After more than 3 years on the road we have had more “that was the best day of my life” days than we can count. And more “I am NEVER going to do that ever again” days than we care to remember.
Over 30 countries through more than 5 continents has tested us to our absolute limits. Physically and emotionally. Individually and as a travelling couple.
After so long on the road, we have learnt a thing or two about travelling and about ourselves. These are our 50 lessons learnt from travelling the world. And while they may not relate to everyone, you may just learn something to help you on your next adventure.
50 lessons learnt from travelling the world
- Jandals are the only travel necessity you need.
- Lack of food while travelling makes for a very angry Cole.
- Lack of sleep while travelling make for a very angry Adela.
- War and politics may divide countries and people. Yet somehow travelling makes these problems disappear.
- Travelling as a couple has made our relationship stronger.
- It is okay to say no to things that you don’t want to do.
- Jasper National Park is nearly more beautiful than New Zealand.
- Anyone can do adventurous travel activities. You just need the willpower.
- Travel should be done as slowly as possible. Where feasible.
- As we get older, we appreciate a little more luxury.
- Adela definitely doesn’t like caving.
- Flights at the crack of dawn are always the cheapest. Because they suck.
- Overland travel is so much easier than flying.
- You should NEVER kiss a snake in Marrakech.
- And travelling sick sucks. You need to stay healthy at all costs.
- Airport currency exchange counters give you terrible rates.
- Australians are everywhere. And contrary to popular belief, New Zealand is NOT a part of Australia.
- Hindsight when travelling is a wonderful idea.
- Sunrises are worth waking up early for. Always.
- You should travel for a reason. Not just so say that you can say that you have travelled to the next “popular” destination.
- You should change your plans just so you can eat a local food delicacy.
- Working overseas while you are travelling allows you to travel longer.
- It is okay to request timeouts while travelling as a couple. Timeouts even work when stuck beside each other in a car driving across Canada and USA.
- Las Vegas really is an adults version of Disneyland.
- Get naked if the locals are naked so that you fit in with them.
- Skype is the worlds best invention for keeping in touch with family and friends.
- McDonald’s are everywhere. But we will only enter one to use their bathroom.
- Peeing in squat toilets is really hard. Prepare to get your feet wet the first few times.
- Street food is tastier and so much cheaper compared to touristy restaurants.
- Learning a tiny bit of the local language can get you so much respect in a new culture.
- It is not okay to stereotype people based on their race, religion, accent or the way they dress, before you get to know them. No matter how many times the stereotype turns out to be right.
- Cute Highland Cows will make the toughest or grumpiest person in the world smile.
- International media are often wrong. Most places they deem “unsafe” are, in fact, very safe.
- Amsterdam is a crazy place. But there is more to it than smoking weed and visiting peep shows.
- If travelling as a couple, make time for “date nights”.
- You need to have travel insurance. Especially if you are Adela.
- Exercise and routine can be important while travelling.
- So is sitting back on a beach and relaxing for the day.
- Travelling should make you open your eyes to change.
- When you are not looking for a toilet, they are everywhere. When you are busting, you will never find one.
- And paying for toilets will never become less annoying.
- No matter how much you have learnt about the Pyramids in Egypt, they will blow your mind in person.
- The more you travel, the more places and adventures we continue to add to our dream list.
- You should tear up your bucket list. Instead, live in the here and now.
- The Roman Colosseum is probably the coolest structure in the world.
- Couples should have to travel together before they get married.
- We prefer exploring adventures by ourselves, rather than on group tours.
- Jumping photos make pictures so much cooler.
- Nowhere is quite like home. But that is why you should travel the world.
- If something is holding you back from seeing the world. Quit doing that thing. Nothing should stop you from travelling.
Check out all these other awesome travel tips from us.
Why Reward Points are Important For Frequent Travellers
There’s no question about it, you can save a bundle of money if you manage your reward points for travelling in the right way. But many people just go on living their lives without really taking full advantage of this.
But without a doubt, reward programs are worth it for anybody who flies with even any little semblance of frequency and regularity. As a matter of fact, you may be thinking that you don’t really fly enough to take advantage of these programs, and the fact of the matter is that you could be missing out.
Get The Right Credit Card:
The best way to rack up those points quickly (before you even realize how far you’ve gotten) is to get a card with a great rewards program. For example, here are some options for people in Canada to get on the reward points quickly. Your mileage may vary (sic!) from country to country, but in any case it’s a good idea to read up on your best options and select one that works for you.
From that point onward, it’s important to be disciplined in using that card every time you can in order to rack up those points. Read the terms and conditions carefully and use them to your advantage, instead of having them surprise you!
Stick To The Right Airline:
This one is very hard for many people, because it requires discipline and that famous and all-important delayed gratification.
The first step involved analyzing the airlines that go to your needed destinations and making sure you are selecting the best one. Obviously, the points that you get with your card need to be good for travel on that airline.
Then, you need to ALWAYS take that airline, even in cases when fares rise, knowing that in the long run, you will still save money. The more you pay, the more miles you are getting anyway. It’s easy to get seduced by a seat sale on some other airline, but if you wind up with unused points expiring because of it, it’s not such a good deal in the long term.
Make Sure You Get The Miles:
Try to make it so that when you travel for business, you buy your own fares (even if you later get reimbursed for them, that way the travel points will all be in your own name. This may take some back and forth, but it’s usually doable, and also can make a big difference in your pocketbook down the road.
Also, sometimes it may actually be worth it to save your miles and buy upfront, making them even more effective in the long run. All in all, it takes discipline and strategy to get the best deals.
The Importance of Travel Insurance
The majority of people who travel don’t have any travel insurance whatsoever, and this is not a great state of affairs for these people. How many of them get caught out in a foreign country with no coverage whatsoever facing expensive medical bills for necessary treatment, or even worse, have that treatment denied?
What if I Have a Pre-existing Condition?
A lot of people think that they are ineligible for travel insurance if they have a pre-existing condition. The fact is, if you have a pre-existing medical condition you might still be able to get travel insurance coverage. In any case, full disclosure is very important, because if you withhold any important information at the time of setting up the policy, you may wind up with a denied claim at the worst possible time.
It’s Not What You Think In Other Countries:
Obviously, we don’t care much about the quality or availability of long-term care abroad for these purposes; it’s almost never necessary. However, emergency coverage can be extremely important in certain situations.
It’s also a huge error to think that other countries, just because they have “socialized medicine” (a very very poorly defined term), are going to treat anybody and everybody completely for free no matter what. Most countries these days only extend free medical coverage to citizens of that same country, and foreigners, including tourists, are on the hook for expenses.
Some jurisdictions may actually even simply deny treatment. Most countries have laws requiring hospitals to at least stabilize a patient before letting them go (with a heavy debt) regardless of ability to pay, but not all do! Also, some hospitals worldwide will go the other way and not discharge patients until the bill has been paid in full. These situations are precisely why travel insurance is so important.
Other Legal Issues:
There is another very valid point that surprises many people because they are simply unaware of it: often if you are travelling to another country as anything other than a tourist, say as a student or to work, even for a short time, you may actually be in violation of immigration policy by not carrying proper insurance.
For this reason it’s very important to check beforehand, because an impromptu deportation on top of a medical condition is the last thing you want to have happen on your trip.
Hopefully at this point you will understand what a great investment travel insurance really is, and not be one of those people caught in bad circumstances because they didn’t get their insurance right before getting on that plane!
4 Fun Apps for Travelers
Going on holiday is fun and exciting but there are parts of the process that aren’t so much – waiting at the airport, the flight, the transfer. These are the time when you and the kids can get a bit bored, a bit impatient and tempers can flare. That’s when the smartphone comes to the rescue with a range of fun, free apps to keep you busy during the lull times. Here are four to try on your next vacation.
We all know and love Tetris, but it did get a bit old (actually, it is a bit old now) so 1010 is a good successor. It is based on the same principles called tetrominoes that the designer of Tetris Alexey Pajitnov used and rather than varying dropping blocks, you have a canvas. Make a line across it and the blocks vanish. Sounds simple but the more blocks you get, the more complicated it gets, and it actually takes planning to win.
If in doubt, go with a classic and Bejeweled Blitz has become one of the classics of the mobile gaming world. Okay, it doesn’t have the excitement or potential big wins of mobile casinos and apps or the thrills of a top racing game with amazing graphics but if you want a game to keep you occupied during the flight and maybe even leave you ready to sleep for a bit, this is the one. But be warned, it is more addicting that you could believe – think Candy Crush with sparkles, lightning and cool music!
Perfect to play with the kids, this is a word game that features bears – instant hit. Create a word and spaces the letters used are replaced by bears. Letters change color as they have been around too long and can turn into rocks, blocking the spread of bears. The aim is obviously to turn all of the letters into bears and there are treasure events to spur players on.
Crashlands is a 2016 release that has quickly moved to be one of the best ever Android games. The plot is that you play as an intergalactic trucker who has crashed landed on an alien world and needs to build a base, collect items and also save the world. It has a great combination of character development, collecting and crafting things and there are no in-app purchases, so it is safe to leave the kids playing it.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
- Travel Tips6 months ago
Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage
- Adventure Travel10 months ago
Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos
- Europe12 months ago
Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence
- Travel Blogging Tips8 months ago
Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog
- Personal Musings9 months ago
From Four Jandals to Two Jandals
- Adventure Travel5 years ago
2012 Travel Adventures in Photos
- Europe5 years ago
Photo Essay from around Costa Brava
- Asia5 years ago
The Best of Istanbul – Photo Essay