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Smart Travel Tips from Friends of AirAsia

Our celebrity friends share their personal travel tips so your holiday can be a more enjoyable one!

Jason Godfrey

Face of Li, Hong Kong

1) Eat out of your comfort zone – eat on the street, anywhere the locals are eating is probably going to be good and authentic.

2) Make sure you make time to visit the night markets – these are the best places to find unique products and hidden gems.

3) My recipe for budget travel is actually same in any country.  Try to find a couch swap to stay with a local family, it would be cheap and your best bet to experiencing local culture.

4) Wander the city, walk into any place that looks interesting and try to strike up a conversation with people for interesting  attractions. Can’t really go wrong with that!

5) Make sure you make reservations if you intend to pay any restaurants or cafes a visit. Most famous restaurants or cafes don’t accept walk-ins, and it’d be such a bummer to not be able to visit the places according to your plan, right?


Nadine Ann Thomas

Miss Universe Malaysia 2010, Model, DJ, Host 

1) Always prepare all my itinerary, travel, place to stay and organize my budget for a stress-free vacation.

2) As a woman, precaution is a must. Carry with you pepper-spray in case you catch yourself alone in an unfamiliar area. 

3) Carry a small bottle of sanitizer and wet wipes, you’ll be surprised how often they come in handy. 

4) When I travel in between time zones, I usually feel lethargic, irritable, and stressed. Catch as must sleep as you can, do not forget to drink water and juices and always carry vitamins with you. It helps your body and mind become accustomed to the time difference faster. 

 5) Never trust strangers, when traveling on foreign lands, unfamiliar with the difference of culture and tradition, be careful never to carry on board or on yourself any package.

6) Pack smart! Pack only what you require, make a list to help manage your clothes. Roll them up tight when packing, this takes up less space. Less clothes going means more to indulge on your travels. 

Steve Appleton


1) Do a little research on where it is you’re heading! Going to a place you don’t know to explore is of course a wonderful idea, but, sometimes not knowing anything about the place means the first 2 days get spent asking the questions where to go and what to do, time is money when you’re travelling, spend it wisely.

2) During the daytimes in countries abroad, I’ll always take a rucksack, and within it – everything you’d need: water, phone, little map, petit food stolen from hotel breakfast (!), sunglasses for when I don’t need them and most probably an X-mini speaker for plugging in to my iPod for when we find a good spot to chill out. Life is easy when you have a rucksack, that’s not a well-known phrase, but it should be.

3) Depending on how long you’re travelling for, try to eat well. It’s far too easy to keep grabbing fast food along the way, or even perhaps get lured in by the homely golden-arches of McDonalds, but if you’re travelling for a few weeks or longer, it will start to take its toll! 

4) Get up early (within reason), even though you won’t want to. Especially when on a skiing holiday, it’s so easy to have a few drinks the night before, wake up at 3 in the afternoon and miss the whole day. This is easier to do when you’re in a group of mates – more motivated people to drag your lazy self out of bed! 

5) Remember that you came to where ever you are because you’re on holiday, you’re travelling, you’re doing something different – try to enjoy even the mundane moments, they’ll be the ones you miss most when you come back home.


Radio Announcer, MIX fm’s The All-New MIX Breakfast Show.

1) Before I travel anywhere, the last but essential thing I do before I leave the house is go to the washroom. You don’t want to have to clear your system at the most inopportune moment!

2) Bring a big hooded jacket. I always do. Not only does it keep me warm, but it covers my face when I’m sleeping and no one can see my mouth is open!

3) If you’re traveling with a partner, consider packing some of their clothes in your bag too. That way if one of you loses your bag, at least you know you’ve still got some clothes to wear in the other one!

4) When flying, I always bring a stick of chewing gum. It helps to make your ears ‘pop’ and get rid of that clogged-ear feeling during take-off and landing.

5) If you’ve got baggage to check-in, make sure your luggage bag stands out and is instantly recognisable so you can easily spot it when you want to collect it. Also, prevents would-be thieves from wanting to steal it.

6) Always bring a good book to read. Not only do you keep yourself occupied and entertained, but it’s a good way to keep to yourself if you don’t want to talk to the stranger sitting next to you!


Alex Yoong

Team Lotus’ Head of Driver Development, ESPN Star Sports F1 commentator.

1) Try and pack light enough, so not to have to check in baggage.

2) Drink lots of water and try to resist the soft fizzy drinks–I know it’s hard 😉

3) WHATEVER YOU DO, NEVER BRING A CHILD BETWEEN THE AGES OF 1 AND 3 YEARS OLD. IT IS HELLISH. (I only ever did that once, and never again!)

4) Go out the night before so you are exhausted enough to sleep on the plane.

5) Be considerate with the elbow wrestling on passenger’s seats onboard. You can time share, no?





 Yasmin Hani Richardson

TV Host, Actor, Model, Former Radio Announcer (ERA FM)

1) Always plan and do research on when and where you want to go. ie location, weather, do’s n dont’s.

2) Make a copy or scan your passport, visa, flight itinerary, credit card and email it to yourself and family. In case of emergency, you can always make a report and trace it back anywhere anytime.

3) Carry water or light snack or even sweets with you. You’ll definitely need it after a long journey. You dont want to have bad breath when you talk to a cute guy for direction, do you..  :-)

4) Always bring your own medication or a small first aid kit. You’ll never know when you need it.

5) Tiny torch light, candle, card game and a book are essential to me. They are always in my luggage and they stay there, somehow I always need them! :)


Josiah Ng

Malaysian Cyclist

1) Pack your carry-on as light as possible. Nowadays most airlines have clamped down on the weight of your carry on. I usually bring with me a small toiletry kit, a change of clothes, my iPad and my travel documents. 

2) Better to arrive at the airport too early rather than pushing it to the latest possible second. I always arrive at least three hours before an international flight and an hour before domestic. 

3) Slippers – I now carry a pair of house slippers (or the ones you can get at finer hotels for free) on board. That way I can relax in comfort on the flight but still be able to walk around without having to put on my shoes every time. Space is limited especially in economy so putting on shoes can be a drag. 

4) Hydrate more than you would on dry land as it’s easy to get dehydrated while on long haul flights. I also try to minimise on soda and alcohol on flights. 

5) Don’t forget the travel and medical insurance. Medical care can be expensive in a lot of countries and some require payment up front before treatment. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. 

JJ & Ean

Radio Announcer hitz.fm

From JJ (right in pic)

1) Make sure you know the three most important phrases in their local language wherever you’re going. (Make sure you memorize them)

a) “How much for this and can I please have this cheaper?”

b) “Where is the toilet?”

c) “Sorry I don’t speak your language”

2) Make sure you have lots of pictures of home… just in case you start missing your home.

3) Very important, find out the weather/temperature of your destination. Wearing winter clothing at the beach is just wrong, no matter where you’re from.

4) Be adventurous, take the public transport. You never know who you might meet and always remember Rule No.1a (please refer above)

5) Lastly, make sure you have the proper medication for the common flu, fever, cough and most importantly the “RUNS”. You don’t want to spend your holiday in the toilet.

From Ean

1) Always be aware of the local fashion of your destination, nothing screams “tourist” more than a “I LOVE LONDON” t-shirt and cap combo while walking in London .

2) Look for the places where the locals choose to hang out.

3) Make sure you have enough clean underwear to last for your travel period. Always follow this formula (Amount of days on holiday x 2 + 1). That “+1” is in case you run across some really spicy food!

4) If you’re using contact lenses, always pack a pair of stylish glasses just in case, because there is nothing worse than sight-seeing without being able to see.

5) Contrary to what my on-air partner JJ says, I think it is imperative to learn pick up lines in the local language because let’s face it, we are all going abroad to have fun unless you’re travelling with your wife of which you need to learn this phrase “Please come back to me in 5 minutes when I’m alone because this is my wife standing next to me”.

Sarimah Ibrahim

Astro TV host, Era fm Announcer

1. Pack medicines in case of emergency.

2) Drink water even when not thirsty in cold countries to avoid dehydration.

3) Always sleep enough or you will be too tired to enjoy the trip.

4) Stay safe–always ask for directions rather than keep walking aimlessly getting lost, especially at night.

5) When I travel, I let my fans from around the world know where I am visiting, what I am doing through my Twitter (sarimahi). Always a good way to figure out what’s happening and where!



Radio Announcer hitz.fm

1) Read up as much as you can about the destination you’re heading to, instead of spending money for guided tours, choose where you wanna go instead and save time and money.

2) Bring a good camera, memories are meant to be captured, what better way than using a camera? Make sure it’s durable under all weather conditions, a DSLR is quite affordable these days.

3) Travel light, I know most people these days can’t live without their mobile gadgets, bring only what you need because trust me, if you’re traveling 10,000 miles to look for an Internet connection, you might as well hop on board the next plane and head home.

4) Avoid roaming charges and get a local prepaid sim card that provides you with 3G and all that, this way you:

a) Don’t get unwanted phone calls that you normally do on your mobile number.

b) You can give your “travel number” to your loved ones and stay connected with them, plus get them to call you 😛 save on charges!

5) Get plenty of sleep on the plane before arriving at your destination, you don’t want to arrive tired and waste your first day, take something to knock you out on the plane 😉

Hannah Al Rashid

Face of Li, Indonesia

1) Drink lots of water, not only to keep hydrated, but also so you’re forced to get up and go to the toilet, and therefore get your legs moving and stretched out a bit.

2) Bring a good book, so time passes quickly if there’re no inflight movies, also great for waiting to board, and if there’s a delay you’re not left staring into space wondering when you can leave!

3) For anyone that loves travelling but hates the smell of planes (like me) or gets travel sickness, bring a small bottle of Minyak Kayu Putih (cajaput oil). Sniff away when you feel a bit queasy, it helps.

4) Always bring a pen so you can fill out immigration forms quickly and easily.

5) Read whatever magazines provided (in this case Travel 3Sixty!) and check out the cool articles and plan your next holiday before you’ve even landed :) 


Fay Hokulani

Model, Host, Fitness Blogger

1) Pack your running shoes. What better way to explore a new city than by foot? Make it a point to pack your running shoes and athletic wear while traveling. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your healthy habits should too.  The more active you are, the less you need to limit what you eat!

2) Organize your liquids in ziplock bags. Transparent ziplock bags are my favorite thing to have when traveling because it helps to keep everything organized and saves the extra space compared to packing proper bags for toiletries and cosmetics.

3) Stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sodas and salty snack prior to and during flight, as it will further dehydrate you. Dehydration will lead to bloating, dizziness and lack of energy. Keeping hydrated on the flight will help your body adjust to temperature and climate changes, help regulate blood flow as well as prevent chapped lips.

4) Make copies of your identification, passport and keep them in another location from your actual passport. Should you lose your passport, this copy will expedite the replacement process. Also, you might want to give friends and family at home a copy just in case. 

5) Carry on your valuables. Always make sure to carry all of your valuables and things you cannot replace immediately like reading glasses, medication, and fancy jewelry. Now, relax and do your best to pack light. Anything you forgot, you can beg, borrow, or buy later.


  • http://asiancorrespondent.com/ travel

    Nice post.