With nearly 2 years of travelling experience under our belts, I’ve been thinking recently what I would have done before I set off travelling for the first time.
With the excitement of first time travelling, pre-travel jitters and worries, thinking of ways that will really make your travel experiences easier will probably be the last thing on your mind.
We’ve listed a couple of things we’ve done since been away, and wished we did before we set off!
1. Set up a Dropbox account
If you don’t already know, Dropbox is a cloud-based online storage website that allows you to upload files to their servers for free. The free account options allow up to 2GB of storage, with Pro accounts ranging from 100,200 and 500GB of storage, starting at $9.99US.
Great for important files, your favourite tracks or treasure maps… Sharing files is easy too, you can allow others access to your files securely and privately via email permissions, so that the general public can’t see your embarrassing collection of ‘teddy bear on tour‘ holiday snaps.
2. Open a Flickr Account
Flickr is Yahoo’s photo sharing and management application. With a free account you can upload 300MB worth of photos every month, plus 2 videos. Fine if you’re an occasional snapper, but if you’re serious about your travel photography and want unlimited everything (photo uploads, video uploads, storage, bandwidth) and an ad-free Flickr experience, then you’ll need to upgrade to a Pro Account.
There are various subscription and payment options, a year costing about $24US. Check the payment and subscription info here.
I literally dump all my photos on there, and just make my good photos publicly visible through permissions. Excellent for peace of mind and not worrying about losing countless GB’s of your treasured travel memories.
Also check out Google’s Picasa, as that’s pretty cool too.
(Don’t forget to check out our Flickr profile!)
3. Take Travel Money
Take some travel money with you! Having some emergency dollars, euros or pounds when you need them will be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Exchange rates at airports are notoriously bad, and what if you can’t take money out of the airport ATM when you arrive at your destination? Too many travellers we’ve spoken to fail to plan for this. Don’t get caught short, take travel money with you!
4. Download Prey
Prey is an small piece of open-source software that remains dormant on your laptop, tablet or phone in case of the unfortunate event that your tech gets stolen or goes missing (heaven forbid). Here’s the cool bit: You can fire up Prey remotely and track where your stuff is!
It’s got some pretty cool features – If the machine is being used by a thief, you can take a screenshot of the whatever they’re up to, or use the machines built-in camera to take an actual picture of them! Using the devices’ wifi or GPS, you can locate exactly where it is! Plus you can fully lock-down your device remotely with a secure password, so the machine can’t actually be used.
All in all, a great bit of software! The Pro upgrade option offers more features, adding multiple devices etc for a small fee. Check for prices and more info here.
5. Get Your Phone Unlocked
Unlocking your mobile phone will simply allow you to use other mobile network providers sim-cards in other countries. Many people we’ve met on our travels chose to use their own network provider from back home… I shudder to imagine the charges. Obviously this depends on the length of your trip, but if you plan on being away for a while, you will need to get your phone unlocked in your home country.
We learnt this the hard way after several hours trying to remedy the situation in an Indian phone shop… Our network provider back home said we can’t unlock the phone abroad, as we need to be on their network to unlock it. *sigh*
We wished we were a bit more organised before we went on our round the world adventure, sorting all this out at home would have saved us time and stress!
Do you have any last minute savvy travel tips?