Top Ten Travel Tips
Choose the safer rooms
Rooms in hostels and hotels should be chosen with care. Avoid rooms with burglar bars which eliminate a potential escape route.
Never stay higher than the third floor because you probably won’t survive an escape jump from any storey higher than that. Always check fire safety systems when checking in (sprinkler systems are best) and plan your exit route before you go to bed. Don’t expect too much from some places, where even electricity is unreliable.
Keep others informed
When hiking, always inform someone reliable outside your group of your expected arrival time and date. It beats sitting alone on a mountain with a broken leg knowing that nobody is aware you are missing or in trouble – or even late.
“Health and safety are my highest priorities.”
Some cultures react very badly to displays of anger and may take offence to something which would be regarded as merely an angry outburst in the West. Respect local people and their cultures.
Mention the Embassy
When confronted by armed soldiers at roadblocks, use the phrase ‘British Embassy’ and maintain eye contact. It could prevent being beaten up or worse.
Keep up with local news
Try to maintain at least an elementary knowledge of current events in areas where you plan to travel. A short wave radio or internet access will keep you abreast of trouble spots – which should be avoided at all cost. Chat to fellow backpackers who will be more up-to-date with the news than your guidebook.
Trust your instincts
Learn to rely on your gut feelings – they are often more reliable than you might imagine. But don’t be too wary of other people – meeting others is one of the real pleasures of travel. However, don’t simply trust complete strangers either.
Plan your route
Learn as much as you can about where you are going and plan your route, building in as much flexibility as possible. Avoid arriving at a new place in the middle of the night.
Be wary of the sun
Don’t underestimate the dangers of sun stroke and dehydration. Try to avoid direct sun and drink plenty of water when hiking.
Take out Insurance
Take out travel insurance and remember that your health is more important than your possessions so prioritise on the health cover.
Carry condoms – and use them. They can prevent a lot of trouble.