PREPARATION IS KEY
Research the destination
From places of interests to places to eat, to the dos and don’ts, to the weather, to the vaccinations. Research everything. When I say the dos and don’ts, I mean mannerisms, etiquette and their culture. I believe this should be respected and it’s always great to learn about new cultures.
How much is the trip going to cost you altogether? Did you include any activities/excursions, accommodation, shopping, transport, food, vaccinations etc. Maybe consider establishing a budget for the whole trip and or even a daily budget. Do make sure you let your bank know that you’re going abroad if you’re planning on using your debit or credit card abroad.
Gather all of the necessary documents
Visa, ESTA/ETA, health documents, passport, proof of return flight, child birth certificates, proof of funds, address of accommodation etc. I bet some of these you would never have thought to carry? Each country has different requirements so do make sure you look into this. Photocopy the important documents like your passport, bank cards etc, and leave them at home so you’ll have the details in case something happens to them whilst you’re abroad.
Learn some lingo
The basics, like hello, please, numbers 1-10, thank you, how much is this etc. Simple phrases will be beneficial. If you have trouble remembering, download a phrasebook app. Find an app that you can use offline especially if you don’t have access to data or WiFi. The locals will like the fact you’re attempting to speak in their language and are always helpful to help you with your pronunciations. They may even teach you some local slang too.
Make a list
Who doesn’t like lists? Once you’ve done your research, list down every place you would like to visit, any restaurants, activities etc, then from here, you’d be able to plan a rough itinerary. A to pack list is also an essential and always pack according to your research. I always stick to less is more and pack wisely. You can read my tips on packing here.
Plan a rough itinerary
Carrying on from the tip above, itineraries are great to keep you organised and gives you an idea as to what your days could be like. Don’t worry if you’re itinerary doesn’t actually go according to plan. You don’t want to rush, trying to complete everything from your travel wish list. This may lead to stress and it’s the last thing you would want. You’ll never know, you might end up spending your time longer in one place, accidentally stumble upon a hidden treasure, need a few more zzz’s to recover from the night before or your flight was delayed. These can completely throw you off your itinerary. Plan loosely, keep it flexible and make the most out of each place.
And lastly, have an open mind and don’t stress
Wherever you go, it’s going to be different. You’re going to be exposed to new things and it’ll be more enjoyable when you have an open mind. What you see in the media isn’t necessarily what you’ll be seeing with your own eyes. It’s best to go there with a blank page so you can document your own adventure. Relax and don’t stress. After all, you’re on holiday to relax and have some down time right?
What are your planning tips?