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Essential travel tips!

Travelling is very much like making love to a beautiful woman – you learn more with practice. But it's expensive (very much like…never mind), so we don't get the chance to get much practice in. Happily though, we can all help each other by sharing the fruits of our knowledge and experience.

So here are ten of our top travel tips:

  • (1) An easy way to identify your luggage at the destination airport is to stick some brightly coloured masking tape on the side of your cases in a distinctive shape i.e. a cross – so you won't have any trouble seeing which is yours!
  • (2) Especially if you're going to youth hostels, take your own sheet. Some hostels and low-budget accommodations don't have the cleanest sheets in the world, and a second can help keep the bed bugs away! We should point out that many hostels though have impeccable hygiene. Er, but some don't.
  • (3) On a cruise you may encounter storms or rough weather. Most cruise ships are so big and well designed these days that seasickness is pretty unlikely. However, if you do find the going choppy, it has been suggested that since the bottom of the ship will move less than the top, that's the place to go!
  • (4) Wherever you're going, make double sure that you have the right visa and that there's no reason you could be barred entry (there are political considerations with some US States etc.). Otherwise it could be a very short trip indeed!
  • (5) Make sure that you have all the health information that you might need with you. We suggest you carry: · Proof of insurance and insurance contact numbers. · Emergency contact number for someone back at home. · Details of any allergies you have. · Details of your blood type, immunisations, and any medication you are taking. · Details of any serious medical conditions you currently have or have had in the past.
  • (6) If you have a mobile phone, make sure you contact your phone operator to check whether you can make and receive calls while abroad (Orange, for instance, requires customers to phone up to enable the facility). Also, make sure you know how much calls will cost because there's often a big mark-up on calls overseas!
  • (7) Two things that you should remember to pack. Proof of ID – can be essential in some places for getting into bars or government buildings etc. Condoms – in some places these are difficult to get and you never know when you might need them!
  • (8) Jet lag is a real drag for long-haulers. Most of us have suffered from it at one time or another. The most usual way to face it is to adjust quickly to the time zone in which you land. For instance, if you land in the middle of the day, don’t sleep until it's night where you are. But that's easier said than done. Rather than give your body a sudden shock, why not let it gradually feel the change. You can try to do this over the few days before you travel. If, say, you're going somewhere four hours ahead, go to sleep and get up one hour later, then two hours later and so on for those last nights before. This is not very easy if you have to get up for work in the mornings, but good if you don't. And for those who really suffer from jet lag, it's worth it!
  • (9) If flying, make certain of your airline's policy towards hand luggage. Usually you will only be allowed a certain weight limit and number of items. So if you turn up at the end of your hols with six bags packed with wine bottles there could be a problem!
  • (10) Do your research! A trip to another city can be so much more rewarding if you book tickets in advance to the dream concert or show that's playing there. By the time you arrive, it could be sold out. It also pays to bone up on the history and local attractions, otherwise you'll waste time with your nose in a book during valuable holiday time – or even risk missing the best stuff altogether!