Yes, there are numerous articles, blogs and books that you may have read about tips on travelling so why not try mine. Having travelled a fair bit around the world this is how I go about, so have a read and you might just find something that you missed out or never thought or read about. I have penned down a few tips which I practice and these could keep you safe and get the most out of your holiday.
Your Destination – It’s very important to do some research about the place you are travelling to which a lot of people skip and as a result occasionally face problems. A good place to start off would be the internet without a doubt. With thousands of travel fanatics sharing their experience on the net there is a whole world of information you can have access to without a penny. If you enjoy the good old fashioned way of a hard copy then I would suggest the Lonely Plant guides.
There is nothing worse than an overcrowded holiday destination. Try and visit a country / city when there are no local holidays as this can just add to the numerous tourists already present. If you can travel in the lean season and not bound by school holidays then I envy you. Travelling outside the school holidays and peak seasons can get you some of the best deals possible. It is always handy to learn a few words in the local language as this gets you some brownie points with the locals.
Your Passport – You will be surprised how many people have had a bad experience when they have been refused travel at the airport with less than 6 months validity on their passport. It is compulsory to have 6 month’s validity on your passport when visiting certain countries. Always keep a few copies of your passport when you are travelling including leaving one with a family or friend. Just in case.
Visa Requirements – Is this something you require or do you have a passport that allows you to travel to the country without one. Visit the UK Gov site if you are a British Citizen as I found this really helpful to check for Visa requirements. If you are not a British Citizen then this was another site which could help you. Travel Visa Checker
Travel Insurance – I am a firm believer of this specially if you travelling with children. This is quite easily missed and even if you are travelling in the EU with a British passport would suggest you get this. Many banks offer you an element of cover thought your account so check what they offer and get details before you travel. Try one of the many comparison websites and get the level of cover you think is appropriate. Purchase travel tickets / hotel bookings through your credit card as they may offer a decent amount of cover at times depending on the provider.
Travel Money – As we all have started using more virtual currency this has definitely benefited travellers. Compared to the days when we went out with loads of foreign currency and traveller’s cheques this is a much safer way to use money abroad. Whether it be in the form of credit card PayPal or online banking we still need to be careful. Would suggest using more than 1 card and keeping them separately. Make your hotel payments in advance or if you book on the much popular sites like Expedia / Booking.com you clear this either when you book or pay online.
Always carry a small amount of local currency or $ for small expenses which can save you a few bank fees or charges for using your card abroad. Try and search for a credit card that doesn’t charge fees for using you’re the card abroad as this can save you a few $$$. If you are withdrawing cash in ATM’S overseas use a national bank. Advice your bank of travel plans and apply limits. Never exchange currency at the Airport as you get the worst rates here.
Your Mobile – As we all become more and more dependent on our smart phones it is necessary to look into your plans before your travel. Apply capping on billing. If you are travelling within the EU and have a provider from the UK you should be entitled for free roaming. Turn of roaming when you leave the country. Use only in emergency as data abroad can be frightfully expensive. Use WIFI as much as possible when traveling abroad. Surprisingly there are more calls being made on WhatsApp then your traditional voice calls. If you are going to spend more than a couple of days in another country use a local SIM.
Your Plan – Whilst it is great to plan your day, from my experience don’t pack your day with back to back activities after all you are on a holiday and not a boot camp. Try and visit the main tourist attractions as they are famous for a reason. As much as it is fun exploring the offbeat track DON’T SKIP THESE. You may visit a place and hate it and move on straight away on the flip you might just fall in love with a place and want to spend much more time than you had planned. So keep your plans fluid and they don’t always go the way you want them to.
Your Photo – It’s always good to invest in a good camera but saying that I have used my smart phone and got some of the best shots. Don’t be shy to ask people to take a photo of you as there is nothing worse than thinking about it later and regretting. I refer to Instagram for some of the most photogenic spots and yes this helps its #world.
Your Travel Must’s – Hooked on to our smart phones and need it for almost everything these days don’t forget to carry the right type of adapters when traveling abroad. A power bank is always handy especially if you are planning day trips. Make sure you check regulations and take one that you can carry on the flight. Power banks in checked in luggage is a big NO. A small medical kit is always handy especially if you have a delicate stomach Imodium can be your best friend. The 2 S’s = Sunglass and Sun Screen.
- Book early.
- Avoid busy /expensive holiday seasons.
- Travel Light.
- Check your passport.
- Keep your plans fluid.
- Try the local cuisine.
- Travel Insured.
- Check your Mobile plan.
- Never exchange currency at the airport.
- Carry a power bank.
- Learn a few words of the local language.
- Check for Visa requirements.
- Inform your bank of your travel plans.
- Carry more than 2 debit/credit cards.
- Always carry a small amount of cash.
- Try the offbeat path but don’t miss out on the main tourist attractions.
- Strike a pose and capture the moment.