Before you book your next holiday to travel the world and start spending that cash you’ve saved, it’s best to take a while to really make sure you’re ready to go. Travel often is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences life has to offer but it can also be one of the most stressful. Here, we’re going to look at how you let go of (or at least minimize) that stress and actually enjoy your holiday. All you need to do is take some time to do a little preparation beforehand. Here are a few tips that even seasoned travelers may forget:
Make sure your destination is safe
It’s the part of travel we don’t like to think about as much. Ignorance might be bliss but it’s also dangerous. Wherever you decide you want to go, you need to look at the risks involved there. It’s not a good idea to pay attention solely to the news, but to use the warnings made available by government agencies. U.S. citizens should check travel advisories from the State Department and register their whereabouts with S.T.E.P. Citizens of the U.K. should look at Travel Aware for similar guidance.
Here, you can not only find out about possible political dangers in a country but gain a good overlook of the more common kinds of crime. You can enjoy a trip to the country but be aware of the risks, meaning you’re a lot less likely to encounter them. Many travelers also rely on local news reports and Twitter feeds once they reach their destination.
Make sure you’re allowed in
Different countries have different requirements for whom they allow in. If you’re traveling anywhere in the EU, for instance, you might need nothing more than a passport (for now). However, depending on where you are coming from, some countries like Canada and Australia require various types of electronic verification. Most countries provide much of this information online.
Some places like Russia and China require a lengthier visa process. Booking your flights before you’ve made sure you’re actually allowed to enter a country is an obvious error, but one that’s made rather often.
Make sure you’re getting the best deal
There are many ways to reach any destination, as well as a wide variety of choices in terms of places to stay, and agencies from which you can hire a car. It might seem convenient to go with the most popular or visible option. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the cheapest. There are a few great price comparison sites on the net that can help you find the best deal on flight, hotel, and car.
To navigate around a new city and stay in touch with family and friends at home, don’t forget to check out SIM cards, too—so you can stay connected during your travels. Take a look at SMARTY UK for affordable data and minutes. That way, you’ll have a lot more to put into your spending budget when you’re actually at your destination.
Make sure you’ll have no hassles at the airport
One of the most stressful aspects of travel is getting to and from, and thru airports. Arriving early is a must. But you can make the whole process a lot smoother for yourself by doing your homework in advance.
For instance, if you have any connecting flights, you should make sure there is sufficient time between flights to get from one terminal to another. And don’t count on your first flight landing on time!
Also, check out airport accommodations, which can make any overnight stays so much more comfortable. Pre-book your parking space at the airport well in advance, too. To cut down on the lines and red tape, make sure you get your boarding pass electronically with any airlines that allow it. As a double-check, some travelers also make a printed copy of the boarding pass.
Make sure your home is safe and secure
If you have some friendly neighbours whom you get on well with and trust – or have some close friends and family who are willing – ask them to remove all flyers and leaflets out of your door or post box. A build-up of these is a tell-tale sign that no one is home, because you wouldn’t usually leave them all wedged in your door, would you? It looks messy and unkempt. So get someone to remove them all for you, so they don’t draw unwanted attention to your house.
If you don’t have an alarm, why not consider installing one? People worry about going a little overboard in this department, but it’s your home, and that’s what alarms are there for – to draw attention and alert you (or others) of a problem. So don’t think you’re being overly dramatic by installing the systems. If you’re not too sure what you need, have a look at some alarm systems online and read about the different uses for them. You can even get systems that send alerts to your phone.
Do what you can and then relax
You’ve checked all the boxes: You’ve ensured that a country is safe and free to enter and that the costs of your trip don’t exceed your budget. These are just a few little tricks that can ease your peace of mind, but there are plenty of other ways you can plan ahead before your next holiday.
Just don’t go stressing yourself, because it can ruin your whole trip! Relax, put all these things into place, get your home secure, safe, and make it appear as though it’s currently being lived in, and then you have nothing to worry about. Oh, and most importantly – enjoy the trip!
All photo credits: Pixabay
*This is a collaborative post written by Amelia Hudson.