Travel Tips

Travel essentials: What to plan before you leave

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When you're getting caught in the flurry of excitement leading up to your holiday, it's also important to sort out everything at home before you leave. Ticking all of the boxes means that when you depart you'll be able to focus on having a great time, knowing everything has been taken care of.

Take care of the little things

Make sure you tie up any loose ends before you head off and know you're prepared for any unexpected situations. If you didn't get travel insurance when you booked your holiday, there's still time. If you're halfway around the world and you get sick or your bag is stolen, you'll be incredibly grateful for this cover. Even if no unexpected circumstances arise, having the protection will ensure you remain worry-free.

Check your passport. Many countries require you to have a passport with at least 6 months validity to grant you entry – if yours is about to become invalid, renew it right away.

Depending on where you travel to, you may need vaccinations before you go. It pays to arrange to have them done a few weeks before you leave, as some need time to take effect. 

Get your documents sorted well in advance. This includes everything relating to your holiday: tickets, hotel booking references, insurance policy, car hire information, everything. Having back-up photocopies of documents such as your passport and drivers licence could also prove useful. It's a good idea to leave copies with your friends or family as well.

Exchanging money before you go will mean you have one less thing to think about. Debit and credit cards are now accepted around the world, but it is always good to have a bit of local currency should your card not work, or if you're planning on heading to the local markets where they only accept cash. Also, let your bank know you're heading off – this way, they won't get suspicious when they see a foreign transaction has been made with your card.

Check out your chosen destination

Taking the time to learn more about where you're headed is invaluable. This includes everything from learning about local customs to places you can eat. 

See what the weather will be like and what temperatures to expect. With this information, you can pack accordingly. Knowing the local customs is also important to know before you pack. If the culture of your travel destination is more reserved, long sleeved tops and trousers and maybe even a head scarf might be the way to go.

It's a good idea to have a plan in place for your arrival. Know the route from the airport to your accommodation and your mode of transport. If you are travelling by train, know your stops, if you're travelling by taxi, check out what the reputable and trusted companies are, how long it will take and how much you should expect to pay.

You can also look up eateries that are nearby to where you're staying. This way when you land, probably tired and jet-lagged, you don't have to wonder where you're going to nourish yourself – you have a place lined up.

It won't take long to tie up all the loose ends before your travels, but it could make the beginning of your trip and your time away that much smoother.

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