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My brother is going overseas for the first time next month and I was thinking about some advice I could give him. Things that I have learned over the years that might aid him on his journey and it got me thinking that it I might expand the list as they might be useful to you as well. So here they are the Top 10 tips for the first time overseas traveller.Even if you only take one trip in your life, these tips should help.


1.       Travel light

Research the climate of where you are going and pack accordingly. You won’t need two jackets and two pairs of jeans. Sacrifice some fashion to help your back. Find a laundry along the way or bring some detergent for a hand wash. Don’t bring that 800 ml bottle of shampoo with you, bring small travel sized toiletries along or better yet, buy them when you arrive. Wear your heavier items like jeans and jacket on the airplane. Remember you will probably buy some souvenirs so keep some room for them in your luggage.


2.       Bring two ATM cards and keep them separated

If you don’t have two bank accounts open up a second with a different bank with some emergency cash in it. Keep one card in your wallet and the second in the hotel safe or hidden. If you lose your wallet, you will still have access to funds while away. Keep a second card with some cash and your passport safely back at the hotel.

3.       Buy a digital camera

If you are spending thousands of dollars on a trip, spend a couple hundred more and buy a small, high megapixel digital camera with a rechargeable battery to take snapshots along the way. You will be thankful you did when the trip is over and you can look though them years later. Don’t just rely on your phone, even if the shots are great. The camera feature eats up the battery quickly and you will find yourself with a dead battery AND no photos half way through the day. If you do venture out with just the phone, put it on flight mode and only turn on the camera function just before taking the picture. Sure no one will be able to call, but who knows your new pre-paid sim card number anyway?


4.       Bring a copy of your passport and email one to yourself

Take a photocopy of your passport and bring it with you and leave one at home. It will come in handy if you lose your passport and is also if you rent a scooter and the owner wants to hold some ID. I also recommend scanning your passport and emailing the file to yourself, that way if you lose everything all you need to do is go to an internet café and print it off.


5.       Print out your hotel details and map before going

If you have pre booked a hotel make sure you print off the voucher along with a map of the area in the local language to give to the taxi driver. When you arrive, get a business card from reception and keep it in your wallet in case you go out drinking and forget which hotel you are at.

6.       Bring a travel adapter

Find out what sort of electricity plugs your destination has and get a travel adapter. When you arrive you can recharge your phone and plug in your laptop straight away. Reception at a lot of hotels will often have a spare one you can borrow as well. If you have a number of things that need electricity bring a double adapter or power board.


7.       Make a rough itinerary and leave it with someone

Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone including your flights and hotels you will be staying at. Just in case there is an emergency or something goes wrong people will know where you are at.


8.       Keep a journal

Travelling can be a lot of fun, and it will be rewarding years later to reminisce about your trek overseas. Make a journal or a diary of what you do and who you meet along with ticket stubs and souvenirs you save along the way. If you don’t want to keep a journal at least bring a pen. It is handy to fill out forms at the airport and writing down phone numbers of girls you meet


9.       Bag it up and no drugs

Travelling is a lot of fun and you don’t want to bring home a souvenir you didn’t plan on so wear a condom and stay away from drugs. Many countries have very stiff penalties for possession of even small amounts of drugs, even the death penalty in some places. The last thing you want is to be locked up abroad. There are many scams where the dealer will tell the cops, he will get a reward and they arrest you.



10.   Have fun, respect others countries culture and customs even if they seem weird

Live a little and be a bit crazy. Spend a little money on things you wouldn’t normally spend it on, like parasailing or jet skiing.  Buy that ten dollar cocktail on the beach and sit back sip it and remember how good life is. If you don’t feel like going out or hung over, do it anyway. Go on that game show or sneak into that concert. Eat some food you wouldn’t try at home. Have fun, but at the same time not at the expense of the locals. Remember you are not at home, and people might have a different way of doing things with different traditions.


Some strange parade through the streets of Manila in the rain

What are some of your travel tips that you have learned that have helped you on your journeys?

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