We all love to travel, whether it’s just to relax, spend time with your family and friends, explore, or somehow make a difference. So, whether you’re about to embark on a career break, take a gap year, volunteer abroad or simply go away for a week away, these top tips should ensure you get the most out of your trip.
1 – Research the country you are going to. Find out about
- the culture of the country, and whether there are any particular restrictions you need to think about, such as clothing and make sure you pack accordingly
- the temperature of your destination, at the particular time of year you are traveling. Do you need to pack extra layers, a sleeping bag or even an umbrella,?
- the altitude of your destination. This may effect the length of time you stay in a particular place, as you may need to allow a little more time to allow your body to acclimatise
- particular public holidays that may effect your travel plans
- the time difference to your country of departure, so you can plan your first overnight stay in advance, if necessary, or whether public transport is still working at the time you are arriving
- ensure you have some money is a currency that is acceptable by the local country
- what could you take with you, that will make a big impact on the people you are visiting? Would they really appreciate supplies that are difficult to get hold of in their country?
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman
2 - Do your planning
– check your passport details and expiry date, and ensure you have sufficient time on it. Remember, some country require that you have at least 6 months before expiry
– check details of any visa you may need for the country(ies) you are visiting. For some countries, it may take a few weeks for the visa to come through
– check how you will get from your arrival airport to your on-going destination – is it included in your travel arrangements and do you have the details to hand
– check the medical advice, at least 6 weeks prior to departure, and find out if you need any vaccinations or malaria tablets for example
– check your travel insurance covers what you are going to be doing whilst you are out there (eg working with animals, skiing etc)
– check your packed bag is within the weight restrictions
– check your hand luggage restrictions and ensure that you adhere to these
– plan your journey to the airport, and book your car park for the airport or check the train/bus times to ensure you have plenty of time to check-in
– leave copies of your travel documents and travellers cheques etc with someone at home
– have an emergency phone number or contact details for someone you can call – IF necessary
– Remember, travel companies such as Amanzi Travel, quite often have a “Pre-departure pack” to double check the particular details of your destination and your adventure, including safety tips, optional activities etc, so ensure you check this early
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves” – Pico Iyer
3 – Embrace the challenges of travel.
We are bound to face problems and situations that don’t go according to plan, and generally they are out of your control. So, rather than let them get you down, embrace them. Depending where you are traveling, you are likely to experience more challenges than others!! You are likely to get queues at the airport, noisy children, powercuts and water shortages, trains that don’t turn up on time. But try to accept these, and embrace the challenges. You are not responsible for all the things that happen to you, but you are completely in control of your attitude and your reactions to them. My personal tip here, which I try to stick to, is to smile! It is very difficult to be grumpy and upset when you are smiling !
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey” – Barbara Hoffman
The more research and planning you do, the less stressed you will be, and the more your eyes, ears and being will be opened up to what is going on around you. I would heartily encourage you to limit your phone use, find a balance that you are happy with, and remind yourself what was the purpose of your travels? Whether it was to relax, spend time with your family and friends, explore, or somehow make a difference, these top travel tips should ensure that you do. Happy travels.
“We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way“ – Gloria Gaither