You’ve just booked your trip abroad, and in your mind, you’re already wandering the streets of your destination or letting the waves splash your feet on an exotic beach. As impatient as you might be to arrive, hold on a second – there are still important things to do in order to make sure that your journey will be just the way you’ve imagined it. This is why we have provided some helpful tips to help you focus and make sure your travel plans, finances and packing go smoothly.
Carrying many valuables with you is never a good idea. Flashy expensive items like jewellery often attract thieves specifically targeting tourists. It is understandable that you’ll need some electronic devices, but if you do decide to bring something a little more attractive to a potential mugger or pickpocket, keep it in your carry-on luggage and later in a hotel safe. Reorganize your wallet and bring only the necessary credit cards you are sure you can use abroad. Label every bag with closed tags that have your name, address and phone number, both inside and outside. If you feel you would benefit from some extra safety, use locks which are TSA approved. It never hurts to check if you can actually send them on certain flights, since it may happen that they’re not recognized and therefore potentially broken so that your bags could be inspected.
Organise Your Transport
Once you actually take your seat on the plane, you can relax since there’s not much you can do except wait to arrive at your desired destination. However, getting to the airport requires a bit of research and strategic planning, especially if you’ve opted for using your own car to get you there. There are many things you should plan ahead for, such as parking space, car safety, the price etc. This is no mean feat, especially when it comes to busy airports. Luckily, now you can arrange everything beforehand – stress-free. A well-chosen parking service will even make parking at Melbourne airport, the second busiest in Australia, a breeze. Booking ahead of your trip and being able to choose a safe location at an affordable price takes a huge load off your chest and makes transport to the airport so much easier.
Double-Check Your Documents
Unfortunately, the expiration date on your passport is not the date your document stops being valid. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after your return date, and this is the case in a majority of the countries you might travel to. Ideally, you should renew this document nine months before it is set to expire. This is something you can’t really afford to forget, since your trip may well depend on it. Of course, you can postpone your journey until you get your documentation ready, but this may take up to six weeks. If you’d like to hasten the process, be prepared to pay a higher fee. Be sure to check whether you need a visa or not, and where and how to get one. Keep in mind that driving in a foreign country may require an International Driver’s License, so check if you‘ll need one.
Mind Your Health and Travel Insurance
A healthy diet and sleep schedule a couple of weeks before the trip will certainly make your journey and stay more pleasant, but your destination might require you to prepare more thoroughly than that. You should find health information and vaccination requirements, as well as take all the necessary shots six weeks before departure. Remember, you are going to a place where food and water definitely differ from the ones your body is used to, so try to inform yourself about possible health risks related to this. If you’re taking prescription medicine, bring photocopies of the prescriptions and more than enough medicine in their prescription bottles to last you a trip. Should something unexpected happen, travel insurance will cover the medical expenses abroad.
Make Sure Your Pet Can Travel with You
Not all countries are willing to welcome your pet companion. In order to avoid such an unpleasant and often complicated situation, check the pet policy of your destination country. Their papers need to be in order as well, and they will need to have taken all the necessary shots. Bear in mind that in case of an emergency, you might be evacuated from the country without your pet, since they won’t always be permitted in the carrier (with the exception of service animals).
It’s ok to be excited, but that doesn’t mean that good planning should slip your mind. Taking care of major things such as health precautions, financial issues, documentation requirements and overall transport organization will definitely help things run as smoothly as possible, so you can have the holiday of your dreams without the stress and frustration that could have easily been prevented.