In between buying your ticket and fastening your seat belt onboard, there are things you have to take care of to ensure that your travel goes as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re flying economy or using a service like Jettly to get your seat on a private jet, there are factors worth remembering to make sure your whole travelling adventure goes swimmingly. We all know you need somewhere to sleep at night, so accommodations are a no-brainer, and I have another post in mind to go over that. But I wanted to offer a few tips on the things we may not think about at all or not until the last minute so, this is how I prepare for travel.
1) Get all your travel documents in order
Hear me, and hear me well! You are not stepping foot out this country (or your home country) without a passport (and visa depending on the destination) so please make sure you have all your travel documents in order. One of my favorite online resources is the U.S. Travel website. It gives you information regarding entry to a country, a list of what supporting documents are required, safety information, and contact information for citizens to utilize in case of emergencies.2) Research social norms
As much as I want to embrace all that a country has to offer, I also want to be respectful of religions, customs, and cultures, so I do my research. I also recommend looking into things such as proper etiquette & tipping. I have a Pinterest board of travel dos & don’ts illustrated in infographics, which I’m OBSESSED with. Check them out and feel free to pin them to your boards to serve as a colorful reminder.
3) Create an itinerary
Keeping #2 in mind create your itinerary. If you’re the “any way the wind blows” type, I understand, proceed to #4. But if you’re like me continue reading. When I say create your itinerary, I don’t mean to plan down to the minute, but I like to have an idea of the sites and attractions I’d like to see. For example, if you’d like to go on a whale watching California experience, it would definitley be worth organising this before you travel or knowing when you want to go. I like to keep my itineraries loose to allow myself room to venture off the beaten path, but I at least have an idea of what I’d like to see most. When it comes to creating my itineraries, I like to refer to online travel guides. TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and Travel blogs are my go-to resources, and I LOVE the New York Times’ 36 Hours columns. I also recommend creating an itinerary to help with my next suggestion.
4) Plan to pack
Before I stick a single item in my backpack or carry on, I’ve already laid out my outfits and written a list of everything I want to take. I do this because 1) I’m anal and painfully organized and 2) Seeing things in writing allows me to see what, if anything, I’m leaving out. Your itinerary will also dictate what you need to pack. If you’re more on the adventurous side, pack some sneakers. If you’re big on sightseeing, make sure you pack some comfortable flats or walking shoes. Once you weed out everything you won’t need, then pack.
5) Reach out to your financial institutions
Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to use you bank or credit card only for it to be declined. Now let’s up the ante and plop you in another country where you may not be able to reach customer service with ease. This so why you should make sure your financial institutions are in the know about your travel plans and destinations so that when foreign transactions appear on your account they know it’s not fraudulent activity.
6) Tie up loose ends at work
Although this blog is for EVERYONE, I created it with the working professional in mind . If you are working, make sure all your responsibilities are taken care of in your absence. For example, I generate and distribute reports weekly at my job. In the weeks leading up to my vacation, I always team up with a co-worker and train them on how to handle these report in my absence. I want to ensure that those who rely on these report still receive them. Also, don’t forget to turn on your e-mail out of office response.
7) Turn your mind on vacation mode
Vacation, travel, adventure, journey, exploration, whatever you want to call it, switch your mind into that mode. You would think this goes without saying, but some of us need reminders that your trips and travel are for YOU, and you’re going AWAY for a reason. So don’t worry about the things at home that will be there when you return. Clear your mind and make yourself fully available to the experience awaiting you.Once you check the items above off your list hopefully there will be nothing left standing between you and you dream destination. Did I forget anything? How do you prepare for travel? Drop me a comment below and let me know!