When you’re using your phone to navigate yourself, taking pictures and using Instagram or other apps, you’ll find that your battery is going to drain pretty quickly. This can often be really frustrating, so I suggest bringing a power bank with you so that you can keep your phone charged when out on your adventures. Better yet, grab a solar powered one that recharges itself throughout the day!
It’s important to remember that when you’re a new destination, the people of that country aren’t zoo animals that you’re looking at. So what I mean is, that you can’t just take close up pictures of them without asking. You’ll often find most people say yes to pictures being taken, but just ask first. This is especially true if you’re taking pictures of local children. Just be wary of what you’re doing. I have to say, I wish this worked the other way. When in India I felt like I had the paparazzi with me anywhere I went. People were constantly taking my picture, to the point crowds would form and I would be overwhelmed. I’m not joking. But, I realise I look unique to them, so I accept it to a certain extent, but say no when I feel uncomfortable.
Different countries have different religions and rules that need to be abided. Just because it’s something you’re not used to, or you don’t necessarily agree with, doesn’t mean you just blatantly ignore it. For example, in Muslim countries it’s important not to go around showing off loads of skin. Local people are tolerable to a certain extent of course, but it’s nice to be respectful of a culture and to reflect that in your actions when visiting their country. Failing to do so could land you in a lot of trouble.
Some of our favourite travel moments are from making friends with locals. We’ve met some amazing people over the years and chatting with people who live and breathe the country you're visiting is such an amazing way to get real insight into what the country is like, rather than just what’s in the guidebooks. Some of my favourite moments are enjoying a fire with the locals outside in Nagarkot (Nepal), chatting about life and learning about Nepaliese pop music, and meeting awesome locals in El Salvador who invited us for surfing and a really great night out. They’ll also find you locations to discover that you didn’t know existed!
Travelling is all about pushing yourself to try new things and new experiences in a new country. This is fantastic, but don’t be afraid to say no. If you’re terrified of something, don’t just do it because you feel like you have to because you’re travelling, or it’s “for the Gram”. Only do things you are genuinely interested and comfortable doing. Just because someone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you need to either. Especially if said thing is unsafe.
Getting lost often leads you to new places and new adventures, so don’t be worried when you do. When you get lost for real in a destination, locals are more than happy to help you find your way back. So enjoy the experience of where you are and take the unknown road. You never know where it could lead!
If you’re travelling somewhere that’s famous for it’s waters, then you’re going to want to bring a GoPro - trust me. We didn’t bring a GoPro to The Philippines and honestly it’s one of the biggest travel regrets we have! If you want awesome underwater footage, great snorkeling pictures etc, then bring your GoPro! Or a great quality GoPro alternative that can capture epic places in just as much detail. We now have the GoPro Hero 9 and the quality is just fantastic.
Whilst you don’t need a super expensive camera to take great photos, it’s still worth having a phone or camera that can take good quality pictures. You will constantly be surrounded with the opportunity to take pictures and you should! Photos are the best way to capture a memory and look back on it in the future. When we travel, we take:
Now, I can’t say that I’ve never been to a Mcdonalds in a foreign country. It’s a great place to pee and get a coffee or a snack at night, but don’t let that replace the amazing local cuisine that will surround you! Try new foods, ask locals for food recommendations and support the local businesses. I have to say our favourite country for amazing local food is India. India has the best food in the world, and after 3 weeks of eating there we never got the dreaded Delhi Belly.
Only take the bare essentials when you're sightseeing. If you’ve got a lot of important documents and items with you, you’ll spend most of your time worried that something will be stolen, or has gone missing. Take only what you need and it’ll be a lot less stressful. Don’t flash your cash or fancy jewels either. It just puts you at increased risk from thieves.