Travelling Pro Tips

This is a compilation of Pro Tips from all of the contributors’ travel posts as well as general travel advisories. This page will be updated as more posts are added, so bookmark it. Feel free to add any of your tips in the comment section.

General Pro Tips

  1. Whenever traveling internationally, make sure the expiration date of your passport is at least 6 months past your travel dates. Many countries require that.
  2. Always have a portable power bank to charge your phone in your carry-on. This bailed me out many times especially traveling to remote locations where power outlets are scarce or non-existent.
  3. Before you leave, download the offline version of the map for the locations of your travel on Google Maps. It’ll allow you to access the map of the area when there is no data or wifi.
  4. After you book your ticket, go to the CDC website to check if there are any immunizations you need for that country. Some of them need to be administered 6 months before you arrive in that country.

 

Iceland

  1. If you’ve never been to Iceland, pick up Rick Steves Guide to Iceland and let me tell you, if you follow it you will NOT be disappointed. Rachel Algar
  2. When pumping gas in the US where you can just stick your card in the pump, start it, and let it go until it stops. But in Iceland the foreign cards don’t work that way, you need to specify an amount beforehand. Rachel Algar
  3. Anytime Iceland is mentioned anywhere on the internet, the Blue Lagoon follows. For every Instagrammer angling for a selfie in the milky sky blue water, a Reddit poster will complain about it as a crowded tourist trap… It’s touristy, sure, but worth the price of admission. Rachel Algar
  4. There’s a tiny oceanside restaurant called Sægreifinn, or “Sea Baron”. Let me tell you, this was the best lobster soup I have ever had, hands down. Rachel Algar
  5. Whenever you’re renting a vehicle, get all the coverage. Get the ash coverage. Get the volcano coverage. You’re gonna need it.Overland_Squirrel

Peru – Inca Trail, Macchu Picchu

  1. Book your hike at least 6 months in advance. To do this you will need to pay a deposit and have a valid passport. It’s a popular hike and each day only 500 permits are issued. That number includes hikers, porters, chefs, and guides. A guide is required for the Inca Trail, so you have to pick from the dozens of companies that offer the trek.Ingreezy
  2. If you’ve never been to Peru, there are a lot of all-inclusive deals online, like LivingSocial, that include flights, hotels, shuttles and permits to the Unesco sites for worry-free planning. Just make sure that they partner with a local (Cusco, Peru) trekking company that treats their porters responsibly and pays them proper wages. We used Kaypi Tours.Bentacular
  3. Porter Treatment: There are a few things you want to look at when choosing a company, but besides what is included in the package, I feel how a company treats its porters is very telling. We went with Llama Path, which was recommended to me by a friend. Ingreezy
  4. To fully prepare yourself for the elevation, you should stay in Cusco for a minimum of 24 – 48 hours before your trek to get your system accustomed to the change in altitude. Many people will know by then if they will need to take Diamox. Take the half-day walking tour of Cusco for best results.Bentacular
  5. Before you go to the tourist shops, stop by Mercado Central de San Pedro, Cusco’s food and flea market. This is where the local population shops, and will give you a taste of the indigenous produce as well as test your bargaining skills. You may be able to find your souvenirs for a fraction of the cost.Bentacular
  6. If the company you choose offers air mattresses and hiking sticks, RENT THEM. They make a huge difference after a long day of hiking and the poles reduce the impact on your legs, knees, ankles, and feet.Ingreezy
  7. On the Inca Trail, pay the extra 70 bucks for an extra porter to carry all your personal items so all you have to lug around is maybe water, walking sticks and a camera. It’s a challenging hike. You don’t need all that weighing you down.Bentacular
  8. Tipping: Be prepared to tip your porters, chefs, and your guides. They deserve it.Ingreezy
  9. Exercise! Train at least a month before by hiking for long periods of time. Try to hike trails with steep inclines.Ingreezy
  10. If you get the opportunity, buy coca leaves. You’re going to need them! They come in a clear plastic bag and just look like leaves in a bag. No, they will not get you high. No, they are not addictive. You will be exerting your body at very high elevations. These will help you with fatigue and symptoms of elevation sickness.Bentacular
  11. Make sure you have extra batteries for your cameras. There are no electrical outlets available.Ingreezy
  12. Passport Stamps: Remember the experience with the coveted Inca Trail passport stamp provided at the start of the trail. Machu Picchu also offers a souvenir stamp.Ingreezy
  13. Many times during the 4 days porters or faster hikers will try to pass you. The etiquette is, you move toward the mountain side and let them pass on the outside. You never move toward the edge.Bentacular

 

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