Travelling is such an amazing thing, as it allows you to take in sights, cultures, and many different experiences around the world. Whether you’re travelling through different locations or choosing to simply visit a particular area, it’s always important to prepare properly, because you could end up missing out on so many opportunities. You can check out one of our previous posts entailing some must haves when it comes to travel, so that you can begin checking off things on your list of things to do before you jet off.
Like with many other aspects in life, you need to make sure that before even booking a destination to travel to, you know what you’re spending your money on and that you know what to expect once you arrive there. Here are some things that you need to consider before booking your next trip away:
Where You’re Going to Stay
First and foremost when booking a trip away, you need to decide where you’re going to stay overnight (and thus, where you’ll be keeping your luggage while you’re out on your adventures). If you’re looking for an experience that’s not so touristy, then it might be an idea to consider renting out an apartment like this https://www.rumah.com/apartemen/disewa, so that you can have a much more homely experience of the place you’re visiting. Many people choose to go for all inclusive deals at large chain hotels and while many people enjoy their experience, it definitely feels like you’re out of place and not at home. To gain the full experience and get an idea of the culture of the place you’re travelling to, renting out an apartment or house might be the best option that you could go for. Home rental services are my favourite way to experience a new place like a local!
Of course, don’t forget to check what kind of area the place you’re staying in is. Many people make the mistake of not checking this information out beforehand and then being disappointed when they get there. If you’re looking for an area with a lot of nightlife, then it’s probably not a good idea to go for a quiet residential area for your stay, as you won’t be able to enjoy the full experience. The same goes for if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax at night: don’t go somewhere that has an active nightlife, because you could wind up annoyed at the disturbances.
What’s Available to Do and See
Another mistake that many vacationers make is the failure to check out what they can do and see while they’re there. Often, the price of the destination alone makes people book their vacation on a whim, and then when they arrive, they find that there isn’t much that can entertain them; resulting in a disappointing holiday.
Do some research and find out what you could be doing nearby to where you’re staying, so that you can not only look forward to these things prior to jetting off, but to also book them in advance if needed. For example, if there’s a coach tour around an area you’d like to see, the company that runs the tours may require pre-bookings. Definitely something worth doing if you want n adventure-filled trip away!
If you’re travelling with small children, don’t forget to check whether your destination is child friendly, too; there’s nothing worse than being away and having bored children. If the destination doesn’t have much for children to do, you will need to add activities to your list of things to pack so that you don’t end up with a headache!
It’s always a good idea to check out what kind of cuisine to expect when you’re away, especially if you have dietary requirements or allergies to certain types of foods. While many tourist destinations offer foods from all around the world, if you’re going to a quieter area that’s not full of tourists you might be stuck for choice when it comes to food. While prepping for my recent trip to Kerala, India, I had several pharmacists and doctors mention that I should bring digestives to take prior to eating while there, to help aid my stomach in digesting the food. This was a Godsend, because although I love spicy food to no end, eating so much intense spiciness for every meal was something my stomach was not used to, and the digestives certainly helped settle any potential upset.
As well, don’t forget that if you are choosing an all inclusive package for your trip away, to mention to your hotel any allergies so that they can help accommodate you and avoid any anaphylactic reactions while you’re on holiday.
The Cost of Living
One of the things on your list of things to do before travelling would be to exchange your money into the currency of the place you’re visiting. But have you thought about the cost of living while you’re away? Many places abroad (especially tourist destinations) tend to be cheaper to live, but it’s always worth checking so that you can make sure you’ve got enough money to take with you, and also a supply ready incase you need it. It’s better to have a little bit of money left over than to be scrambling to have money wired over to you at the last minute (not to mention the fees that come along with it).
A great way to find this out this information is by researching the cost of living in the city you’re going to, and how much the residents living there usually take home each mont. This will give you a good idea of how much to take with you. Do this as soon as possible, in case you need some time to scrape some extra money together!
The Culture: What to Do and What Not To Do
Every culture around the world is different, and what might be acceptable where you live could seriously offend the natives of the place that you’re visiting. Or, it might simply confuse them as they have a different way of living. For example, in Bulgaria, nodding means no and shaking your head means yes. Doing the research could save you a lot of confusion and also make sure that you don’t accidentally get yourself into any trouble.
It’s also a good idea to check if the area you’re visiting is religious so that you can respect and experience their way of living. One of the greatest parts about travelling is that you can experience a whole different way of life, so clue yourself up on what to expect from the locals while you’re there!
One of the biggest mistakes that travellers make is by skipping out on getting vaccinations before travelling. Many different places around the world have deadly diseases that you could pick up. Even if the disease hasn’t had a known case in a long time it’s still possible to pick something up if your body isn’t immune to it. Do your health a favour and head to your GP to see what vaccinations they can offer you before travelling. For me, I ensured I had my Hepatitis shots prior to my trip to India (and malaria pills as well, which needed to be taken two weeks prior to the trip, during it, and four weeks after returning).
Be aware that most GP surgeries charge for services like these, so always check what you’re going to be paying for before taking any steps forward. Even in Canada where our healthcare costs are covered and people under the age of 25 have most medications covered, the vaccine and administration of it both had a fee.
It might sound like a bit of an obvious thing to do, but you’d be surprised at how many holiday makers have travelled away, only to find that they don’t have all of the right clothing with them. While the place you’re travelling to might generally have good weather, it’s always a good idea to pack something in case the weather turns sour. When you’re travelling it’s worth getting one of the waterproof backpacks that will keep your stuff dry as you’re travelling from place to place, just to be on the safe side. Check out the climate and weather predictions so that you can pack accordingly and not end up being stuck wishing you’d packed something warmer. This is especially important if you’re travelling out of summer season and the weather can be a bit more unpredictable. Even if it’s known to be super hot, always pack one or two pairs of pants.
It’s also important to think about creams and lotions to take away with you too, especially if you’re fair skinned and burn easily (I speak from experience — this pasty skin doesn’t take care of itself). Make sure you know what kind of temperatures to expect, so that you can pack the right kind of sunscreen, and aftersun, too. You should also be packing a few essentials to take with you in case you feel ill while you’re travelling. Anti-diarrhea tablets, NSAIDS, and also insect repellants are all good examples of things you should be taking with you. They were must-haves while I was in India!
Pick up the native language
While many tourist destinations now have English-speaking staff, and even many locals have learned the language too, it’s always a nice idea to pick up some of the native language in case you need to try and communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English. Learning simple and every day phrases shouldn’t take you too long, and there are many language pronunciation apps that you can download to help you along the way.
It’s also nice to be able to speak a little bit of another language when you’re away so that again you don’t feel and seem like a tourist. Making the effort to speak their language will impress locals and likely make you some friends while you’re travelling! It’s always such an amazing feeling to see locals brighten right up upon hearing an obvious foreigner take a daring stab at the language.
All of these different things might seem like a lot to think about for a simple trip away, but going through this checklist can save you from disappointment and any other mishaps while you’re away. Take the time to complete this checklist and most of all, enjoy your time away!
Did I miss any essentials to consider prior to the trip? What are your definite ‘must-dos’ prior to a big vacation? Let me know in the comments!