Traveling is the most fun thing to do, but it can turn into a nasty affair if you don’t do it right. Proper research and planning is necessary to make it enjoyable & memorable. So, when you get down to plan your next adventure, do your homework before stepping out of your comfortable cocoon into an entirely different place, amidst a culture you’ve never experienced before, and people you’ve never met before! Here are various things to know before travel that can make wanderlusting an all the more easy and hassle-free affair for you.
Things to keep in mind while picking a destination
- Budget: Don’t want to spend a lot? There are a number of international trips you can take on a low budget.
- Duration of trip: Plan your trip according to the amount of time you have at hand.
- Purpose of trip: Romantic? Family trip? Business? Where you should go depends on why you’re taking the trip.
- Your travel companion(s): Who you’re going with plays a vital role in deciding where you should go, and where you shouldn’t! You don’t want to end up in Las Vegas with your mom and dad!
Research thoroughly about your destination
First things first. Know about your destination. Find out things like:
- Geography and climate: Being severely asthmatic and going to Ladakh probably won’t be a good idea.
- Where to eat: If you’re a vegetarian, find out all the places you can eat at in the city you’re visiting.
- Best way to travel to destination: Flight, train, or road?
- Best ways to commute around the city: Don’t waste money on private cabs if you can take the metro.
- Travel distance and time between various locations or attractions: This will help you plan each day’s sightseeing accordingly.
- Local laws, basic rules and regulations: Especially for UAE, Korea, and a bunch of other places.
- Current weather condition in destination: Coming out of the airport in your summer clothes when it’s raining outside won’t be very enjoyable.
- Basic terminologies in local language of destination: Other than hellos, goodbyes, & thank you’s things like ‘food’, ‘water’, ‘taxi’, ‘help’ in their language can be pretty useful.
- Booking the right hotel: Clearly read hotel reviews before booking and try and make sure you have easy access to markets and public transport from your hotel’s location.
- Hidden charges for Visa: Many countries that provide Visa On Arrival facility demand a certain fee for it once you land in that country. Make sure you know about it well in advance & are not greeted by an unpleasant surprise at the airport.
Safe traveling is happy traveling
It’s good to explore new cultures and meet new people, but don’t compromise on your health and safety while you’re at it. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Read online reviews about the destination, hotel, attractions, and essentially everything before you set off.
- Women safety: Is it a good idea to go clubbing with your girls at night in the place you’re visiting?
- Secure your belongings: Paris and Spain may be your dream destinations, but theft, pick-pocketing, & purse snatching are very common in both, especially for tourists.
- Keep the world updated: Always let your friends and family know where you are and what the next plan is, or at least keep updating your status and check-in on social media! Keep in constant touch with your family.
- Register with your embassy: Make this your priority. They can help you during emergency situations abroad. Keep handy a list of Indian embassies in popular foreign countries that has their address & phone numbers.
Plan your trip
Done with the research? Now start planning.
- Book tickets after midnight as they are the cheapest then.
- Travel and airline websites can access your cookie data, analyse your travel browsing (which sites you’re frequently checking for ticket prices and for which destinations), and increase ticket prices accordingly. So clear your browsing history before booking tickets.
- Construct your itinerary sensibly: Include only as many sightseeing options in each day as is possible. Don’t stuff your itinerary or you’ll end up running between places without really enjoying any of them.
- Buy tickets for sightseeing and events in advance: Nothing better than booking in advance than waiting in long queues later.
- Download e-guidebooks and maps well in advance for the place you’re going to. Don’t just rely on physical ones.
- Book customised tour packages: You can tailor your itinerary to suit your interests and only indulge in experiences you want to, that too at comparatively low prices.
Keep your travel documents secure
- Print copies of all your travel documents, especially passport.
- Leave behind a copy of your passport with someone you trust.
- Scan your travel documents and store them in your phone or laptop, in case you lose the physical documents.
- Also send those scanned copies to your email ID, so that you can access them in case you lose your phone as well.
Look after your money
Let’s face it. There’s nothing worse than having to deal with monetary issues abroad.
- Look up the currency conversion ratio of the country you’re visiting and plan your expenditure accordingly. Don’t let this be a surprise!
- Call your credit card company and inform them about your travel plans, so that they don’t turn off your card when you make transactions in a different country.
- Don’t always rely on credit cards in the country you visit. Carry local cash.
- DON’T go to currency exchange centres for local cash. Use the ATMs instead.
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Cut down on your travel expenditures
Nobody likes to travel at the expense of going bankrupt. Spend wisely and cut down on unnecessary costs.
- Try and travel in low season.
- For intra-city transport, use public transport facilities.
- Eat street food rather than dining on fancy cuisines in restaurants. That’ll anyways give you a better taste of the local culture and the actual food of the country/city.
Carry the essentials
Your favourite lipstick and those fancy sunglasses can wait. Pack the following things first:
- A charger adapter, so that you can deal with the different size plugs and voltage of the country you’re visiting.
- Bring some snacks if you don’t want to completely rely on what kind of food you get abroad.
- An extra set of clothes, or maybe two, regardless of whether you’re going to a beach destination, or where the weather is rainy.
- Make space for an electric kettle (if your hotel isn’t providing you one in your room). These come in handy if you wanna make stuff like instant noodles and ready to eat items.
Pack like a pro!
Traveling becomes one hell of a task if you have to carry heavy suitcases around. Watch the following video & get great tips on how to pack smartly and efficiently for a trip:
Found this useful? Oh, you’re welcome! Now share all these things to know before travel with all your globetrotter buddies so that they too can make their future travel plans with ease. Know of any more useful tips for travelers? Don’t forget to put them in the comments below.
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