travelling to places with different currencies, always carry
spare change that can be depended on for vending machines,
quick phone calls or laundry machines. This way you don't
have to go searching for someone to give you change. It saves
a lot of time and a lot of hassle.
How To Not Gain Weight
Do you gain weight on your travels? Many people do since they
eat out in restaurants. Here are some tips for eating healthy
in any restaurant.
Dont go starving. Have a snack before you go out to
eat. Upon check-in ask for a fruit basket, and bring instant
oatmeal or dried fruit to munch on.
Ask the manager. Servers are NOT privy to how food is prepared.
Ask the manager for suggestions on healthier options or
Order the portion size you want. If you were brought up
with the clean plate mentality, order just what
you want/need. Request just a 4-oz steak, just one roll
(rather than a basket), or a 1-cup portion of pasta. They
may even discount your meal, but at least you wont
Ask for special orders. The pasta meal can be prepared with
1/2 the cream sauce - a good break from the red sauce, still
tasty, but with 1/3 less calories. Ask for a dry bun with
your sandwich. Substitute fruit for the coleslaw. Request
them not to brush the steak or fajitas with butter/oil.
Tell them youd rather have pretty thighs than pretty
Post Office First
When you first get to another country, look for the post office
or a stamp machine. Generally theres one at/near the
airport/train station, and you can buy enough stamps to send
one postcard home per day/stop, sometimes more if theyre
especially pretty. Extra stamps make nice souvenirs or gifts
for a stamp collector, theyre relatively cheap and light,
and sometimes you can sell the extras to fellow travellers.
The postcards can then be sent at your convenience as you
travel. If you send them to yourself, you have a mini journal
with official postmarks when you get back.
Use Money Belts
If you go to another country which is heavily populated, or
will be heavily populated for the dates you are there, eg.
Olympics, world rallies, etc., use money belts, and use more
than one. They have belts that fit under your shirt where
you can keep important things. They also have wallets that
wrap around your ankles and arms. If one of them is stolen,
you will at least have another money source.
Wish you had a night-light in that strange hotel room? You
dont have to pack one. Before you go to bed, turn on
the bathroom (or closet) light, then shut the bathroom door.
Just enough light leaks out to guide you to the bathroom,
which is the only place anybody would ever want to go in the
middle of the night.
A Small Suitcase
When youre far from home and youve run out of
room for gifts in your suitcase: Go to a resale/charity shop
and buy an extra small suitcase.
In Lieu Of Sandals
Instead of bringing flip-flops or sandals for the shower,
I place a hand towel at the bottom of the tub. It's great
for a shower or bath.
When travelling I try not to relocate or change cities on
a Sunday. This is because most train times are infrequent
or destinations are limited, and many stores and businesses
close early or are not opened at all - such as money exchanges.
I find it easier to go early the next morning.
Keep all your receipts on your trip. They are usually on paper
so thin they never add up to much. Also, keep business cards
and anything else that will help you remember where you were
and when. They make a great diary and a source of information
for yourself or others.
When travelling in a taxi, make sure you leave the door
open while you are getting your bags out of the boot; that
way the taxi can't drive off before you have had a chance
to make sure you haven't left anything behind.
To get wet clothes dry overnight, hang them on a coat hanger
and hang them in the bathroom - LEAVE THE LIGHT ON. In the
morning they should be dry enough to wear - really works!
While travelling consider purchasing your postcards, making
a quick note on it of it's significance to you and then
buy local stamps and mail the card to yourself. When you
get home you'll have a mailbox full of great memories to
In a foreign country, take extra care to not "stick
out like a sore thumb". If you are renting a car, ask
for a nondescript car in a dark neutral colour like blue,
green, or grey (never red!) ... If at all possible dress
like the natives. Some brand name clothes with brand name
logos may be cool and in style where you are from, but in
exotic destinations they will "scream" tourist!
When renting a car, always insist on two sets of keys. We
had guests who fell into the river when fishing and they
lost the only set. It took about 6 hours to retrieve the
guests, contact the rental car agency, drive 45 miles to
the dealership to get another set, and drive them back to
the car. If the rental agency won't give you an extra set,
get one made at the nearest hardware store.