Travel 101

by Evans Yonson

(Note: I wrote this piece sometime in early 2005 during my year’s stay in Madrid, Spain. It’s funny how through all these years, I still maintain these things for my travels.)

I have always been a traveling bug. I learned alot from all my travels here and there. Here are some random thoughts how to make your travel hassle-free (I hope), worry-free (Who knows!) and cash-free (for Pinoys only).

Don’t plan. I don’t believe in plans. They just limit your movements. The world has limitless wonders why confine yourself with a corner of the world when you can have everything in your hand. Just be certain where you are going. To this city/country! And that’s it.

What to bring?

4Cs and 1D

Camera: If you’re traveling without one, then you are not traveling at all. Take a digital camera with a higher memory. The higher memory the more photos you can take. Forget your old camera. This is the 21st century dahling…

Cash: Just a few dollars/euros (or pesos if you’re still traveling locally) in your pocket. Stash those large amount in your ATMs. Just be sure that there are ATMs in your destination. Be warned, banks abroad charge alot for every withdrawal. Talk about failed orgasm.

Credit card: If you don’t have plastics, don’t travel at all.

Clothing: see Always travel light portion.

Documents: Don’t forget your passport. Bring extra xerox copies of your passport and put it somewhere else in your luggage.

What not to bring? Pets: For Chrissake! Leave them to your neighbors. Buy a cryogenic machine. Freeze them while you’re away and defrost when you’re back.

Cabinets: Unless you’re planning to go hiding abroad. Or if you could afford the baggage fees.

Always travel light. Why light? What if you stumble a great bargain for antiques in Italy? Or the cheap shirts of Bangkok or Phnom Penh. You’ll have to pay for extra weight. As much as possible, we are trying to avoid that word here.

If you’re going to a tropical country/city for a week, take a shirt or two. Shorts with built-in undies. Slippers/sandals. Face towel. Toiletries (whatever that means). Don’t forget to buy necklaces.

If it’s winter/spring/fall, take heed. Take lots of clothing. If you hate carrying those stuff, don’t go at all. If it’s the snow that you’re after, then come in full gear.

For starters. For beginners, take a local package tour. They plan everything for you. After the trip, assess all your complains about the package and start your own travel thoughts.

For Pinoy travellers only. There are two types of Pinoy travellers: one who travels alone and the other one loves to be with everybody else in the neighborhood.

I don’t harbor any ill-feeling towards those who go with the whole family. I did that during my earlier travels to Asia. But make sure that everybody in the crowd loves adventure. If not, there’s no use traveling at all. But if you spell family with F-U-N, then go to the extremes. Fly high. No boundaries. No limits. But if you spell travel with P-A-C-K-A-G-E, then go to hell. Why limit yourself to a box? Heaven is a place on earth!

Traveling outside the Philippines. Be prepared. Be very prepared. Asia is the most beautiful continent in the whole wide world.