To me today travelling is no longer a thrilling first-time experience. However, discovering new places is still a core component in my curiosity to travel the world. Only if I knew these five point since when I left Italy for the first time in 1995, my entire travel experience could have been ways more pleasant.
1. Travel light
This is definitely my first advise. As every other Italian I used to travel packing sets of matching clothes. Socks, matching with boxers, matching with shoes, matching with belt, shirt, trousers and all the rest. I have realised that the matching lifestyle is pretty much of an Italian thing to do… Sure some other nationalities do match clothes of course, but in places like Southeast Asia, very few are gonna be bothered if the color my belt doesn’t perfectly match my shoes. So I go much more relaxed now. Jeans and dark shorts are my favourite allies as they need no ironing and low maintenance even in case of stains. Black or dark t-shirts go well together and don’t need a lot of panicking when eating soupy food around the world.
2. Wear no metal when flying
My usual travelling uniform is now made of:
A. sneaker shoes: very useful in the airport such as Paris or Addis Ababa where removing the shoes is compulsory at the security check. I can slip my foot out and put it back without even bending.
B. Sweat pants: I bought the most stylish I could find for less than $10 in an unbranded store running a promotion. I replace them once a year. I wear them only on the day that I am supposed to catch a flight. I wash them only upon returning from the trip, after wearing them once per flight.
C. Black t-shirt: perfect for airplane meal, that more often than not spills on me without noticing.
D. Small wheeled trolley: It is large enough to contain my 17 inches MacBook Pro plus a sling bag, but also small enough to squeeze in any overhead compartment on the aircraft. And it never hurts my back.
E. No metals: no watch, no belt, no glasses… nothing at all that could beep at the security check. Guess what? I am the fastest passenger in your security queue.
3. Buy travel insurance
It took me ages to take the decision to finally have a yearly insurance to cover all of my trips. In approximately 50 to 60 trips I have taken in the past 20 years, I have only got my luggage delayed or lost a couple or 3 times max. Insurance did a great job.
4. Pick one airline only
I used to travel on the cheapest possible flight, but I reasoned after a few years that the benefits I could collect by sticking to 1 airline only, could greatly exceed the amount of money I have saved by going always for the cheapest option. Ever since I decided to stick to one airline only, I have been enjoying numerous perks that could have costed me a fortune to purchase otherwise.
5. Get a Credit Card
As for the insurance, I have procrastinated getting a credit card for ways too long. I hate being in debt, so I kept associating debt to credit card until I got one. Since then I am travelling throughout specific regions getting complimentary access to Business Lounges that could have costed me so much more if I paid at the counter.
I define myself as a travel savvy person and I encourage friend and other people to travel following my 5 criteria described above. Have a safe trip :)
With the goal of 150 country to be visited before 2025, Stefano Virgilli is an avid traveller and expert connoisseur of the cultures of the world.