on your UK driving license?  Check the AA website prior to departure to see if you need to obtain an Internation Driving Permit (IDP).  The cheapest way to do this is via specific branches of the Post Office.
  13. Dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and many worldwide countries, it will direct you to the same emergency call centre as phoning the local emergency number.
  14. Always check if you need to carry your passport at all times or you can be fined in many places.  Use the above GOV.UK travel advice site for reference.

Money / Bank Cards

  1. Check your expiry date isn’t up during your travel dates.
  2. Advise your bank where necessary when you are going abroad so your transactions aren’t blocked.  This can now be done online with many.
  3. Don’t have one person carrying all the cash & cards.  Split between you in case of loss or theft.

If you have any travel tips you feel would be useful for me or others, please get in touch.

Click here to see my travel tips for Vietnam.