Travelling abroad can be fun and exciting enough without adding the stress and frustration of possible mishaps to the adventure. From becoming lost to losing your baggage to simply wasting time, all of the worst possibilities of your trip can be avoided simply by paying attention to a few simple rules before you even leave the house.
Check Visa and Passport Requirements
You may think this is obvious, but there are too many cases of people being sent home for lack of proper paperwork or worse. Passports take time to process and if this is your first passport, you will need to wait six weeks sometimes. Other countries may have stipulations for allowing you into their country. You may need a visa or at least a passport with six months left to the expiration date. You will find plenty of information online and a short ten minutes of research can give you all the information about the countries you will visit. This is how to plan a trip you will love.
Bonus Tip: Leave a copy of all your travel documents and IDS with a trusted friend at home. If you are in a bad pinch, you can have them mailed to you.
Map Out Important Locations
No voyage begins without a good look at the charts. The maps of the locations and sites you will see will make your navigation far easier and less time consuming. So, prep before you leave by studying all the places, distances and directions. But never leave without the wonders of the modern age at your fingertips. You will be able to access all the information you need while on the go, but having the locations saved and studied will mean you don’t have to do this while in the middle of nowhere.
Bonus tip: you can even take a moment to jot down the important contact information of the visitor sections and fronts desks of sites and hotels you will be visiting. Having all this info on one sheet of paper, or phone record will eliminate the hours it will take to produce this same information in unfamiliar terrain.
Review Travel Warnings and Alerts
From malaria ridden mosquitos to the possibility of a bloody coup, poisons abound in paradise and having a little information under your belt can save you from a fate worse than death. While not everything is this ominous, there are typhoon seasons, special holidays and other local matters than can adversely affect your trip. Imagine you want to visit a world renown beach only to find a severe shark warning in place upon arriving.
One of the most important tip in how to plan a trip for is practice communications. Get a head start on your trip and find a tutor to drill you on some of the local words and phrases. “How much is this?” “Where is the restroom?” and “Hello! Good Morning” (afternoon or evening) are great ways to share a smile, get valuable information and do business abroad.