You’ve been counting down the days before you go on holiday and before you know it…it’s tomorrow?! This happens to me every time. Stop flustering, your world of adventure awaits after we get the boring adult stuff out of the way. Most importantly, this can all be done without stress. Travelling is an incredible thing, so let’s get started!
1. Documentation, documentation, documentation.
I don’t mean to be patronising, but this point is the most important! Your passport is your most paramount document. If you don’t have that little guy up to date or valid then forget all that researching below, you aren’t going anywhere! Some countries like Asia require you to have at least six months validity on your passport before travelling.
Like any insurance, insurance is only appreciated when it is needed. Just do it, having travel insurance is peace of mind from the start to the finish of your journey. Whoever you take the insurance out with, be honest with any existing medical conditions you have. In this case honesty is the best policy.
2. Research your destination
Researching where you are going is crucial. Some countries will naturally be more safe than others. Crime may be more apparent in some locations which can effect various things like the style of bag I take, open bucket bag or zipped closure, whether I wear my jewellery out and about, you get the idea… To learn more about your chosen destination, visit the Gov UK foreign travel advice website.
3. Embrace the culture
Respect and explore their culture. Some countries don’t approve of alcohol as freely as the UK, some countries dress a certain way. I like to know as much about a country as I can before I visit. I’d rather not have the green arrow above my head like a sims character screaming out tourist!
4. How much money should I take?
Is the country you are visiting expensive? I try to work out the cost for a basic meal and times it by three to work out the cost of eating for a day. I then multiply it by the number of days you are out there. This website is one of my favourites as it allows you to compare the costs of your home city against the country you are visiting. Anything material that I want to purchase, I use my credit card. Too much money leads to overspending and too little money can cause unnecessary chaos!
5. Travelling when abroad
What is the public transport like? For example I’ve just got back from Budapest which has one of the richest public transportation systems of all European capitals. This meant I was able to see more and do more. Let’s be honest there is only so far two legs can get you without eating into precious time. If you plan to explore the country it’s worth knowing how much day tickets are on trains, trams, buses, taxis or what the flat rate is to hire a bicycle, car or motorbike.
6. Is it a hot or cold country?
Weather dictates what you pack. I find it easier to pack for hot destinations as a lot of vests, shirts, shorts and skirts are lighter items to pack than multiple long sleeve tops, thermals and coats. I’ve done both ends of the spectrum and I always manage to share a 10kg bag with my husband when travelling with room leftover.
7. Write two comprehensive lists
Lists and I are best friends, so I write two. One is a list of tasks I need to do before going away such as cleaning the house, sorting out my pets essentials for my cat sitter and fun things like sorting out the food in the fridge. The other list is all the things I need to pack. Depending on the airline you are flying with will dictate how much luggage you can take. It’s very easy to over pack. Don’t do this! Taking half of your contents from your home is not practical. If you are anything like me, you’ll probably see a few bits out there that you will buy so leave some space in the suitcase! Essentials like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, endless underwear and socks can all add up, so purchase them whilst you are out there to save room in the suitcase.
8. Spend more time in fewer places
Something made you choose your destination, was it the scenery, culture, architecture, food? I utilise the ‘things to do’ section on the TripAdvisor to see what I shouldn’t miss out on. It can be tempting to try and fit in as much as possible. However I’ve found it important to select only a few places to visit. Rushing around trying to visit here, there and everywhere will leave you short on time and most likely stressed. It’s important to switch off, I mean didn’t you go on holiday to relax and enjoy those moments? You can’t do that if you have another ten places to visit that day.
9. Keeping calm during the unexpected
I said it before and I’ll say it again. Prepare for the unexpected. Cancelled flights, delays, getting lost, having your belongings stolen are all possibilities when travelling. Don’t stress. There is always ways to rectify things. Contact the police and the local embassy, cancel your cards, wait it out for the delayed flight, it’s not like you have much choice is it? Truth is, life doesn’t even go smoothly, so you can expect from time to time the same for travelling. Quit the emotion takeover and think practically. It helps I promise.
10. Allocate free time to explore
I’ve made some of the best memories this way. I try to leave a few days with absolutely no agenda to just let my heart lead the way. I’ve come across the nicest people, cutest shops and food by complete chance! I tend to leave the urban exploring to the last day, this way I’ve seen the places I wanted to and can revisit landmarks, cafes or restaurants I enjoyed most due to my newfound knowledge!
Enjoy the adventure while it lasts! Everything comes to an end eventually, but that’s why we go to new places and make memories of a lifetime, documenting it through thousands of photos and videos. Remember if you love a place enough, you can always go back and revisit. I have visited Cyprus over five times and I am still very much in love with the place.
Do you have any travel booked soon? Have you already found a country that has stolen your heart?
Until the next travel adventure…