Been there, done that, got the t-shirt? There is so much more to explore than the tourist path. From time to time you need to go off the beaten track on your travels to have a true traveller experience. The problem is, the path less trodden is often the path more dangerous or the less easily accessible. For this reason we’ve compiled some tips for staying safe but still getting a good slice of adventure.
Tell people where you’re going
It might sound obvious, but if you go missing and no one knows you are missing this significantly delays your chances of being helped. I would suggest giving a list of all the addresses and contact numbers of where you will be staying, if you are playing it by ear at times that is fine, but insure that the hostels or couches you kip on in between are known to friend’s and family so they can trace you.
If you’re going for a trek, or long journey make sure you have plenty of water, it’s not always clear when you’ll next reach drinkable water. Organised tours will insure you always have plenty to drink and eat, but there is more of a risk on your own or without a guide. If you take medication or need a specific diet you should take more than enough medicine and food with you so that if your trip takes longer than planned you don’t need to worry.
Have the correct equipment
From medical supplies to a spare long sleeve t-shirt to protect you from nettles or sun burn you should think carefully about what you might come across and prepare for every eventuality. Key things to remember, first aid, maps, local currency, passport, travelling companion (optional). Another point here, don’t take unnecessary things. Do you need your most prized possessions on this trip? A watch might be useful, but a family heir loom can stay at home.
Know the language
Even just a smattering, “Hello, good bye, how are you, thank you”, is enough to show you are making an effort and are being polite. The more of the language you learn the more advantageous this will be to you, particularly with finding out when buses or trains go, and finding the hidden gems of a small town or village you could never stumble upon yourself.
If you’ve taken the chance to go on your own adventure and not stay stuck to a rigid tour itinerary or just experience the main hotel in each city then the chances are you want to have a fun, exciting trip. So, embrace it, enjoy every minute of it and take the highs with the lows.