Your Travel Tips Suck
Any shmuck with a keyboard can tell you what to do on the world wide web. Add a passport, and they’ll tell you how to travel. Bugger ‘em, I say.
That being said, here’s my take on common – although shitty – bits of advice thrown at everyone who so much as mentions a trip overseas.
1 “Don’t eat street food”
Holy moly – where to begin with this gem? In some places, if you’re not eating street food, you’re not eating. Period. Street food is nothing to be feared. Let your palette meander down the streets when your feet cannot. Enjoy the local offerings. Food can take you to some incredible places. In my opinion, the best way to travel is through your tummy. Even if you do get sick, a poo story is always entertaining.
2. “Don’t touch the animals”
Use your brain with this one. An infected pup on the roadside may need some serious TLC, but your rabies-infested hand may need more. That being said, I’m a sucker for a dog, and will always play fetch with Fido. Cats are curious, but the bitches bite. Other nondomestic animals you touch at your own risk, but again, it makes for a better story. Side note: can we stop supporting drugged-up big cats? They make me weep.
3. “Make sure you check DFAT”
Yo DFAT, I’m really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but I had one of the best camping trips of all time – of ALL TIME – when I ignored your strict and over-the-top warnings. Again, use your brain. Obviously ‘DO NOT TRAVEL’ warnings aren’t issued lightly, but when you’re volunteering in a rural Colombian village, it’s okay to hike a hill and set up camp. But, the problem here is that should something go wrong, your travel insurance likely won’t cover you because they’re bastards the Australian Government advised against going to that area. Which leads me to my next gripe…
4. “You must take out full comprehensive travel insurance”
Look, I’m poor. I know y’all are too. Full comprehensive, nil excess travel insurance can cost up to $200 for a three-week trip. Whenever I spend up big on travel insurance, I feel like I’m getting ripped off. I rely on Medicare and a lot of luck while I’m home in Australia, so why do I need insurance abroad? Sure, if I’m involved in a terrible accident, I won’t have to fork out as much, but I can’t help but feel like I should just “lose” my phone when I go away next…
5. “Take a bag with wheels”
“Bags with wheels are AMAZING!” I shit you not, I just read this when I Googled ‘Top Travelling Tips’. ERRR wrong. A bag with wheels will destroy you. Cumbersome and rigid, they’re like carrying a cardboard box down a flight of stairs. Bags with wheels are not your friend. Especially if you’re backpacking. The essence of backpacking is the backpack. Leave the useless wheelie bag at home.
6. “Don’t eat McDonald’s while you’re away”
Sure, you’ve got a Micky Dee’s at home, but going to McDonald’s in another country is a completely new experience. If you’re a glutton like myself, or you’ve been on BuzzFeed ONCE this year, you’ll appreciate the foreign menus. I could honestly write an entire piece on McDonald’s around the world. Everywhere you go, McDonald’s caters to the people. So eat with the people. Eat McDonald’s, at least once. Chow down on some McPrawns or McSpaghetti, and wash it all down with a nice cool McBeer. Bon appétit.
Ultimately, when you pack your bags and leave home – for a week, a month, or years on end – it is your trip. No one else’s. This is your opportunity to spend those hard earned dollars, do what you’ve always wanted to do, and other clichés about self-discovery and exploration. It’s entirely your decision how you act (NB: basic anti-douchebag rules still apply, soz). It’s up to you whether you heed my advice, trust Lonely Planet, or listen to your friends and family. Although, I do highly recommend keeping your immediate family on-side, as they will be the ones who save your ass when you garner a fine for public indecency. Not that that has happened to me of course…