I used to be a travel agent so I have a bit of a tendency to be a know-it-all when it comes to travelling. I will admit there are a lot of destinations that I know nothing about, yet when it comes to planning for your getaway, I’m your gal. Without providing destination specific advice, I will offer up some basic tips which surprisingly can be forgotten in that pre holiday daze.
It seems like the most basic thing ever and I’m sorry that I even have to write about it. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had calls from clients at the airport who’ve forgotten their passport. Yes, you need it for international travel and no, the airline will not wait for you to go home and get it. Sometimes the simplest things are the ones we’re most likely to forget so just f*%king check that you’ve packed it.
Don’t rely on your memory or the fact that you have the information stored online or in your emails. Print your documents and even give a copy to a friend or relative. Laptops and phones can run out of battery and did you know some airlines will charge you extra if you don’t have a printed ticket? If you’ve booked through a travel agency like Flight Centre, the agent will print all of your documents for you! Too easy!
This also seems like an obvious one but depending on what passport you hold, there are different rules for different counties and these rules can change all the time. Smart Traveller can assist you with information on Visas and whilst it’s easy to make assumptions, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Friends and family are great for travel advice but be sure to do your own research too. Check websites like Smart Traveller for destination advice and traveller precautions for disease outbreaks and health and safety updates.
If English isn’t the first language of the country you’re travelling to, do some research and take a pocket guide with you. If you have time to learn the basics of the language, this will definitely pay off. In countries like Mexico, if you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll pay higher prices everywhere you go. Not knowing the language is a dead giveaway of a first time traveller. Yes, a lot of Mexicans speak English as well as Spanish, but a few basic words can mean the difference between paying a tourist price or a local price.
We all know the 100ML rule for carry on luggage but if you’re anything like me and like to pack at the last minute, it can be easy to throw in liquid products into your carry on. Learn from my mistakes and this will ensure you don’t have to throw out a brand new perfume at the airport.
Many people hold a ‘that won’t happen to me’ attitude and whilst I agree that it’s nice to be positive, I also believe that your personal safety is not the kind of thing you should just cross your fingers and hope for the best for. That’s why travel insurance is extremely important. In some countries it can cost you in excess of $500 just to visit a doctor. In the worst case scenario, some medical emergencies require the patient to be flown to another country and that can cost in excess of thousands. Check out travel insurance experts like Covermore for the best option for you.