Laura and I have travelled a large part of the world before we hit New Zealand and for sure picked up a thing or two along the way. We’re here to share some of our best tips with you, we hope you enjoy.
That’s not all though!! Want to get your hands on our Packing list that we just can’t go without? Click HERE to Download it for FREE!
1. Not sure if you need it….. you probably don’t!
I’m a sucker for taking unnecessary things, it’s been baked into me from childhood. Take it ‘just in case’. You really don’t need to, pretty much anywhere will sell what you might need. A great example, spare pairs of socks, gloves, hats or toiletries. Unless you’re going somewhere you know you can’t get hold of some socks, just leave them at home. If you’re worried about how much a new pairs of socks will set you back, do a little research before you go. Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor are fantastic resources for this. They’ll give you an idea of average prices of accommodation, beer and common goods. You’ll be able to see if that extra item you're considering is worth carrying with you for weeks or months for what a replacement would cost you.
2. Take a copy of your key documents
It’s obvious why, and you may think it won’t happen but it does. It’s happened to me, my Passport vanished and it’s such an awful feeling. In a lot of situation it could be your only valid ID, carrying a copy isn’t a replacement but it can help make it easier. My preference is pick up a cheap USB drive so all your documents can be stored on here along with your travel details. Encrypt everything and worst case scenario that you lose this too, they’re still safe and sound. It also proved a useful way to backup my photo’s when I didn’t have any internet connection.
You can find details on how to encrypt your files on a drive here:
3. Embrace the local culture, even if it’s just a bit.
I’m sure this is nothing new, but this post is about travelling like a pro! It can be really fulfilling to get lost in another culture but if this all sounds a bit daunting, start small. Go for a meal recommended by a local, have a short chat with someone from the region. They may even give you some tips of great things to see and do in the area. Learning how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank-you’ in their language is something I do in each country I visit. Stepping away from the main tourist traps are often more insightful for the place you’ve travelled so far to see, this can also be rewarding in the fact you’re supporting local businesses and communities. If you want to learn a little more on how we do this, take a read of Laura's post on her time in Siberia here. I know if anyone asks me what to do in Wellington, I pick places that not all tourists get the opportunity to find. I really love a little cafe set in the bays here, that is a fantastic brunch spot in the summer. Busy with locals and located next to the beach. It’s a hidden gem you just don’t find unless you ‘live like a local’.
4. Travel vacuum bags are the best investment you will make for your backpack.
We all crave some extra room in our bags and these little beauties are super handy. They pack down to a smaller package to help you squeeze a little extra in. But my favourite part…. want to get that one top from the bottom of your bag? No problem, just pick the right vacuum bag and you’re already nearly there. None of this repacking your whole backpack nonsense. Not just that but they also help keep water out of your belongings. My partner and I took these on a Canoeing trip last year, inevitably we fell in with the backpack along with us. In fact it nearly went down the river but that’s another story. We were so happy to get to the hut and know we didn’t have everything soaking wet, or smelling as potent as the river did. I honestly wouldn’t go away without these again.
You can find them here: https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Compress-Packing/dp/B004HCC9VA?th=1
If you buy ONE thing for your trip, buy some of these! You can also see this on our FREE must have packing list, you can download it HERE
5. Fit in a long lay over
This probably sounds horrific to many, but it’s such a great way to get a taste for a place at no extra cost! All us here in New Zealand know only too well, if you want to go anywhere, it’s going to be a long journey with at least a couple of change overs. Why not use this to your advantage, there are plenty of opportunities. For example, Singapore is a long layover that i’ll be doing this year. Arrive super early for breakfast, tour the city and back to the airport for a nighttime flight. The key is to pick somewhere that’s easy to travel around in a day, cities essentially. It’s a great way to get a taste for a place that you can go back and explore more on another trip.
6. Document Your Trip Somehow
This may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how much you really can forget! I decided on a journal to document all of my trips so far, I like the idea of hand writing something that’s just for me, plus I’m rubbish at remembering to take lots of photo’s. If you are a budding photographer a photo journal is another option as well as a blog of course. Be inventive, it’s your trip! But don’t forget to capture the moment somehow, you’ll absolutely love looking back on it 1,2 or 10 years afterwards. I love reading about my first trip in Europe, straight out of Uni and no idea what we were doing.
Looking for a good travel journey? We’d recommend getting this from Typo, they have a pretty funky selection http://cottonon.com/NZ/search/?region=NZ&q=travel%20journal
Got some great tips of your own? We’d LOVE to hear them, just type away in the comments or if you wanted to chat directly to us send them through :)
Don’t forget, you can get hold of FREE guide on what to pack HERE.