Am not really a travel enthusiast. However, I like to experience different culture and learn to travel on my own.
I do get to travel alone but only when going home, and it’s not as frightening anymore, unlike when I tried first few times.
Flying is most certainly different than land-based travel. If I were to travel the Philippines via Bus, I’m not as skeptical and as frantic, as when traveling overseas. Going back and forth to the country I work, doesn’t really bother me anymore. But when I travel to another country the first time, that can be really frightening and I admit, I was in panic for weeks.
I went to Thailand in 2010 to do a course. And it’s my first time to travel somewhere on my own. Again, although, I did get to fly back and forth to the mideast on my own several times, it’s not as scary since my parents would pick me up in the airport. In Thailand, I have to do it all by myself – arrange transport, arrange accommodation, etc.
I spent weeks going through online for the nearest accommodation, cheapest fare, etc. Reading through lonely planet and blogs about Thailand and what it’s about. Nothing will still prepare you for real life.
Since there wasn’t a direct flight from Manila to Phuket back then, I went via Singapore. I asked my colleague’s daughter to meet me at the airport and if I can stay in their place for few days. She was very accommodating and agreed.
I don’t usually roam around places I don’t know. But after 2 days, I began to feel comfortable in Singapore. Everything’s accessible. As a matter of fact, I went back there the next year, 2011. Hahaha!
Now, in Thailand, climate-wise, it is very similar to the Philippines, very tropical. Since I’m in Phuket, I would compare the scene like I was going to Laguna, Batangas, etc. – Very green, combination of mountains and shores. Difference – they are full of foreigners – from all over the world.
But what made me think that I should have done this, wasn’t the adventures but the travel life hacks I should have learned. I have traveled several times, yet never mastered packing.
What I wish I knew before going to Thailand:
- I should have brought / bought rope and binder pins – and used as clothesline. I managed to buy some stuff in Thailand yet I never thought of this – for obvious reasons. I haven’t learned this yet. During my4-week stay in Phuket, I always wash my clothes to minimize expenses. I used my belt as a clothes line and a stick which I picked up on the street. Yeah – garbage collector here! hahaha!
- Limit the number of clothes I brought and bought packing cubes. This may seem trivial and plainly, common sense, but I didn’t. I was so used to overpacking. I just often leave my clothes in the Philippines or mideast. I then learned that I could have just brought 10 pieces / 12 pieces of clothes and that would be enough. For packing list, visit travelfashiongirl.com.
- Brought and store the essentials. My carry-on bag is really heavy all the time. Sadly, I have already taken out what I think isn’t suppose to be there. But I guess, that’s just me, being a girl. I need to have everything inside my bag. Essentials being toiletries and beauty products.. hahaha! Well, I’m surrounded with beaches. I definitely need one from those essentials.
- Learned life hack lessons. I could saved even more probably if I cooked my own food. It’s not allowed though (especially in my room). But heating water and ramen noodles wouldn’t be so bad. Browse YouTube for life hacks.
- I should have brought a travel neck pillow. I haven’t bought one yet when I went there. But now that I have, I love my neck pillow – it’s inflatable so not as bulky.
I probably have more but those are on top of my mind. What are your travel / life hacks and essentials – as in a definite must-have on your travels?
Travel hacks from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B76P8jI2Kk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkUSMOUvuPE http://www.youtube.com/user/soniastravels