Expert Travel Tips for the Novice Traveller

From travel kits to fluency in a foregin language, here's how to become an accomplished traveller

Credit: Amy Dianna

A good packing strategy is a must for any would-be travelling expert

How would you rate your travel skills? Here’s how to adjust your personalilty to become an effective traveller

There are some easy habits you can get into that will make for more successful and memorable trips.

It’s not necessarily about how many languages you can speak or whether you have the finest quality luggage. The secret to being a good traveller has everything to do with your personality and ability to adapt.

Clearly, being able to read a map is helpful when travelling somewhere you’ve never been before. But even more so is the ability to keep calm when you inevitably get lost. How you respond to getting lost spells the difference between a bad afternoon and an unexpected detour to a place you might never have found otherwise.

Packing for Your Trip

When it comes to luggage, a good bag is always handy, but it’s your packing strategy that will take you far. Even the most expensive bag can’t save you from overweight fees if you’re a chronic over-packer. Forget the $400 piece of luggage and invest a little time in improving your packing strategy.

Do this by creating a list you can customize for each trip, and then think back over your last few vacations and try to figure out what you could have left in the closet.

Your Travelling Diet

You might think a stomach of steel will get you farther on foreign food, but it really has a lot to do with keeping an open mind.

Taking precautions when it comes to food in a foreign country is always wise. But be adventurous. Locals eat that food everyday. And you’re probably more likely to get sick from a hotel or western-style restaurant.

Learning the Local Language

Finally—language. Yes, fluency in one or two extras is great. But this is where personality most comes in to play, because fluency in the universal language of hand signals and smiles will get you a lot farther than you think.

Knowing the local language can make your trip easier in countless ways, so get to know the basic vocabulary if you can. But keep in mind that when you hit a language barrier it’s not the end of the world. And communicating with your hands—and l smile—often conveys your message better than you think.

Founder and president of Travel Best Bets, Claire Newell has appeared on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, Good Day New York, ABC Morning News – Chicago, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and CNN Radio, and is the official travel consultant for Global TV. She has been a spokesperson for Disney’s, and featured in promotions for the Vancouver International Airport and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Newell has authored or been featured in articles for Success, Professional Woman, Today’s Parent, Readers Digest and for various newspapers. She is the best selling author of Travel Best Bests – An Insider’s Guide to Taking Your Best Trips, Ever and has just finished her second book.
This wife and mother of two has also launched two lines of luggage & travel accessories. Visit for more information.