Traveling is among the most satisfying of life’s pleasures. We all dream of traveling to distant places, exploring new lands, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures. Travel opens our eyes to what it means to be human. It helps us understand that no matter how different we may be, there are more things that unite us than divide us – chief among them being a desire for peace.
The world is an enormous place with thousands of destinations on offer, each one unique in its own way. This makes it easy to understand why so many people become obsessed with travel! However, despite everyone’s best efforts at getting ready for their next trip, not every vacation goes according to plan… For some reason or another, they seem to end up as complete failures.
The tips that follow are designed to help you avoid this fate. They’ll ensure that the next time you pack your bags for a trip, it will truly be unforgettable!
1. Planning is needed for even the shortest trips
It’s easy to think of travel as something with an element of spontaneity; two people meet, book a plane ticket and fly off on an adventure. But if you leave everything until the last minute, you may not get all the flights or hotels booked in time (or at all). Start planning well ahead of time so that when the day comes, all you have to do is pick up your bags and go!
2. Research where you’re going
Before you leave, find out where you’re going. If it’s a well-known destination, there should be plenty of guidebooks available in bookstores and online. Find out as much as you can about the destination so that your time there is well spent.
3. Pack only what you need to carry
This may sound like a given for any traveler, but if you pack light, life will be much easier for you! You’ll never have to worry about not having enough room in your bag or not being able to fit all your purchases in. Also, it can be incredibly frustrating to have to wait for your bag at the airport – so avoid any of these issues by packing light!
4. Always bring a map
If you don’t want to get lost on your travels, make sure you always carry a map or guidebook with you. You’ll never know when they might come in handy! They’re especially helpful if you’re exploring new cities and need help finding attractions or landmarks.
5. Bring along cash (and exchange it)
Cash is still king in many parts of the world; you won’t be able to pay with a card or use ATMs everywhere, so make sure you take enough cash with you before setting out on your travels. At the same time, make sure you exchange your cash before you leave as well – it’s better to not need cash than to be stuck without it at an important moment!
6. Pack a first aid kit
You never know what might happen when you’re out and about; bring along a first aid kit with all of the essentials (bandages, painkillers, antiseptic lotion etc.) and you’ll always feel safe and secure!
7. Pack toiletry bags for each family member
Pack up enough small toiletry bags for each person in your party so that there’s no fighting over who gets to use the shampoo or body wash provided by hotels or hostels. It also helps if everyone has their own toothbrush!
8. Bring a power strip with you
It’s always a pain to have to share sockets between multiple people – so bring a power strip along with you and make sure nobody has to fight over the availability of a plug socket!
9. Bring an adapter for your electronics
If you’re going somewhere that uses different plugs from those in your home country, be sure to pack an adapter that allows you use your devices there safely and easily!
10. Pack light but warm clothes
Pack plenty of layers as well as clothing suitable for warmer weather; depending on where you’re going, it might get colder than you expect, so make sure you’ve got enough warm clothes packed. If necessary, bring along some lighter clothing during the day that you can remove at night (when it gets colder) to sleep in.
11. Know what to pack when traveling with kids
You may be used to packing light for yourself, but when you’re traveling with kids, this becomes a lot harder! As well as all the usual stuff you’d bring for yourself (day packs, toiletries etc.), make sure your kids have enough clothes and toys to keep them busy throughout the trip so they don’t get bored or unruly!
12. Don’t forget your phone charger/Kindle/iPod
No matter where you’re going or how long you plan on being away, always bring along your phone charger just in case something happens if your battery dies while exploring!
13. Pack extra plastic bags for dirty laundry and wet clothes
If you don’t want your dirty laundry or wet clothes to take up all the space in your bag, pack some extra plastic bags and keep them separate – that way, you’ll be able to neatly contain any messes made!
14. Don’t overload yourself with luggage
You might think you need to bring everything with you when you travel but this will only increase the weight of your luggage and make it harder (and more frustrating) to carry around. Do a test run at home before leaving and see how much you can actually lift; if necessary, get somebody else to help you reduce what’s in your bag until it weighs roughly 10% of your total weight. This way, you’ll be able to move around easier and won’t have so much trouble with your luggage!
15. Always carry a small flashlight on you
It’s always smart to have a small flashlight on you in case there are power outages or it gets dark unexpectedly while you’re exploring the city – these things happen, so it’s good to be prepared either way!
16. Bring along a headlamp for after it gets dark
Whether you’re camping or just trying to get away from the city lights, having a headlamp will make it easier for you to see where you’re going when it’s time to sleep. This is especially handy if there are no other light sources around!
17. Bring plenty of spare batteries/photocopies of your important documents
If you don’t want to risk losing your passport while traveling around, be sure to bring at least one photocopy of your passport with you (along with any other important travel documents) and keep that in an accessible place while travelling. If necessary – bring extras too so that each member of the family has their own copy just in case! You may also want to bring spare batteries for any electronics you’re bringing with you, just in case they run out while you’re away.
18. Bring prescription medicines and a doctor’s note if necessary
If you’re bringing prescription medication (and your doctor has given you a note concerning this), make sure that’s all packed neatly and securely so it doesn’t get damaged or lost! If possible, keep the original packaging too – this will make it easier for customs officials to see what kind of medication it is and whether there are any problems with traveling with them!
19. Keep sensitive items in “easy open” bags
Put your most valuable/sensitive items in sealable plastic bags – not only will this prevent any water damage to these items, but it will also make it easier for you to access them quickly when needed!
20. Keep important documents in sealable plastic bags too
This includes your travel tickets or your boarding pass, your passport (if you’re traveling internationally), etc. Keeping all of this stuff in one place will make it easier for you to find what you need and keep everything together so there’s no risk of misplacing anything while exploring the city!
21. Bring an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag
If your suitcase is one of those that can’t be locked, always pack one spare outfit in the same compartment as your carry-on luggage – you never know what can happen to a checked bag, after all! This is especially important if you’re traveling somewhere where it might rain or get cold suddenly.
22. Make sure everyone knows what time you’ll be arriving at your destination and who will pick you up (and vice versa)
Having a plan of action before leaving and while away can make things easier for you and save you some hassle when it comes to figuring out how to get back home! Try to send someone updates on what time/place they should meet you at if possible – this way, everything will go a lot smoother.
23. Use an umbrella or poncho to stay dry when it rains
If your hotel room doesn’t have a roof and it starts raining, make sure everyone is dressed properly and ready with their umbrellas/ponchos on hand before opening the door! Even if you’re just going for a stroll, having some protection from the rain can help prevent any unwanted wetness that may ruin your day! Keep in mind that even bottled water can open up under such conditions, so be especially careful with those as well.
24. Be aware of what local customs are concerning cameras and recording devices
If you’re wondering whether something is allowed or not, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re unsure! If the locals are anything like us , they’ll probably feel flattered if they notice that you’ve done some research beforehand. Of course, sticking to what’s allowed will make it easier for you when you eventually leave the area – no one wants problems with customs officials (at least not on your first day).
25. Check visa requirements for all countries involved in advance
This is especially important if you’re planning on traveling between two different countries within a relatively short time frame. Even something as simple as forgetting to check whether your visa is valid can get in the way of having fun while exploring new places (and possibly even ending up in fines or jail time)! Have a friend double-check for you if possible so something like this won’t ruin your trip.
26. Always have a map ready to go in case of an emergency
Using maps from your smartphone while traveling can help tremendously when it comes to getting around, but sometimes they fail to display all the necessary information – don’t get caught off guard by sudden closures or poorly marked roads! If you’re going somewhere new, try figuring out a few shortcuts beforehand – that way, no matter where you end up going, you’ll be able to find your way back home again safely.
27. Have a customs official open any suspicious packages before leaving the country
Blowing things up is not something anyone should wish upon themselves! Keep hidden items locked in your luggage when traveling between multiple countries – this will help you avoid any potential problems with officials or customs. The rest is up to you!
29. Never leave food unattended, even if it’s in the fridge
This way, no one else can tamper with it while you’re not looking (and possibly get themselves into trouble). It might seem like a good way to prevent any disasters from happening, but trying to clean up after someone else’s mess is never fun! If this happens to you, just leave the area immediately and don’t return for at least another few minutes.
30. Don’t forget to take necessary medication along with you
Even if there are pharmacies around wherever you’re going, make sure that you have at least a few days’ worth of medication on you in case your luggage gets lost/delayed. This way, there’ll be no need to worry about potentially getting sick during the holiday season! See if you can give a relative or friend a list of what you should take with you as well – doing so will help them avoid accidentally stocking up on something else instead.
31. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries for your devices
Electrical outlets can become scarce when traveling around from one place to another, so keep some spare batteries just in case! These are especially useful if you’re going somewhere that’s particularly cold, but generally speaking, they’re always helpful to have on hand whenever needed. Also, don’t forget chargers for all of your devices – we got caught in a rainstorm and lost power at the hotel we were staying at (thankfully, not completely).
32. Always double-check how much fuel you have when filling up
This is especially important if you’re planning on driving long distances before returning home! Last-minute mistakes could easily leave you stranded in an inconvenient location, so always keep an eye out for inaccurate price tags or poorly calibrated machines. You should also ask around to find out where the closest petrol station is in case something does go wrong while you’re away.
33. Make sure your phone’s apps are working properly before leaving
If your travel plans involve using certain mobile apps, check them over thoroughly before heading out the door! A lot of times, apps tend to mess up whenever you try to use them on a different device, so this way you can at least ensure that they’re working as intended. This generally doesn’t apply if your phone’s OS is exactly the same as whatever you’re trying to use it with (unlocking Android devices for instance), but if not, then it might be worth double-checking everything just to be safe.
34. Never leave your credit card unattended unless necessary
For example, leaving it on the table at a restaurant while going to the bathroom might seem like a good idea… But many waiters/waitresses actually keep track of which cards they’ve seen and which they haven’t – even if you’re not around! If you do need to leave your card somewhere, just make sure that the person who’ll be looking after it is trustworthy – don’t forget to pay it back when leaving!
35. Keep an eye on any drinks or food being served to you
Aside from making sure that nobody has tampered with it, this will also help you avoid getting sick whenever possible. Never hesitate to send something back if there’s anything suspicious about it – apart from potentially damaging your health, doing so might even save you some money in the long run (especially if you’re paying for someone else). Also be careful of giving out too much information while ordering at restaurants – whatever might seem like a harmless joke between friends could easily end up being used against you.
36. Only accept drinks that come sealed/capped
The same goes for any other food items, too – trust your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right about the way something was made or presented itself to you, don’t hesitate to make a scene if necessary – it’s better to be safe than sorry. That being said, watch out for people bumping into you later on in the night as well…
37. Make sure any unfamiliar person is okay before leaving them alone
This one might seem like common sense, but even still there are some who forget this simple rule and end up suffering because of it. For example, we once encountered a drunk girl trying to go home on her own, and we helped her get to the nearest station; we even tried seeing if she wanted us to take her home, but she said it wasn’t necessary… So we left and went our separate ways. Little did we know that she ended up being mugged just a few meters down the road from where we last saw her – because someone had been following her from behind!
38. When taking pictures of strangers, wait until they’re out of sight before leaving
This one works best for crowded places with lots of people around – you’ll have a much better chance at getting a good shot without having to ask them first! For example, I once got a photo with one particular person while visiting DisneySea in Japan, only to find out that he wasn’t wearing anything but a swimsuit underneath his clothes… When I asked him about it, he said that the only reason why was because of how hot it was. Oh well!
39. Never try to take pictures inside bathrooms
Just don’t do it – you’ll only end up seeing things that you won’t be able to un-see for quite some time afterwords (and all the possible dangers of actually taking them in the first place spring to mind as well).
40. Be careful not to get caught in any kind of scam
Most people are aware of these by now, but still, there are some who might still fall for them… And if they involve getting someone else involved with you or your personal information, then it might be even worse. Whenever you think you’ve been caught up in any sort of scam (especially those involving other people), try to get as much information about the person(s) responsible for it and report them to the authorities if necessary – and also remember to let your bank know if anything was compromised during the course of events!
41. Try not to talk about money until an appropriate time or place
This one comes from a personal experience: we were once talking with someone new over Facebook messenger, but several hours into the conversation he/she mentioned that they’d like us to pay for their gas so that they could come see us instead… Needless to say, we immediately cut off all ties with them after that.
42. Don’t be afraid to have your own opinions
It’s also good to know when to keep them to yourself, too – but even still, you should never feel bad for sharing your thoughts with others whenever necessary! And if anyone gives you grief over it, don’t hesitate to let them know exactly what’s on your mind in return! You’d be surprised by how many people are actually secretly waiting for someone else to say what they’re thinking themselves…
43. Only post pictures that you’re okay with everyone seeing
And if you’re not okay with everyone seeing certain photos then the right thing to do would of course be to either edit them or delete them entirely before sharing them online – no one should ever be forced to show something that they wouldn’t want to! Unfortunately, there are some people who’ve been taking advantage of this and spreading viruses or other harmful things without their “models'” consent – so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
44. Never post anything online that you’re not okay with everyone seeing
Even if you think you can trust the person(s) responsible for sharing it, remember that anyone else could take a copy as well and use it against or embarrass either one of you in the future as well… And as such, it’s better to be safe than sorry once again! But what should we do instead? How about saving those pictures for ourselves only and not sharing them with others until we know exactly who we’re going to send them to? That way there’s no need for worry!
There you have it – 44 pieces of advice to keep in mind while dealing with the world of cosplay photography! If you want even more photo-related tips and suggestions!