18 MUST KNOW TRAVEL HACKS BEFORE YOU SET OUT

Whether you are setting out for a weekend trip or a month long journey, these travel hacks will make your packing easier and organised while saving you a lot of time.

1. Create a To-Do List

Did I get the passport? What about travel insurance? Have i packed my favorite pair of socks? Avoid all the last minute running around by maintaining a handy To-Do List. This list will help you keep a tab on all things packed and what is to be packed.

2. Make Google Translate Your Voice

Are you travelling to a destination that does not speak a language you know? You need not worry about communication. Just download the language pack of that destination on your phone through google translate. It also helps you communicate with the help of text-to-speech conversion.

3. Set up Google Maps Offline

Just in case you do not have access to data on your trip you should download the map of the place you are going to visit. Google maps lets you access your saved maps offline with all the navigation features.

4. Reduce Book Weight in Your Luggage

If your are a fan of printed guide books, try and take a photocopy of just the pages that you need. For your novels and guidebooks if you switch to ebooks and use an ebook reader you can save on a lot of space.

5. Make Your Camera Look Old

Certain places you travel to might require you to be extra cautious. You do not want to end up getting your expensive camera stolen. It is advised to hide the camera logo and model number with black duct tape. Brown duct tape placed at other random places on the body of the camera will make it look used and worn out. This will avoid unwanted attention.

6. Roll Clothes Instead of Folding Them

When you fold clothes and pack them for long duration it leads to formation of creases. To avoid creasing you should roll your clothes and place them in ziplock bags. Doing this, you will free up a lot of space in your bag and also the clothes will be easier to find.

7. Pack Your Shoes Smartly

Avoid staining your clothes with your shoes by packing them in shower caps. You can stuff your shoes with items like socks or other cosmetic filled tubes, this will help you make optimal use of space.

8. Prevent Your Liquids from Leaking

Cover the nozzle of the tubes containing the liquid with cling film before putting on the lid.

9. Place Your Toiletries in a Ziplock Bag

10. Storing Valuables in an Organised Manner

Ever found yourself looking for A missing ear ring? Or Have you been worried about where to store the cash? Do not worry, first of all start by storing small ornaments in pill boxes. You can also use empty chapstick tubes to store ornaments or rolled up notes. By doing so, you will know where what is kept and won’t waste time searching later.

 11. Protect Powder Make Up Products from Breaking

Place a cotton pad in the compact box before placing it in the bag.

12. Pack Minimal Cosmetics

Fill up contact cases with cosmetics, as a result you will save the space of carrying along bulky tubes and bottles.

13. Have a Copy of All Your Documents

Email yourself copies of your passport, travel insurance and other documents that you will be carrying along with you because you never know when it might come in handy.

14. Carry Extra Plastic Bags

Always carry extra plastic bags of different sizes. They can be used either as a bag for soiled clothes or various other purposes like shopping, throwing trash, protecting your devices from water and so on.

15. Carry a Purifier Bottle 

If you have not used one of these you should. The personal purifier bottle comes with a interchangeable filter. This is useful for your trips where you do not know how hygienic the water is. You can refill these bottles directly from streams or lakes and also from public drinking sources without a problem. You do not need to spend on buying new bottles of packaged drinking water and as a result, you cut down on a lot of expenses.

16. Weigh Your Luggage

Airlines will always try and add their hidden baggage fees to make a quick buck. Therefore, you should always keep in mind your baggage allowance and stay under the limit. Consider wearing the heavier clothing it will help reduce the weight.

 

17. Make Your Suitcase Stand Out

There is a chance that the person next to you picked up the same suitcase back home at the end of season sale. The last thing you want is a carousel crisis at your destination. Make your suitcase identifiable by tying colored ribbons on the handles or by sticking labels on the case. This will save you the pain of double checking your bag before taking it off the carousel.

 

18. Pack Your Daily Bag Efficiently

Make sure you carry a handy backpack for your daily use. Keep your valuables and a pair of clothes in this bag. You could also keep a few toiletries in this bag. This bag will save you last minute panic just in case your check-in luggage is delayed or misplaced. Carrying this bag around town will be much easier compared to carting along your suitcase.

 

 

Hope these travel hacks are of good use to you. Please do let me know in the comments if you have any other hacks that can help your fellow travelers minimize effort. Happy Travels!

EXPERIENCE ART IN PARADISE

Have you ever thought, “How would I look on the cover of TIME magazine?”,  “How would it be to drink water alongside a Giraffe?” . Well, questions like these can be answered by being a part of the many installations at Art in Paradise.  Art in Paradise is one of a kind illusion art museum situated in Pattaya, Thailand. Shin Jae Yeoul, a Korean artist is the museum director. He along with other Korean artists have collaborated and revamped an old rundown building into a spectacular journey.

Art in Paradise is about 5800 square meters in area and the expenditure to build this was approximately 50 million Baht. The building is divided into separate rooms; each themed room has a range of 3D illusion paintings. Some of the many themes are, Underwater World, Classic Paintings, and Landscapes. There are markings on the floor in front of each installation indicating the best possible camera angle to take the picture.

This is a great place to come to with family, friends or on a date, you will leave with amusing memories captured on your camera. It would take you around two hours to get through the entire museum. There is no fixed time that you need to spend with a particular painting. Your imagination is the limit! Through well thought shading and placement of shadows and lighting on each painting, the images look spectacularly believable.

The entrance fee for foreign nationals is 500 Baht (Adult) and 300 Baht (Child). For Thai citizens it is 150 Baht. Art in Paradise is located on Pattaya 2nd Road in North Pattaya. It is open on all days from 9:00 A.M. – 9 P.M.

 Art in Paradise is a unique art gallery experience that makes the viewer part of the art.

TRAVEL MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON

Before I started travelling, I was someone who would think twice before engaging in a conversation with a stranger. Now, after a few short trips that has completely changed. Travel is a wonderful teacher! It’s only when you get out of your comfort zone that you realize what you are capable of. For instance, during my travels in Sikkim, my friend and I gelled really well with our driver. We stayed the night at his friend’s house (a complete stranger!) after being caught up in a landslide. Travel makes everyone a more amazing person.

So what does travel bring out in you? Let me highlight a few qualities:

 

Open mindedness

We’ve always been told  as kids, “Don’t talk to strangers”. I would say, “Do the exact opposite! When on the road, talk to as many people as possible. Travel definitely breaks stereotypes. By talking to people you will make new friends, learn about different cultures and most importantly, realize that the world does not always judge you. You will stop being conscious of every move you make. You will empathize better. A friend for a lifetime might just be a “Hey” away.

 

Being minimalistic

When you travel you will realize how little you really need to survive. You will meet people who own much less than you but are very content and happy with their lives. Once you are back home you will start valuing the small things in life, the experiences. And of course you will spend most of your time trying to figure out a way to escape again!

 

Adapting to change

You will face landslides, floods, delays, unruly co-travelers – the list goes on. After a while, you get used to such situations and you deal with them like a champ. You become more patient and calm, qualities that will stand you in good stead all your life.

 

Better at socializing

When you travel alone or with friends to new destinations, meeting and interacting with people is a given. You talk to strangers for directions, for information, or just for the heck of it!  Even if you are an introvert, over time, you start enjoying this. You also get adept at small talk and master the quickest way to get to know a person. You will find engaging in a conversation will be much easier than the time you felt nervous to say “Hi” to a mutual friend.

 

Following your heart

Often we think a hundred times before doing anything and later regret not doing it. I was at Khaosan Road in Bangkok, where I came across a street vendor selling fried scorpions. I was dithering with the usual ‘should-I-shouldn’t-I’, but I knew I might never get such an opportunity again, so I just went ahead and ate a SCORPION! When you travel, you will face many situations that will make you think twice. Do as your heart says as there might not be a next time.

 

Knowledgeable

You will speak to a myriad of people, experience different cultures, visit exotic places. You will know how different people are and the way people behave. This knowledge is hardly attained through books. Only travel will teach you this.

Travel simply makes you a happier person. You will be more confident, outgoing and witty. You can either sit at home and just think about going to your dream destination or you can just pack and leave. It’s all about being there. The choice is yours.