Useful tips for new travellers

By Aimen Siddiqui
Fri, 08, 22

Regardless of how many travelling blogs you read, or travellers you talk to, there will be many things you will experience for the first time....

Useful tips for new travellers


You might have heard the saying that no matter how many pregnancy books you read you can’t predict exactly what you will experience in the birthing room. This holds true for travelling, too. Regardless of how many travelling blogs you read, or travellers you talk to, there will be many things you will experience for the first time.

I had my own ‘ab ye to kisi kitaab me nahi likha’ (not written in any book) moments while travelling! So, I thought of compiling them to help fellow travellers avoid some tricky situations.

A T-shirt in the bag

Always keep a set of clothes in your hand carry. Our clothes and shoes normally go in our checked luggage. That’s totally normal! Carrying a loaded backpack or hand luggage is a big no-no. But keeping an emergency pair of T-shirt and pants/pyjamas is a must – especially if you’re travelling during the holiday season. I’ll tell you why: the holiday season results in overcrowded airports and back-to-back flights. The chances of a missed connection during this period are also high. I was offered a complimentary stay in the UAE when I was travelling to Turkey after I missed a connecting flight. I got to know that these things are quite common in the aviation world!

My short stay, however, was a bit uncomfortable because I didn’t have any extra change of clothes – I didn’t get the checked luggage. You can change into more comfortable clothes if you have to spend a few hours in a hotel.

First-aid box

On my trip to Bangkok, I badly injured my leg while boarding a ferry. The pain was excruciating! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any antiseptic cream to apply on my wound. Even though I was able to take care of my wounds, I did have to go through a lot of trouble. The best way is to keep a first-aid box with you. I can’t recommend any medicines or ointments – that’s a doctor’s job – but I can advise you to pay a visit to your family doctor and ask them about the essentials that you should be carrying.

A towel and a spray

When we are on a trip, we end up completing our annual daily-step target in a week’s time. If you are travelling in summer, you will feel yourself melting under the unforgiveable sun. Keep a small towel with you to wipe off the sweat! Also, carry a travel-size perfume or body spray to freshen up after a long walk.

Useful tips for new travellers

Local currency

Many people take their cash in dollars or pounds because they get good rates in the country. Also, it is easier to get dollars or pounds reconverted to Pakistani rupees than to get the local currency of the country you’ve recently visited. If you’re carrying foreign currency, you shouldn’t get it changed at the airport – as you might not get a good rate there. But you’d need some local currency for the cab fare to your hotel or the local SIM card. Keep a small amount of cash with you to cover these essential expenses.

Currency notes

We are so used to seeing markings on our currency notes that we don’t realize that such markings are not acceptable around the world. Naturally, I didn’t even notice when a $100 note had something written on one of its sides – it wasn’t a subtle love message to a Jaan from her Janu – but it was still unacceptable. Back in Pakistan, I got the note changed easily but obviously I got it after I returned! Always check your currency notes before leaving the counter at the foreign exchange office.

Check the currency on the website

Ah! I can’t tell how important it is to set the currency to PKR on hotel-booking sites. Always double check before confirming the booking or else you will end up losing the money you thought you had. I had a sort of funny moment when I planned my trip to Bangkok.

I booked a hotel two weeks before the flight for Rs22,000 (then 4,000 bahts). My friends had told me that Bangkok is relatively cheap and I could get a decent hotel for this price. When the site showed Rs22,000 for a good hotel, I didn’t think twice.

It was Friday morning and my flight was around midnight. I had asked my brother to make prints of tickets and hotel reservations. I was having the morning chai at my workplace with my friend and we’re talking about, well, travel!

I was in the middle of emailing the files to my brother when I saw the message. It was a reminder from the site that said something along the lines that my hotel where I had the booking for Rs 43,000 was waiting for me.

Surprised at how this could happen, I left my morning chai and my friend and rushed to my workstation. I cancelled my booking (only a couple of hours were left to cancel the booking). My friend and I searched for another hotel that was available for Rs24k. I paid for it immediately - because the rates were lower than the normal price. I had the confirmation message that went that I had made a booking of some 8,000 baht (I don’t remember the exact amount but it was roughly Rs47k).

I was shocked! The price still said 24k on the site. I looked at my friend in disbelief. Then, it hit me, the currency on the site was set to INR

I hope these tips will help you plan your trip in an even better manner.