Live and learn
There are a few things I wish I knew before I went travelling. Somethings are quite obvious, others I learnt the hard way.
The good thing about going on an adventure is what you learn along the way: things about you, things about your location and things about life more generally. However, there are times when I'm out somewhere in a random country and I think to myself, I wish I knew this before I set off.
So here are a list of 7 things that I wish I knew before travelling. If you have any hints/tips or things you found out the hard way, feel free to leave a message in the comments section or Tweet me @travellingsingh.
Don't take too many clothes
On my first solo trip, I took a fair few t shirts and vests and wore very few of them. I never made the same mistake again.
Clothes in South East Asia especially are incredibly cheap and unless you want to return with an overflowing bag, I'd suggest buying tops, sandals, shorts etc. while you are away. Taking a backpack full of clothes also means less space for souvenirs but it really is an unnecessary extra weight.
There are a few exceptions If you think you will be going to any posh bars or restaurants, bring some smart shoes/shirts from home. In certain locations away from big cities, these clothes can be hard to come by, and in South America or Europe these are not much cheaper than the UK..
Book tour excursions abroad
I booked a tour to Northern Thailand whilst in England, and although relatively cheap, I was surprised just how much I could have saved had I booked it in Bangkok. Since then, on most tour excursions, I have tried to book in the country I'd want to do it. Firstly, its cheaper and secondly you can always haggle to bring the price down further.
One thing I was worried about was the quality of the tour. If you book at home with a well known company, you can be somewhat comfortable knowing you will be in good hands. This is definitely a point to consider as my experience has been mixed, however, on the whole I must admit that with the confidence of a few trips under your belt, you can begin to differentiate between legitimate tours and those that just want your money and will provide a below par experience.
Exchange your currency at your destination
British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.