I was watching TV recently when I came upon Studion 23’s Us Girls’ commercial about winning a free trip to Hong Kong just by telling them your top five travel tips. Now, I’ve salivating having a Hong Kong-Macau-China trip for about eight months now, so imagine my excitement at that commercial. I said to myself “I will definitely win that contest and have an all expense paid trip to HongKong!” Until the commercial showed that you’d have to video yourself and emailing the video to their email address. My balloon of excitement deflated. I didn’t have a camcorder nor did I have enough time to find one and video myself before the deadline. Why did it have to be on video?! I can easily email them my top five! Grrr!
So maybe the free trip wasn’t for me, so I decided to just put it down on as my second entry for my blog site. Hopefully, I can get rid of my dismayed feeling and concentrate on planning for my much-dreamed about HongKong-Macau-China trip.
MY TOP 5 TRAVEL TIPS
1. Plan ahead.
Yep, so common, yet so important. You wouldn’t want to be spending megabucks by just traveling at the last minute. Look for promo fares from airlines that you trust, find friends who live in those countries and who are willing to provide lodging, create an itinerary covering major tourist spots or those off the beaten path (whatever suits your fancy.) Write everything down on paper and put it in your organizer or in any place that will catch your attention. You will save a lot and have something to look forward to in the months to come.
2. Pick your travel buddies carefully.
It’s always fun to travel with someone, whether it be family, friends or lovers. Not only do you have someone to talk to, someone can also take your pictures. A note of caution though: depending on how you are as a traveler, pick your travel buddies accordingly. If you are all for adventure (zipline, bunjee jumping, rollercoaster rides) or for relaxation (retail therapy, basking in the sun, looking at paintings) make sure your travel companion has the heart to do the same. Not only will the companionship be easier, it will strengthen your bond.
3. Learn how to read a map.
Tourists usually look lost or would ask locals for directions which sometimes result to misdirection. Just for security, be obsessed with maps while on a trip. Last year, when my friends and I went to Malaysia, we had a map we could refer to, but we ended up looking at buildings as landmarks. We ended up walking around Kuala Lumpur for about an hour, looking for our hotel until it started raining and we were forced to take a cab. The incident was both funny and scary (we went walking through the dark, seedy looking red light district, or at least we thought it was the red light district.) Maps may make you look like a tourist but at least it makes you look like a smart tourist, one you couldn’t give misdirections to.
4. Keep an eye on your spendings.
People say that when you are on a trip, don’t go calculating how much you’re spending into your own country’s exchange rate – you’d end up not buying anything. I say otherwise. It’s not that you’d end up buying nothing, you’d just end up buying the things you really want. There’s nothing wrong with watching your money and on how much you’ve already spent. More often than not, trips are charged to the credit card so the money you save can help out with payments later on. Jotting down what you’ve spent gives you tips on what not to spend on your next trip.
5. Take lots of pictures.
Yep, this also goes for all non-camwhores and non-photography students out there. Pictures are a great way to preserve your memory and something you can share with family and friends you left behind during the trip. Photos can also be handy when you come across a contest for best trip photos or act as evidence to something you claim to have done during the trip.
I’m sure everything I’ve written would look good on video (aww shucks, not getting the all expense paid trip!) Hopefully, when I write my next travel entry, it will be all about my trip to Hong Kong-Macau-China.