A while ago I wrote a post 10 Things to Prepare Before Taking A Trip. Since talking to a number of people who saw this article and blog post I have decided to update this post with my recent travels over the last few months.
Always remember traveling should be a pleasurable experience and not in the least bit stressful. In order to alleviate the stress of travel you should make a plan before you travel and be prepared for the unexpected while you are on your travels. It is also good to remember some basic steps you should take whilst you are traveling.
It is surprising how many people don’t check the obvious things, I have heard stories from an extraordinary amount of people who just assumed their passport was valid and current or they didn’t need a visa for the countries they planned to visit. Make sure your Passport is valid, some countries need at least 6 months of validity and 2 full pages in your passport when you arrive. Most airlines will check with you before you leave but some don’t and you could be refused entry on arrival and escorted to the next available plane back home! Don’t forget Visa’s too! Some countries don’t allow visas on arrival and you may need to visit that countries embassy in your home country before embarking on your journey.
Would you visit a country without knowing nothing about it? Hmmm well some people do and what amazes me further is that they expect the place to be just like home! Get real people. You are traveling overseas, to another country so naturally things are going to be different, you need to buy a guide book and at the very least search the internet to do your research on your destination before you arrive. In particular you should note the local customs and laws that might be somewhat different to your home country. Singapore for example have some harsh punishments for things like jaywalking, chewing gum and littering.
I know this next point sounds obvious and a little condescending but do not accept any kind of package from strangers, furthermore, you should not leave your luggage unattended at any time, whether it’s at the airport, taxi or hotel. Your luggage is very important as it contains most things you will need for your entire trip.
When you visit another country you are likely to stand out from a crowd of locals. You will inevitably be a target for crime especially if you are traveling to countries that have a much lower cost of living than your home country. Locals will see a chance to get a month or more wages from a quick pickpocket. One of the best ways to avoid this is not to wear anything that stands out like expensive jewelry or things that look expensive like big chains, bracelets and watches. Take out what you need, preferably in cash, you could take out 1 credit card if you plan on visiting a mall but I’d leave the majority in the hotel safe. As for cash cards, I would give the same advice, unless you plan on making a withdrawal from the ATM that day.
Always be respectful of the countries culture, wherever you are. Many people are very proud of their country and there is no point causing offence for something you do not fully understand or appreciate. Be aware of the time you are traveling in the country, is there an election going on? Is there an issue with a royal family member or president? Has something happened within the country recently? A little research beforehand and alertness whilst you are there will set you in good stead.