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Travel requires a lot of planning to be able to foresee any events that may arise during the trip. It is tough to get everything right, but not impossible. Below are the lessons learnt while researching online and talking to friends that had already traveled there before… most of it however, was learnt from experience. To help you have a smooth travel and stay experience, you should definitely consider the following;
- Packing Smart
- I advise you commence packing at least a week before travel date to ensure you don’t leave crucial items. Imagine arriving at the airport only to discover you forgot your travel documents!
- Leave your valuables at home to avoid loss. Only include what is absolutely necessary. If it your first time flying, pack electronics and travel documents in a bag that will remain close to you at all times. You will be required to present this at multiple intervals. Liquids such as perfume and lotions should be in the suitcase you will present as check in luggage. Otherwise, you will be forced to leave them behind.
- Don’t carry too many items (ladies are guilty of this… myself included). If your baggage exceeds allowed weight you may be forced to pay extra, which is usually not a cheap affair. To avoid any embarrassments, pack light.
- Remember, there is a high probability you will be getting stuff during your trip to bring back home, so also consider leaving some allowance in your suitcase fort this reason.
- Crucial items to have
- Travel documents, seat ticket, phone with access to email.
- Power bank/s
- Universal adapter – most hotels should provide these but it is not guaranteed they will. Otherwise, find out the socket plug in type for the country you are traveling to and buy respective adapter.
- Comfortable walking shoes, preferably sports shoes or sneakers. Checking in sometimes takes a lot of time, you want to have comfortable foot gear to survive the process.
- Medication in case of any allergies or medical conditions
- Enough airtime for roaming. WiFi may not be available everywhere
- Currency of respective region you are traveling to. Best rates are offered in Forex bureaus. Look around to compare the best rate you can get and convert your local currency. (banks and airports don’t offer the best rates)
- Master cards, Visa cards, credit cards. These are safer to carry, but you may be required to pay for some services in cash so always take that into consideration.
- Always consider a backup plan just in case. Visit your bank to explore options you may have at your disposal.
- Remember that saying ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’? Do not pack all money in one bag, worst case you lose it, it’s all gone.
- Research on what to look out for in different cities or look up their reviews online. If you are planning on using trains or buses, keep your pockets and bags closed and within eye range at all times to avoid losing valuables to pickpockets.
- Taxis are not safe either! Remain vigilant by taking a photo of the car registration or better, request airport pickup from hotel you are staying. Always ask price of trip before boarding unless the taxi has a meter reading.
- Ensure valuables are not easily visible. This way, you will get by unnoticed. No matter how well off the next person may look, you can’t trust their true intentions!
- Ensure your luggage is tagged correctly to avoid losing it while on transit
- Flight Boarding
- It is always safer to check in online just in case you may run late.
- Arrive at airport at required time stated in flight details.
- Learn basic terms of the language used in the region you are traveling to. It will help you get by easily with the locals as well as ask for help if needed. Some of these terms are – Hello, thank you, please, food, water, help, directions, how much… etc
- You may install an app for translation, there are multiple options in app stores. Pick the versions with best ratings and most downloads they are normally more efficient.
- Learn the name of street you will be staying. This way if you are lost, it is easy to find your way back to the hotel through any means you can find. Sometimes taxi drivers may not know the hotel and you may not have access to google maps.
- Site Visits
- A guided tour is best for first time visitors to a city. This way you learn more about the place and get a better experience. I advise a trusted tour company… may be pricier but will be worth it. Some cities offer tickets for hop on and off buses that extend to a number of days, you can use these for site seeing and it is easy to recognize one in the street.
- Food & Drinks
- Ask for recommendations from locals on where to eat. They always have the best suggestions on which restaurants offer the best meals . Also ask for budget range to avoid an overspend on a meal that may not be worth it.
- Have fun trying out new bar joints, it’s a great way to make new friends!
Thank you for reading this far, I sincerely hope that this was educative and fun. If you have points that you feel should have made the list, pop them down below on the comments section and keep the conversation going…
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