Have you bagged some fun in the sun, or perhaps taking a gap-year? Whatever you have planned, it can be tricky to get it right the first-time round.
Of course, everybody loves spontaneity; yet when it comes to travelling, planning ahead can save you a great deal of time and money. This doesn’t mean planning every little detail before you go, but instead means you’re a little more prepared for adjusting to travel mode.
Have you got the right jabs?
If you’re travelling outside of Europe, this is one of the most important things to ask yourself before going away. Different countries require different vaccinations, with some even denying entry if you fail to show proof. Visit your local nurse and book an appointment to discuss travel vaccinations – but be warned – some of these vaccines are not cheap.
Handy packing tips
We all remember the essentials like passport and currency, but there are some fantastic gizmos which make travelling a hell of a lot easier.
- Foldable travel bags – these can be bought for pittance from eBay and are fantastic for splitting out clothes and toiletries in your backpack.
- Padlock or combination lock – pop these on your bag and they act as a great thief-deterrent and helps with piece of mind whilst walking with it on your back.
- Comfy shoes – an obvious one, but so very important (your mum was right on this occasion).
- Entertainment – it’s likely you’ll be spending lots of time on the road, so make sure you have plenty of things like music, books and a tablet to keep you from scratching your eyes out with boredom.
Tours vs independent travel
This is a tricky one and often depends on your budget. Tours are fantastic as they’re usually a selection of the ‘must-see’ sites. They’re also a great way to meet other like-minded travellers. However, they also tend to be pricier than independent travel, leaving you with less freedom and leniency to explore things which aren’t on the schedule. One way of choosing between the two could be to travel independently and then opting for short tours. These may only last a few days – this way you can still meet people and see the best things, but at a fraction of the price.
Everyone’s been caught out by this sneaky bugger. Ever had a dramatic run through an airport to try and make the plane because your visa hadn’t been processed? Just me? Anyway, always check whether you need a visa. It may even just be one for passing through, like an ESTA for the U.S.
Create a daily and total budget
Working out your financial situation beforehand is vital to ensure you know your daily allowance. This can vary in each country you travel to. Some countries can be much cheaper than others, but it’s also down to personal preference. You may love the hostel life, or you may prefer a more glamorous hotel. Whatever your situation, try and create a daily budget for food, drink, travel and activities to combat overspending. Also, remember to factor in any big and expensive activities which may affect your daily budget on certain days.
And, most importantly, make sure your passport is up to date!