Do some quick, rough sums on a piece of paper so you have an idea of what things actually cost in Aussie dollars
for example $AUD1 = 10000 INDO Rupiah, $AUD5 = 50000 INDO Rupiah etc.
Keep it in your purse. It only needs to be a rough conversion, this has
saved me a fortune when my wife couldn't do the sums in her head while
bartering with a Balinese wood carver - Bali boy of Darwin.
In Asian countries, take cash.
The exchange rate is far better from an exchange shop than a bank and
you remove the high withdrawal fees and low daily limits that the banks
have in place to gouge you. I even take additional cash and convert to
US dollars when I'm in Bali as it works out about 5-6 per cent cheaper. I
now have a 'cheap' stash of US dollars for when the Aussie dollar goes
south or I travel to the US - Greg of Wollongong.
You need to inform your bank of where you're going and how long you're going for.
had my card suspended while in Italy as I forgot to inform them and it
was flagged as a possible fraudulent transaction. It can take a number
of days to get the card re-activated. I've also heard of cards being
cancelled, in which case they can't just be re-activated and you'll need
to wait for a new card to be mailed out - Mattah of Perth.
Walk a street or two back from the touristy areas and the price drops in half
Also, keep a note of local currency in your sock/shoe in case you lose
your wallet. Better yet, don't carry everything in your wallet - do you
really need the video store card in Prague? To save money on food, carry
a small bowl with lid and plastic cutlery - you'll save on things like
breakfast - but try and dine with the locals often. - Mt of Canberra.
Get a local pre-paid SIM card for your phone
store the numbers of your travelling companions local SIM numbers as
well as the closest embassy number in your phone. Give your number to
family back home. Forget the global roaming charges - Brendan of
Ring your mobile phone provider to turn on phone roaming
and make sure data roaming is turned off - Anna of Vic.
Get a traveller's credit card
- this way you don't have to pay international conversion fees. Also,
withdraw ATM money in larger amounts so you don't get charged ATM fees
on multiple withdrawals - Sam of Sydney.
Cheaper is not always better
If your hotel is a 45 minute train ride from all the attractions it can
pay to spend the extra $5-20 night a stay in a better location. You'll
spend that on transport if you stay too far away. You'll also save your
self a heap of time - Adam of Adelaide.
Take local currency and small notes
, you'd be surprised how many taxis/vendors don't have change - Peter of Phuket.
Safety and security
Take mobile phone photographs of both the metro layout and local maps when you arrive
Tourists with paper maps are targets. Keep cards and additional money
inside pants to minimise worry of being robbed of valuables - Matt Macks
It may sound silly but take a whistle and carry it on you at all times
It will draw attention to you if you need help and is more effective
than shouting. I was glad I had it when my tour guide in Vietnam pointed
me in the wrong direction and I got lost. It was the whistle that he
heard 1km away, not my shouting - Rob.
Take a rubber door stop/wedge.
They cost a couple of
dollars from any hardware and they can be used to jam doors/windows
shut for added security! I've used it as a female on trains, hotels,
youth hostels etc - Karen of Brisbane.
When hiring a car purchase a local newspaper (and keep it current) and place on the back seat where visible
- will make it look like you're a local. Obviously don't keep any
luggage or travel maps from the hire car company in the car - dead
giveaway you're a tourist. Always use the key to manually open and close
your hire car, this prevents people with scanners who can then open
your car after you walk away. Also, register with the travel warning
website to send you SMS updates if one is released in the countries you
are visiting - Anna of Vic.
Scan your passport, visa and driver's licence and email it to yourself before you go
You can access webmail anywhere and instantly have a colour printout.
Learn basic first aid and CARRY A FIRST AID KIT. You'll probably only
use it for cuts, blisters and hangovers, but it's nice to know you're
equipped for more - Brendan of Canberra.
Carry a small torch if you go out at night
don't flash your valuables around and take a few combination padlocks
that fit your backpack. Don't dress like a tourist - take cues from the
locals - Mt of Canberra.
Bring some Travelan
Particularly when travelling in Asia. It's all good and well to have
Imodium, and I never leave home without that, but by the time you need
Imodium you are already feeling pretty dreadful and it puts a dent in
your travel to be stuck on a toilet for a day. Travelan is a
preventative, take one 30 mins before each meal. Three weeks in India
(eating plenty of street food) and none of us got sick once. I was put
on to this stuff by a GP who also never leaves home without it. It's my
number one travel tip - Brissie Mel of Brisbane.
Always fill up your water bottle if you see a drinking fountain, Always
I was in transit in Beijing, and not only did the flight attendants get
annoyed if we asked for water (on 10 and 8 hour flights), but our
lay-over hotel that was provided by the airline seemed awfully unfond of
English speakers. There was no drinking water at all and you cannot
drink Beijing tap water. We had to boil a kettle and leave it until
morning. After so much flying, I've never felt so dehydrated - Jayna.
More handy tips
Don't just pack one power adapter conversion plug. Pack a power board too
, so that you can use many appliances from the one resource - Lisa Bell of Brisbane.
Take a few clip type clothes pegs
. Some curtains never close completely - Nixchik of Edens.
Instead of taking a beach or bath towel
take a small absorbent sports towel (chamois), which doesn't take up
much room and dries quickly. Also, I found a sarong or wrap to be very
handy when travelling - you can use it to lie on the beach or grass, as a
blanket or sheet or just to wear - Tracey of Brisbane.
Take a roll of five centimetre-wide sticky tape with you
It can repair broken luggage, be twisted into a remarkably strong twine
to hang things up, seal plastic bags containing souvenirs, can be
written on and is very good at protecting blisters without becoming
uncomfortable. Also always remove ALL your luggage from the taxi before
paying the fare, then they have no bargaining power if there's a
dispute. And please read your travel insurance policy, especially the
section relating to transport ... many policies don't cover you for a
motorbike accident if you don't have an Australian motorcycle licence:
that cheap moped in Bali may not be cheap at all - Mark of Sydney.
Dry your clothes fast by laying them flat on bath towel, roll and fold
, step on (rolled/folded) to press out dampness, hang and dry with hair dryer from the bottom up - Frances la of Sydney.
Be warned, in some countries saying 'no' then 'thank you' means 'yes
' - Jo of Perth.
If you travel with someone, it's a good idea to pack some of your things in their bag,
and their things in your bag, just in case your bag gets lost. This
happened to me in NYC last year. I had no bag for three days, and was
left having to purchase new things, and find out where to buy them, all
in daggy two-day old clothes from the plane - Katie.
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