When you tell people you work in travel, the response is often jealousy. Followed by questions. So we asked our team for their top travel tips and what they’d never leave home without. Here are their responses.
Our top travel tips are:
JENNY: DON’T overpack – the fun of travelling to somewhere new is experiencing the shopping!
JON: If you're visiting a major city for the first time, it's a great idea to catch the Hop On, Hop Off bus service when you first get there. Not only does this give you a chance to get your bearings in a big, sprawling metropolis, but you don't have to walk! All the attractions come to you, which is especially helpful if you've just flown across the world and are suffering jet-lag. With the helpful map to guide you, you can choose where or when to jump off and it's a really quick, easy and cheap way to get to know a city quickly, before you go off and explore on foot.
LISA: When we go away as a family, I always split our clothes between each suitcase. So if we take two cases between the four of us, half of all our clothes go into one, and the rest into the other. This way if a case gets lost, you all have at least something to wear! I also tie the same bright piece of cloth around each suitcase handle.
MARK: If you see a restaurant filled with tourists, move on. Eat where the locals eat. I’ll chat to a local (the concierge doesn’t count) for a bit and ask them where their favourite place to eat is. And don’t just stick to the so-called national cuisine, despite having been to India a number of times, some of the best Indian food I’ve had has been in South Africa (and the Indians do killer Chinese)!
GAYA: This one’s for the ladies: if you’re travelling for a conference, don’t bother with different outfits for different days. Invest in a suit, some amazing shirts and ties and not only will you look sharp and professional, but you’ll also cut down on your baggage. If you’re travelling for fun (and this is for everyone), say yes to opportunities that present themselves to you (as long as you’re safe). There is no point sitting in your hotel room eating from the room service menu when you could be learning to salsa with a local.
What we can’t leave home without:
JENNY: Always take tea bags – preferably english breakfast.
JON: Two international plug adapters. Why two? One goes in the suitcase and one in the carry on, because there's nothing more frustrating than running out of power on your laptop, ipad or phone when in transit. Most airports now have free Wi-Fi but those two hours or so are going to drag like crazy if your device is out of juice. Needless to say you should also pack two power cables for the same reason.
LISA: We bought a universal travel adaptor that had 4 USB ports and 2 AC sockets. It was really useful on holiday what with all our electronics to charge! I also always take pawpaw cream as it has lots of uses.
MARK: No matter the season, I always pack swimmers. You don’t want to miss out on swimming in some stunning, if surprising, destination - and locals may not approve of swimming in your undies! If the beach is too cold, the hotel pool won’t be (hopefully).
GAYA: I always buy a few packets of Tim Tams or chocolate covered macadamias and a bag of Caramello Koalas to give as gifts/thanks to locals. Sometimes you meet someone who has just made your trip/life better and tipping may not be appropriate. Chocolate, on the other hand, is always appropriate!