A List of Travel Tips to Make Your Vacation Planning Easier

Many people spend their vacation traveling either in country or abroad and find it can be a complicated ordeal to remember all those little details before leaving home, and while on the trip you thought was so well planned out. This is where some travel tips can be most useful. It usually helps to make a list of necessities and then divide it between what needs to be done before locking that door at home and what needs to be remembered when traveling to your destination. Here are some valuable travel tips to include on your lists:

• If traveling out of the country scan your passport, travel tickets (cruise or air travel), ATM card info, emergency phone numbers, and store this information on your email address so it can be accessed by you if necessary from anywhere in the world.
• Do not carry all your valuables in one place. Split up your cash, bank cards, credit cards, and travelers checks into different locations either in pockets or your baggage (best if kept on your person in case of luggage misplacement). That way if you get robbed you may not lose everything all at once.
• Take bar soap and toothpaste powder instead of liquids and tubes to simplify matters for security clearance. Purchase the sample sized items if possible.
• One of the best travel tips suggests you pack everything you possibly can in plastic bags because they keep cleaner and are visible to those who feel it necessary to go through your luggage at airports, etc. They also come in handy as an emergency umbrella.
• Travelling with a flashlight (or torch) is common but don’t let those batteries run down if the light comes on accidentally. Turn your batteries around before storing it, and then turn them around again when you get to your destination.
• Shoes should be put into plastic bags to keep the other items in your luggage odor free and clean. You could put a pair of socks inside each shoe for easy packing.
• When flying, especially on a long flight, keep any necessary medications along with your important papers close by in overhead baggage. It might be useful to also bring along a clean change of clothing when on long flights.

The last item on this travel tips list must be to remember to get any necessary vaccinations that may be required (depending on the location) and to not forget your list!

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Local Customs and More on a Travel Tips Blog

Experienced travellers claim that you should travel light on luggage and heavy on knowledge. Genuine globetrotters point out that everywhere you go, the hotels, restaurants, and shops will have everything you need. Moreover, if you keep your suitcase empty on your outbound trip, you have lots of room for all the great one-of-a-kind items you will pick-up on your travels. You cannot and should not, however, keep your mind more than half empty, leaving yourself vulnerable to hijackers, pirates, and international incidents. Reading a good travel tips blog, you can develop an experienced traveler’s wisdom and insight without ever leaving home.

Rules, regulations, and requirements

A travel tips blog will detail the rules, regulations, requirements, and laws governing travel to any destination on earth. Learn whether you need special documents or identification; should you carry your passport and birth certificate wherever you go? Learn whether you need proof of vaccination to enter the country; should you protect yourself against malaria, smallpox, and other contagious diseases relatively uncommon in Europe and North America? What will you do if you are injured during your travels abroad; will your insurance protect you, or should you purchase extra “trip insurance”? Can you drive a car through the country; what are the rules of the road? A travel tips blog breaks-down all the information into its main ideas and details, placing emphasis where it belongs and adding information only the locals would know.

Currency and exchange rates

Although the vendors and merchants will help you with all your transactions, you should know enough about the currency and values that you can tell the difference between a genuine bargain and an over-priced touristy curio. A travel tips blog will advise you to carry a pocket calculator or get an app for that, so that you can go comfortably from dollars to Euros to rupees or pesos. When you have mastered the math, move on to mastering the etiquette of tipping: to whom do you offer a gratuity, and how much is enough? Perhaps most importantly, a travel tips blog will advise you about shopping-what about tariffs, duties, customs fees, and other costs. That little trinket that seemed like the most awesome bargain in the universe may become your most expensive mistake if you do not prepare in advance.

Customs and courtesies

Learn a little bit about common courtesies in the countries on your itinerary. A travel tips blog will advise you about the consequences of asking for a fork in Japan or China, the complications of violating a local’s “personal space” in New York, and the ramifications of belching or becoming belligerent in an Australian pub. What about handshakes, bows, and hugs? Who does what, when and why? People in California and Colorado believe in hug-at-first-sight; other places not so much. Women may discreetly inquire about proper headwear: what does one wear as she visits the Vatican, takes tea with the Queen, or travels anywhere in Iran?

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Ethiopia Adventure Travel Tips

In November 2010 my husband and I travelled around Ethiopia for three weeks by public bus with a private guide. Travel (especially bus travel) is a real adventure and not for the faint hearted as there is long travel days (even longer if the bus breaks down) on poorly maintained roads. But it is an excellent way to get up close and personal and experience the life and culture of the locals.

Addis Ababa
We arrived at the airport at 3.30am. We had not booked any accommodation due to our early arrival so we stayed at the airport till about 7am. A taxi agreed to take us into the city for USD$10. We went to the Ras Hotel where we had to wait till 9am to see if they had a room.
Travel Tip: We stayed at the Ras Hotel 3 times due to its central location. The price includes breakfast which is awful but lunch and dinner are good.

Bahir Dar
We stayed at the Ghion Hotel on Lake Tana and did a boat cruise to the islands to see the painted churches. The Blue Nile Falls area is pretty but not worth the long bumpy ride to get there. Since damming the river, the waterfalls are certainly nothing like the posters show.
Travel Tip: Check if a guide is included with your Lake Tana boat cruise. There was 9 of us on our boat. No guide accompanied us on the boat except for our private guide Samson. The first island we visited Samson acted as intrepreter otherwise we would have not understood what we were looking at. The second island we visited the church guide spoke English.

Gonder
The abandoned castles are very interesting and it is worth hiring the guides inside the gate.
Travel Tip: We stayed at the Belgez Pension which was cheap, clean and quiet but the rooms were very small and cramped. They do your washing for a very small fee – give to the cleaners in the morning.

Simien Mountains
We did a one day 4WD day trip with another traveller and our guide Samson.
Travel Tip: We would have liked to have stayed overnight even though we are not trekkers, as the scenery is stunning.

Lalibela
We spent 2 nights in Lalibela exploring the amazing rock churches.
Travel Tip: Keep your entrance ticket handy as they will be checked at each church entrance.

Arba Minch
Arba Minch is a overnight bus stop between Addis Ababa and Jinka.
Travel Tip: Spend an extra night on one of the stopovers and do the lake tour.

Jinka
We hired a 4WD locally to tour the main 3 tribes in the area (Mersi, Hamer and Karo tribes). We shared this cost with 3 other travellers who were on the bus and stayed at the same accommodation as us.
Travel Tip: Buy your bus ticket to Addis Ababa early (at least 1 day in advance) so you can obtain a better seat number otherwise you will find yourself stuck at the back of the bus on the 2 day journey. Buy good ear plugs so that you can block out the noise of the loud music videos playing.

Transport
We used a variety of transport that included: public bus, minivan, 4WD and boat.
Travel Tip: If you find that quite a few of you are heading in the same direction, it will be more economical and comfortable to rent a minivan and driver like we did from Bahar Dar to Gondar (7 people).

Tour Guide
We used the services of a private guide. This was the first time we have hired a guide for the entire trip through a new country. The guide proved invaluable in keeping the touts away (worth the money alone), dealing with local tour operators and obtaining hotels.
Travel Tip: Use a private guide’s extensive knowledge and experience to enjoy Ethiopia through the eyes of a local.

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