16 Tips You Will Never Find In A Travel Guide
In almost every journey I took I forgot certain tips that I wrote here, on this blog, for you guys. So dear readers, if you see me doing otherwise than what I have advised you to do, please don’t get mad at me! After all, we’re all human! Stick to what I am trying to teach you and you should all be good!
I do mistakes, but what is most important is that I try learning from them and I always promise myself not to repeat the same mistake: after all what is life, if not a journey about improvement? I promise you this: I do not write about what I read in books and every single story I share is my personal experience, my perspective on how I see every part of the world. On the long run, I learned how to pack light for a city break with only a carry-on, what is forbidden to take in the hand luggage and each experience dismantled the prejudices about the French, the Spanish, or the Italian people. I have a fairly long list of observations gathered from the roads trips I have taken, which I believe can be of use to you at some point. So, I decided to reveal some of my secrets for traveling. Read carefully:
1. In the Netherlands if you are waiting for the bus, you need to wave, otherwise it will never stop and if you are in the public transportation and you want to go out to the next station, use the STOP red button, otherwise the bus might not stop and you will end up far from where you wanted to. This is very common in Miami as well, though almost nobody takes public transportation there, as almost 90% of the population has a car.
2. Also, in the Netherlands, always check in and check out when you are in a tram, at the subway, in a bus or a train, otherwise you will be charged with the maximum amount for that travel line.
3. If you are in Portugal and you want to say thank you to the cashier in the store or the taxi driver, you should say Obrigada if you are a woman and Obrigado if you are a man. I found this very interesting!
4. You are going to Bruxelles with one airline and come back home with a different one. You should take care that the city has two airports – Bruxelles National/Zaventem and Bruxelles Sud Charleroi which is 45 minutes away from the city center. The same thing happens with the train stations - Eurostar arrives at Brussels Midi, also known as Brussel Zuid or Brussels South, but this is not the same train station you will see close by the city center, which is actually Brussel Central ( 5 minutes’ walk from the Grande Place)
5. In general, don’t forget to validate the city pass for each check-in in the public transportation, even though that card offers free unlimited trips, you might get a huge fine if you don’t check-in. So guys, trust me: check in!!!
6. In France and in Italy, it’s mandatory to validate the train ticket to the machines you can see in the station. You need to do this because the tickets usually give you the right to travel to any train for the range you paid at any time of the day. Otherwise, you will end up getting a fine; they don’t care you are a tourist.
7. You get to the ocean and just you can’t wait for a bath. Do not put your beach towel right on the water's edge, even if the breeze is cooling you a little. After lunch, the flux, slowly but surely, will get closer and closer and you will end up swimming after your things...I know better!
8. Always print (or add it in your Notes on the phone to be eco-friendly) your bus or train schedule if you want to take a day trip or a tour of a region. This way you won’t waste any of your precious time in railway stations and bus stations asking around, searching for WI-FI and so on. Be aware that in many large cities bus companies depart from different bus stations which might be a bit confusing at the beginning.
9. With all the internet and all the maps in the world, you managed getting lost and you have no idea in which direction to walk. You ask people on the street, they guide you with kindness and then they mention it's a bit far away. If it's an old wo(man) who walks heavily (I always ask the elderly because I have the certainty they know the places better) - but there is the disadvantage that most of them do not speak English so I have to search a bit until I find the right one, it's better to filter the information. Most of the time, the place you want to get to, is not as far as he/she says.
10. You have made a reservation at a hotel or hostel and you mentioned you will pay at the reception. If you know you're coming later, it’s better to give a call and announce it because in many cases your booking is canceled.
11. A restaurant in a poorly light street where policemen are waiting for a meal is surely a place where food is traditional, tasty, dishes are fresh and prices are low.
12. If you read on TripAdvisor about this amazing place and you decided that there is no way you are leaving the city until you try it out, I advise you to call and make a reservation otherwise you might not find a spot.
13. When you travel with cash, keep money in different bags. If something bad happens at least you are covered and not everything is lost, and you can still enjoy your trip.
14. The early hours of the morning are ideal for discovering the most important tourist attractions when it’s not crowded. Also, in the morning it is an ideal time for photos, thanks to good light. At the same time, locals are more willing to talk and help you. Plus, if it’s the case, it is not going to be extremely hot outside.
15. There are many hotels and restaurants where the internet is not free of charge. Check out the comments on FourSquare, because there are chances to find the password there. Moreover, there are two apps that automatically do this for you: 4SqWifi for iOS (free, FourSquare account) and VenueSpot for Android. You’re welcome! Internet should be free everywhere!
16. Buying water to keep yourself hydrated might end up expensive after a few days because of that 0.5 L bottle of water that is easier to use or carry. Therefore, have always your own reusable water bottle and go to the supermarket. Here, either buy the biggest bottle and use it to fill in yours which will make it easier for you to drink water, either ask at the reception if the tap water is drinkable, that will be even cheaper. Do so every time!
I want to hear some of your tips so, sweethearts, comment down below. Thank you!
What do you think? Is there anything I missed? Comment down below