What not to do when you travel.

Travellers always have a mixture of stories. Those of the amazing sites, the beautiful people, the architecture, and the things you must see when you go there. And then there’s the tales of woe. The things that happened that could have been avoided, the strange rash that developed over night, which proceeds to take over your entire body, or the situations you ended up in where you thought ‘I’m overseas in a foreign country and I don’t have any money to call anyone for help – and I can’t speak the language! Argh?!’

Here’s a list of tips of what not to do when you travel, compiled from  a survey of some of my friends, most who are avid travellers, and from my own experiences. Feel free to add to the list, or share your stories!

What NOT to do when you travel

  • Don’t laugh loudly in a taxi in Singapore. You could get yourself told off, or worse – kicked out of the taxi;
  • If you are female, don’t get in the front seat of a taxi in Singapore. This could lead to a possible groping from the taxi driver;
  • Don’t leave home without multiple packs of travel tissues – good for visits to dodgy holes in the floor (toilets) or normal toilets (sometimes the holes in the floor are just so much more hygienic!);
  • Be wary of drinking the water anywhere – it’s safer to opt for bottled water (from SEALED bottles), even when brushing your teeth (until you really KNOW its safe!);
  • Don’t go off alone with a guy you don’t know – and never let a friend do the same;
  • Never go to the toilets alone when dining out in Naples! From personal experiences, you get followed;
  • If you’re travelling for the first time on a boat, plane or train –  especially long haul – take some travel sickness meds. Just because you’ve never experienced motion sickness doesn’t mean you won’t this time;
  • Here’s one for the backpackers – never use an unfamiliar pillow/pillowcase…you don’t know what was left behind…
  • For those using shared hostel bathrooms – don’t forget to take your toiletry bag every time you make a trip to the bathroom (trying to shower without soap is an ill-advised adventure into badness);
  • And another for shared hostel bathrooms – always use thongs/flip flops in the showers. When you are relying on your feet to transport you around foreign lands, you really don’t want tinea;
  • Be very weary of bedding – be sure to inspect, and if you are allowed, use your own sleeping sheet (particularly when sleeping in hostels). TRUST ME – You don’t want to have to experience bed bugs – they after effects stay with you long after you return home (again – personal experience);
  • Don’t spend all of your money. Just make sure you always have some money on you, or at least in your account still, even when you have already checked in for the flight home. Things happen, flights get delayed or deviated, and you may need money to do things like eat (or pay for another budget airfare)…
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12 thoughts on “What not to do when you travel.

  1. This is quite an awesome compilation…something I would like to add out of my personal experience….always check the seals on drinking water, it might be a re – sealed thing which is as good as drinking contaminated water. Buy a trusted brand.

  2. Great reminders here…some of the tips about showers/shared baths also apply to campgrounds. Most campground owners do a marvelous job of cleaning after guests, but it just takes one icky floor to pick up something more than a souvenir from vacation. Have showered in my running shoes when I forgot to pack the flip-flops!

  3. Great tips. Even though the post doesn’t tell us about the ‘amazing sites, the beautiful people, the architecture’ of the foreign lands, strangely enough the tales of woe make me want to travel!
    Some more tips- 1. Always carry an extra pair of clothes 2. If you have a pre-paid sim for your cell, its good to carry a few recharge cards. 3. Carry some change in the outer zip-pocket of your carry bag/purse and distribute the bulk of the money amongst the various bags.
    @Hajra: Thanks for telling us about this blog. Its wonderful!

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