Go on a walking tour – you’ll get your bearings of the city, you learn lots of facts, it’s usually tip-based (you pay how much you think it was worth, guides will work really hard to make their tours interesting and memorable!); get food recommendations from the guide (they know all the local favourites especially for those whom authentic cuisine)Get your bearings, or you could get lost. Santorini looks pretty terrible, right? 😋
Sock money – tuck money (in £, € or USD – easily exchanged) in your sock for emergencies and/or have been pickpocketed (it happens sometimes)
Don’t stand too close to an open flame – Are you travelling during European winter? If you’re an Aussie, you’re probably not used to excessive rain/cold/snow. Fire places are a wonderful novelty, if you haven’t experienced these environments. Seriously, don’t stand too close. You could get burnt or melt your clothing. Layer up and cover all your extremities including your head!
Stay at hostels – Are you budget conscious? Are you travelling with children? Do you like free breakfast/free wifi/free activities? Hostels are perfect for all of the above. Hostels can have a bit of a reputation for cheap lodgings for dirty, smell backpackers, but not always true. There’s a range of room types (dorm v private), easily accessible by public transport, and I’ve seen (well-behaved) kiddies as young as 6 months old (We would know, we were travelling with our friends and they brought their baby with them! 😉). Use search sites such hostelworld.com or hostelbookers.com (*Bonus tip: search both sites, prices and availability can vary! Read the reviews- especially for recent bedbug outbreaks or poor plumbing)
There’s no such thing as bad weather – just incorrect footwear. If you know what kind of activities you are going to do, bring suitable socks and pack accordingly. Consider how much walking you’ll do, summer v winter, versatility (can it be worn during the day and on a night out?), any hardcore adventure sports, how heavy are they?? Most importantly, bring a pair of thongs (jandals, flip flops, etc) to wear in the shower. You don’t want to risk foot fungi Hiking in Switzerland
Helpful apps: Google Maps (download the offline map or screenshot where you’re heading), Google Translate (again, download regularly used language for offline use or use to speak to a local if your pronunciation sucks), Kindle/Audible (to read or listen to books; keep yourself entertained or any creepers at a safe distance), Google Drive/DropBox (cloud storage for all your precious photos, notes and journal entries)On an overnight train with my Kindle
Have fun and be observant – be a ‘yes man’ and say yes to new adventures. Try new food, explore places not listed in guide books, breathe deeply, be present and enjoy. People watch – take note of what the locals are doing, so you don’t draw unnecessary attention to yourselves. Are they standing on the left or right side of the escalator? Are you sunbathing somewhere you shouldn’t? Are you being loud and inappropriate at a place of worship? Use all your senses. Reflect on them. Go slow. Take the train. Realise how lucky you are to travel to Europe!
Passport and credit card – if there’s two absolute must-haves, bring passport and have access to money. It’s Europe, not the backstreets of (insert place most ‘foreign’ to you). You can buy everything you need. (*Bonus tip: tell your bank where you are travelling and for how long, so they don’t put a hold on your card thinking its’suspicious activity’ 😋)Bring your passport, and send a copy to your email address
So, what do you think? Have we missed any key tips?
What many people won’t know, both of us were born in Sydney, Australia; but since living in Perth for a significant number of years, it’s where we call ‘home’. But since we haven’t lived in Perth for over two years (and home is where the heart is), we thought we’d share our love for one of the world’s most isolated cities, Perth especially since it’s where we are tying the knot ❤
When we travel, I am definitely WA’s best advocate. Spreading the love and awesomeness of WA. We’ll do a WA post soon but for now, check out our list of OG things to do and see. (OG means original gangster, in case you were wondering)
Backpackers are perceived to be a bunch of dirty, disorganised hippies (sometimes true) but really, they’re organised and resourceful (and ridiculously good-looking 😉 ). Whether you’re backpacking out of necessity (budget) or for pure enjoyment, backpackers carefully select essential items to help them along the way. Why are they essential you ask? Good question, reader! We’ll show you…
As an adult, you’ve developed your own interests, routines and experiences. You’ve survived being an adulty adult. Sure, some of this enhanced by your upbringing but you are your own person. If you’ve got parents like ours, they don’t travel as much (or make return trips to familiar destinations). I guess, somebody’s gotta stay home and check your mail!
Have you ever returned to your childhood home after living on your own? Or stayed with your parents, as an adult, for an extended time? If so, have you realised they’ve resumed ‘parent mode’ and ask you where you are going and whom with? (I can guarantee you both the parents and the adult children have complaints about this!) Look no further, this guide is definitely for you!
You might have noticed a traveller that frequents our trips. He’s fun-loving, friendly and unassuming. He’s keen for any adventure and willing to go just about anywhere. He’s even got his own hashtag! His name is Belvadere Bear ❤
At home, making trips to the supermarket or running around doing errands are hardly an exciting adventure. I’m known for my ‘errand days’. It’s just a part of your mainstream life. When you’re travelling, supermarkets, pharmacies and the like are sources of entertainment, amusement, information and free stuff. You can meet the most interesting people who’ll share their travel tips or pearls of wisdom on life, love and growing old.
Australia is a country made for roadtripping. We have clean, decent roads with few tolls (we also have rugged four-wheel driving experiences), magnificent and diverse environments, and interesting characters of the human and animal variety. Seriously, watch out for drop bears 🙂
One of my earliest memories was taking a roadtrip from Sydney, New South Wales to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland during the summer holidays. I was 5. My parents, younger brother, uncle and his wife and I packed up the car and spent a few weeks travelling north staying at caravan parks along the way. It was the first time I held a koala, and first time (and not the last!) my brother and I donned matching t-shirts.
I was 8 when we’d roadtripped around Tasmania, Australia. We’d hired a car, and went from town to town eating delicious local produce and playing on the beach. This was also the first time I discovered motion sickness. To ease the suffering, my brother and I would sing along to music by Michael Jackson and The Beatles (a negotiated decision between parents and children); loudly and proudly to distract the thoughts and feelings of queasiness. And it worked!
Still a regular roadtripper, we’ve been fortunate enough to go cross-country in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, and the United States, as well as across state/province and national borders in Europe and North America. This week, we’re making a 1600km (995 miles) journey from Perth, Western Australia to the Pilbara region in the state’s north. My preparation includes making sure we have enough music as well as cash, water, food and fuel. Of course, music is the most fun part. Here’s some of our favourite roadtrip songs: