Weird travel tips for women
I love to travel – don’t we all? As I am about to embark on a romantic Indonesian holiday with The Boyf, I thought I would share some of my fave, weird travel tips with you. These work for men as well – but when travelling (alone or not), often women need to exercise extra caution, it’s just common sense. Here are some of my weirdest travel tips.
Book your planes seats in advance
Yes, I know you know – but just don’t forget. These days you simply must book your plane seats online before getting to the airport to avoid disappointment. Personally, I like the aisle seat because I like to be able to go to the loo any time I like without having to clamber over a stranger – however, it does totally suck when the trolley comes past and whacks you on the shoulder every 10 minutes.
If you are travelling off the beaten track, or to a country that has patchy sanitization standards (hey, even some places in Australia are sketchy!) then pack some hand sanitizer for your loo visits, it will make you feel fresher and help to ward of disease. I hate using these things at other times and there are studies that show that when we use hand sanitizer too often, it can kill the microorganisms that will not harm us, along with the ones that will.
Email your documents to yourself
Back in the day, before it was commonplace, my dad used to scan all our travel documents and upload them to a self-created website so he could access them anytime, anyplace. In the late 90s, we all thought this was hilariously excessive. Of course, he was just very progressive – because now everyone is doing it. It just makes sense. Keep a record of everything online and send a back-up copy to your nearest and dearest for safety.
What the hell is Yakult? Well, I have blogged about it before and I really love it. For years I hated this little yoghurt-type drink, because the idea of it made me sick. Now I swear by them when travelling in countries where I might experience a bit of tummy trouble. Every country has different water and even when it’s safe to drink, it can take a few days for your system to adjust. Drink two or three of these babies every day. Yakult is available in 31 countries.
Research travel and other costs ahead of time
Aha! Pretty lady on the side of the road – looking to get ripped off by a cab driver – not if you do your research first! I always do some proper research about how much cabs, trains and busses cost and how much it should cost to get from the airport to my hotel. Missing your connection or running late can cause undue stress so make sure you carefully research your changeovers and transitions so that you travel with ease.
Undies and toothbrush on the plane
Another trick I learned from my father, for long-haul flights, take a toothbrush and a fresh set of underwear – even a new T shirt if you like. This can really make you feel like a different person when you touch down. One hour before landing, head to the loo in the plane and freshen yourself up – it will make a huge difference – believe me! I also take a bit of makeup and a hairbrush – otherwise I look so bad I don’t match my passport photo.
Bargain, bargain, bargain!
I was born a great bargainer. No, no – don’t argue with me – you’ll lose. I have had many a stall-holder tell me that I drive a hard bargain and why shouldn’t it? I want for very little in life so I can be discerning. Now – there are many Westerners who are not comfortable with bargaining; “Why would I haggle over 20 cents?” they say. I explain that it would be like going into a Western shop and saying, “I’d like to pay $3 for this $2 coffee.” They would think you are mad. And arrogant. Bargain where it is the done thing – out of politeness.
Take a calculator
If you don’t speak the local language, take a calculator to negotiate with. You punch in the figure you’re prepared to pay – they shake their head and punch in a higher figure and then back and forth until you both have a price that you are happy with. This can be a great way to get over language barriers if you struggle with remembering certain words.
Cover yourself up and be polite
This used to annoy me but it’s pretty important. I live in Australia where it’s pretty cool to be very scantily clad most of the year. At the wonderful place where I work, the only rule we have is “no beach wear” at work – so no singlets, boardshorts and thongs – but pretty much anything else goes. There are many countries such as Egypt, India and the Middle East where women need to be extra careful when they travel. Here are some tips on what to wear in the Middle East and in India.
What are your weird travel tips? Is there anything I have missed?