Traveling can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but before you jet off, you need to prepare. Planning your trip, organising and booking details in advance can mean the difference between a good trip and a great one. Obvious aspects like flights, car hire, accommodation and tours can all be arranged before you leave when you have time to research the best price and time.
You can also research cultural differences, more minor details and health checkups to make your travel stress free and enjoyable for everyone involved. You might even want to download a travel app or two!
Even if you’re the sort of person who likes to make decisions when they get to their destination, some basic planning is essential. For example, knowing when and where your flight or train is as well as how you’re going to get there ensures that you won’t start your trip on a sour note.
However, even if you prefer to be spontaneous, it’s probably best to have organized most of the big details before you go. Booking in advance where you’re staying, return travel, and car hire can help you travel without a worry. It might also be worth considering booking any major tours in advance to make sure you don’t miss seeing the museum or painting that made you choose your destination in the first place.
Preparing for traveling doesn’t just mean planning your trip, but also for whatever you’re leaving behind. For example, you may need to arrange for someone to water your plants or look after your pets while you’re away. If you plan on traveling for an extensive period of time, you may also need to put your items into storage.
Research the Area and Its Culture
When you’re making your plan, make sure to incorporate research you’ve done ahead of time about where you’re visiting. For example, put together a list of the places you’d like to go to most, how long it’ll take to get there and what transport you’ll need.
You can also check out the predicted weather before you go and shape a rough itinerary around that, so you’re not stuck outside while it’s raining or in a museum when it’s glorious sunshine. This could also help you when you’re packing to ensure you have the appropriate clothing for the weather.
Just as important as where you want to go is the specific culture of wherever you’ve chosen to visit. Memorizing some basic phrases like ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘help’ may come in useful in a tricky situation and endear you to any locals. There may also be particular customs that are important to follow, like taking your shoes off inside, certain rules when eating or even different styles of toilets.
By conducting your research ahead of time, you can make sure that when you are actually on vacation, you’re spending your precious time enjoying yourself rather than frantically looking up different places you might want to visit.
Take Care of Your Health
If you can, try to go for a checkup before you leave, especially if you plan on being away for a significant period of time or you have any prior illness you know about. Seeing the right doctor for your needs can mean that you stock up on any medication you need to take while you’re away. Also, if you have an ongoing illness it’s essential to take care of yourself even when traveling, so you may want to research doctors you could visit while away just in case you need professional advice.
If you’re going to travel internationally, you probably also want to check if you need any vaccinations in order to be allowed entry. You may even need more than one, so this could be worth researching before picking your potential destination, as vaccinations can be expensive and required well in advance.
Finally, no matter how extensively you prepare, try to keep calm if things don’t go exactly as you plan and enjoy the ride. Sometimes getting lost and off the beaten track is the first step to a great story. By preparing for your holiday, you can make sure that you can always return to your schedule if you want to.
If something does go wrong with your hotel or flight, try to approach it as part of the experience rather than getting stressed out. As much as you plan, you may change your mind once you actually arrive, and the best trip means that you can go on a whim as well as stick to a pre-ordained schedule. You may also want to incorporate advice you get from locals once you’ve arrived instead of sticking to out-of-date or irrelevant details you may have researched on the internet.Published in