Travel is one of the best educational and adventurous pursuits, plus it’s fun. But, in seeking pleasure and experience, failing to plan is planning to fail (as the old saying goes) and there is nothing worse than missing a flight or booking into the roach motel because of a lack of prior planning or investigation.
No-one wants to be stuck in a far-flung country where they don’t speak your language and you suffer a catastrophic or costly disaster. That’s a good way to spoil your wanderlust!
Although there are many things to remember, here are 10 important tips to help make your travel enjoyable and stress-free.
Check the accommodation first: Not every two star hotel has a sparkling pool or aircon in every room. To avoid having to share your bathroom time with 20 other people, make sure to check reviews first.
Plan ahead: Many online resources offer discounted deals for travel, accommodation or entertainment. It could be worth your while to book in advance. You could save money and avoid long queues.
Pack extra: A backpack that goes everywhere with you for a change of clothing as well as a lockable compartment for your valuables will be a lifesaver in the unlikely, but ever possible threat of your luggage getting misplaced or being flown to another destination.
Be on time: A missed flight because you overslept is not worth the extra half hour in your hotel bed. Set your alarm and ask for a wake-up call well in advance of your check-in. It’s really not worth the cost or hassle of making alternative plans.
Don’t be a tourist: Sounds like a paradox, but if you walk around flashing cash and wearing an expensive camera around your neck, chances are you’re a tourist and while most travel is safe, there are always rogues out there looking to pounce on innocent travellers.
Enjoy the culture: Travel is a great way to see the world and experience a foreign country. It’s an adventure of a lifetime and an opportunity to immerse yourself in a culture that may be alien to you, but which teaches you about other people.
Research, research, research: If you are going to travel to a foreign country, chances are you’ll experience something very different, but you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the law by taking photos of prohibited buildings or not wearing the correct dress. Research the dos and don’ts before you go.
Keep copies: Before you leave, make copies of your passport, flight tickets, hotel bookings and any other important documents that should you lose them, you have something to fall back on.
Travel insurance: The most expensive insurance is surely the one you never took out in the eventuality of needing to replace lost/stolen luggage or a missed flight. You really don’t want to lose that expensive camera forever and have to use your Nokia to take priceless pictures.
A positive attitude is everything: Don’t waste your time and hard-earned money by booking a trip to a place you’ll most likely not enjoy. If you hate hot climates or unruly crowds, chances are you won’t enjoy Egypt. Make sure that wherever you plan to go, it’s somewhere you can take your positive attitude with and enjoy every second.