For once again I won’t be talking about a food related topic. I am actually going travelling again, this time to Argentina, where I’ll be meeting up with my sister who has been living there for the past year.
I wouldn’t count myself to the most experienced travellers out there, yet I have done a fair bit of travelling over the years and I can praise myself to have become rather good at packing. I actually used to be the biggest over-packer out there. I seriously used to bring every single piece of clothing of which there was only the slightest possibility of me wearing it, I brought tons of books, at least two pillows and a load of other unnecessary stuff I could have easily left at home.
Yet when I went on my first long plane journey I kind of had to realise that I couldn’t pack my whole life into a suit case and carry it to the other side of the world. That is now nearly three years ago, when I packed my bags to go on exchange to Australia. Back then I experienced numerous occasions throughout my year down there when I had to limit my luggage. And after that whole year of quite a bit of travelling and numerous other short trips in Europe after returning back home I am convinced that I’ve got a few tips on hand which could be of use for a few of you. There aren’t only packing tips, but also tips to traveling in general I want to share with you. I guess this post is also sort of self-help for me, since it just makes sure that I’ll be able to enjoy my trip to Argentina the most possible.
I should also mention that since we are approaching the summer holidays I decided to guide these tips towards people who are going on holiday for a few weeks or even just a couple of days. Yet I might do a list for future exchange students or people who are packing up their life to live abroad in a foreign country at a later stage.
So let me start my list.
What I have learnt while travelling :
- Plan your outfits. Planning your outfits honestly safes you from a hell of a lot of never worn clothing. Just check the weather and lay down your outfits prior to packing them all up, this way you won’t bring tons of items you’ll never wear.
- Use space bags. If you are in desperate need of extra space invest in some space bags, they actually do their job pretty well.
- Bring a pen and a travel diary or just some sort of notebook. For further info, read point 6 in ,, At your destination’’.
- Bring a thick jumper, a scarf and socks. If you’re travelling on a plane make sure to bring warm clothes, especially if you tend to get cold easily. I actually didn’t think of bringing warm clothes when I went on my first long plane journey and I was freezing throughout the whole trip.
- Check the special menus your airline offers. Since you are reading my blog I assume you are interested in food and you might even follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. If that is the case or even if not check if your airline offers a different menu, you can usually change it and most airlines have got at least 10 options to choose from. Another bonus of having a special menu is that you’re always going to be under the first few who get their meal. I mean there’s nothing negative about that, especially when you’re travelling on a huge plane…
- Drink enough water. The constant air conditioning on the plane or train just dries you out, so make sure to drink enough.
At your destination:
- Don’t just trust travel guides. Start wandering around the place your staying at without having a plan where you want to go, this way you’ll most likely discover the most memorable spots you wouldn’t have ever stumbled across if you had just followed a random travel guide.
- Talk to locals. Interact with people who actually live in your travel destination this way you’ll get a much deeper insight into their culture.
- Don’t waste money in souvenir shops. I am not suggesting to not buy a single memento to remember your trip but spend your money on personal things. But please don’t waste your money on those stupid ‘made in china’ miniature Eiffel tours, Trevi fountains or whatever other landmarks you come across on your trip. I, for example buy a tote bag in every place I visit, yet I don’t usually buy one that says the name of the place just one that will remind me of my stay.
- Don’t just look at your travel destination trough a lense. Wander around without a camera around your neck for at least one day. I obviously understand that you want to take photos and yes I am certainly one of those people who enjoy documenting their trips with a camera but still I always make sure to stow away my camera in my back pack for a while and sometimes I even leave it at the hotel/ apartment.
- Don’t try to tick off every single landmark there is to visit. Travelling isn’t about climbing the Eiffel tour, seeing the Matterhorn or watching a musical on Broadway. Travelling is all about experiencing a different culture and widening your horizon and your not necessarily achieving that if you just go where all the other non-locals are lingering.
- Actually write in your travel diary. Just the other day I reread my diary from when I went on a three-week trip around Australia and so many things came to my mind again while reading it. So much has gone forgotten over the years, yet by rereading those diaries you kind of experience your trip again.
- Try everything. Don’t be scared of things your not used to, get out of your comfort zone. That is how you create unforgettable experiences. You’re not going to remember eating cornflakes for breakfast on that trip you made yet you will remember that you dared to try having rice and veggies for breakfast. I mean if you don’t like it you can definitely go on and do whatever you feel comfortable with but at least try! I actually made this experience when I visited Indonesia, where I stayed in an Indonesian family. I was kind of unusual and after having heavy meals like this for a few days I went back to eating my normal brekkie, but the main point is I did try it, I did not say no.
I think that is it. As for now I can’t come up with any other tips. The only thing I’ve got left to say is: Try to not have extremely high expectations! That is something I always have to tell myself, I used to always have really high expectations and end up being disappointed so I started not to think about my trips too much before travelling and I just tell myself to be open towards everything that happens.
Writing this actually just doubled as perfect preparation for my coming trip to Argentina. Now I am all set to start packing.
Enjoy your summer travels.