Over the year of our Selfish travels, Mrs. Selfish and I developed a few travel habits that helped us successfully navigate new countries regardless of language and technology. For today’s post I’ll go over some of the DO’s of traveling.
1. Do research how to get to your hotel ahead of time.
The moment you arrive at a new country is when you’re most vulnerable to scams or are most likely to get ripped off. Not only are you unshowered, jetlagged, and exhausted, but you are also carrying your valuables, cash, and important travel documents. Getting to your hotel/hostel safely should be a top priority in order to make sure your stay goes smoothly.
Mrs. Selfish and I always research transportation options on sites like flyertalk or tripadvisor prior to landing to compare costs and times – especially when the best option is a cab.
2. Do run the math on low cost carriers.
Low cost carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, Jetstar, and Air Asia, almost always undercut their competition by dozens of dollars per direction, but are they worth it? Sometimes.
Since Mrs. Selfish and I were often checking 2-3 bags, one of which was ALWAYS oversized, adding in the extras to cost often meant a legacy carrier was a better way to go. Especially since we could often earn miles on those flights.
3. Do negotiate taxi fares ahead of time.
This was less of an issue in Northern Asia, Australia, and New Zealand where the cabs just ran the meter. In South East Asia and parts of Europe, however, cabbies often hid their meters or refused to use them.
If you ever find yourself in one of those countries either make sure they use the meter (ideally ahead of time), or negotiate a price before you close the door.
4. Do know basic words or phrases to smooth over transactions.
Learning basic phrases like “hello,” “thank you,” “goodbye,” “excuse me,” and “do you speak English?” can really smooth over most transactions and sets expectations. Parisians are notoriously unfriendly to visitors, yet they bent over backwards to help us after we uttered a few French words.