Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Travelogue 0.3: The MUST-DO's when you are Travelling.

Yes, I'm having the wanderlust again. So here I am, writing about what I love most, travelling. Many of you would have known by now of my profound love for travelling but I'm not gonna blab about how much I love travelling in this post. I figured I'll share some tips about travelling that I myself find it as a MUST-DO for travelers.

But before I start on that, did I tell you guys how close was I to winning the iMasTraveler contest? Yea, its the Bali post that I posted up a few months back. You can read it all over here if you missed it. Anyways, yes, I was lucky enough to be chosen as the top 15 finalist from the 300++ entries. I pretty much gave up when I knew that there was only 277 likes for my post. Surprising enough for me, I got a congratulatory email from MAS when I was half dead during my exam period; it really uplifted my mood for a while. But unfortunately, I did not win anything except for a miniature Airbus A380. I have to say, it is a beauty, but I wanna be ON it not, to have a small model OF it.

Anyways, as promised, the MUST-DO's that I've learnt from my past travelling experiences:

#1. The comprehensive research.
I guess, this point is often forgotten by people who wishes to travel abroad. A comprehensive research is very important I must say. Not only does it help with money handling, it makes sure that you make full use of the limited time you have travelling abroad. You will also understand and connect with the locals better when you are over there. I don't know about you, but for me, this little point is pretty important for me, cause it enables me to understand how and why they live how they live. Learning about their culture, history and also knowing the must visit spots, ensure that you don't miss out on the best that a place have to offer you.

#2. Learn about making the best out of your money.
Remember, remember to check out the currency exchange rates before you travel. This is really important so you know exactly how much you are spending. In my recent trip to Philippines, me and my friend thought Philippines was really expensive and that deter us from spending unnecessarily. Funny thing was, after missing out on so many great bargains, I only realized much later that we have mistaken the conversion rate for Philippino Pesos. Things were so much cheaper that we thought. So hence, say goodbye to the cheap bargains that I pass up on. Other than shopping, I think its ultimately important to know this to stretch every dollar that you have in your pocket. 

Besides that, I also realized the importance of credit card in travelling. But if you are like me, only 21 and not having a stable income, I strictly advice you against that. And the best alternative would be to have Maybank's debit Visa card. Do remember to activate your account at maybank2u.com.my and also activate your account's "Plus" at your nearest ATM teller machine to enable you to withdraw money overseas(note that RM10 will be charged with every transaction). Other than m2u, I guess the last choice would be the traveller's check, which I find a bit troublesome. Money IS security especially when your travelling. I have gone totally broke when I'm travelling before and hell, it was scary. I guess, I should start learning a skill that I can perform on the streets to earn money just in case that unfortunate day really do come.

#3. Pack light.
Being someone who packs every weekend to go back to Kampar from KL, I dare say, I am a pretty pro packer now. But yet, me being a girl, its still kinda hard to pack without the essentials. And for a girl, essentials can be quite a lot; from skincare products, to everything a girl needs to making herself look like a fashionista walking down the streets(have to look good even though we are in a different country, don't you think so?) But still, I've learnt the hard way that its always good to pack light. One is that, you have extra space to fit all the shopping that you did, and also it'll be much easier for you to carry your bag around, of cause. For me, I would have to say, the latter didn't really mean so much to me. Cheap bargains is all that matters, yo!

#4. Snag a great travelling partner before you jump on the plane.
You can ignore my first three points, but this, believe me, is the most important of all. Travelling with someone who you can't stand, makes you hate the whole travelling experience, even the place that you traveled to all in all. If you think travelling with someone you can have a great time with means you he/she would be a breeze, think again. Travelling with someone can actually make you learn more about a person. Having a great time together ain't the same with spending every second of your day together. So yes, I agree when people say that  travelling is a great test for couples to see if they get along before they tie the knot. But at the end of the day, if you got yourself a great travelling mate, the trip would be a great one to remember for life.

Well, these are the basic four MUST-DOs that I feel everyone should do to have a great travelling experience. Travelling is after all for leisure and all together a learning experience to be kept for a lifetime and to be shared with your grandchildren. So make it the best story to tell for life!

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