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Tips from a traveler

By Sun Ye (China Daily)

13:37, July 10, 2013

(file photo)

Marc Serena shared his traveling tips with Chinese readers, particularly for people who are traveling to a foreign place, look like a tourist and are wary of con artists.

"Don't trust those who approach you, rather go out and trust the person you approach," says Serena, author of La Volta dels 25, who traveled through 25 countries in a year.

Serena says travelers sometimes take too many precautions.

"Most people are good. They are kind, humble and easy-going."

That's why he trusted locals as a source of information, as well as local newspapers and websites.

He suggests travelers lose the books they plan to take, because the journey itself will more than occupy them.

But tour books still come in handy. To navigate China, he suggests the Lonely Planet edition he used in 2008. He also says readers should take guidebooks with a grain of salt.

"Guidebooks are sometimes written by those who are frightened," he says.

In terms of what to take, Serena, who traveled light, says he followed a friend's advice, "If you lose your luggage and are not affected, that's the best way to pack."

Though he believes "the lighter the better", he still has a few things he can't live without.

Quality earplugs are a must-have. Look for the ones that will block everything from drunken dins from wild roommates to the rustle of plastic bags.

Eye-shields are also necessary. "Sleep is an important part of travel," says the veteran traveler who mostly stayed in shared rooms. "If you sleep well, everything will be okay."

Personal documents are the most important things to look after. Serena kept these in different places - one in his bag, one in his pocket - and photocopies are helpful.

He suggests keeping electronic copies online.

He also packs a very thin, quick dry towel and a change of adaptable travel clothes.

But if you forget something, don't worry. "You can buy everything everywhere."

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