Every good traveller needs to know some handy skills. They don’t have to be any sort of MacGyver skills but just some basic knowledge of the things surrounding us. I would assume most people have these everyday skills but if not now is your chance to brush up on them before your next trip.
15. How to swim
Now it may sound funny to us Aussies, but not everyone can swim. Because we grew up in a country that 85% of the population live within 150km of a beach, we rarely think twice. But for some people who grew up in a landlocked city or far away from a beach swimming might not have been on the top f their to do list. So grab some floaties and a kick board and get practising!
14. How to take a selfie
This is a handy trick for those solo travellers. Sure you can ask someone to take a photo of you but selfies are so common these days its much more practical to do it yourself. It might sound easy, but remember your lighting, angles and of course make sure your finger isn’t on the lens!
13. The importance of travel insurance
Travel insurance is pretty important. Although (hopefully) you will never need to use it, but in case you do make sure it’s there. Because on the road your bound to do more adventurous activities and without a doubt put at risk your possessions more than you do at home. Accidents happen to the airline may lose your luggage or drop your camera so make sure you have that security there.
12. The art of haggling
Great for countries where haggling is an acceptable way of purchasing items. Most countries such as Morocco, Turkey and South-East Asian countries use haggling as a form of purchasing so it’s totally acceptable. They stall owners can spot a non local so they can sometimes up the price in the hopes people fall for it. After all they need to make a living but it doesn’t mean what the initially offer is what they are expecting.
11. Saying hello/please/thank you/yes/no in different languages
Okay so most countries you will find someone who speaks English (try asking younger people as it is more common nowadays than it was that they teach English in school). Not a fluent conversation but common phrases like ‘where is?’ and ‘how much?’ Especially because you stay at hostels and hotels they are catered for travellers. It’s a good skills to pick up some common phrases in the country you are in for convince and also because it s polite; and embrace your surroundings!
10. Basic geography
I’m not saying you need to be Christopher Columbus but a basic knowledge of north and south, east and west and just where countries lie on a map is important. It helps you plan your adventure route as you probably don’t want to do too much back and fourth.
9. How to read a metro
Once you master one train service, you can pretty much master them all. Metro maps are basically similar but familiarise yourself with directions (whether its north or south or names of places) and learn to read and follow the routes. Also pick up the word for exit/tickets in the language of the country you are in.
8. How to wash clothes in a sick
So important for hostels. If you’re constantly on the go you might not have time (or enough clothes) to wash and hang them to dry. It can get expensive as well so use the sink overnight for a few items at a time and let them dry over night.
7. How to hide a secret stash of cash
Smart travellers have a spare source of cash. Whether its cash in your hidden pocket, jocks or a satchel or whether its a spate card with back up money on there; we should all have a secret stash. It prevents us from being stranded with no money in the case of lost or stolen wallets.
6. How to pack quickly
Sometimes we need to be able to pack all our stuff quickly. We may have overslept, had a delayed train or just be really hungover. To be able to stuff all your possessions without leaving anything behind or damaging anything is definitely an art!
5. How to travel light
Very important when flying. Condensing the items in your backpack is a necessity vital for your luggage allowance. Most of the time when we pack extra items we never use them! Know the climate you are going to and also remember that you can buy certain items such as toiletries and towels in most places you go. Don’t skimp on underwear though!
4. How to hold a convo
Most of us who talk can hold a form of a conversation. But then most of us can’t hold a long or even a very interesting conversation. When on the road we engage with all different kinds of people so we need to be able to communicate to different people. We need to understand who we are talking too and what is appropriate and what isn’t. In order to make friends, you need to be able to hold a slightly interesting conversation that doesn’t stop at hello.
3. How to budget eat / cook
A vital skill, in normal day to day life also. Knowing how to use your hard earn cash on food items that are both cheap and tasty is worth knowing. being abel to get the most bang for your buck, whether its shopping around or creating meals. A good tip is to share meals, if your accommodation has a kitchen facilities offer to cook for your friends as everyone puts in a few coins and you can make a decent meal. Often buying for one person you need to buy the same amount of quantity as if for many e.g. loaf of bread.
learning to cook is vital; you don’t have to be a master chef but knowing how to boil and egg or make spaghetti bolognese is a good skill to have.
2. How to sleep anywhere
Great for those long stop overs. If you can sleep on a plane, bus, train, car or at the beach, airport or a park then you have nothing to worry about. Staying in dorm room hostels can also be tricky as people snore, they come in all hours of the day/night so learn to block out sounds and lights. Grab a sleeping mask and some earplugs or even put your headphones in and let the music put you to sleep.
1. How to read a map
The most vital skills to have when travelling. Learn which direction is north, east, south and west and get your bearings in order. You probably wont have Google Maps activated as roaming costs are expensive, so master the art of locating yourself on a map and being able to read it and follow it. Use tricks like remembering landmarks and knowing the main street names. It will save you from a lot of trouble!