It isn’t easy navigating new territory or becoming an expert at travelling when travelling simply isn’t part of your career. We at woman&home hardly consider ourselves master travellers, but we have learnt a few tips and tricks over the years. If you’d like to become more of a savvy traveller, then read up on our tips below – you’ll reach ‘savvy-traveller’ status in no time.
Top tips for going on a road trip
- Make sure you’ve checked the pressure of the spare tyre before hitting the long road. An odd puncture without a pumped spare tyre might delay your journey.
- If you know you’re going to venture into territory where signal is low, take a paper map along to follow. It will be trustier in times of need if you become lost on the road and Apple or Google Maps just doesn’t seem to be loading.
- Make sure you have water and plenty of snacks for those incredibly long, often uneventful stretches of road where everything starts to look the same after a while.
- Pick your best travel buddy as your ‘co-pilot’ and ensure that you have an excellent music playlist going.
Tips for travelling on a plane
- Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to take off and put back on – it’ll make going through security checks a breeze.
- Make sure the liquids you take on board with you aren’t more than 100ml each and that you have a plastic Ziploc bag to put them in.
- Chew bubblegum during take-off and landing to alleviate some of the pressure on your ears.
- For long-haul flights, always pack a scarf or an extra layer. The cabin can get quite chilly and extra blankets aren’t always available.
Tips for travelling internationally
- There’s an app called Citymapper that’s amazing if you’re travelling to a busy city like London or Sydney. It’s like Google Maps on another level, because it shows you the quickest way to get somewhere, taking into consideration trains, undergrounds, buses and walking time. It’s a real life-saver!
- If you’re going on a long flight and are worried about catching someone else’s bug, we recommend investing in an ointment like Fucidin or Bactroban. Rub a small amount on the inside of your nose before getting on the plane, and as many times during the flight as you need. It acts as a bizarre barrier against germs.
- Carry copies of your travel documents with you and also email them to yourself.
- Take photos of your luggage. This will make it easier for people to identify it if it’s lost.
- Make sure to alert more than one family member or friend on where you will be staying and for how long.
Tips for packing… if you’re an over-packer
- For extra luggage space, roll your clothes up instead of folding them into squares and rectangles. This also stops your clothes from crinkling badly.
- Alternatively, you could try to pack your clothes in cubes that open and close with a zip. You can organise the cubes according to outfits or sizes of the clothing. After arriving at your destination, you won’t need to unpack your bag completely. Simply remove the cube, unzip it, and place it in a drawer or cupboard. You can remove outfits when necessary and return them to the cube or even create a laundry cube that you can zip shut and neatly place back into your suitcase. They fit perfectly like puzzle pieces in your case.
- Try to overcome the desire to pack those ‘just-in-case’ items – you probably won’t need that fifth pair of shoes. Plus, if you pack light, you’ll have more space in your luggage for the shopping-spree items you’ve bought during your trip.
- Use straws to thread your necklaces through so that they don’t tangle. A handy place to store them in your luggage is in a case for glasses. You could also try to pack jewellery in pill boxes (particularly those ones that are divided into days). This works especially well for delicate earrings and rings.
- It’s always wise to carry a mini first aid kit and a few pain killers. You never know when a cut or pesky migraine might hit, so it’s always better to be prepared.
- If packing is a stressful activity for you, try using an app for packing and travelling that can create essential clothing lists for you according to your destination. We’d recommend the PackKing app.
Tips to keep in mind regarding gadgets
- Carry a power bank or two and a spare, cheaper phone with a working sim card in case your main phone is lost or stolen.
- If heading to a destination where the signal is temperamental, take an additional sim card with from another service provider – it might just pick up signal that your main sim card can’t.
- Be sure to have alternate adapters in the event your room has varying square or triangular sockets. This is especially applicable to a trip abroad.
- Back up all current content on your phone and erase it for ample footage space for your new adventure.
Tips for looking fresh while travelling
- Whether you’re flying or out on the road, pack a thermal water facial spray in. Skin can dehydrate very quickly when travelling, especially when you fly, so a light misting of thermal water will help soothe and moisturise. Our beauty editor recommends the Avene Thermale Spring Water.
- Decant as many items as you can into a nifty travel-sized bottle. You can often find little travel-friendly kits at Clicks and Dischem.
- Make-up wipes are nice to pop in your bag. Travelling can make your face feel a bit polluted, so having these around can freshen you up in seconds.
- Try keeping eye drops in your purse, too. They can instantly make you feel refreshed and help you look less tired.
By Features Writer Marike Watson
Features writer by trade, music lover and fine-line illustrator by nature. As an expert on the ’70s era, Marike will happily introduce you to her record collection. She’s passionate about African art and culture. And if she’s not off on an adventure, you’ll most likely find her making coffee.