About 25 years ago we set out on our first overlanding trip. We were newbies and not a lot of friends was into overlanding and they actually thought we were off our rockers to go and wander beyond the South African borders to explore Africa.
Looking at those old pictures we were something to look at (I do not want to use the word spectacle, because that sounds a bit like a circus, but over the years we have refined our travel kit and way of travelling that suits us.
So, what did we learn over 20 years?
- Travel with an open mind. First and foremost, do not expect things to be like at home. That is why you travel. To experience different places, cultures and perspectives.
- Be flexible. Being flexible can save you some money. It is costly to change pre-booked activities or flights. Costs which can go towards you dream holiday. Pick off-season times to visit popular holiday destinations.
- Look out for good deals. If you are flexible you will also be able to access special holiday deals that can save you some bucks.
- Use reward programs. Be it from the airline or by using your credit card to qualify for free travel insurance.
- Do self-catering. Excellent sites are Air B&B, Bookings.com, Agoda and Skynscanner. Take time to search these sites and you will find good deals. You can even share accommodation with friends to cut the costs. By doing self-catering you can also do your own laundry and save.
- Try local food. Street food is much cheaper that buying dining out. When we visited Thailand we only ate street food!
- Talk to the locals. Why? Because they know the best places in their region. I find reviews on Tripadvisor very helpful, because it is really people that share their experiences – good or bad.
- Pack smart when picking your clothes. Know what activities you are going to do and pack accordingly. Mix and match colours and styles so that you will have an outfit that is suitable for every occasion during the trip.
- Wear your heaviest item of clothing on the flight. This way you make sure that you will not pay excess charges on an overweight luggage item.
- Pack a sarong. It can double up as a tablecloth, towel, picnic blanket, a privacy screen or provide shade.
- Get up early. By doing this you beat traffic congestion that wastes your holiday time. You can enjoy a breathtaking sunrise at a special place like Angkor Wat in Cambodia without the crowds.
- Make your money accessible. Spread your money across debit and/or credit cards and between partners. This ensure that you always have access to money should something unforeseen happen like losing a bank card.
- Notify your bank that you will be travelling to another country. If the bank notes some out of the ordinary transactions on your account, they might just block further transactions.
- Do not spend too much time behind the camera. (I am guilty of that!) You tend to forget to enjoy the special moment, because you are trying too hard to capture it.
- Blow the budget. Once in a while you need to blow the budget to have an once in a lifetime experience, be it ziplining, a hot air balloon ride , a sunset cruise or whatever your dreams are.
- Make travel a priority. Channel your energy and focus to travel. Sell unnecessary items that became redundant in your home and put the money towards a trip.
I hope that this inspired you to explore and travel the world. See you out there!
Also head over to 10 Airport Hacks for some more inspiring travel tips.
*** To be inspired is great …. To inspire other is incredible ***