Leaving the comforts of home for any period of time involves a certain amount of planning and consideration. Without taking the time to prepare for your forthcoming trip, you may find that you need another holiday to recover from the stress of international travel.
Below is our check list for those of you planning more than just a weekend away, use it to make the most of your time abroad.
TRAVEL HACKS FOR BETTER TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
Research the latest and greatest travel apps designed to ease the stress of world travel. From Google Translate to WiFi Finder, there’s a wealth of helpful software ideal for those on the move.
Buy a pay-as-you go mobile SIM at your destination. Having the ability to search for restaurant reviews, public transport, taxi numbers etc will make life much easier and the local SIM will save you a fortune in data roaming fees.
Connect with locals. Visit local parks, cafes, and libraries and talk to local people about their home, you’ll find it a much more immerse experience than taking a tour.
TRAVEL HACKS FOR BETTER HEALTH
Get yourself a comprehensive travel insurance plan or you may be lumped with large medical bills if you require treatment while abroad. Coverage comes in all forms, there’s even travel insurance for people over 80, so don’t dismay if at first you can’t find a policy to suit your needs…there’s most likely one out there.
Pack a small medical kit with the basics, plasters, bandages etc and if you are travelling to a country with only basic medical care, talk to your doctor about taking a small pack of disposable needles.
Avoid insect and animal bites.. If you are bitten, monitor the affected area for infection and watch for other symptoms.
The most common travel related illnesses are gastrointestinal diseases usually picked up from poorly prepared foods or untreated water. Take precautions to avoid ingesting any nasty bacteria.
According to recent statistics overseas travellers have a 50 per cent chance of suffering from a travel-related illness. Don’t be a statistic.
Practice safe sex, girls consider your contraception options the pill may prevent pregnancy but it won’t stop you picking up any nasty STIs.
If applicable get a European Health Insurance Card to entitle you to free or discounted healthcare in European Countries.
Keep up to date with health and safety advice for the area you intend to visit, advice often changes seasonally depending on the level of risk.
TRAVEL HACKS FOR BUDGET SAVVY TRAVEL
Research suggests that your departure day can dictate the price of your flight. If you’re not restricted utilise this information to save on your airfare.
Browse for flights in a private window and check to see if your flight is priced differently on the airline’s different domains. For example, if booking a flight to New Zealand, check the rate on Air New Zealand’s .co.uk, .com.au, and .co.nz domains.
Before booking online, call the hotel, airline, tour operator and inquires as to whether they can match or beat the price you have found. If the price you are quoting is through a third party, the hotel, airline etc may offer you a better rate to secure the sale and omit paying commission for your business.
Consider house sitting. Live rent free in the locations you visit by caring for a property and/or pets during your stay.
TRAVEL HACKS FOR PACKING LIGHT
Pack accordingly, ensure you have the relevant clothing and footwear for the climate and equipment for the activities in which you intend to participate.
Limit yourself to carry-on. Save time and energy by negating the need to wait for checked luggage and carry heavy bags to and from your destination.
Get creative, these DIY travel hacks will change the way you look at bulldog clips and contact lens cases.
Choose lightweight, quick-dry, durable, and versatile fashions to take with you when you travel. Pack a small tub of washing powder and hand wash items mid-way through your trip.
TRAVEL HACKS FOR HASSLE FREE TRAVEL
Ensure you hold the correct visas for the country you are visiting and that your passport is valid.
Use Google Maps hidden offline maps feature and take screenshots of your destinations to ensure ease of travel to your accommodation on arrival.
If you feel it necessary find out where the nearest embassy will be and check their website to find out what services they offer and their opening times.
Keep a copy of your passport online or photocopied in your luggage and fill in the emergency contact section.
Ensure you have enough money to cover your trip and any unexpected changes to your planned route, don’t be caught short keep an amount of cash hidden on your person or in your luggage as an emergency fund. Consider taking a few different means of payment.
Leave details of your itinerary with someone you trust, if you are unable to check in with them regularly discuss a time scale for each leg of your journey and potential check in points.
If you plan to drive while abroad ensure your license is valid and familiarise yourself with the driving laws and regulations.
Check online to make sure you are not carrying anything in your luggage that is banned from entering the countries you will visit, often fresh fruit, vegetables and natural products such as wood and leather can cause an issue at customs.
Featured image via CC Flickr by Spreng Ben.
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