Why I won’t be appearing on the Amazing Race: My Travel Personality

Over the past few days I’ve watched a number of ‘My Travel Personality’ posts appearing in my social feeds. So what is my Travel Personality?

As much fun as competitors gush about The Amazing Race being, my travel personality is pretty much summed up as ‘the opposite’. Given the chance I’d be the one sitting in the corner crying while my teammate stresses out.

Times Square New York

It takes the right travel buddy

I’ve written before about solo travel as an introvert

When I was in my early 20’s and single I found it difficult to find travel buddies as my friends were all studying/ saving for houses or had other spending priorities. So I travelled alone and met up with friends along the way.

I’m not always the best when things go wrong, and I’ve seen flat tyres, got hopelessly lost in foreign cities and run out of petrol on the Pacific Coast Highway and not necessarily dealt with them spectacularly.

When I’m travelling with other people, I need a travel buddy who can force me to get it together and give me a clear instruction, so I can assist in getting us out of the predicament. And it’s helpful if they can work out if I’m hangry or need to sleep.

I prefer a plan

I like booking flights well in advance and getting a great deal. I don’t like booking them on the fly and being subjected to insane prices

I also prefer to have accommodation booked and know where I’ll be staying the night (not be aimlessly running around the world looking for Phil Keoghan). The rest I can join the dots on as we go.

Typically how Mike and I plan trips is that I do lots of research, he ignores my emails for several weeks, I stress out about rising prices, he redoes the research in under an hour and then books something entirely different.

While I might pretend I’m intrepid and love casually dropping an upcoming one-way flight to Phuket and lack of further plans into conversations, that is not how I travel. Plans will be nailed before we leave.

I require suitcase and clean clothes

I’ve never been a true backpacker as I’ve never owned a backpack. I’d rather drag a suitcase. And the ability to do laundry somehow is a must.

I need sleep

Call me high maintenance but I can’t sleep in an airport, on a plane, or actually anywhere which is not a bed. And nothing’s all that fun when you’re massively overtired.

I went through a short period of staying in hostels and cheap accommodation, but with a partner to share with these days as well as an increased budget as a working adult we can afford a step up. The added bonus of not sharing is a good night’s sleep and a room and bathroom to yourselves.

Trevi Fountain

‘Racing’ is not my style

I prefer to take my time and mix running around ticking off the tourist destinations with time to just chill out and enjoy being on holiday. Always being on the go is exhausting.

Reading posts like this  and this about what goes on behind the scenes of The Amazing Race actually makes it sound pretty fun though!

This post is part of the monthly travel link up Emma, Kelly and Rebecca host every month, with guest host Catherine

Travel Questions from my mother – payments and phone bills

My parents (average age 60), though well travelled in their 20’s, recently took their first overseas trip in a number of years to Adelaide.

After we’d negotiated the expired passports, flights and accommodation bookings and determined whether it was best to train, bus or rent a car to get to the Barossa Valley (train, getting a car there), mum still had questions.

While they were things which might seem obvious to me, as I patiently answered them it occurred to me that there must be many people every year in similar situations, having not travelled overseas before or not having done so over a period of significant technological advance.

phone and coffee

So here they are – travel questions from my mother.

Will my bank debit card work when paying at restaurants/ hotels in other countries?

No. While it will work at an ATM on the street (for a fee!) you won’t be able to use it to pay for items in a store.

How can I avoid the credit card transaction fees from the hotel?

I’ve found that sometimes by paying before arrival this will be waived. But if there is a fee and you want to avoid it you’ll have to pay with cash instead.

Should I buy foreign currency at the airport?

No this is generally where the worst rates are. Do the maths and work out whether to get cash before you leave, withdraw money upon arrival or load up a pre-paid travel card.

Will the ATM overseas give me my home currency or the local one?

It will give you the local currency by default. There are some fancy ATMs now though where you can select to receive foreign cash instead.

Can I use my phone overseas?

It will work, but don’t roam, use wifi instead and aps like Skype and Viber (if you’re not making contact between iPhones) are brilliant.

With some mobile providers you can now pay a daily fee while travelling to use the texts/calls/data your home plan. If you need to text/call a lot this may be worth doing, or buy a local SIM card.

Despite me turning her data off, teaching her how to join a wifi network and explaining roaming charges (80c per text in this example), mum ripped through $42 in three days because my nana ‘kept texting’ her back. Be selective about who and what you respond to.

Can I top up my pre-paid phone overseas?

Yes, you’re best to do it yourself by logging into your account online through rather than paying the costs to call to have it topped up.

If my iphone is turned off will the alarm still go?

No. Swipe up from the bottom and select either the airplane or the moon icon. Your alarm will go so you won’t miss your flight but you won’t be disturbed by texts or calls.

What travel related questions have you been asked by a parent or first time traveller?