Holidays and adventures, whether with your family, partner, or solo, are supposed to be a chance to explore the world, get in some much-needed relaxation, and maybe learn a little about yourself. The last thing you want is to encounter something that might disrupt your tranquillity and make it a holiday from hell, rather than the peaceful experience you hoped for.
From mismanaged time to delayed flights to dodgy hotels, many things can affect your holiday, so what can you do to avoid all of this? Here are nine tips for smoother and safer travel wherever you go.
Don’t Leave Packing Until the Last Minute
Packing is easy, right? Yes and no. Some people consider packing to be the most stressful part of travel, whereas others are happy to throw their favourite clothes in the suitcase and call it a day.
Waiting until the last minute can cause problems. Not only are you stressed before you’ve even left, but it increases the risk of missing key items, especially if you haven’t flown for a while. You should remember your passport and other documents, but what about wired earphones for plane entertainment? What about a plug adapter? Write a list and scratch off everything you pack as you go.
Know What You Need For Entry
If you’re travelling or planning on spending a while in a certain destination, you may need a visa to be permitted entry. This is common in Southeast Asia and South America, although you may get 90 days granted automatically at the border.
Getting a visa or knowing what else you need for entry will save you time and stop you sweating as you approach the immigration officer. If you’re travelling to the States, you can check whether you need a visa on this site, which can put your mind at ease.
Bring Spare Clothes In Your Carry-On
If you’re travelling with a friend or partner, keep some of your clothes in their carry-on and suitcase and vice versa. This can get you out of a jam if your luggage doesn’t arrive at the destination with you and means neither of you will need to wear the same clothes.
You can bring a change of clothes in your carry-on, too. After a long flight, you want to feel as fresh as possible, and these clothes – ideally lightweight and breathable – will make you feel a little more human before you arrive at your hotel.
Get to the Airport With Time to Spare
Some people are very concerned about missing the check-in time, whereas others believe it won’t happen. They have to alert you on the plane. If you’re prone to stress about catching flights, make sure you get to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
Most airlines require you to check-in at least two hours prior to departure, so follow these instructions. This means you can get your bags checked as soon as possible and free up time for you to have a bite to eat (or celebratory drink) before leaving.
Know Where You’re Going Once You Arrive
After the flight, you need to get to your hotel or hostel. In most places, you’ll need to have a place to stay before they let you go anywhere, as you fill this information in on your landing card. When booking accommodation, consider the distance between the airport and the destination, as well as how it operates and whether they have 24-hour check-in for middle-of-the-night arrivals.
You should also see if they offer a shuttle service. This means you won’t get ripped off by jumping in the fixer taxi you see, and you feel safer along the way.
Don’t Rely On Weather Reports
Most people will visit somewhere sunny and warm. But you can’t always rely on the weather reports before you leave, and some won’t even check the weather. They assume that they will enjoy 30-degree-plus temperatures and blue skies every day without fail.
Experienced travellers know that this isn’t always the case. Storms, unseasonal temperatures, and other issues can take you by surprise. While you won’t need to pack your entire winter collection, you should bring long sleeves and a waterproof jacket, just in case.
Bring a Decoy Wallet
While the chances of getting mugged are slim, especially in inclusive resorts or if you are sensible, things can happen. You don’t want all your bank cards and IDs stolen because you were a little too naive, so bring a decoy wallet with you.
This is the wallet you hand over if someone demands it. The cards inside should expire, and the currency should be useless. They might not want your wallet, though. Instead, they prefer your phone or fancy headphones. In this case, don’t make it obvious that you have your phone on you to avoid giving them an excuse.
Learn The Language
Whether you’re travelling for a few weeks or a few months, it’s always worth learning the basics. Knowing how to say Hello, Yes, No, Where, and numbers one to ten can help you get around with no issues.
You also endear yourself more to the people you interact with. Don’t be that p[erspn who only talks louder and slower. Make an effort to engage, and they will make an effort back.
Get Travel Insurance
If you think travel insurance doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. There are so many horror stories about travellers who thought they were invincible that it may as well be a cautionary tale taught to every globetrotter.
You may not need travel insurance, and the chances are you won’t. But, theft, illness, and delays can all happen, so you may as well be covered for it.
Smooth and Safe
Thankfully, most people will not encounter any issues during their travels, and their adventure will be one they remember fondly for the rest of their life. However, there is always the risk of something going wrong, and when it rains, it pours (sometimes literally, depending on where you go). The best thing you can do is be prepared for anything. At least then you’ll have the peace of mind that you can handle whatever your journey throws at you.