Being spontaneous has its enjoyable moments, but when it comes to planning a trip it’s always best to think ahead. Working out the particulars of where you’re going and when—whether it’s a family trip, romantic journey or solo adventure—can make travel much easier and save you a bundle.
Here are some tips for planning your next trip.
Know The Rules
Before you buy any tickets or book any rooms, check the rules for where you’re planning to go. Each country has different visa requirements depending on where you’re from. Some also require vaccinations and proof of an exit ticket before entry. Starting with a web search is the best way to go. Make sure you’ve crossed all your T’s and dotted all your I’s before actually going through with any travel-related purchase.¹
Even though it seems obvious this tip is highly important. Your passport is the magic key that opens doors that could otherwise remain closed. It gets you through airports, land borders, sea ports and wherever else you are going. Make absolutely certain that it doesn’t need to be renewed before your travel, otherwise it could throw a big wrench in your plans. Keep in mind that the busiest time for passport renewals is the lead-up to summer, so if you can renew it earlier or later than that you will likely have a faster processing time. Generally it is recommended that your passport still have a minimum of six months before expiry if you are planning to travel.²
If you’re planning a trip to a new destination that you’re not familiar with it is highly advisable to spend a few hours doing research. Find out about the country’s culture, religion, traditions, customs and etiquette. Is it rude to wear shorts? What electrical outlets do they have? Are taxis usually honest or is there a better app you can download to use in your destination such as Uber? Is there a major national holiday that makes the destination much more enjoyable to visit at a certain time of year—or makes it more stressful and difficult to visit at a certain time of year? All this research will help make sure your trip is the absolute best it can be.³
Packing in a practical and systematic manner can save you major headaches and costs for extra baggage. Plan what you will need and consider writing a list of the different items: from sun block to bathing suit to what type of clothes. If you’re going to a cold destination, consider wearing your largest coat on the airplane to save space.
Another good tip is to roll your clothing to save space and make packing more convenient. If you’re going somewhere hot it is advised to pack light, since porting around a large bag or suitcase can lead to very sweaty situations.
Even hot locations—it should be remembered—can get very cold at night so even if you’re going to Egypt still pack one or two warm items of clothing. Also make sure you’re all stocked up with any extras you may need such as medication, ointments for bug bites, power converters and any equipment you may need for your particular trip.⁴
More To Keep In Mind
Consider bringing a physical map of where you’re going in case you get stuck without phone data or wifi. On that note, remember to make sure you’ve got international data or calling if you need it. Some mobile phone plans will make you purchase this in advance.
Also think about converting some money into local cash before leaving, find a safe place to store your passport, and make sure to read any travel warnings and advice about your destination before leaving.
If you follow the above suggestions, you’ll all be set to have a fantastic trip! All that’s left to do is book the trip of your dreams and enjoy your next adventure!