Top Tip Tuesday – First aid kits

I noticed the other day how long it’s been since I last wrote my blog – wow, how time flies! And sadly I can’t even say that I have been using the time to travel – I have not managed to venture far outside of London so far this year. But that all changes tomorrow, as we leave for a week of sunshine in Montenegro!

Until I can put together some thoughts on my holiday, I thought I would update the blog with another Top Tip Tuesday.

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I was reminded of this tip just the other day when I was reminiscing about travelling with my sister back in 2004. At the end of our year around the world we found ourselves on a small island in Fiji, lazing in hammocks, eating fresh fish and sleeping in man-made huts.

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The size of the spiders was something I had not been prepared for – some were the span of dinner plates and had huge yellow and black stripes. Trying to sleep in a hut with a thatched roof and the sound of scuttling will test even the hardiest of sleepers!

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Finally – this is where the first aid kit tip comes in!

Simply – take one and pack it to the brim with safety pins, miniature sticky tape, plasters, and anything else that will help secure one thing to another. Because you’re highly likely to need it for emergencies that are not of the first-aid kind!

In Fiji, I spent a good 30 minutes sticking, pinning, and tying closed the holes in the mosquito net so that spiders and bugs couldn’t get inside. My sister (someone who can fall asleep instantly) thought I was insane but it was the only way I could close my eyes with confidence!

A standard first aid kit usually contains:

  • plasters – in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • sticky tape
  • gauze bandages – different sizes
  • safety pins
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • alcohol cleansing gel
  • painkillers – like paracetamol
  • antihistamines
  • antiseptic cream
  • fluid replacement powders – for upset stomachs

Just remember, those big spiders and small stomach upsets are well worth it when you get to experience the best sunsets you’ve ever seen in your life!

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Until next time travellers!

 

Top Tip Tuesday – Learn the lingo!

Time for another Top Tip on a Tuesday – Why not gain a new skill and learn a language?

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When travelling abroad it is really important to immerse yourself into everything and the best way to do that is to try to learn the local language. In some cases this is much easier than others – Catalan will not come easy to many people! But if you can learn the local lingo, I guarantee it will enhance your experience ten-fold!

Learn before you go

For many people, going on a long trip involves a lot of planning and saving of money, for many months beforehand. So why not use that time to also get a few language lessons in? You could try a local night school or even check out online selling websites like Gumtree (in the UK) or Craigslist, where local people might be offering their linguistic services.

Alternatively you can buy an online/CD based language course, like Rosetta Stone. They provide you with discs of courses to work your way through, with tests to complete in order to advance further. They even give you a headset which works through voice recognition, so that you can practice pronouncing each word or phrase.

Happy locals

The reaction you get from local people when you speak their language is one of the most uplifting you will experience. Several times in South America I engaged in conversation with locals and they were so enthusiastic!

You’ll find people are often more helpful and kind too – they stop viewing you as a wealthy tourist and instead see you as someone who has taken the time to learn to converse with them.

School time

If you don’t have the chance to learn before you go, you can always stop at a school while you’re on your trip. This is obviously more viable an option for people on long trips! Many places will have a local school who will open up time for travellers to stop in and do a few classes.

I did this in a small town in Bolivia for a week – attending classes in a local children’s school, using spare classrooms. The lady teaching us was very patient and her efforts were rewarded when we found ourselves at the local market throwing out Spanish phrases left, right and centre!

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In our Bolivian school

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With our teacher Gavi

So get yourself prepared for those travels and learn the lingo!