Five things frequent travellers know to be true
Some people only manage or want to get away from home once or twice a year, others travel for work or have it as a higher priority in their lives. If you’re a frequent traveller like me, you’ll knowmore about travelling than most from the experiences you’ve had on the road (or in the air, on the sea, and everywhere in between!) and you’ll probably have learned a lot from the many mistakes you’ve made along the way! If you’re about to go on an extended journey travelling the world, or are just planning to start travelling more, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can pick up from more experienced travellers, starting with these key facts:
- You can never be too prepared
There are a lot of people who say that their trips away are incredibly stressful, and I really feel for them, as they really shouldn’t be! Generally the cause of the stress is the journey to the destination itself. Whilst a lot of people don’t enjoy the actual act of travelling from A to B, you can make it easier on yourself – the key is to be as prepared as possible. Of course, some things are out of your control – you can’t schedule the flight to be on time or ensure that your bag arrives where and when it should, but you can make sure you have the right travel insurance, always leave plenty of time, pack methodically, and then make sure you have a good playlist, book and selection of travel games to keep you entertained and calm, no matter what the situation.
2. Passports don’t have enough pages!
If you frequently fly internationally, particularly to places requiring visas, there’s one thing you’ll soon discover – your passport doesn’t have enough pages in it. You will often get a stamp on entry to a country and another when you leave, and often a full page take up with a paper visa. If like me, you work as an expat, it’s also likely you’ll have residence visas for each place that you have worked, this soon fills up all of your available pages. If you need more, you can add extra pages. If you have a US passport, it’s easy and you can add more passport pages on this website, if you’re a Brit like me, then you need to request a large extended page passport from the UK Passport Office (I made the mistake of going for the regular size last year and this year needed to request another already – never again!)
3. People are nicer than you think
We spend a lot of time lamenting how awful the world is and how deplorable the state of society has become. However, travelling makes you realise just how great people really are. Around the world (and back at home I might add), you’ll find people with incredible hospitality who are willing to welcome you with open arms if you are open to them. Sure, there are bad apples everywhere and you have to exercise common sense with people you don’t know, but often you’ll discover that the majority of people are much kinder than you ever imagined.
4. Frequent flyer rewards are worth it
Have you ever wondered whether you should bother with a frequent flyer membership? My question would be, why on earth not?? It doesn’t cost you anything, and apart from initial registration, you don’t have to do anything either! If you have a preferred airline, they can be very useful in saving you money on tickets and upgrades, particularly if you travel a lot.
5. A little language goes a long way
Finally, anyone who tries to learn some of the local language you are travelling to/through will get into the locals’ good books. You can stumble along with loud, slow English and hand gestures, but everyone appreciates the effort, and just a few key phrases will endear you to everyone you meet – and probably make you feel pretty good too!
You learn a lot of things as a frequent traveller, but it isn’t all organisation and planning. I’m not going to dwell on the cliches, but travelling can help you learn an awful lot about yourself too, and help to remind you of what’s important, and what can be let go of. I’ll be sure to remind myself of all of these points when I set out again to Sri Lanka for the Lanka Challenge next week!!