Asides from the obvious: making sure that you have everything packed and getting to the airport on time, there is a lot more to do that is overlooked. In my previous blog post: Keeping Your Home Safe While On Holiday there was a lot of information solely regarding tips on how to keep your home safe while on holiday, there is a lot more preparation to be done. Whether it's making sure that you have all the important documents you need to travel or sorting out your finances, these important procedures cannot be overlooked.
Passport & Paperwork
Whether you're travelling on an hour long flight or a twelve hour one, there are two things you will need to get on a plane: a passport and boarding pass. People will read this and think how can anyone be so forgetful to leave their passport at home, well it isn't just making sure you have your passport - it's making sure that it's in date (as well as making sure it doesn't expire while you're abroad). It's important to check whether the country you're travelling to requires travellers to have a visa (without one you will be denied access to the country). Make sure that you have selected the right visa to travel under, whether it be a tourist visa or a visa which allows an individual to work in the country for a specific amount of time. If you do plan to rent a car at your chosen destination then it's important to bring your driving license, you'd be surprised at the amount of people that leave it at home as they simply don't want to lose it.
Whether people forget to purchase travel insurance or whether they regard it as not a necessity, travel insurance is one of the most important things to purchase before your flight. Travel insurance can cost as little as £5 depending on your age and medical history as well as being dependant on the country you're travelling to. If you purchase travel insurance make sure to read what the policy covers as some policies don't cover gadgets and adventurous activities. You'd be surprised how many policies don't cover the basic necessities such as whether you'll get reimbursed if you lose your cash or your luggage. If you have any medical conditions then you are obliged to state them when buying insurance, if you buy the insurance and fail to declare any illnesses or medical conditions then you may not be reimbursed when claiming for hospital costs. If you're purchasing a single trip policy then make sure that you have selected the correct date from when you're departing for your trip and when you arrive back. If you've purchased an annual travel insurance then make sure that by the time you arrive back from your trip your policy will still cover you.
Prescriptions & Medications
Whether you're travelling for a few days or a few weeks, then the most important thing to make sure that you have packed in your suitcase is any medication you have been prescribed. It would be advisable to bring other common medicines such as paracetamol, Feminax (if you suffer from period pain and cramps) as well as anti-diarrhoea medication (this includes Dioralyte as it replaces water and body salts that have been lost). It would also be handy to take any medication that will help take the edge off from a cold or the flu, even if you're travelling to a hot country you may still catch it. I was stuck in Cyprus once with what I thought to be a throat infection and had to take what seemed like a shot of brown acid to resolve it, I would've much preferred to treat it with a medication I had brought along. At the pharmacy in Cyprus there was a major problem which was the language barrier, I couldn't read the instructions for the medicine since they were all in Greek, I just hoped for the best. Sadly when I returned to London I was told that I'd had tonsillitis, what fun. Whatever medications you decide to bring with you to your chosen destination, make sure that they're legal in that country. This may sound silly but there was a case of a woman from America being detained and placed in a jail cell for nearly 20 days for bringing Adderall into Japan. Even though it's commonly used in America to treat attention deficit disorder, it's classed as an illegal amphetamine in Japan and as they were sent to her it was assumed that she was smuggling them into the country.
Make Copies Of Everything
The most important documents to photocopy would be:
Knowing Luggage Restrictions
Many airlines have similar baggage restrictions, with most short haul flights (under 4 hours or less) restricting passengers to only bringing a small suitcase (hand luggage) and one smaller bag that they can carry on their person. The dimensions of this hand luggage are quite specific with each airline giving dimensions and the weight on their website as well as clearly stating what happens if passengers exceed this. Before you make your way to the airport it would be best to make sure that your suitcase is within the dimensions for your specific airline and make sure that it's not overweight - the main reason being that in most cases you'll have to lift it over your head into the overhead locker space. For long haul flights each bag will most certainly be weighed and tagged, when I was travelling back from Florida my large suitcase ended up being 3kg over weight. This leaded me to then wearing the heaviest of clothes that I had bought to the airport and all the way home - I'd rather this than paying the fee for an overweight bag (which can be as much as £65).
Sort Out Your Finances
If you decide to travel with just cash, then make a plan of where to store your money as well as making sure that you have a debit or credit card with you so that you can withdraw from if somehow your money is lost or stolen. It would be sensible to invest in a prepaid travel money card, such as Revolut or one from the Post Office, these cards allow the user to put as little or as much as they want on it. When they use this particular card in other countries they won't get charged a foreign/international fee. When I travel I carry 70% cash and then 30% will be put onto my Revolut card (as well as having my debit card with me). If you do plan to use a debit or credit card then I would suggest informing your bank that you're travelling to a specific country or location so that they don't get alerts for any suspicious activity or temporarily block your card. When I was booking up excursions for my trip to Rome in March my card was temporarily blocked since my bank detected that I was making a lot of purchases to which were for outside of the country. I simply had to text back my bank with a code and they unblocked my card but while abroad some people may not be able to call or text their bank provider.
Tips and tricks for all aspects of travelling, most of which include saving money.