Today we are surrounded by technology and there is no doubt it has made travel much better than it used to be. But there are 3 things that I always carry despite having a tech for that. I am sure this might sound pretty basic, but at times doing the basic things help you in crises.
I have come across many who don’t have these basic items and it becomes a problem for them as well as fellow travellers.
This might come across as a surprise to a lot of people, especially in the modern age when everything is available on the phone. The phone screen replaces the role of the notebook for many. But trust me carrying the good old notebook comes in handy. There are times when you don’t get the network or your phone is out of juice. These are the moments when you realise that you should have had a backup, you should have jotted down the important numbers and things to do in your notebook to avoid panic in a foreign land.
Try using a notebook during travel, you will realise it is so flexible. You can jot down random thoughts and feelings, along with crappy drawings on the notebook, which is slightly difficult to do on a phone. After a point taking out the phone and jotting constantly becomes painful. There is a different pleasure that one drives from randomly scribbling or making caricatures on the paper.
As a traveller, my advice is that you should always draw a map of the location where you are staying with your own imagination. This will help you understand and realise the place where you are staying. It will force you to notice even the smaller things. In fact, I play a game with my fellow travellers as to who can draw the most accurate map of the location where we are living. After that, we compare the maps and are always surprised by the things we all missed and how we all interpret the same place in a different way. The exercise of drawing the map shows our area of interest and upbringing. Try it out, it is fun.
Drawing a map of your own will be helpful in case if you got lost. My notebook came in handy to me in a place called Freising. The oldest city in Bavaria with almost a 1300 year history located at 25 minutes drive from Munich. The city goes dead by evening. I was staying there for a couple of days, in the morning when I left I made a map of my hotel and surrounding area in the notebook and that’s the best thing I did that day, because when I was back around 7 pm there was nobody on the platform ( I had taken a train from Munich). In India we have so many people, finding the place is not a big challenge we can ask a couple of people and we can arrive at our destination easily. However over there I was all alone standing on the platform staring at the winter darkness in front of me wondering which way to take and phone without any juice. Luckily I had the map scribbled on the notebook according to my understanding that helped me find my way to the hotel. Of course, you get maps but I find it a bit challenging to read at times so I have my own map. In short with a notebook you can have easy access to all the information that you have filled it with, names, addresses, shop names and locations etc.
Make your to-do list for the day and at the end of the day you can strike them off. And while you are doing this you will remember incidence that happened during that time. It is an awesome experience, and since you are doing it in the notebook you can scribble down your feeling and write stories of the day before you retire to bed.
When you are travelling in an unknown place, most likely you are not aware of the terrain or the local surroundings. It is no fun walking down the dark lanes or streets with potholes. While the place might be overall safe but at night you don’t want to take the risk of falling down in a gutter or twisting an ankle during your travel trips. It is better to walk with some light on you. These days’ phones come with an inbuilt flashlight but at the same time, late nights would mean quitting time for the phones too unless you have access to an outlet or a portable battery pack. A real torch, on the other hand, will be used mostly only during night time, it would also mean more power with a sturdier construct. This torch at night could be used as a weapon or a distraction to give you ample time to escape from a local thug. It has been helpful for me and some of my other fellow travellers. Hence I always ensure I carry one torch during my travel trips
Printout of the tickets:
When you are doing backpacking for two or three months, most likely you will forget what day of the week it is. And you will be so engrossed that you will also forget the dates. It happens; all those who travel for months would know what I mean. It is important to have the printout of the tickets with you so that you can keep checking and reminding yourself where you have to be at what time. You might have multiple bookings and relying on the phone could be difficult at times. It might suddenly strike you that you have to leave tomorrow to catch a connecting flight or a bus and invariably your phone will not have juice. At those moments desperation & stress could be avoided if you have a printout of your tickets. All you have to do is open your bag and take a look at it. Besides this there are people who will lose the phone or manage to get it damaged or will forget to charge, etc. there will be plenty of reasons. And when you are standing in front of the airport security without a ticket and the flight is about to leave you to have no hope in hell unless you have the printout of your ticket with you.
Let me know in the comment sections what are the non-tech thing that you carry despite having a tec for that.