Ok, over the past 17 years or so on the road, I’ve had all sorts of adventures and happenings. Be it a gun pulled on me in LA, sexual exploits on planes, knives pulled on me in France, getting lost countless times, meeting amazing people and even eating goats testicles! I’ve not yet done it all, however, I’ve done my fair share and decided to pass on some tips that may or may not get you on the path to endless adventures.
In part one of my travel tips, I hope to provide you with a few cheeky solutions. So, without further or do…….
So many people travel on international flights looking like they are important. Men in suits. Woman in 14 inches of make up and 6 inch heels. Get to fuck! Unless you are Jesus resurected then get yer tracky’s on, clean your face of that gunk and stop pretending you are important. Shoes off, flip flops on. Sorted. Just leave looking like a pretentious twat up the the flight attendants yeah?
GET UP EARLY:
A few years ago now, I spent a few days in Venice whilst also heading to Bologna to watch them play Napoli in Serie A. Now as you can guess or know, Venice in Spring is packed with way too many selfie sticks and tourist traps. Never before has there been a prime reason to set your alarm for 4 am and be on the streets within the hour. Venice is a ghost town at 5 am. The sun is already up and the streets are yours to enjoy pretty much on your own. Within a few hours, you won’t be able to move due to the fat American tourists!
This rule applies to all the major cities. Make hay whilst the sun begins to shine and the whordes of tourists ruin those beautiful photo opportunities.
FREE WALKING TOURS:
Why pay £20 to be guided around the streets of London or Berlin when you can do it for free? Most major cities have free walking tours led by energetic and enthusiastic young history students from local universities. They are a fantastic insight into the city you presently occupy and if you feel it was worth your two or three hours, you can tip your awesome travel guide a fiver at the end to say thank you and help pay their tuition fees.
A quick Google or visit to the local hostel will give you all the information you need.
MINIMISE YOUR BAG:
Why take sixteen jackets when you know you will only wear one, maybe two at best? One pair of shoes should suffice. Two pairs of jeans, a pair of shorts and some sock & jocks thrown in with some t-shirts is more than enough in most cases.
So often in airport check in counters, I see people struggling to come in under weight. More so when they are heading home. Of course they took 23 kg’s of luggage with them not once thinking about the 15 kg’s of stuff they will buy on the road resulting in most of it being thrown out at check in if you are not prepared to pay extortionate excess baggage fees.
It’s also worth checking before you fly with your airline to pre-pay excess bagged which will save you a small fortune.
SOCIAL MEDIA THE SHIT OUT OF IT:
When you book hotels, hostels, flights, train rides or museum tickets, add them to your Facebook and other social media accounts. By doing this you can score free drinks, 2 for 1 passes, free museum entities and even free meals or breakfast at no charge just by following them on social media. After all, better to have those few dollars in your pocket then theirs right?
MINIMISE YOUR TECH:
Smart phones are so clever these days it really seems pointless lugging that laptop or oversized camera about. And think of the luggage weight and space you will free up in the process?
In 2017 you can safely store boarding passes, eBooks, itineries and music on your phone. I always load up on podcasts before I head abroad. You would be surprised by what you can learn when spending hours upon hours waiting for a delayed flight.
You can also download city guides and travel maps which means you can store them on your phone instead of lugging Lonely Planet travel books with you. Simples!
Beleive it or not but some of the most enjoyable travel experiences come from eating banquettes and drinking water on the steps of landmarks whilst watching the world go by. Cafeculture can be expensive and chew up your money quick smart. A local visit to the supermarket can saves you hundreds if you are on the road for a few weeks or months.
As a bonus, it makes those nights in an English pub more enjoyable for not just your wallet but your wasteline too!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
Fantastic! You’ve just booked a cheap hotel room on the outskirts of the city. What you failed to realise is that your cheap hotel is only serviced by taxis after 9 pm. 50 Euro’s later, you wish you had saved time and money and just gone for the inner city option.
Often, I have found cheap hotel rooms on the day or the night before as venues try to fill up empty rooms on short notice. Hostels too are becoming more expensive so chances are you can pay a little more and avoid a room full of drunk Irish backpackers and get a good night’s sleep instead. When in Asia, you can even stay up late watching Korean or Japanese news services and quirky local drama in foreign tongue. Come to think of it, ever watched an episode of Baywatch with Bulgarian overdubs? Hillarious I tells ya!