Hints & Tips

General

  • You should never leave home without a good pair of earplugs and an eyemask!  If you plan on sleeping in dorms than these will become like gold to you – trust me!
  • Have a budget and be prepared to stick to it (of course you still need to have fun too so budget for that!)
  • Try and find hostels that have a kitchen so you can cook your own breakfast and dinners.  You will save so much money but make sure you do go out and try the local cuisine as well.
  • Be prepared for anything and everything!  You may rarely use an item and want to throw it out along your journey to make room for something else but don’t!  The amount of times we needed a sewing kit, first aid, cutlery etc was amazing.
  • Pack extra padlocks!  You will lose them and you will also need extras for lockers, so the more you have the better.  There is nothing worse than losing your padlock and you can’t lock up your backpack – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Don’t trust anyone!  Your belongings are essentially your life for however long you travel for and let’s face it, it’s a pain in the ass to replace anything especially when you are running low on funds.  You will meet some good people and it’s up to you if you leave your laptop out or your phone etc.. but I’d recommend that you don’t because we have heard of so many stories of things being stolen in hostels.
  • Learn the basics in the language of the country you are travelling too.  People appreciate it and they are more inclined to help.  Please also learn “Do you speak English?” in the language… I mean come on – saying it in English if they don’t is just silly…

London

  • Get an Oyster Card!  This card will save you time and money and can be used on the tube and buses and it’s quite easy to top up too.
  • Take a bike ride around London and get lost in this amazing city!

Morocco

  • Always tip in Morocco for any service (ie: restaurant, taxi etc) performed and your tip will vary depending how you rate the service.  Note that workers generally don’t get paid much so they rely on tips a lot.
  • Don’t give money to children even if you are surround by them and they all give you puppy dog eyes, resist the urge!  The locals like to inform people of this as if children see that they can just stand on a street and ask for money they will see it as an easy way of life and won’t bother going to school or get a proper job.  By not readily handing out money you are actually helping them try for a better life.
  • Go to an actual laundry service and not through your hotel.  We got charged $70 AUS for a small load of washing, whereas if you go to the laundromat yourself it will be a lot cheaper.
  • Make sure your taxi is metered and that they actually turn on the meter too as it will work out a lot cheaper; otherwise if you can’t find one agree to a price before you leave.
  • Always ask to take a photo of someone or of their produce and if they say no please respect that (even if you are 20m away and have ultra zoom on your camera).  If you are taking a photo of a building or a general scene shot with lots of people that is okay.
  • Learn basic Arabic or French!!  I can not stress this enough as a lot of the   people don’t speak English or can’t understand it.  When you hit the more touristy spots there will be a lot more people speaking English but you will struggle in other places.

Athens

  • Be wary when travelling on the metro or buses and especially be wary around the ferry terminal.  There are a lot of pick pocketers around these areas so make sure you have your super hawk vision on and have all of your belongings attached to you (I mean loop your backpack strap around your foot attached to you)

Budapest

  • The Hungarians are quick sneaky in getting tips.  When you are at a restaurant and you pay the bill but you require some change (ie: 20 euro) and you say “thank you” when you hand the money over, than that means that the waiter can keep the change.  So, please ensure that you DO NOT say thank you until you have received your change and then you can tip appropriately.
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