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Travelling across the world can be daunting, even for the most experienced holidaymakers. Perhaps you’ve been catching planes for most of your life, or perhaps you’re planning your first trip abroad – either way, here’s some handy tips and tricks to get you through it.
Make A Packing List
Yes, it’s a cliché. But seriously, something so beautifully simple can really save your trip. Save yourself from that last minute airport panic by writing a checklist of everything you need for your trip. Perhaps include a separate section for on-the-day additions like your toothbrush and deodorant so nothing gets left behind.
Do Your Research
You might be a “just wing it and see” kind of person; you might be an in-depth itinerary planner. Either way, there’s a few things you should research before you go abroad. See what travellers are saying in forums, blogs, etc. – so you not only know where to go, but also where to avoid. Find out about any important customs in your destination country – for example, many religious sights across the world expect visitors to dress modestly, covering their heads, shoulders and legs. You’ll need to know things like this so you can pack appropriately, act respectfully and explore safely.
You need to be thinking about vaccinations from the minute you book your trip. Look up what vaccines your destination requires, then give your GP a quick call to check what you’ve already had and make arrangements for the ones you haven’t. Remember, not all vaccines are free so you will need to count for that within your holiday budget, and some will need to be administered well in advance of your trip followed by a booster just before you go. Good planning is essential!
Travel insurance is easily overlooked, but can be so, so important. Don’t leave it to chance – being insured can save you a tonne of money if you end up with a flight cancellation, lost luggage or a medical emergency abroad (to name just a few!). Check out price comparison websites to bag the best deal, and always read the Ts & Cs.
Split Your Cash Up
So you’ve arrived at the airport with a fresh stack of foreign currency ready to splash on your hols… but where should you put it? Here’s my advice: split it up all over your luggage. Keep some in your purse/wallet, some in a secure pocket in your hand luggage and some in your hold luggage. Why? Because if your luggage gets lost in transit or you fall victim to a pickpocket, you’ve always got some cash stashed away to get you by.
Lock Your Case!
On a similar note to the tip above, lock your case! Invest in a little luggage lock and keep your stuff safe.
Take A Spare Set Of Clothes
Don’t expect the worst – but prepare for it, just in case. Luggage can get lost or delayed, and you probably don’t want to be wearing the exact same outfit in all of your holiday pics. Take a spare set of clothes in your hand luggage (and don’t forget underwear!).
Pack Some Comfort Items For The Flight
If gazing across the fluffy cloud-tops doesn’t satisfy your boredom for long, you might want to take your own in-flight entertainment – perhaps a book and some earphones. It’s pretty common for your ears to pop on the way up, so sucking sweets or wearing earplugs might help. For long hall flights, consider investing in a travel pillow and compression socks.
Watch Your Possessions
Airports and busy cities are prime locations for petty thieves. Always remain aware of your valuables. I recommend a bum bag for keeping them close and in sight, and if you’re carrying something in your pocket, rest your hand in there with it. As tempting as it might be to show off your brand new smartphone or high-tech camera, be discrete and keep it hidden when possible.
Don’t Fall For Tourist Scams
This is easier said than done. But be street-wise and don’t engage with anything suspicious. If something seems too good to be true, it might be just that. Here are a few basic tips: always agree a price before boarding a taxi and make sure their meter is working. Don’t accept freebies in the street – it’s probably a distraction for a pickpocket. Never give your phone or passport to a stranger, for any reason. You can do some more research into this kind of thing if you like.
Just Do It!
Don’t let all the ‘what if’s get in the way of loving your trip. Please don’t let all the precautions in this blog post put you off seeing the world. Yes, things might not go entirely to plan, but 99% of the time they’ll be just fine. There are endless things to discover, so just go for it! Do that thing you never thought you’d do, go to that place you didn’t plan to, try out that phrase you just learnt in a new language. Don’t hold back!
So, there they are – my very general, hopefully, useful top tips for global travel. What are you waiting for? Check out our destinations pages and get booking your next trip!
Author: Gemma Small - 21st November 2020