Top Travel tips for Coach Holidays 2020
If you are planning to go on a coach holiday in 2020 or travel abroad for your coach holiday read below for our best travel tips to ensure you have the most relaxing stress-free time, ensure you are well prepared and ready to have fun for everything that might be thrown at you.
1. Prepare but do not plan
One of the first things to do is prepare for every eventuality but do not plan what you are going to do, holidays and travel are best enjoyed when full of surprises. By all means have a loose plan in mind of locations that you want to see and visit, rough ideas of travel arrangements. However, you still want to be in a position where you can be surprised by your trip, find an adventure that you will never forget. This is why we suggest that you make sure you pack well but keep open minded on your travels. Put a rough plan together for your trip, don’t book everything up in advanced prepare to be flexible and adventurous!
2. Carry spare passport photos
If you are planning on going abroad for your holiday, take some spare passport photos in case the worst happens, you lose your passport and have no where to get photo’s official taken and printed off. This will save you a great deal of hassle if this happens. As we said be prepared for a stress-free break away. Keep the photos somewhere safe such as your luggage, not in your wallet or handbag in case these are the items you lose.
3. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin
There is nothing worse than when you underestimate the strength of the sun and the rays beating down on your face, neck and arms. Getting burnt while on holiday can ruin your entire experience, especially if you are on a short trip away and you end up hiding from the sun for most of it. Make sure you take a good factor 50 if you are somewhere known to be hot. Wear it every day so that you can walk, and travel worry free that you are not going to burn and blister. So many people make this mistake, end up searching around for remedies to reduce the pain and redness of their skin, getting heatstroke to is never fun when away and can make you very sick. Do yourself and your skin a favour and make sure you cream up, even if it is just the parts that are exposed to the sun.
4. Take plenty of Selfies
We recommend that if you do have a good camera phone get as may photos in as possible, if you take a conventional camera ask people to take photos with you. You can even try and get a wide-angle selfie lenses for your phone to get wide shots in. Taking lots of photos will help you capture every moment of your holiday so that you can treasure it for the rest of your life. It does not matter if you come back with a few photos or thousands, when you get home you then get to go through and clean all those photos up, print them, put together travel books to share your experiences with other people.
5. Backup your photos
If you are one to take lots of photos, make sure you have a place to back up all your experiences, there are plenty of small external hard drives and memory cards meaning you can carry multiple back up points with you to ensure you do not lose anything. Make it a routine that each night you make a copy of all your photos and store them in a different place. There is nothing worse than losing all your precious memories you have gathered over the course of your trip just to lose them or have a bag stolen with the only copies.
If you have a cloud account that is perfect if you have the internet or a place with Wi-Fi, just be sure they have all uploaded and check.
6. VPN, VPN, VPN
If you are connecting to local networks at cafes and unsecured locations you will want to ensure you have a VPN to protect yourself from malware, hackers and spyware and all the things you do not want your devices to be exposed too. VPN will add an extra layer of security meaning it will be safer to use unsecure internet networks when you are traveling around without having to worry that someone is going to unleash a nasty virus on your phone or laptop.
7. The local language
A mistake many people make when traveling abroad is not picking up a few simple polite words when going abroad. It is great to be able to say a few humble words to locals no matter what country you are in, please, thank you, hello and goodbye, four simple words that will help you blend in well.
Take it one step further if you are going a away longer and take a few language lessons so that you can pick up on what people are saying or have a better understanding if you are asking about an area or a place to go to. Never assume where you are going everyone will speak any English or English well. Knowing a few words and sentences will make your trip away all the more enjoyable and will help you get around with ease.
Also, a quick tip, do not speak louder to try and make yourself understood, it may come across rude no matter where you are. Best respectful, always say thank you!
8. The Daypack
Always take a daypack and pack it well, if you are ever in the position where you have lost luggage, or it has been stolen on arrival at a hotel. It is a relief to know that your money, passport and all your important documents were in a safe place with you.
We all hear of the horror stories where luggage has gone missing and people have got stranded at airports with no money or a way to get home. Do yourself a favour and prepare and pack your day pack well. It is also a good idea to pack a map in your day pack to in case you are unable to get internet on your phone to find your way to your designation.
Things to consider packing, passport, laptop, battery pack, debit card, spare memory cards, cash and a map.
9. Ear Plugs, Sleep mask and sleeping tablets
Traveling or going on holiday requires transport, sometimes coach trips that last for days, which is completely counter intuitive to getting sleep. Whether you are on transports with doers who cannot sit still, the rustling of plastic bags of crisps, drunk travels or snoring in hostels and small hotels. You will do well to be prepared for sleep, traveling with sleep deprivation leaves you vulnerable and can ruin your entire experience.
When you are tired you will make more mistakes and can end up in situations where you are open to being pick pocketed or have things stolen while you are trying to catch up on much needed sleep when you should be wide awake exploring. Earplugs will help drown out surround noises, the sleep mask for blocking out excessive light from either outside, or if you are traveling on a plane or a coach trip. Sleeping tablets will help you get to sleep if you are a little jet lagged or trying to get an earlier night than usual if you have an early start.
10. Debit, Credit and spare cash
As with every holiday you always run the risk of losing money, a card or having access to cash blocked. Banks are very secure and any activity out of the normality normally flags up on systems that end up in account being temporarily blocked. This can be a huge inconvenience when you are on your holiday. Plan out how much you plan to spend each day, then take at least three day’s worth of spare cash, a couple of spare cards so if you end up in the unfortunate position of not having access to money. You will have money to get you by until you are able to sort things out.
11. Emergency Cash
Even with planning to take a few cards and cash to cover a couple of days on you, always have the ultimate back up that will live in your main luggage. This cash is your rainy-day fund in case something really goes wrong and you have to find different accommodation, or you lose your spare cash and money. You can never be too prepared when going away. You will never regret having the cash readily available if you need it. As they say it’s better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. We would recommend you have a few hundred pounds worth of emergency cash stashed away.
12. Tell your bank
If you are going abroad, and want to prevent any accounts being blocked, make sure you tell your bank ahead of time, this means they can put a mark against your file so they will expect you to be spending money in different locations meaning they are a lot less likely to block your account while you are away. So many people have cards locked when away when in a simple 5 minute conversation they could have saved themselves a lot of grief, just by letting their bank know they were going to be travelling so activity on the card will be showing up that is not the typical.
13. Prepare for the worst
Not to sound negative and while you may want everything to be perfect and no one wants to go away with the idea that everything may fail apart. It is never worse when you have not planned for worst case scenario. Have a plan B for everything you are doing, if you are flying somewhere make sure then is a plan B route or you are prepared for a long wait. As mentioned above having spare and emergency cash is just another method of preparing for the worst. This also goes without saying to be sure that you have travel insurance as many travellers go away with no cover and end up deeply regretting it when their holiday is cancelled, or something happens. This brings us nicely onto travel insurance.
14. Travel Insurance is your backup
If you are away even just for a short trip, make sure you have the right cover for where you are going that also covers any activities that you plan on doing. Also ensure that the insurance covers things such as cancelled holidays or injury while you are away. There are so many stories of people paying huge hospital fees due to an accident or getting stranded with no money to pay for extra days while away. Another common issue is getting ill while on holiday that can completely ruin the experience.
There are so many cheap options out there for cheap travel insurance there really is no excuse to making sure you are covered while you are away. Some insurance companies will also cover your cash, and electronics while you are away so it’s not a bad idea to see if you can get these extra’s added on.
15. Space saving Vacuum bags
Vacuum bags are incredible if you want to get every inch out of your backpack if you plan to travel light. Place your cloths in the vacuum bags, seal them up and roll them to push the air out. You can literally double the amount of stuff you can get in your bag using this method. It also means if you are on the move quite a bit and you get caught out by the rain with no cover your clothes will stay dry and fresh in the bag. It also means you can leave a little emergency space if you need to throw your clothes in the bag quickly if you need to get up and out early.
16. Travel in what you normally wear
You will get so many tips from people what to wear on your travels only to find you were wishing you had just gone in what you are comfortable in. If that is tracksuit bottoms bring a pair with you, or if it is jeans. Sure, they can be a little bulky at times, the point being is you want to be comfortable, especially if you are on a coach or plane for a long time where the aircon can make you feel a little cold. Better to have a few home comforts with you than not and regret it.
17. Addresses of key locations
If you have done a little planning and have a rough idea of where you plan to explore of travel to make sure you write the addresses down. Not just in English have the local language version written next to it. This does include accommodation; this means if you are using local transport and the driver does not speak English well you may find having it written down will still enable you to get to your chosen location hassle free. The same applies if you need directions from one of the locals! Hot tip, grab a business card from the hotel you are staying at on your arrival, typically the receptionist will speak some English so if you get stuck you can call them to help you arrange a cab or other modes of transport no matter where you are.
18. Be a Tourist
There is a reason why some locations are so popular in certain locations, it is normally because they are some of the best things to do and have become popular because so many people have enjoyed themselves or it is a great experience. Some true backpackers/travellers may tell you to avoid certain locations because they would much rather go of the beaten track. At the end of the day you want to create your own experience and learn for yourself so just do what you want to do.
Also, ask the locals for great places to visit or places that are obscure as this normally puts a lot of tourists off and can give you experiences that not many people get to enjoy! Explore, ask and enjoy.
19. The in & out routine
Wherever you travel create a routine, checking in and out have your passport, cash or card ready in an easy place. Pack your luggage that means you can quickly pack and unpack wherever you are. Try to leave things where you can easily spot them and hang clothes up when you first arrive. Keep your valuables secure and in one place in case you need to grab them all in a hurry. Whenever you leave your place of accommodation make sure you have stowed important items away in your luggage and in a cupboard or a safe. Simple created routines can save you a lot of time and hassle.
20. If you are not sure, then don’t
If you are packing and you are not sure if you will need it then leave it, if you are not 100% sure you want to do something on your travels then don’t do it. Follow your instinct wherever you go, and in whatever you are doing. Keep everything within your comfort zone unless you are sure it is something you want or need, or a new experience you want to try out.
21. Smaller is better
If you like to eat out often and travelling around quite a bit street food can be the best food you can get, typically if the menu is small it means that the restaurant or dishes are polished and very tasty. It will also mean you spend less time waiting for something obscure on the menu to be cooked for you because not many people eat it. Do not be afraid to try out local dishes.
22. Getting out your bubble
If you are travelling to get out your comfort zone then do, travelling alone can be the best thing for your self-confidence, reducing anxiety levels and rebuilding yourself. So many people go on coach holidays or group holidays for this reason. You can travel alone, make new friends and give your self-esteem a much-needed boost. Push yourself out your comfort zone, speak to as many people as you can, join in group activities, others for dinner or days out when on your holiday to get the best experience.
Once you get used to it, you will find that you will become more adventurous very quickly further getting out your bubble and will end up having the best time of your life and building up memories that you may never have had the chance to had you played it completely safe.
23. The easy pick pocket
Money belts scream out “this is where my money is” so many people use money belts and wonder why they end up having their money stolen from them. It’s a big sign telling thieves exactly where all your valuables are, take a money belt with you if you must, but keep your money where you are used to but not in a wallet, spread your cash around a little. Keep your phone close at hand and you should not have any issues. If anything, wear a money belt as a distraction.
24. Travel Towel
Travel towels can come in some very unusual materials that are not to everyone’s taste; however, we recommend you always take one with you, quick drying, lightweight and convenient. You will find that they become more useful than you realised especially if you are staying somewhere where the towels are a little crusty and used.
25. Backpack test runs
If you are going away for a while and plan on only living out of your backpack, pack and walk before you travel. Get a feel for the weight, items that are in the backpack to ensure you are not overburdened with the amount of stuff you plan on taking with you. Obviously if you are going on a traditional holiday to a resort you will not need to do this. Spend a couple of days refining the things you are taking with you to get your bag as lightweight as possible so that you will be comfortable when travelling around.
26. Itinerary Copies
No matter what you are doing and for how long, make sure you share a copy of your plans with friends and family, even if you are going directly to a resort or just a few locations by coach. This includes things such as flights, accommodation, places you plan to visit, insurance details. It only takes a few minutes of you time to share these details and dramatically improves your safety.
27. Your Own backups of Documents
If you have shared documents with family and friends, make sure you make a copy for yourself, passport, visas and any debit or credit cards. Hold a copy in your email and on a cloud account behind a password should you need them later. Not only will it help if you need the documents when you are potentially at an embassy it will also mean you have copies of cards numbers if you need to book a flight back home or further accommodation.
28. Be prepared for grey zones
You may be used to having access to the internet wherever you go, just be aware that you may not be able to get access to the internet for a few days if you go to remote locations. Take a few things to entertain you as you will eventually find yourself in these situations. If you know ahead, let family know and make plans in the local area so that you are not left bored with nothing to do.
29. Unlock your phone
If you have a phone that is locked to a network, why not get it unlocked before you travel so that you can picked up a local sim card to save yourself expensive roaming charges. You will get access to cheap data, be able to use Google maps, use your social channels and be easily contacted by any new friends that you pick up along the way.
30. Open your mind to local customs
Each place you visit will have its own local customs and traditions, some you may or may not like. Instead of jumping to judgments and conclusions be sure to ask questions, research taking on other people’s point of view. Some local traditions have been going on for hundreds of years and have played a large role in the country’s developments.
Further to this, bear in mind you may not like every person that you come across in your travels, you cannot get on with everyone all the time. Keep your mind open and positive and you will get so much more from each person and experience.
31. Camera Vs. Portable Camera
If you have a good camera take it with you, unless you have a great camera phone. If your camera is a little outdated, not digital maybe it is time to invest in a new bit of technology so you have the right kit to capture all those precious moments. Be sure to work out how to use the camera before you go though.
32. The Health check!
Before you go travelling anywhere it is always advisable to have a quick check up to make sure you are at 100% health. This does not mean a quick visit to a doctor but to the dentist too, so you do not end up getting filling’s or other dental work in another country. This will save you a fortune in costs and hassle.
33. Keep the Country count down
If you are planning to visit a number of places it is really tempting to squeeze as much as possible, the trick is to have a loose plan and go and enjoy yourself. If you cram to much in, you are going to be rushing around trying to see everything that will only be stressful.
Tourists also tend to try and see as many countries as possible during their time away. Keep the country count down so you spend more time enjoying yourself vs. travelling and rushing to get to the next place.
Wherever you go, note it down, every experience and place, person that you meet. When you look back you may not remember a place or location that you want to visit again. Even if it is a bar or restaurant, note it down, you may find that other people find this information useful later.
35. Be healthy
You are on holiday, you’re eating out, anything and everything, having a few drinks with each meal. It is also tempting to eat junk food while you are on your travels. Take a few days out every now and then to eat a healthy meal, cut out the alcohol and hydrate. Reduce the calorie intake, your body will thank you for it later.
36. One-way ticket Spontaneity
If you want to be spontaneous and free spirited, you only need to buy a one-way ticket to any location in the world and just go with it. So many tourists do this, with no end point in mind, no planning just point A to B. this will give you the chance to get all the freedom you need. You will also find that this method can really build up your confidence with travelling around as it will force you out your comfort zone.
37. Early Riser
Some of the best photos you are going to get are those of sunrises, and early morning starts. You will get photos with little or no people in if you are early enough to beaches or hot spot locations no matter where you are. It also means you make more of the days when you are on your coach holiday or touring by other methods. Other perks are that in some countries you will see early morning mists, wildlife that you would not get chance to see another time when other tourists are around.
While you may be travelling or on holiday on a budget do not be shy to splash out on yourself every now and then. You are taking a break so spoil yourself from time to time and have fun with it. What is the point going away only to constantly be watching our money keeping your plans restrictive.
39. Try lone travelling
Most people will go away with a partner or a group of friends, while this may be great it can also be restrictive. Travelling alone really give you a chance to find out more about yourself, build up confidence. Join as many different groups and people as you like. Traveling alone does give you the ultimate flexibility to just be while you are either on your holiday or traveling around.
Skyscanner is a great way to secure cheap flights if you are moving between locations often and want to get there quickly. The best way is to keep things as flexible as possible which means you can book really late flights saving you a fortune giving you more budget to travel further.
41. Places that interest you the most
You will find yourself going from place to place with some attractions being more inspiring than the last, do a little planning and be sure to plot out the places that interest you the most. There is no point rushing around trying to visit every location which could leave you missing out on places that really will interest you, however, you have skipped them because of other recommendations.
Don’t follow every travel or tourist who tries to take you on the beaten path just because you feel like you should. Just go with the flow and with what interests you!
42. Practice Miming
You may find that you need to improve you acting skills if you plan to go to multiple places with different cultures. You can practice in front of a mirror, get used to It as quickly as you can and good such as miming eating movements and directions. Sleeping gestures and making certain noises such as “choo choo” can really help you if you need to find a place to sleep or find other travel arrangements.
43. Translate using Google via your mobile phone camera
Such an incredible app if you are on the move a lot, it can save you a lot of time. All you need to do is make sure you have the app downloaded and signed in. the camera feature will make it so much easier for you as you can just aim your phone at a sign to translate the text. This also includes things such as menus, posters and pretty much everything else. All you need to do is press the camera icon aim and translate.
44. The travel toilet roll
This may seem like an odd one, however, there is nothing worse than needed to use toilet facilities to find that either the toilet paper is like sandpaper or there is none available. Grab a half roll, squash it up small and carry it in your bag for those emergencies. You need know when you might need it.
If you end up with the unfortunate circumstance of food poisoning or a dodgy stomach from some unusual dish you have bravely eaten. The Imodium can be a life saver, while it may not be great to block yourself up with medication, on occasions you may just have to in case you are travelling for the day or have planned certain activities. Generally, it is better to let certain illnesses to run their course. Either way it is better to be prepared.
46. Offline Maps
Going to an area with no internet but know you are going to need to use maps to navigate, use Google maps select an area and download a copy to keep offline so that you can still navigate your way around. This can be a life saver if you cannot find your way.
47. Local Markets
Local markets are a great place to try out new and exciting dishes that you may not be able to find anywhere else, they are also a way to get to know a place better and will give you a landmark point and markets are normally sign posted. Night markets in some countries are especially interesting.
48. Keep in contact
With all your travel it can be easy to forget everyone at home, be sure to keep in contact with your friends and family from time to time by checking in. Normally it is a good idea to have skype calls scheduled in so that if you run into trouble or have any issues people at home will be able to help out.
49. Travel slow to save money
The slower you travel the slower your money will deplete, makes sense, right? If you can get public transport over a cab why not do it. You may meet some interesting people along the way. If you have a kitchen at your accommodation find some local food at the markets and cook for yourself to save a little extra money.
50. Water, Water & Water
You’re not drinking enough, especially when on holiday or traveling in hot humid climates. In these conditions you need to be drinking 2 litres of water per day. That is a lot of liquid to drink per day. If you can drink tap water be sure to keep hydrated, if not try to ensure you always have a few small bottles of water and replenish them when you run out. Getting dehydrated will make you tired and grumpy, it can also make you ill if you go to many days without enough water. It is also would taking a long a Vapur water bottle, they collapse, they are light and super handy when tap water is available and safe to drink.
51. Back pockets
Not something you will always think about, using your back pockets may be very natural for you, however, you will become a prime target for pick pockets. Try to break the habit of using back pockets before you go away or always store valuables in your bag which can be securely locked when you are on the move.
52. Wi-fi spot at McDonalds & Starbucks
In some locations you will always find a McDonalds or Starbucks, the great thing is they almost always have free wi-fi. This is a prime time to catch up on emails, family and friends.
53. Marking your luggage
Marking your luggage to make it stand out is just a smart idea, if you are moving around a lot, have something brightly coloured either strapped to you your luggage or even stickers will do. This will also ensure that if you find yourself and another tourist with the same luggage as you, you will be able to quickly identify your own from theirs. It also prevents someone else picking up your luggage accidently if they think it is theirs. Marking your luggage serves multiple purposes.
54. Multi plug sockets
You have probably found that no matter the accommodation there are never enough plug sockets to charge your devices and you find yourself constantly swapping out. Take a power strip with you so that you can charge and use multiple devices at one time.
55. Dry bags
Taking a dry bag just big enough for your valuables is a no brainer if you know you are going to be spending anytime near water or on boats. You will be able to keep all your valuables dry and safe without the worry of destroying your phone or camera while moving around.
People believe 80% of what they read online, this is no different to TripAdvisor, take your time to look through reviews of any location or accommodation you plan to stay at. 1 5-star review rating should not be enough for you to make a decision. In fact, what you are looking for is a good star rating with honest feedback to get a gauge on the good and the bad of any place you plan to go to before you go. 1 5-star rating for accommodation will typically be a fake review to draw people in. be sceptical when reading reviews to prevent you wasting money on accommodation that you wish you hadn’t pre-booked. Look for things such as local construction, to how clean rooms are.
57. Getting your washing done
Washing clothes in a room and trying to get them dry is a right pain and very time consuming, worse yet it is really ineffective at getting clothes clean. Paying to get you clothes washed is a massive time saver and ensures your clothes are nice and clean, stain free. It really is worth paying a little to get a full load done.
58. Trusting people, tourists & locals
No matter where you go you are going to find the odd person who will want to take advantage of you especially when it involves money or helping them out. However, the vast majority of people you will find are good decent people who will want to help you to. Try to not let any bad experiences prevent you from trusting people you come across on your travels. Keep your wits about you still, however, you can still find people out there who are genuine and do not want to scam you. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open.
59. Checking your passport expiry date
Such a common mistake people make before traveling or going on holiday, leaving the country when their passport is about to expire leaving them stranded, worse yet forgetting to renew their passport before they are about to travel meaning you will need even get past passport checks at the airport. Make sure you have at least six months on your passport.
60. Charge your devices when you can
This seems like a simple one but easily overlooked, whenever you get the chance plug your devices in and if you have the time to get a full charge in do. You just need to get into the routine of doing this and it will make your life a whole lot easier. Alternatively make sure you have a good portable power pack with you, instead of trying to charge multiple devices at each possible stop, just ensure your power pack is fully charged as a backup so you never have to worry.
61. Booking using incognito
Without getting geeky on you, whenever you are looking to book something use incognito. This prevents sites tracking your device and gradually increases prices against you. Because incognito prevents any background tracking it means that websites cannot increase based on your session time.
62. Follow other Tourists on Instagram
Using Instagram to find the best places to get photos is a great way to ensure you find the best photo spots to capture all those memories. Just look for hashtags based on the location you are in to find prime spots.
63. Colour Coordinate your outfits
By coordinating your outfits by making sure you can mix and match most of your clothes will make it super easy to keep the level of outfits you need low and will also make it easier for when you are on holiday or travelling. You can also keep to similar colours so that when you go to get your clothes washed you only need to get one load done saving you even more time and money.
64. Take advantage of your youth
Under 25? They are a heap of student discounts that you can take advantage of. You will be able to get cheaper flights through STA travel who focus on student travel. You can also get free access to shows and museums and much more just by looking around and taking the time.
65. Track and plan your spend
It is such an easy mistake to lose track of all your expenditure, before you do anything plan out a daily budget and keep to it unless you plan to stretch your budget out a little. After the first few days see how much you have spent vs. your projected daily spend so you can make sure you have enough money with you or if you need to hold back. Yes, it is time consuming and a little frustrating, however, just by being aware, keeping in line with you budget will prevent you getting to the end of your holiday with no money left to spend.
Be sure to make sure you have permission before taking a photo of anyone, you may find that some people do not want to be in one of your photos and could get a little angry if you do take a random photo of them. Respect people and be polite to save yourself any grief.
67. Practice packing
Do a few packing trial runs so you get an idea of where everything is and how it fits into your luggage, this will make it much easier to find things if you need to get anything out in a rush. Unpacking your entire backpack to find one thing that is in another section of your bag is a right pain.
68. Jetlag and travel fatigue
If you are one of the lucky ones that does not suffer with Jetlag or fatigue that’s great news for you, however, make sure you pan accordingly so that you can get enough rest in between stops to give you the time to recuperate your energy. Take into consideration you may need half a day here and there to ensure you get enough rest before you start exploring any new locations you have just travelled to. You do not want to be out exploring 12 hours a day every day so give yourself the time to recharge now and then.