12 Important Things To Do Before You Travel
Pre-trip checklist usually causes a lot of concern because nothing should slip out of sight. It is easy to lose sight of something that may seem minor at first glance, but become crucial on the road. Eventually, I come up with an idea to arrange to-do-list so the trip would proceed without a hitch. This list is to be updated.
FINDING CHEAP AIRFARE
If you prefer air travel, then obtaining a cheap plane ticket is one of the first things to do. The sooner you get it, the cheaper they would cost. Don’t rely on special offers just a few days before the flight. It may result in a spoiled vacation. It might also be risky to pay for accommodation before you get the tickets. Once I faced a situation when there were no tickets on the dates I needed, so I had to find a less convenient option.
If you already proceeded with hotel booking, this would imply possible cancellation. To get cheap airfare, consider flying with low-cost airlines. It may save your money in case you travel with a small suitcase or backpack. Monitor websites and search aggregators for special offers when planning ahead.
- Round trip tickets are always cheaper than one-way flights. Sometimes round tickets are worth purchasing even if you don’t plan to return;
- Take advantage of using secondary airports because they are hubs for low-cost airlines, so try them out in order to save;
- Connecting flight is a great way to get cheap flight;
- The cheapest days to fly are unpopular travel days like Tuesdays and Wednesday. While the most expensive flights fall on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the day before holidays.
If you decided to stay at the hotel there are two possible ways to get accommodated. You can either search for the option you need upon arrival, but it’s a risky venture. Or you can book it in advance by using hotel booking sites. This is where you can filter out the required option by cost, rating or location.
Extra services should also be taken into account when picking a hotel. If you want a beach holiday, then prefer a hotel next to the beach. City sightseeing, unlike beach vacation, implies a downtown location. Both options may not be cheap, so I would recommend comparing them every time before booking.
Mind that booking options and ways of payment may vary. Some hotels require payment in advance, while the others allow paying before you check-in. The first option is more reliable since you get guaranteed accommodation. But the second option gives you more freedom if you decide to cancel your booking.
GET ALL YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS TOGETHER AND MAKE COPIES
Photocopying your passport is really an important thing to do before you hit the road. It should be remembered every time traveling abroad. By making copies of your passport, you may save not only time and nerves but money as well. These photocopies would come in handy in case passport, driver’s license or credit cards are lost. Make sure that photocopies are kept separately from original documents close at hand.
It is a nice idea to get your passport scanned (including visa page if you have one) in the inbox messages. That would allow you to print it out as soon as possible. Passport loss or robbery may ruin the entire vacation, but having your passport scanned could reduce this threat greatly. Let your relatives or close friends have these photocopies as well.
KEEP YOUR MONEY SEPARATE FROM CREDIT CARDS
Try not to keep money and other valuables in the same place. If you are traveling with a friend, make sure each of you has some cash and a credit card on hand in case you get lost or one of you is robbed.
Keep your backup credit card separate from the one for everyday expenses when you are traveling alone. Some travelers carry a fake wallet stuffed with a few expired credit cards and a few bills to demonstrate the thieves you have nothing left.
REDUCE YOUR ROAMING CHARGES
It is quite easy to get several hundred dollar bills for international calls while overseas. If you want to avoid roaming charges, shut off the phone, turn off network connections or set your phone on airplane mode, even when not using it. Mind that using online services abroad without a proper plan can add up quickly.
THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO GET CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS AND The INTERNET:
- Buy data package in advance
- Consider buying local Sim-card
- It is also worth considering international Sim-card
- Use WhatsApp or Skype
- Switch off background data transfers
- If you’re unsure about what exactly your plan includes use only Wi-Fi
LEARN BASIC PHRASES IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
In some countries (such as Russia or China) a major part of residents don’t speak English. When you go on a trip to a country with an unfamiliar language, it would be wise to learn few basic phrases that might help you to communicate effectively.
Learn at least the following phrases: “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank You”, “Do you speak the … language?” “My name is …”, “Where is …?” “I’m looking for …” etc. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to remember complex foreign language at once. Write down these basic phrases or use a phrase book. The troubleshooting here is to use electronic translate by speech.
KNOW YOUR CHECK-IN HOURS
The majority of hotels have the same check-in and out hours. But still, there are few exceptions. Some hotels may have reception work during certain hours so if you get there off-hour you may face a prospect of outside accommodation. If you aware of hotel working hours, but unable to get there on time make sure to inform the reception desk not to cancel your booking.
Plan Your Itinerary
The navigation system is of a great help when you get lost or looking for accommodation. With GPS navigation loaded on your smartphone, it turns out to be a banana problem to navigate in and around the city. Another possible way is to print a map screenshot, but it may not be convenient due to limited sight range. If you travel by car through a foreign country, having a navigation system is of a great help too.
Check The Weather Forecast Before You Go
It may become a prudent decision to check the weather forecast of your destination point several days before the departure. However, due to frequent changes of the forecast, it would be more reasonable to check it on the eve of departure. Knowing the weather forecast is crucial as it allows you to take emergency measures in case your flight delays or being canceled. In addition, it helps you pick the right clothes for the trip.
Avoid Wearing New Shoes For The Trip
To avoid blisters and spoiled vacation use only time-tested shoes. Take some time on shoe selection before you start the trip to ensure it tailored to your feet. This is even more important if your trip implies hiking tour. However, if you got the new shoes right before the trip make sure to wear them for some time at home or in a hotel to exclude discomfort. You may also consider a new shoe padding before wearing them outside.
If you’re planning a sightseeing trip it would be wise to plan everything in advance. Attractions, museums, squares, and monuments are worth to be brought together in one list. Mind to avoid the queues, so a better decision would be obtaining an e-ticket if possible. In order not to waste time on vacation, specify the working hours of exhibitions, museums, churches and other sights.
Get The Insurance
The vast majority of people often doubt the necessity of travel insurance. And it is natural. No one likes to pay money for something that is not likely to come in handy. However, there are times when injuries or chronic diseases require emergency medical intervention.
In addition to medical support, travel insurance would be indispensable when not only your health is threatened, but also private property or even an entire vacation. Many insurance companies offer home early returning option in case of emergency. The insurance price is not that high, so these few dollars per day may save your health and even life.